James The Stanton
What was your first zine about and when was it made?
The first zine that I made was called “The First Book of Gnar” and I printed it in the Summer of 2007 while I was living in Eugene, OR. It was a hodgepodge of a bunch of different comics and cartoons that I had been working on over the years prior to putting the book together. It featured a 14-page comic about an Elvis impersonator named Archibald Duke who hits rock bottom in the world of door-to-door vacuum salespersons and decides to move to the outskirts of Las Vegas to fulfill his ‘pre-determined destiny’ as a born again rock and roll musician impersonator.
Describe your most recent zine.
My most recent zine is a comic book called “Takilma”, and it’s an illustrated version of a dark and spooky dream that a friend of mine told me about. This book differs greatly from what is typical of my work in terms of both the rendering style and overall tone of the story. I drew “Takilma” in a sort of realism style and the tone of the book is very dark, which stands in stark contrast to my cartoon stories and jokes that often aim toward ridiculousness. The story takes place in rural Southern Oregon and it includes drawings of wildlife and the scenic countryside of the Siskiyou Mountains. The book, alike all of my recent books, features a hand-printed linocut cover that is signed and numbered.
Of all the things you’ve ever made, zine-related or otherwise, what’s your one favorite?
My favorite project is usually the one that I’m currently working on, right now that happens to be a web-comic series that I’m running on my blog (gnartoons.blogspot.com) called “Agthbar the Extemporaneous”. I recently made an entire website devoted to Agthbar (Agthbar.com), where people can easily read all of the back episodes to the series and get caught up quickly. The comic series features stimulating art with bright colors while the story follows philosophical lines of reasoning that get all twisted up into a balls of madness. The comic has to do with time and our concept of it, thus I couldn’t help but play around the sequencing of the comic episodes in order to manipulate time travel for the character, it’s been a really fun project for me.
What do you do when you’re not creating and how does it help or harm what you do artistically?
I like to brew beer and make lots of pizzas. The pizza feeds me so that I can draw more comics and cartoons. The homebrew does more harm than good for my work, but I love it just the same and I think that it’s important to have an ‘off-switch’ if you’re someone like me who is almost always working on creative endeavors. It’s easy to forget to take breaks when you’re doing something you love, sometimes my social life is hindered by my desire to work nonstop – beer helps me get out of the studio and talk to people, which is good for me and my work in the scheme of things.