When the civil rights battle was won, all the Jews and hippies and artists were middle class white people and all the blacks were still poor. Materially, not much changed.
The past is still visible. The buildings haven't changed, the layout of the streets hasn't changed. So memory is very available to me as I walk around.
The book is openly a kind of spiritual autobiography, but the trick is that on any other level it's a kind of insane collage of fragments of memory.
I got into underground comics fairly early on and kind of wandered away from the superhero stuff, but I was an art student and I was drawing a lot as a kid.
I keep one simple rule that I only move in one direction - I write the book straight through from beginning to end. By following time's arrow, I keep myself sane.
My fiction has been influenced by the visual arts, though not in obvious ways, it seems to me. I don't offer tremendous amounts of visual information in my work.
I try not to become too regular an addict of any one subculture.
I'd excluded New York from my writing, and then I came back and I fell in love with it all over again. The energy comes from an absence, that yearning for New York when you are not there.
I don't paint anymore. I haven't since I abandoned it at 19, in order to begin writing seriously.