Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Jesse Moynihan: Champion

The first time I met Jesse Moynihan was at PACC 2009.  Him and Hawk Krall were sharing a table and had the misfortune to be sitting next to the 2009 version of Box Brown.  While I was blathering on and on about my Xeric Grant, Jesse was working on coloring a comic.  I admire anyone who can work on comics (for real) in public.  I feel like I can never do my best work unless I'm alone.  Jesse was going FULL OUT too, gouache!

Jesse was working on the comic Forming.  I found out that Jesse was the other alt-cartoonist living in West Philly.  Not for long though.  Now, I heard this story second hand but from what I heard Jesse met up with Pen Ward at SPX (2009?).  Pen was so impressed by Jesse's work that he immediately was hired as a storyboarder for a little cartoon show called "Adventure Time".  Now, I'm sure there was a lot more to the story than that but I'm prone to professional jealousy.  So in my mind, he was hired ON THE SPOT!  That's like an adolescent fantasy when you show your comic to a Marvel Editor at a signing and they immediately hire you to do X-men covers, right?  At that same SPX, I was at the Top Shelf Comix (namedrop!) table being complete overwhelmed by Owly fans.

I started reading Forming a while back but I knew it was starting to get crazy popular when I'd see the kids on the Something Awful message boards posting links to it.  And their comments would be like "Forming = auto-pwns".  Jesse's work had always seemed so abstract to me but it was clear now that Forming's appeal was much broader.

Just last Friday I attended a Forming art show at the 1026 Gallery here in Philadelphia.  The Forming originals were impressive!  Plus Jesse had done a killer site-specific painting on the wall.  The guy he shared the show with was pretty great too: Lance Simmons (I couldn't find his website, good luck!)

But then, this morning I read that NoBrow Press would be publishing Forming (in three volumes), I got SUPER PUMPED.  Nobrow's books are so beautiful and they pay so much attention to design and craft.  It's a really perfect match up.  I look forward to it!


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