Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Jay Lynch - Cartoonist Survey #57

Underground comix artist, Jay Lynch (Jazey Lynch) has been influencing the world of cartooning since 1967 when he put out his Bijou Funnies. Bijou Funnies featured such underground comix greats as Jay, Gilbert Shelton, Art Spiegelman and Skip Williamson. In 1980 Bijou Funnies was collected in the book, "The Best of Bijou Funnies."

In 1968 he started working on one of my favorite pop culture items of the 70's, Topps Wacky Packages. I had scores of these and stuck them everywhere. In 5th grade we completely covered the ceiling of our school bus with them. I still have my originals from 1973-1975. He also contributed to the highly successful Garbage Pail Kids as well. In 2004 Topps reintroduced Wacky Packages and they are still going strong. Jay continues to produce work for them and he wrote the introduction for the upcoming book, "Wacky Packages, NEW NEW NEW" (April 2010). In February the latest series called Wacky Packages, Old School, comes out and in every box is a sketchcard drawn by Jay!

Through the 70's and 80's the strip Phoebe and the Pigeon People, by Jay and Gary Whitney, ran for 17 years in the Chicago Reader. His work has also been published in many other publications such as MAD, Playboy, TIME and Cracked. Jay has recently been collaborating on children's books including "Otto's Orange Day" and "Mo and Jo Fighting Together Forever." Stop by
his website and then order one of his children's books here. To find out more about Wacky Packages go to Topps' official site and also Greg Grant's site which is loaded with pictures.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Mostly I use a Crowquill pen with a hard steel point, and Rapidograph pens of various sizes.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
Both. Mostly PhotoShop these days, though.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Acryla brand acrylic gouache. It works like gouache...but it dries like acrylics.

What type of paper do you use?
3-ply Strathmore...smooth surface for pen, 4 ply Strathmore kid surface for painting.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Sports...chess...portraits of ugly children that I gotta make cute...things that are perfectly circular.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I live out in the middle of nowhere. I get my supplies from the Dick Blick catalog.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Wash my hands...just so the paper doesn't get dirty.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Country mostly.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Mad comics...Mad imitators...funny animal stuff. Crime stuff.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Lil' Abner.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Havelock Ellis' "Psychology of Sex." I have a copy somewhere.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?

Did either of your parents draw?
My father did...It was pretty bad.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My colleagues in the old fanzines of the early '60s.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
I have notebooks. I write ideas down. I don't sketch them unless absolutely necessary.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I taught cartooning as art history at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the State University of NY at Binghamton, and a yoga place in Chicago called The Discovery Center.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
For the individual, passion. For the sake of society, talent.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Satire stuff. Mad, Stan Freberg records, books, whatever. I don't collect comics...unless they are satirical in some way.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?

Are you a righty or lefty?

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Writer...musician...mowing lawns.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
It's a 12 X l6 room on the second floor of my house, which is crowded with stuff. I have an old l930s steel drawing table. Can't fit a bed in here...I sleep on the floor, using an old dictionary with a bunched up bathrobe on it for a pillow.

Do you play any musical instruments?
A little ...I have a one-string guitar, keyboards and stuff.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Expand your mind to the point where you can see your own mistakes and improve on them. People who don't improve in drawing skills often can't see past their own egotistical denial factor...and read Korzybski's TIME BINDING.

Who is your favorite artist?

Wil Elder.

Thanks very much Jay.

Up next is cartoonist, writer and editor, Shary Flenniken.


Kathy Prario said...

David: I am amazed at how many of these busy Artists have taken the time to answer your survey questions. They all have "class". You must be so happy receiving all these replies. It is so awesome to also see so many Artists from Massachusetts. Best wishes to you and all of the Artists. In these busy times, it is a tribute to all of them. Look forward to seeing more of them. Love Kath.

David said...

Thanks Kathy. I too am amazed at the generosity of the people who took time out of their busy schedules to answer my questions.