The Hazlitt Offensive: Evan Munday

By Hazlitt

Our new, trademark-pending, Hazlitt questionnaire—this week checking in with authors appearing at the International Festival of Authors, now on in Toronto.

Evan Munday is the author and illustrator of the Silver Birch-nominated series of novels for young adults, The Dead Kid Detective Agency (ECW Press). He will appear at IFOA on October 29 with Lesley Livingston at York Quay Centre.

1. What are three words you associate with your first relationship?
Lengthy. Pleasant. Edifying.

2. What’s the worst thing you ever did for money?
Having mostly worked in book publishing, I haven’t been forced into too many truly terrible things. When I was a young, naive illustrator, I tabled at a lot of comic conventions. At one, a man asked for a free sketch of one of the female characters in my self-published comic book. Moments after starting to draw, he asked if I could make it look like she’d stepped in, like, glue or something and can’t get free. He left as I began, and shortly after I leafed through his book to find sketch after sketch by other illustrators of cartoon females who had stepped in glue. I finished the drawing, but added a word balloon that read, This had better not be some weird sex thing. (Clearly, it was.) Really, as far as terrible things go, it isn’t. But I felt dirty for the rest of the weekend.

3. What is your least favourite song?
I don’t know if I have a least favourite song, but Lullaby (a.k.a. Rockabye) by Shawn Mullins certainly represents some kind of nadir in popular music.

4. What is your favourite song?
That changes from day-to-day, but currently it’s Q-Feel’s Dancing in Heaven (Orbital Be-bop). Not only is it a) one of the best dance songs that the 1980s produced, and b) anchor to classic teen movie, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, it’s a song about how stoked this guy (and, to a lesser extent, his mom) is about being the first person to dance in outer space. They don’t make songs like this anymore! If I had more free time, I’d be editing together a fan music video of the song using clips from Gravity.

5. What’d you have for breakfast this morning?
A blueberry bagel and several cups of coffee.

6. How do you feel about Joni Mitchell?
No strong feelings. I have a real blank spot when it comes to that era/strain of folk-rock singers, because I’m not the biggest fan. (I thought the My Chemical Romance cover of Desolation Row was just as good, if not better, than the Dylan original.) She made an awesome hook for that Janet Jackson song.

7. How did you learn what sex was?
The Showcase Drambuie Review.

8. Where do you imagine all our lost T-shirts go?
Our lost T-shirts? Or Lost T-shirts? Because if it’s Lost T-shirts, mine is waiting in my drawer to be worn the first chance I get to meet Terry O’Quinn.

9. Who do you consider the funniest person in the world—that we would know?
Either Julian Barratt (of The Mighty Boosh), Bob Odenkirk (of Mr. Show and Breaking Bad) or Joel Hodgson (of Mystery Science Theatre 3000).

10. What’s the worst insult you’ve ever said?
When I was a kid, I guess I was fairly racist, because we had a friend who was Sikh, and once we learned that his head covering was called a patka, patka became our go-to insult. Not for Sikhs, just for anyone we didn’t like. Look at that loser; what a patka. I was a pretty terrible kid.

As an adult, I’d like to think I’ve left my racism in the past—I mean, aside from the systemic racism that’s benefitted me daily since birth because I’m white. But I haven’t used patka as an insult in decades, so I’m improving.

11. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever been called?
Racist. (Though clearly, it wasn’t unwarranted.)

12. What’s a deal breaker for someone you’re in a relationship or in love with?
Being rude to servers or retail workers.

13. What’s something you do every night before bed?
Brush my teeth. Apparently my routine is so intensive that my partner Grace has noted that if I were to have an OKCupid profile, my three likes would be: Ties, plaid, and brushing my teeth.

Special thanks to PJ Vogt (@pjvogt) for contributing to the questionnaire.