David Lapham On Writing Crossed Volume 2: Family Values

David Lapham writes about taking on Crossed, for Bleeding Cool.

Many years ago I watched a documentary about famous Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali. In it the interviewer goes to Dali’s home to find the painter hiding behind columns and generally acting off his nut. At one point Dali says–and this is oft repeated in my family ever since–he says, “The difference between Dali and a crazy man is that Dali is not crazy.” He said it with an accent more like “Dahlee eez no crah-zee.” Which brings us to Hitler. Frustrated artist, co-opter of the Chaplin mustache, poop watcher, world dominator, mass murderer. If he were a less successful artist would Dali have cleaned people’s clocks instead of in melting them in paint? Could Jack the Ripper have possibly been Jack Tripper in another life? If they let Manson in the Beach Boys would Roman Polanski have directed Bad Boys II to an Oscar sweep? The point is, a creative outlet is important not only to the individual, but to society as a whole. With so many schools cutting art and music programs can the next Hitler be far behind?

This brings us to Garth Ennis’s Crossed. We all fear Garth. Not having met him, I can only hope that these fears are unfounded. Comedians make us laugh and they say they are the most depressed and bitter people. (Going back to the Hitler well, how funny is that guy?) Conversely, Garth makes us puke, therefore he must be gentile and swell. He puts it all on paper, right? I mean, maybe I’m wrong and he gets all his ideas while chopping up puppies, but for the purposes of not wanting to rewrite this piece, I’ll assume I’m right. Here at Avatar the rules are simple: there are no rules. So Garth has an extreme outlet for his darkest thoughts, and we get to enjoy Crossed instead of being rounded up in detention camps, raped with can openers, and defecated on by rotund men.

I myself have also been known to write some twisted tales, but I haven’t been feeling so gentile or swell. This either means, a) I’m really a comedian, or b) Dave the Disemboweler is coming to chop you up and eat your pets. Luckily Avatar impresario William Christensen has asked me to come up with my very own Crossed tale. He tells me not to hold back the darkness and depravity. I suspect this is his master plan to save the world one artist at a time. Regardless, I’m not looking forward to eating your pets, so instead I bring you Crossed: Family Values. Instead of putting you in the wood chipper, I have the Pratt family–Adaline, and her brothers and sisters and her mom and her dad to torture….I have murder, rape, incest, dismemberment, and betrayal, and when that’s over, there’s still the Crossed jonesin’ to inseminate and consume whatever’s left. I will make them all miserable. Then probably dead. Be grateful for each horror they endure. They suffer so you don’t have to.

David Lapham

January, 2010

Crossed: Family Values will be published by Avatar in May.

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