Bob Levin talks to J.T. Dockery, the cartoonist behind In Tongues Illustrated

Posted by on November 30th, 2009 at 9:04 PM

LEVIN: So what do your future projects look like?

DOCKERY: Nick Tosches, one of the few contemporary writers who had a major impact on my world-view, contacted me about an interview of Hubert Selby, Jr., I published in X-Ray Magazine. I nearly fell out of my chair when I got his e-mail, but I picked myself up, and we carried on a correspondence, in the course of which I asked if he’d ever considered doing some of his work in comic-book form. He liked the idea and, already being familiar with my art, decided he and I should collaborate. I put together a 15-page sample of art for his finished script “Spud Crazy,” a surreal bit of business that seemed to be a natural for me to illustrate. Although seven pages will be published in the new anthology Qahmics?, we haven’t found a publisher, which seems odd being that Tosches has an HBO miniseries coming up based on his work, and Johnny Depp’s production company is developing his novel In the Hand of Dante into a film (which means that, if it happens, Depp will be playing the role of “Nick Tosches.”) I don’t know how to describe the plot of “Spud Crazy,” other than it’s a meditation on potatoes, women’s legs/hosiery, and the burden of consciousness, and yet it makes perfect sense to me; and I’m continuing to add to the work until it’s done. I’ll publish the motherfucker myself if we don’t get any takers; the thing needs to exist. Beyond that, I’ve been nursing the script and doing preliminary sketches for characters for my new graphic novel, The Organ-Grinder. It takes place in an alternate film-noir universe, not quite Funny Animal, but its own expressionistic version of humanity with its own internal rules. The first chapter is set to be done as a limited-edition letterpress minicomic by Press 817.

Spud21

All images nicked from the artist’s website and [©2009 J.T. Dockery]

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