With HarperCollins collecting all of Scott McCloud’s black-and-white Zot! comics into one gigantic 576-page phone book, the New York Daily News interviews the creator about his career in comics, Zot!, and his early ambitions to be a chess champion:
DN: What path did you take once you made your decision to become a comic creator?
SM: Well, I was actually a creature of obsession. Before comics, I’d spent three years just trying to be the youngest world chess champion. That didn’t work out. Before that I was really obsessed with a bunch of other things — politics for about a year microbiology before that, the space program — I had these obsessions and I was always drawing the whole time. It wasn’t until I discovered comics that I actually began to approach drawing as a possible career. Before that, it was just something that I did. My dad was an engineer and so I had this picture of science and technology and pursuits of the mind as being more impressive than artistic pursuits, which I saw a as kind of frivolous.