Patrick tried to pick some novels to show us, but it didn’t last long. His enormous bookshelf is made up of nearly 100% zines, comics and reference books and he’s not ashamed. But then again why would be be with a collection as magnificent as this? The best thing about this selection is the undeniable fact that Patrick’s collection of publications is a clear nod to his wonderful, weird illustration – just how we like it. Here he is…
Grace Krilanovich: The Orange Eats Creeps
I was hoping to include some “novel” novels on this list and browsing through my collection this book was the only one I was not embarrassed to include (I am a cartoonist and own/read a lot of comics). Admittedly I bought this book because of it’s cover illustration by Mat Brinkman, but reading The Orange Eats Creeps was a pleasure. Boldly written and mostly plotless but still captivating and inspiring. Whenever I am worried about people understanding my work in conventional way I like to think of this novel and how effective it is in conveying tone/atmosphere without being linear.
Leon Sadler: Antarctic Seal
It’s all illustrated from here on in. This is a short comic about a man who seems to be trapped in a house and his only companion is a doll. The doll takes on human qualities and the man and the doll experience boredom together. The sparse drawings effectively create an incredibly lonely and sad atmosphere, but the characters are positive and earnest. It’s a very idiosyncratic but communicative work. One of my favourite comics.
Marc Bell: Shrimpy and Paul and Friends
My answer when anyone asks what my favourite comic is. Funny, outrageous, otherworldly, perfectly drawn – this was one of the first “alternative” comics that I read when I was in university and it had a profound effect on me. I didn’t know it was possible to make comics like this. Reading Bell’s work taught me to approach comics as art.
Mark Beyer: A Disturbing Evening
I considered some other Mark Beyer books from my collection for this list but A Disturbing Evening might be one of his rarer titles. Mark Beyer tells incredibly imaginative, funny and emotional stories carefully crafted with a tedious amount of hatching and stippling. Beyer takes bold artistic license with setting, anatomy and reality like no one else. If I feel despair or like I’m not making anything that people will enjoy I think of Mark Beyer’s conviction to doing things his own way and for himself. It’s easy to lose sight of that initial driving force in the pursuit of making a career in art.
John Bauer: Swedish Folk Tales
I haven’t read many of the stories in this book but these illustrations by John Bauer were really influential in a series of works I created in 2009/2010 and are still very influential to me. I love his depiction of trolls as adorable and benevolent. They’re like humungous Fraggles (whom I also adore). I lifted the hands, feet, cloaked and bangled bodies, and of course wonderful large noses in most of my illustrations from Bauer.