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Of course, I love Fantagraphics. They were the only publishers, besides Raw Books, that thought enough of my work to publish me. And they carried the torch for non-superhero art comics for many years that they actually created the genre of graphic novel in America. I have no idea why I designed this cover the way I did except they told me I could do anything. So here we see the kind of cartoony surreal abstractions that have obsessed me for years. I honestly would love to do this kind of work as paintings.
After I wrote the SpongeBob in Randomland episode in late January of 2018 (which aired on Sept. 21st 2019), show runners Marc and Vincent asked me to design the neighborhood of Randomland in my cartoon style. Randomland is a crazy screwball place that was inspired by Bob Clampett’s “Porky in Wackyland” cartoon. So I drew 3 background designs and two pages of weird characters. I also gave permission to the storyboard director/artist Fred Osmond and the Supervising director Adam Paloian to ransack through my old comics and use whatever they liked (which they did). You’ll notice that the backgrounds and buildings in these drawings are pretty dense. I just tried to pack in as much as I could and told Peter the art director to take apart and spread out the elements otherwise it will all look too busy. As it is, the cartoon is very busy and rewards multiple viewings. Of course the final cartoon is in color and I discussed the kinds of color I liked and then left it up to the art director. Enjoy!
Well, walking through walls would be a great trick. Talk about shortcuts. But what if it took a lot of thinking and that thinking was interrupted? Well this would happen of course!
I was traveling in France last week (Paris and Annecy) promoting Underworld and SpongeBob so I didn’t have time to draw a new Underworld comic strip. I’ll be back next week with a brand new Underworld strip. So stay tuned and thanks for your time Creep Ratters!
Order “The Underworld: From Hoboken to Hollywood” the omnibus collection of the very best of the strip’s 23-year run, with annotations, photos, and other surprises from the author (along with a foreword by Mutts creator Patrick McDonnell).