Posts Tagged ‘Johnny Ryan’

Ian Burns interviews Johnny Ryan about Prison Pit

Posted by on October 11th, 2010 at 9:00 AM

Johnny Ryan’s Prison Pit series is spontaneous, frantic and gruesome — each page-turn reveals something unexpected. At no point does it require the reader to stop and analyze the proceedings (despite a certain interviewer’s attempt, an account of which you’ll read shortly), which is just as well; readers are too busy urgently turning the pages because they’re enjoying the story so damn much. There just isn’t time to stop and think. And that’s what makes it special.

In the following conversation, Johnny Ryan and I speak about his objectives and inspirations for the Prison Pit, how it relates to his previous work in Angry Youth Comix, and how Prison Pit has affected his cartooning.

— Ian Burns

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Inside DMC with Johnny Ryan

Posted by on August 30th, 2010 at 12:01 AM

I needed more material if I was ever going to publish something on DMC. After weeks of feeling dejected about the curt interview, about failing to break through the professional wall and become a buddy, I put down the boxed wine, paused my Tori Amos CD, wrapped a metal-plated sash around my forehead, channeled my nine-tail demon fox and started working on this interview again.

One day my nine-tailed demon fox (friend and collaborator Ryan Sands) told me his nine-donged spirit animal (friend and collaborator Johnny Ryan) was a die-hard fan of Detroit Metal City. A few e-mails later, we’d had this conversation.

Norman Pettingill: His Life

Posted by on March 9th, 2010 at 12:01 AM

In June, Fantagraphics Books will publish a collection of Norman Pettingill’s work. Comic fans may remember that Robert Crumb published some of Pettingill’s cartoon drawings in Weirdo in the mid-’80s. The idea of publishing an entire book collecting Pettingill’s work was first broached to me by Johnny Ryan, a Pettingill fan (and the cartoonist behind Angry Youth Comics and Prison Pit), a few years ago. The John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, is the repository for most of Pettingill’s work, and agreed to help us put together a book. Johnny wrote a brief appreciation; R. Crumb loved Pettingill’s work and wrote a brief introduction. But, so little is known about Pettingill himself that I felt the book required a short biography of the man — so I wrote one.

There has been very little written about Pettingill, making it difficult to put together a story of his life. I had only previously read “A Visit with Norman Pettingill” by Rodney Shroeter from Comic Art # 3 (2003), which was useful but also problematic: it charted the broad arc of Pettingill’s life in desultory fashion, but also contained inaccuracies and internal discrepancies. I was able to separate fact from fiction by interviewing Pettingill’s sons, Bud and Jack, and by consulting a lifelong friend of Pettingill’s, Jim Pink, all of whom proved generous with their time and helpful.

*This is the latest draft, which may be slightly revised for publication.

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Prison Pit: Book One

Posted by on December 3rd, 2009 at 12:01 AM

Prison Pit: Book One by Johnny Ryan; Fantagraphics; 120 pp., $12.99;  B&W, Softcover;  ISBN: 9781606992975

Johnny Ryan’s Prison Pit is probably as close as comics are likely to come to exploitation cinema. Like the best exploitation dreck from Texas Chainsaw