Tuesday, March 27, 2012

MASTER OF THE MACABRE


This week, I put a post on my Twitter and Facebook accounts, asking my followers how they would describe my art style. Some responses were quite specific:
  • "‎[Like] 1920s-30s newspaper funnies you would see."
  • "A lovely Chuck Jones inspired style..."
Some were quite complimentary: 
  • "Awesome."
 One just about melted my heart:
  •  "Your style makes me think (of) 'home'!"
And almost all of them pointed towards my macabre leanings:
  • "Darkly comical"
  • "...a touch of comical darkness"
  • "...delightfully insane monsters"
  • "Black humor, as in dark"
  •  "Your work reminds me a bit of Jeff Smith (Bone) with a more adult and darker twist..."
It's funny--a few years back, people saw my work and immediately latched on to the "cute". Now, I like cute. I'm proud of cute. I paint in bold strokes of cute. But my gags, my subject matter, they were almost never cute. Parents who glanced at my "Dead Duck" graphic novel and inexplicably missed Zombie Chick's pop-up knockers automatically assumed my "cute" cartoon art would be an acceptable purchase for their eight year olds (I corrected their mistake before any money changed hands, I assure you). But now, with "Dead Duck" having dominated my work for the past six years, and my "Necronomicomics" cartoon running regularly in "Rue Morgue Magazine", people are finally getting what I've been trying to tell them for years-- Jay P. Fosgitt is a macabre cartoonist. I accept the title with pride, as it puts me in the company of some of my favorite macabre cartoonists: Gahan Wilson, CharlesAddams, Tim Burton, Gary Larson, and so many others. But now, there's another part of me, stretching his drawing hand from beneath the piles of creatures and gore that I've heaped upon my creative aesthetic, waving at the crowd and shouting from beneath the dark rubble...

Hey! I can draw cute stuff, too!

Sigh. I'll never be satisfied.

NECRONOMICOMICS:

And speaking of my macabre work, there is no better representation than my monthly cartoon, published in the pages of Rue Morgue Magazine. "Necro" gives me more satisfaction than anything else I create these days. Maybe it's the freedom I have to create whatever I want. Maybe it's the subject matter of my beloved horror movies. Maybe it's the challenge presented in filtering familiar icons through my cartoon aesthetic. Whatever it is, it's making me very happy, and justifying my love of my art and career.
This is one of the cartoons that ran a few issues ago. This is the first installment that didn't directly lampoon a specific film, though everyone in the audience represents a horror movie icon. However, I made up the slasher at the podium. If you think this is gory, wait 'til you see my riff on "Sweeney Todd" next January (I draw these really far in advance).

DEAD DUCK:

I just started roughing out the pages for my next "Dead Duck" story. Though it's currently without a title, the script has been written for a couple years now. The episode is set in the mid 1950's, at a local make-out point for teens where aliens frequently land--and are continually blown to smithereens by an old fart with a shot gun. I'll post some art samples once I begin final illustration on this story.

FREE COMIC BOOK DAY:

On May 5th, I'll be celebrating Free Comic Book Day at 21st Century Comics in East Lansing, MI, where I'll share a table with several of my comic book creator pals. I encourage anyone in the area to stop by, pick up some comics, and get some artwork and face time with a fun group of artists!

ARTWORK:

Almost a year ago exactly, while experiencing a lull at a comic con I was attending, I doodled this cartoon on a blank Avengers cover:
Those familiar with Winnie the Pooh will get the gag. Typically, it's Tigger who pounces the silly ol' bear and perches upon his tummy. I went in a more suggestive direction by drawing Marvel's heroine (and not coincidentally, an Avenger) Tigra, atop Pooh. It was a fun idea, but one I felt I could do a better job with if I had more time, a better drawing surface, and the benefit of digital coloring. So this past week, I decided to make it happen.
I'm far happier with this new version. No doubt it'll end up in an upcoming sketchbook that I'll self publish, either towards the end of 2012 or the beginning of 2013.

Another blast from my past--six years ago, after director David Cronenberg's film, "A History of Violence" came out, I was inspired to do a parody featuring Charles Schulz's Peanuts characters. It was just a black and white pen drawing, but at the time, I felt it was kinda special. However, it never generated much attention when I posted it online back then, mostly I think because not many of my regular followers saw the movie. However, I felt the piece was valid, and deserved to be dusted off and given a spit polish. I've posted the new version below. The only difference from the original is the color and the digital lettering I used for the title.
Lastly, the piece below was drawn as a black and white commission from quite a few months back. I decided to color it up and set it aside for a future sketchbook I want to publish, to feature all my pop culture pin-up girl drawings (the other two pieces I posted here will feature in it as well). For those who don't know, the character is Black Canary, a heroine from DC Comics. 
Thanks as always for taking time to read my weekly ramblings. Check back here next week for more news, and be sure to check out my Dead Duck web comic every Monday and Thursday!

--Jay

2 comments:

Danny Limor said...

Great work, as always. Your style continues to amaze, delight, and inspire me. Station!!

Lee V Call said...

"Black humor, as in dark."

That was me!

Luv ya, Jay :)