For five decades, Craig Yoe has been contributing his mind-bending art to pop culture, notably with his first underground comix work that helped to contribute the early days of the movement in the 1970s. Since then, he’s worn many creative hats, working with everyone from the Muppets to Disney to Nickelodeon as a creative director.

But Yoe always wanted to return to the underground comix, not just in writing but also in illustrating his stories. Now he’s taking that leap with his new autobiographical comic Woman & Man+, now on Kickstarter and being published by Clover Press. Yoe is applying his words and art to bring to life a personal story that runs the gamut of human emotions and experiences in an experimental, captivating tale for the mind and the senses.

Craig Yoe spoke with us recently about the conceit of Woman & Man+, how Woman+ & Man is both similar and different from what he’s done before, drawing inspiration from his life, and why he tackled drawing a comic story for the first time with this book.



FreakSugar: Before we dig into Woman & Man+, what made you decide to pull from your own life for your first comic publication?

Craig Yoe: My passion is drawing weird, surreal, bizarre, crazy comics and there’s nothing more weird, surreal, bizarre, and crazy than my life of the last number of years—so I drew from that.

FS: That said, what can you tell us about the idea behind Woman & Man+?

CY: It was the idea that drawing my trials and tribulations might be art therapy and that might be more effective and cheaper than clinical therapy for me.

As creatives we’re often queried, “Where do you get your ideas?” We have a million of them! The voices in our heads incessantly shout them!

The hard part is choosing from the deluge and getting past the artist blocks. But I was mentally and emotionally in such a bad place I had no other choice but to draw Woman & Man+ if I wanted to survive and find hope.

FS: The first pages I’ve seen can’t let the reader look away. There’s something new to look at with every viewing. How did you decide on the look of the book?

CY: The look of the book is black and white and read, funny-as-dead, out of my head, and spread all over.



FS: Is there a different mindset you have to be in to tackle something personal for a book like this versus other work you’ve done in the past?

CY: I have produced and published over 100 book collections for Yoe Books of strange comics, erotica, low-brow art, and such—by other artists, many dead, a few living. In some ways that act is autobiographical.

But, this is the first book I’m producing (with my good friends at Clover Press) of my own work. Because I have published and studied the work of so many stellar artists, I have spent most of my long life not drawing because I found their work crushingly intimidating.

However, at 73, with one foot in the grave, it was time to shit or get off the pot. And emotionally needing to tell my story helped put a fire under my butt. Too much fatalistic, scatological, and heinie-butt imagery in that statement? I offer Yoe apology.

FS: What do you hope readers pull from the book, other than being entertained?

CY: That comics don’t have to be same-o, same-o. They can break the rules of the form, be non-linear, decidedly different. Comics can be rebellious, bombastic, troublesome, subversive. They can be enlightening, poetic, profound. Some of those qualities I possess, maybe not the best ones. But, I remain same-Yoe, same-Yoe.

FS: If you had one last pitch for the project, what would it be?

CY: I don’t give a shit what you think of me and my book. Pwease wuv me!

The Kickstarter for Craig Yoe’s Woman & Man+ has already hit its funding goal more than 9 TIMES OVER, with a full two weeks left in the campaign. Make sure to check out this crowdfunding venture for an experimental comic from an artist bearing talent built over five decades in entertainment.