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L.A. Times book prize winner Adam Hines and 'Duncan the Wonder Dog: Show One'

May 3, 2011 |  2:24 pm

Duncanwonderdog Adam Hines, 27, won the L.A. Times book prize for graphic novel Friday night for his big, ambitious work, "Duncan the Wonder Dog: Show One."

"I started working on this book back in 2002, when I was 18, and only just finished last March, and that's a long time to work on something that you don't know will be of any good use to anyone," Hines said in his acceptance speech.

Hines went to Art Center in Pasadena for "a few weeks before dropping out." He talked about "Duncan the Wonder Dog" with our sibling blog Hero Complex.

HC: Your book tackles philosophy in a very unique way. Did you study philosophy? How did you assign different philosophical perspectives to different animals?

AH: I’ve never studied anything in any sort of “official” context; I’m an amateur in every respect. Philosophy as a practice is just endlessly fascinating to me, but you can get into trouble when using it as a guide for character motivations or actions. People just aren’t that intellectually explicable. But I wanted early on to show that not only are wild animals very different from humans, but every animal is very different from every other kind of animal. And as for assigning them different perspectives, there was no set system or approach. It was only what felt right for that character or scene.

HC: What about mathematics?

AH: Mathematics are a big part of the book, and a huge overriding part of the series, and will get more prominent as the books go on. For “Show One,” though, it is mostly used as framing devices, ways to set up the panels. I wanted it to always be there, but mostly in the background, supporting the story. 

Read more of the interview with Adam Hines here.

-- Carolyn Kellogg