Joe Ollmann is profiled in the Hamilton Spectator newspaper in advance of his booklaunch/signing at Epic Books, Wednesday October 29 (26 Locke Street South, Hamilton, 905-525-6538).
He says his work has always stemmed from elements of his own life. Some of the tales in Happy Stories are quite sad because they were written just after Ollmann’s divorce. He was depressed and drinking hard, but there’s still a touching comedy in the stories.
Ollmann says that’s intentional.
“I think anything that’s unabashedly po-faced and serious is so precious and so annoying and it would just make people barf so I think you have to lemon it. I mean that’s life, you know? It’ll be the darkest time in your life and some stupid thing will happen, some stupid thing that may not make you laugh, but it is funny.”
“Nothing is ever so grim that it’s unrelentingly grim.”
Not even cannibals. With Happy Stories wrapped, Ollmann is currently holed up in his Hamilton studio working on a comic biography of journalist/occultist/cannibal William Seabrook — a subject only slightly more unsettling than Tommy Talker.