Comix Zines as an Art Form

Essay by Luke Foster

“I wish my work would be recognized by a larger crowd of people as more art than be stuck with the cartoonist label for the rest of my life.” 

Julie Doucet

Dirty Plotte by Julie Doucet

Normally I write essays that are accessible for people of all ages but this essay refers to comic zine and comic book artists who make adult content sometimes.

 My all-time alternative comic artist is French Canadian Julie Doucet and her comic Dirty Plotte as well as her graphic novel: My New York Diary.

I actually made a similar book of hers of original drawings during my first trip to New York.

Julie Doucets New York Diary

While in New York the first time I stayed in air bnbs and drew for the first two weeks until I ran out of drawing paper and mainly went to the big art galleries.

The following drawing by me from this series was based on my all-time favourite novel set in New York: The Catcher in the Rye.

“Certain things they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone. I know that’s impossible, but it’s too bad anyway.”

 Holden Caullfield in The Catcher in the Rye

Drawing from my New York artist book

Another artist I really like who started out doing comic zines and punk band posters in the eighties is the American Raymond Pettibon. His art has crossed over to become one of the most famous drawing contemporary artists in the world.

“Who needs eyes when you can hallucinate?” 

― Raymond Pettibon, Raymond Pettibon: Homo Americanus

Raymond Pettibon ink drawing

During the late nineties I was part of the Sydney comix zine movement in Sydney with other, artist such as Ross Tesoriero and Anton Emdin. Ross had a comic zine Radiation Sickness and Anton’s was called Cruel World.

I recently wrote an essay about Texta Queen and her texta drawings have a similar vibe as Julie Doucet’s comic book covers.

I guess comfortable may be an overstatement (Amber) for Texta’s Felt-tips Forever show in Brooklyn, NY, 2006.

I guess I am attracted to comics because as a child I was attracted to comic books such as Mad Magazine, Tin Tin and Asterix.

In conclusion I want to make a comic zine during my coming studio residency in the Blue Mountains.