Friday, March 18, 2011

Johnny Ryan - Cartoonist Survey #214

This portrait of Johnny was done by Rama Hughes (Cartoonist Survey #19)

Alternative comics creator Johnny Ryan was born in November of 1970 in Boston, Massachusetts. He grew up in Plymouth, MA and went to college at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. After graduating from UMass he worked various jobs doing everything from bussing tables to house painting. Encouraged by friends to pursue a career in comics, Johnny started self-publishing his "Angry Youth Comix" in 1994. Four years and 10 issues later he showed his work to Peter Bagge (creator of Hate comics). Peter showed it to Eric Reynolds of Fantagraphics Books and in 2000 Fantagraphics picked up Johnny’s "Angry Youth Comix". Over the years AYC has earned multiple Ignatz, Harvey and Eisner nominations. Johnny’s other comic works include, “The Comic Book Holocaust”, “The Klassic Komics Klub”, “Blecky Yuckerella” (which originated in the alternative newspaper the Portland Mercury) and “Prison Pit”. His work is reminiscent of the underground comix days of the 60’s and 70’s in that it is politically incorrect, sometimes shocking and filled with great gross-out humor.

Johnny’s comics and illustrations have also been published in MAD, LA Weekly, National Geographic Kids, The Stranger, Vice and Hustler Magazine. His gag cartoons appeared in almost every issue of Nickelodeon Magazine, which included a section called "The Comic Book" and featured regular comic strips from underground artists. He has done work for Rhino Records, Fox TV and Nobleworks greeting cards as well. He recently collaborated with Chris Duffy, his former boss at Nickelodeon Magazine, to create the Comixer app for the iPad. The Comixer app features individual cartoon panels which Johnny drew and colored that can be re-mixed to create a multitude of different cartoon stories. Learn more about the
Comixer app here. Johnny lives in Los Angeles with his wife. Visit his website to see more of his work and buy books, prints and toys. You can also purchase much of his work over at Fantagraphics Books.

What is your favorite pen to use?

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

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
Mostly computer.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Copic markers or gouache.

What type of paper do you use?
Strathmore bristol.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Crowd scenes.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Swain's & Blue Rooster.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Sometimes. I listen to death or black metal or krautrock. Mostly I listen to the Howard Stern show.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Yes, Spider-Man.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Dick Tracy.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Sure, it was "Who Needs Donuts" by Mark Alan Stamaty.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I was an art major for 2 semesters at UMass Amherst.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Internet's cool.

Did either of your parents draw?

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My wife.

Do you keep a sketchbook?

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Not really. I can't afford it.

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?

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
It's in a hallway.

Do you play any musical instruments?

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Give lots of rim jobs.

Who is your favorite artist?

Al Jaffee.

Thanks again Johnny.

Up next is cartoonist and illustrator Steve Lafler, who also happens to be a UMass Amherst alumnus.


Anonymous said...

There is no apostrophe in "Reynolds", and it is "gouache" not "gauche". Just a heads up. :)

David said...

Thank you Anonymous! Fixes have been made.

Anonymous said...

Howard Stern Rules! Baba-booey!