Author Joe Peacock chatted with Copia earlier today about his second book, Mentally Incontinent.
1. Your book, Mentally Incontinent, was first published in 2005. Tell me a little about it. Is it biography/memoir?
The first [book,] called Mentally Incontinent, was published in 2005. The second book [also called Mentally Incontinent, but an entirely different book] was published in 2009. Both are collections of user-favorite selections from the website (also called Mentally Incontinent). The stories are all based on real things that happened to me in my life, so I guess you could call it a memoir. It’s meant to make otherwise embarrassing or serious things much less so by introducing them humorously, so there’s a bit of embellishing and some name-changing that goes on, but yeah, it’s pretty much me writing about my life.
2. Who is Joe Peacock and why is he so awesome and hilarious?
I’m hilarious because I have this penchant for getting myself into trouble in the most horrifically funny ways possible. And I’d be lying if I told you it was all accidental. I’m the type to poke badgers with a stick and then get up in their face for snarling at me. You could call me stupid or stubborn, but I think it’s more that I just plain have a problem with leaving well enough alone. I can’t ignore a bully, I have to confront them. I can’t leave a cigarette butt thrown out of a car window on the ground; I have to pick it up and tap on the car window and hand it back to the driver. I can’t tell my friends no, even when what they want me to do is stupid. All I see around me is the potential for interesting things to happen, even if they mean a little pain in the process. But at the end of the day, I just want things to be better than they are. I think we all deserve more than we get. And if I have to be the guy to take the beating for it, so be it.
3. What edition is MI in now? What are your plans for the future? What’s the next book?
I’m currently working on the third and final collection of stories from the site (which will also be called - big surprise - Mentally Incontinent. I just can’t seem to learn my lesson about confusing everyone whenever a new book is put out). It’ll contain the stories from my site that I wished had been picked by the users, or that I just plain want to see published. I’ll also include a few brand new stories, as I do with every book.
4. You keep an online journal blog and it’s clear you love writing, even every day. When did you first get the writing bug? When did you know this would be who you are?
I don’t really know the answer to that question, honestly. I started keeping a journal when I was 12 years old and still do to this day. I’ve just shifted from notebooks to online. Where I used to write down every single thought in my head as a prosaic series of journal entries, now I try to focus on a topic and really dissect it. The passing thoughts and quips and quibbles in my brain now go into notes on my phone (via Evernote), and usually end up being the impetus of another blog entry somewhere. As far as realizing it’s who I am, I don’t know that that’s a realization one ever really makes, unless they’ve got these lofty aspirations of being a “writer” wearing a velvet robe and smoking a pipe, and then one day find they’ve convinced enough people to give them enough money to play that role. “This is what I’ve always been meant to be…” it just seems silly. I think expressive people express themselves. Some of us do it with writing, others paint or draw or write amazing music or play amazing music, so on and so forth. I think you are who you are, period, and it comes out of you whether you like it or not.
5. One of your main projects is curating the art of Akira? Exciting plans are in the immediate future; tell me a little about that.
I’m taking the exhibit to Quito, Ecuador, and Cairo, Egypt, this year, and that’s really exciting. Brutus Magazine (one of the most widely read magazines in Japan) just did a huge feature on my exhibit, and that was really cool. I’ll be at a few conventions this year, and I hope to run into Otomo himself while on the circuit this year. If you hear a very loud popping sound echo across the skies of your neighborhood, have no fear - it just means I actually met the man and my head exploded.
Mentally Incontinent, second edition, is currently available on Copia.