Funny Buggers

This is a zine I made when my pal Ed asked me if he could print a new book of mine for his small press, Jazz Dad Books. I wanted to do something with all the image making techniques I’ve been playing with the past few years, and do something really fun to make. All the characters are made using different techniques- block prints, wood prints, stamps, big drawings, little drawings, melting wax crayons, marbling, paper cuts… I made them over the summer and we printed it at Ed’s at the end of September.

I hope they look somewhere between ancient folk costumes and futuristic fashion concepts. I always think about costumes and uniforms and fashion and how funny it all is. People get caught up in the theatre of appearances very easily.

Also a note about the cover-

I wanted to use holographics for a while. I really loved getting shiny stickers and trading cards as a kid, and I’d been thinking about that and the idea of collecting paper things.

Recently I went to visit a big printing company who do lots of commercial printing. The technology is kind of based on old letterpress machines but fast forwarded into the future- they’re huge mechanical things that take up whole buildings. You still even pour the actual ink (CMYK values, spot colours, whatever) in the top. And it smells like a printing workshop. I had a feeling places like that had been replaced by computers and plastic, but it’s not true. Anyway, I went in a room that is floor to ceiling shiny and holographic rolls of paper. Maybe it was a coincidence as I’d just been using it, but It made me think about why no one in the art/design world has really done anything interesting with it before.

There’s so many new materials and new technologies out there that are being used in crappy ways. When these new things come along people usually take what they’re already doing and just try to apply it to the new techniques and materials. It’s why weird skeuomorphic things exist like laminate wood effect flooring. It’s why so many contemporary illustrators spend a lot of time trying to make photoshop illustrations look like old print illustrations. It’s always happened though, when acrylic paints came out it took a long time for people to figure out how to use them in a way that wasn’t like oils. I think you have to keep playing with the new stuff and work out its new potential. I think that’s where the good stuff comes from.