Part of a panel from Maddy Kettle. A lot of Maddy Kettle takes place in the desert, which is odd because I've never been to the desert. There is a tradition in writing and cartooning of using the sparse and lonely vistas of the desert as part of the story. My desert is drawn from Krazy Kat and Moebius comics, rather than any real experience. There's something about it that makes it a good place to start, it is full of meaning and resonance. It's alive but it's life is hidden. And it's beautiful. Maddy's journey starts in the desert and explores outward, more and more of the world reveals itself to her and she overcomes her fears. In starting in the desert I think there's also an influence by my favorite stories that grow out of desert myth and folklore, Charles DeLint and Midori Snyder have written books about magic and the desert that had a profound impact on me. In a sense it bothers me that I'm telling a story about a place so removed from my own experience. I also want to tell stories about the north, about snow and ocean and other things I know about. And I will, eventually. But this is the story tat wanted to be told first.