Tuesday, January 31, 2006


In tomorrow's edition of The Saginaw News (which will be today's edition in another twenty minutes), reporter and good friend Jessica Soule will have a story about me and my contribution to issue #4 of Dave Alvarez's Yenny comic book. She's a solid journalist, and did me a real favor by doing a bit on me, so do us both a solid and check it out!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Not Quite MAD Enough

Good news and bad news on the submission front. First the bad. Mad Magazine wasn't quite ready for the unrestrained mayhem that is my artwork. So now I have yet another rejection note to add to the ten-year-old pile in my closest. The good news though, was that on the bottom of the form letter Mad sent me, I also got a personal response from Mad's art director, Sam Viviano. Here's how his message went:

Hey, Jay!
Some interesting stuff, but I'm not sure that we have any illustration opportunities for you here at MAD just now. You might want to check our new feature, "The Strip Club," and come up with an unpublished submission for that. In the meantime, as one Michigander to another (I grew up in Detroit), thanks for letting me see your work!


It's always a positive thing to receive a personal reply, especially considering the amount out submissions a company like Mad has to respond to. And the friendly nature of Sam's note, coupled with the suggestion of other opportunities, did much to cushion the blow. I do intend to look into Mad's "Strip Club," and I think I have a concept that would fit in well with Mad's comedic sensibilities. So, more on that when the time comes.

In the meantime, let this be a lesson to other aspiring cartoonists out there: DON'T GIVE UP! Rejection letters are still responses, so at least you know people are seeing your work. And a rejection letter with a personal message is distilled hope in its purest form.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Giving Life To Krazybread

Over at myspace.com, where I have yet another, less art-related blog, I've recently come up with what I hope will be a good promotional tool for some of my work.

I gave The Krazybread Man, my character from Mother's Goofs, his own myspace entry.

I went so far as to create an e-mail address for him (www.mothersgoofs.com). And as far as anyone who visits myspace in concerned, he's real (sure, you need to have an imagination and a sense of humor to buy it, but I'm treating him as real).

I figured using him as a kind of spokesman might be a good way to bring new people into Mother's Goofs, and when I eventually publish my Mother's Goofs collection (two years in the works now), that'll be all the more people potentially interested in buying it.

His entry is pretty funny, and his blogs are totally suited towards his character. You're warned in advance that some of the stuff is a little adult, but it's all good fun.

Here's a couple links:


Let me know what you think!

Friday, January 20, 2006

So Where's My Damn Grammy?!

Back in 2004 a group of music professors and classical musicians from CMU began production on a CD and commissioned me to design the cover art. Now, a year later, the CD has finally been released by Centaur Records Inc. To the best of my knowledge, it should it be available in a music store near you (Best Buy in the very least). Even if you're not a fan of woodwind music, it might be cool for you to own a piece of my very first CD artwork. I should stress that I make no money off sales of the album (mine was a one time flat fee for art creation). I just thought it might be a cool keepsake for you guys who dig my art. You can view the original art at the link below.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Release Date for Jay's Yenny Work and other news

I just spoke with cartoonist Dave Alvarez, and he tells me that my work will appear in Yenny #4 sometime in February. However, this may be subject to change. Planned release dates for most comic books are often as unpredictable as Michigan weather, and this particular issue was originally supposed to be due out last October. But at any rate, that's when he told me, so I'm sticking to it.

Look for it at a local comic book shop near you. I'd suggest, though, that you get to one NOW and ask for a copy of PREVIEWS, a catalog that advertises upcoming comic books. Since Yenny is published through Alias, which is still a growing company, probably not alot of shops immediately carry Alias comic books, so you may have to special order the issue through Previews, which any shop will help you do. It won't cost you anything extra to order the book, but it will assure that you get your hands on it. I know that's what I'll be doing!

In other cartooning news, I just sent out a portfolio of my work to Mad Magazine last week. It had a lot of caricatures featured on my website, as well as samples from my various comic strip creations. I thought the REEL FUNNY strip in particular might grab their attention, since they've always been heavy into movie parodies. More news on that when and if I hear back from 'em.

There's some caricaturing gigs coming my way, which is great news for my bank account. For the first time in I couldn't even tell you how long, I actually have at least one gig per month scheduled between now and June. That's good exposure, good money and good art (I pride myself on my caricaturing work).

I'm also going to be drawing a mural at Swan Valley Middle School (my old stomping ground) sometime in the next month. I was commissioned by one of my old teachers who's now head librarian there, and the mural will span one of the walls of the library. The mural will be done entirely in purple permanent marker (purple is Swan Valley's school color), which will make the job sooooo much easier than using paint (cleaner, too). I'll try and post some photos of the job once it's finished.

I'm also in talks to submit some artwork to the Northwood Art Gallery here in good ol' Midland, MI.
I stopped by there one day with Laura, and asked what a guy had to do to get his work in there. The director there seemed interested in my being a cartoonist (a first for the gallery, I'm certain). But I immediately got a line of questioning that was very straight forward and a little intimidating, ending with, "Are you any good?" "Well, I think I am," I nervously replied. She asked me to bring back a selection of my work to review and that we'd talk.
Walking downtown with Laura afterwards, I was kicking myself for not answering her question with: "I'm the best cartoonist the tri-cities has to offer." I'm not so arrogant to think I'm the best there is in Michigan (there's always someone better than you, after all), but I feel confident I have Midland, Saginaw and Bay City under control.
More news on the gallery as it develops.

Lastly, there's more potenially big news on the immediate horizon, though I won't say what until I get confirmation. Even if it falls through, I'll let you guys know that it would have been. But for now, it sounds like a pretty sure thing.

Thanks to all you guys who've been replying to these semi-regular postings. Tell your friends about this website and make sure you and they keep checking my blog regularly to see what's in the works. If things keep progressing the way they have been, the news is only going to keep getting bigger and better!

Monday, January 09, 2006


From the moment after I told the world about my upcoming work on Dave Alvarez's comic book, I hit the ground running on the project. I hammered out the script in an hour, had my "fists" done in another hour, and began penciling the pages within the same 24 hour block of time. I got immediate approval from Dave based on my penciled pages (and he REALLY digged my script!), was given the go-ahead to ink and color the pages, and the whole deal was completed early Saturday morning and e-mailed off to Dave in Puerto Rico. So that's that. I currently await confirmation from Dave that he's received the pages. As soon as I know when they'll be published, you'll be hearing all about it, to great lengths and with no shortage of excitement!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


I can't believe this is happening, but it is indeed happening.

I made friends with a guy named Dave Alvarez who's a frighteningly talented cartoonist from Puerto Rico. He's has a character called Yenny that he draws in an online comic strip and in a comic book published by Alias Comics, a new and very impressive looking publisher.

And he's offered me the chance to write and draw a two page story for his Yenny comic book!

I'm seriously freaking out here, but I've managed to keep my cool long enough to hammer out a plot, script and fists.*

*Fists are my own personal derivative of thumbnails. Thumbnails are the small, scribbly sketches that cartoonists use to map out their pages before they actually draw them. As my own thumbnails are effin' huge, I call them fists. End of lecture.

I intend to start the actual illustrating tonight when I get out of work. I have less than a month to put this together and get it out to Dave, and I'm shooting to complete this before the end of the week for my own satisfaction.

So that's the big news. Unless something dramatically changes, my work will be appearing in the pages of Dave Alvarez's Yenny comic book sometime very soon. More news on that when the time comes.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go wet my pants.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Jay's Blog: Not just a clever bathroom code anymore!

Welcome to my blog, where I'll be posting news and updates regarding my cartooning! This is the biggest development to my website since it was built over a year ago, and I'm anxious to play with it and see what it can do.

I'm hoping this blog will have capabilities allowing you guys reading this to send me feedback and drop me some comments, but as of now I'm not sure how that works. I'll be talking with web (and funk) master Foco about making that an option if it isn't already.

Now to kick off this new blog, here's some actual news in the career of The Foz (um, yeah, that'd be me):

I've recently began creating a portfolio to send to Mad Magazine, home of Alfred E. Newman and (as their bi-line's proudly displayed for decades) "The Usual Gang of Idiots." I've been to their website and based on their suggestions, I think I've put together an impressive package of caricatures and comic strips for them to pour through. I'm hoping to send that off to them this week, so more on that when the time comes.

I'm still in the middle of creating my children's book, Pillow Billy. The holidays forced me to put it aside briefly, but by no means permanently. I'm passionate about this project and think it's going to be something special when I'm through.
As of now, the writing's done (several drafts later and I feel great about this story!), and the artwork is about midway through completion. Then I need to add the color pencil, which to me is a big deal, since I've been coloring digitally almost exclusively for the last three years. I miss the old hands on, organic look and feel of colored pencils and am anxious to incorperate them into my children's book, where I think they'll fit in beautifully.

My comic book The Herd has been done since the summer, but funds to print it have been extinct (Y'see, the book's about animal superheroes, so I figured "extinct" would be kinda fitting, get it? Uh....Yeah...I'm sorry). Regardless, as creating that book was my New Years resolution for 2005, getting it printed and distributed is my goal for 2006. I'll find the money and I'll make it happen some how, so don't give up on it yet. I know you'll love it when it hits .

And my collection of "Mother's Goofs" comics is still in the works as well (tenatively titled "Triple Fat Goofs"). I've been building up interest for the strip on deviantart.com, and it sounds like there may be an audience for the book beyond my old CMU gang (who will ALWAYS be my core audience). More on that as it develops.

And speaking of deviantart.com (an online art gallery) , I've been posting artwork there since just before Thanksgiving, and I've made some good contacts and met some nice people. If anyone's interested in seeing my gallery, here's a link to the site:
Just click on the images to fully view them and let me know what you think. There's some old Mother's Goofs strips on there, but mostly it's all new stuff.

Beyond that, I've got some caricaturing gigs and freelance art projects coming up and am trying to make myself a name in the art world, both locally and nationally (we'll hold off on worldwide until I tackle that "nationally" thing).

Thanks for keeping an interest in me and my work, and keep checking back here for more news and updates!