Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Eye of the creator....Jack Forbes aka Hebrewgod
Comic's are an escape for many and for many more it's a life line. For artist Jack Forbes aka Hebrewgod it was an escape from his life. I became aware of his art while seeing him appear during a signing he was doing at Forbidden Planet NYC and became fascinated by his work. The dark lines and mood of his line work enthralled me enough to ask to interview him. What follows is a concentrated look at an artist his life and a yiffing good time.
Kaos Blac: So tell me how did you first begin to get into creating comics?
Hebrewgod: I think I first got into creating comics back in 7th or 8th grade when I decided that it was the best idea in the universe for Mega-man and Sonic to have a crossover (they're both blue, both have rivals that start out as enemies then become friends that are red, the similarities go on). But this was just for fun and eventually it was time to choose a college to go to. I really had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, so I was strongly leaning towards drug dealer. I had a pretty good idea how that system worked, knew some people I could intern to get my start in the business, but one day I was talking to my brother on the phone and he asked me what I wanted to do with my life, apart from sell crack rock, and I said, I want to be a comic book artist which was the wildest most unrealistic job I could imagine at the time. Then he said "Then go do that". To say that my mind was blown, that the heavens opened up, and god himself came down and made love to my face would be an understatement. Less than a week later someone told me about this place called SVA that actually had a major for making comics and was only a train ride away. I'm from Brooklyn by the way, So yea, I went there and started making comics and really got serious about the whole thing. Looking back though, I still wonder about the prestige and romance of slinging crack rock on them corners and what might have been but one must live with the decisions they've made.
- Page Three from, Heretic, comic
Kaos Blac: You know I've actually have heard similar stories from other artist, shit you not (well not the megaman/sonic thing ((that would be an end game killer, the world may blow up))). The drug game can really catch people out there when there is no hope else-wise or influences.
Hebrewgod: I think the reason a lot of artists consider slinging crack rock is because we all really hate the idea of working a corporate 9 to 5 job. The idea of dressing in a suit and tie is so unappealing that we'd rather murder people.
Kaos Blac: What was it like going to SVA as a local dude from Brooklyn?
Hebrewgod: It was cool. I didn't have to get a dorm. It was great being able to focus on comics and talk to other people about them in a really anal and overly critical manner. And it really opened me up to comics that I never even knew existed. For instance Tom Hart is introduced me to Moebius and blew my mind! The main influence was the SVA Library though, which had a huge comics collection so in the summer of my freshman year I would go to the Library every Monday, check out 10 comics (which was the limit), read them and bring them back the following Monday to check out 10 more. So I read all of Cerebus, Akira and Sandman that summer. Tons of stuff.
Kaos Blac: If you could, describe your art style.
Hebrewgod: I guess I would describe my artwork the same way most people would. Creepy as shit. It's not necessarily my intention to be really creepy, I just can't help it. I'm a creepy person in general I guess, which is cool to me cause I really love creepy shit, I'd be perfectly happy if I looked like the crypt keeper (from the TV show, not the comics.) because I think there's something really tremendously beautiful in grotesque and ugly things that most people don't appreciate cause you have to look a bit deeper for it. I went to Catholic school my whole life and my elementary school was basically a Gothic cathedral so that probably influenced my creepy sensibilities as well. But I would say my main goal with my art is to impart the viewer with an emotion, that's pretty much the most important thing to me, the second most important thing is beauty, I'm desperately in love with beauty of all kinds, so yea. I try to create things that are beautiful and emotional, but end up with creepy shit, that's my art.
Kaos Blac: In New York, especially growing up here, I'm also from the Bk (not Burger King) all you have is the grit and hum of the city life so its kinda powerful to be able to take those "ugly things" and see the beauty with in them.
If you could chose a piece of your work, or create something new to symbolize the elements of or personify the elements of your style what would it be or look like?
-(Lookin for love, in all the wrong places)
- (Ninja love is the best love.)
- Page Twenty from Orpheus, comic
Hebrewgod: I'm not sure what you mean by the question. Like which piece best represents my style? I don't know, the Orpheus comic that I'm currently working on (but there are a few pages on my website) represents my artsier side. I don't know, everything I do for myself represents different parts of what I hope to accomplish with my art. I mostly try to make comics like I've never seen before.
Kaos Blac: You recently made a comic with international bassist Melissa Auf der Maur how did you end up working together?
- Page twelve of Out Of Our Mind, collaboration with Melissa Auf der Maur.
Melissa is awesome, easily my favorite client. We met when I was working with Kevin McCloed on a comic for a magazine he did called MSTRM but that kinda fell apart and he introduced me to Melissa who was looking for a cartoonist for her latest project. So yea, over the course of months we'd meet up and discuss what to do with the comic. they'd already film about half of the movie and she let me see that. Melissa's smart because every time we met up she'd buy me a bacon cheese burger, which made me much more accepting of any revisions or anything she wanted on the pages. But yea, it was alot of fun. I'm not sure if I'm even allowed to mention this but we're kinda currently working on the next comic, which will feature the same character from the movie and comic. So I'm looking forward to more bacon cheese burgers!
Kaos Blac: Ah the age old bait and switch with a bacon cheese burger, a many have fallen beneath its cheese covered deliciousness. So beside a purposed second with with Melissa what else are you working on?
Hebrewgod: Lemme see. Right now I'm in the Mocca NeoIntegrity show. I've got 6 pages in the porno-corner with R. Crumb and Moebius and Jason Little and Alex Ross, which is still blowing my mind. I'm getting ready for some conventions that are coming up to pimp with my new book. It's called Yiffing the Stars: The Tragedy of Lesli Firecracker.
-Cover from Yiffing the stars: The Tragedy of Lesli Firecracker
Ok, funny story! So a friend of mine who I met at SVA, Jodi Tong, makes fucking furry pornography! Which is weird cause she's a hotty. Ok, so one year I said fuck it, I gotta see what this shit is about, because no one REALLY knows! Is it one big orgy? Are they all weird old dudes who enjoy petting their cats a little too much? Fuck I had to know! So I went with her to a weird fucking furry convention in Memphis (The Mephit Fur Meet). I didn't want to just go as a some fuckin' outsider watching the crazy happenings inside, oh no I needed to be apart of this world so I started drawing weird fucking furry porn so that I too was implicated in the crime of being a furry pornographer! and let me tell you, that place was fucking AMAZING! It was the best convention I've ever been to in my life! It was insanely nerdy! Fuckin 24 hour counter-strike! Fuckin' Smash Brothers Tournaments! Fuckin' Magic: The Gathering! It was insane! AND sometimes there'll be a person dressed as a 6 foot tall squirrel who wants to shake your hand because they think you draw awesome naked ladies. I don't know if you've ever tripped balls on drugs for 3 days but that's what it was fucking like! Anyway, Yiffing the Stars is the book I've made for this years convention (In September)!
- Artwork form Yiffing the Stars: The Tragedy of Lesli Firecracker
- Page from September 2010 Outdoor Life Magazine
I'm also the official Monthly cartoonist for Outdoor Life Magazine, a hunting magazine. Now before you said WTF, you should know that like 4 years ago Tony "Ex Machina" Harris was making comics for Outdoor Life! I'm gonna be working for them for the next year so if you pick up an issue of outdoor life any time this year I'll be in it.
So aside from all the heavy pelts and pelt petting Jack's work is just getting me all yiffy, (look up yiff, and yiffying up its like falling down the rabbit's hole), and I cant wait to see what he does next and so should you. Get more info on his work at:
Basic Blac the Zine
Read the Digital copy below, just click.
Basic Blac#2 Summer 2010