I spoke with Barry first at the restaurant La Canard Enchainé, where we enjoyed Chardonnay and a delicious meal, broken only by the cheerful hellos of the owner and several townspeople who all seemed to know [or know of] my interview subject. I myself have known Windsor-Smith since 1991, when I finally got him to answer my letters with the lure of [his creating] Miracleman covers for Eclipse. I found him then to be a graceful, witty and intelligent man, and he still is. All brain cells are intact, although it is safe to say that he has a certain bitterness that wasn’t there before.

“Yeah, you know, I am bitter on the occasion. But it doesn’t eat at me, I don’t know why. Yes, it does eat at me. Yes, it does.” Windsor-Smith takes a drag of his cigarette, wincing at his contradictions. “I’ll give you an example. We’re now working with Gary Groth (publisher at Fantagraphics) on Adastra in Africa; he’ll be publishing Adastra now and he’ll also be publishing one of the other things that’s going to be coming out this year (BWS: OPUS).There was a confusion that was part Alex’s fault and part Gary’s. Just a mismanagement of information, that’s all. But due to the big-time burn factors of Dark Horse we were immediately suspicious of foul play.”

“So you jumped straight to paranoia?” I say.

“Yeah, we went ballistic out of fear and paranoia, even though I trust Gary as a straight-ahead guy -- but then again, I trusted Mike Richardson (Dark Horse publisher). You’ve never heard such a litany of promises from Richardson, and I fell for it all, even after surviving Valiant!


“I can’t help but feel burnt but I also had to try to shelve my paranoia. This thing about Gary, for a few days I was convinced that he was fucking me over, but then Gary called back and said hold on a second this isn’t the case at all. And, y’know, of course it wasn’t. It was just a regular misunderstanding.”

“It must be hard. You’re going to have those moments of suspicion like you said with Gary.” I point out.

“And it was so unfair. He just got caught up in a subsidiary victimization that grew from previous burns.”

“If you want to avoid what seems to become a difficult situation working with publishers, why don’t you control your work completely? Why not self publish?”

“Don’t have [the] money. No capital.” It may come as a shock to those who think comics is a business that can make [millionaires of] Kevin Eastmans and Todd McFarlanes, but actually most of even the top comics artists don’t make a fortune, although they can make a healthy living. I am surprised that Windsor-Smith hasn’t done better.

“But if you had money?” I ask.

“It wouldn’t just be having money to pay the printers or whatever, it would be the whole process. I’m not a crafty businessman, I work on intuition, but If I did have capital to do it, I would very much like to be in control."