Saturday, December 22, 2007

Gregory Pizzoli

Pierre: What was it like moving from New Port, RI, to Philadelphia? What made you want to get out of there?
Gregory: was good. Newport was nice because I had the best job I can imagine, teaching screen-printing to high school students and doing a summer camp with younger kids. Newport is really small tho and expensive, not many people my age (including myself) could afford to live there. I have a lot of friends in Philly and there is a lot more happening here as far as the stuff I'm interested in, music and art, and like minded people.

It seemed like a really weird place, were you born and raised there?
No, actually when we met at the Seripop "Stuck in a Vortex" exhibition I had only lived there for like 6 months I think. I moved up there after college from Pennsylvania to work at the art center - when the center ran out of money and closed there just wasn't enough in Newport to keep me there.

When we drove up there it seemed like it was just a bunch of people and boats, old money. Anyway, how have you been liking Philly? Will Smith-ing it?
Fresh Prince was from West Philly! I live in Point Breeze, South Philadelphia. It's good, I'm in school now, I live with really productive artists

You aren't hood!
Right now I'm as hood as I ever hope to be.

Which program at which school are you attending?
Philly is awesome though, tons of great artists to collaborate with. I'm at University of the Arts. I'm in the Book Arts/Printmaking MFA program. Just finished up the semester last week

Learning letterpress, offset, litho - all sorts of printmaking and bookbinding stuffs.

More skills to add to the madness. Where do you want to take them to eventually?
I just want to keep making stuff. I really enjoyed teaching - so I hope to do that again someday. My work is all over the place right now. I have been doing these books I showed you, free drawings, recipe books, but I have also been doing political stuff - about the murder rate here in Philly - I'm doing a book about a witch who is sick of housework. One of my wheat-pasted things was in Philadelphia's city paper today.

Woah, that's pretty awesome. Hopefully people will notice what its all about.
Yeah - I have been doing a sticker campaign that is more direct - stickers that say "Hello, my name was", like a name tag for each of the people that were murdered in the city last year, 406 people in Philly in 2006. But I am also making books and other stuffs that don't have so much of a political message, like I said, kind of all over the place right now.

Have you been doing band poster work at all? It looks like your hands are really full.
I've been doing some stuff. Recent ones are: Animal Collective, Aids Wolf, Sunset Rubdown, Child Bite. I am slowing down on that scene a bit - I have some stuff planned for a band from Philly called Papertrigger and I think I might do one when Liars come through Philly this spring. I'm just in school now so I think it's important to focus on that.

Don't forget where you came from though! We need you to keep it up. It seemed like going to Den Haag and hanging out with Zeloot was a huge motivational factor for you. Maybe I just wasn't around before that, but when you came back from there you had so many going. What was that like for you?
Going to Den Haag and staying with Zeloot and Manuel was great. They are some of the nicest and most motivated people I have ever met. I was really motivated when I got back. I moved out of my apartment and into this huge warehouse studio space(I've since moved back into a house). I still like doing rock posters. I'll definitely do one for Fucked Corpse if you guys roll through sometime. Like they live in a huge building that was once a school, but it's still a basement, and they are helping me to pay for stuff to come from America just cause we have seen each others work on the Internet, it was crazy.

Seriously. Its amazing how these things pop up all over the world and nobody really knows much about them. It is the kind of thing people will dig up in 50 years and recognize as great.

Zeloot and Helbaard will definitely be remembered. At the very least in The Hague, as far as a I know they are pretty much THE scene over there. Making it happen just to do it.

Its pretty amazing to see her output and how much is just her and her friends. Who else do you admire? Influences?
Dude, too many people. I'm constantly in awe of people like Zeloot being willing to sit down and draw with me. Mike Deforge, Seripop, Chris Kline, Jelle Crama, Peter Dragontail, Meg Hunt, Maxwell Holyoke-Hirsch, tons of people...Marc Bell, Bongout, Steinberg, Kay Healy, Tony Millionaire, Suess, Roald Dahl, Little House Comics, Fort Thunder peeps, James Quigley.

Long lists are fun! Its such a nice way to find out about other people.
Yeah, I'm all over the place with influences I guess. I'm really into print-makers and comic people right now though. I just got the new Chippendale book, the maggots collection, my dad has it at his house so I can get it for Xmas. So excited about that. I just read "Jimbo in Purgatory" by Gary Panter, they had it at the library, so good.

It is really good. I got the new CF book Picturebox just put out. I can't wait for the next one.
Yeah, I go crazy for a lot of the providence stuff. That was a lot of the reason I was so interested in going to RI when I did. A ton of the art and music I am into came out of there. Its weird how stuff like that gets hyped after it happens.

Yeah, its great to see the recognition where it is due though. They put in a lot of years, and they have a lot of years left.
Totally, totally, I went back up last year to see the Wunderground exhibit, it was amazing.

I got the catalog of the show and was kind of bummed out that I didn't get to see it in person.
Yeah, I got the book, it was like, almost too many posters. I saw it the day after providence declares war, and I think I saw the Melvins in Boston the next night.

Anyway, I'm a bad interview, I ramble. I'm starting a tee shirt label!

No, no. One last question. Dream project?
Dream project.... I don't know, big installations of wooden/painted characters made with Marc Bell and the ghost of Saul Steinberg. Just to keep making books. If I could support myself and afford to have a family and do it by drawing and printing and writing, that would be a dream.

Sounds like a good life to me. Any final words?
Happy Holidays.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Manager's Corner

An awesome short by Baltimore based Skizz Cyzyk.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Another Kurosawa film found at the library. Rashomon is a story, well 5 recounting of the same story. Beautifully shot by Kazuo Miyagawa, Rashomon is on of the most stunning visual experiences I have ever experienced. The subject matter is pretty heavy but really gets your head going.

Kirby's Monsters

An archive of tons of old Jack Kirby comics that have never been reprinted over at Monster Blog.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

post #2!

(cross-posted to my Live Journal)

It's Halloween, so I thought I'd post some art by Hideshi Hino. I don't follow alot of manga, but I try to look out for good horror titles because Japan, generally, has that horror shit locked down (what's up with every single American horror comic looking like this, anyway? Do people seriously find that appealing?)

Hino's Bug Boy is probably my all-time favourite piece of horror fiction, so I've never understood why his name isn't brought up in more discussions about horror manga. His artwork has that same horrible/cute balance that's made Junko Mizuno so popular. . . He's been putting out work since 1967, and a number of his comics have been put to film (including one piece he directed himself for Guinea Pigs, a Japanese series so brutal that Charlie Sheen mistook one of the installments for a snuff film. Now, Japan's made it illegal to have a movie with "Guinea Pigs" in its title, so. . . Nice going, Charlie Sheen. Keep up the good work.)

Typical Hino stories play up the everyday traumas of modern life - social isolation, dilapidated towns, unaffected parents. In Bug Boy, a family's dinner is interrupted by their limbless, bandaged, mutant son, dripping in amniotic fluid and moaning in pain. His father's response is "Look at the mess you're making on the floor!" In Oninbo and the Bugs From Hell, an infant tries to strangle its mother while breastfeeding.


It's funny and cruel and disgusting, which is, like, what horror should be.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Dan Grzeca

Pierre: Hey Dan!
Dan Grzeca: Hey Bro. Hows it going?

Not too bad, you?
Good. Just put Ella(Dan's daughter) to bed, the stew is on simmer, and I'm goofing off before I get to work in my studio.

Is your studio in your house? Whats the set-up like
My studio is in the basement of our 2 flat in Chicago. Its pretty nice. 7 ft ceilings, pretty spacious. There's a studio for my wife Kristen, who paints, then there is a large studio space that I use for printing and fine art. At this point, all my screen-printing is done on a hand press, pretty DIY. I'm looking into getting an auto-press in the near future, although that is going to probably dovetail into moving the studio, as a Cameo is too damn big to get into my basement space.

You'll be saving your wrists and back a lot of stress and pain if you get the auto. What materials do you use when drawing a poster up? Whats the process you go through?
Yeah, that's for sure. I've been fortunate so far. Ibuprofen, stretching, and wearing braces to prevent injury is helping. I wish Bourbon helped! As far as my process for working on a poster or a print, its heavily drawing based. 99% of the time I am drawing out the key-line with ink and scratch-board or pencil,ink and paper- with the augmentation of my good friend the litho crayon. Each layer is then hand drawn on Vellum or inked on acetate. If it's Vellum, then I am making film of that layer on the OCE machine at Kinkos. I strive to get as much visceral junk as I can on the layers to get it to have as much relation to a drawing or litho as possible. As far as palette, I only determine that after I have finished the drawing, generally.

It comes off pretty unique, The colors and things blend together so well, did this process evolve over a long period of time? A lot of experimentation?
I'd say it all came together and gelled over the last 5 years. I've been painting and drawing continually throughout, so the effect of each medium has definitely rubbed off on each other. When I first started making posters it was from the perspective of "designing" it and having Steve Walters and later Jay Ryan printing them. When I started printing them myself, I really understood the possibilities of how wide-ranging the medium is.

At the moment I'm working on a new body of work titled "the new world" which is a library of images that can work for me as screen-prints or mixed media drawings. 2I tried out a few of these as images on posters, such as the Low poster from April(the coyote). It seems easier for me to switch back and forth between mediums, essentially.Where does your imagery come from? Just from doodling or are they forgotten gods?
Man, I have a huge interest in mythology, for sure. I'm not quite sure exactly where some of the images come from , beyond being some kind of fun I'm having with automatic drawing , which in turn brings out themes that I'm probably thinking about quite a bit (nature replaced by constructs, artificial replacing authentic). I like the "forgotten gods " term. I might have to steal that.I think it would be fair to list the things that excite me and in all fairness influence my work whether I like it or not:

You're more than welcome to it. Yes a list!
American Indian mythology, Runic imagery, All that insane heraldry (although its easy to ripoff- I see that A LOT lately, especially in posters) from the middle ages, architectural and symbol dictionaries are a wealth of inspiration..... I think the example of trying to be true to having some sort of idiosyncratic or original vision means not just "sticking " to some sort of notion of originality, but really searching and being curious about any number of things that make up what YOU are as an artist and person. Some of my favorite artists are ( in no order and from many different fields) Philip Guston, James Quiqley, Pablo Picasso (his prints are fucking amazing. We have a book of them that speaks to my 2 year old very well. Its amazing to see), Seripop, Max Ernst, Mat Daly, Jeff Soto, Jacob Lawrence , Francis Bacon, Robert Motherwell, Diane Arbus, Lee Bontecou, John Porcellino, Chris Ware, Paul Nitsche, Michael DeForge, Tyler Stout, George Grosz, Max Beckmann, Kurt Schwitters, too freaking many.

Well being in Chicago must be very favorable to your ears then?
Absolutely. My first posters were for Ken Vandermark and the jazz series at the Empty Bottle that he and John Corbett curated. Becoming friends with them and the many other musicians here was a huge thing in my life and helped inform my questions as an artist.
It seems like theres something in the water that has so many great artists coming out of there. Be it visual or music or literary.
Yes, Chicago is really great right now; its always changing, and it keeps on getting more and more interesting. On the visual front I'm really happy with the crew of people involved in screen-printing and poster-making. Its a "scene" or camaraderie that is genuine and inspirational. Mat Daly, Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi, Jay Ryan, Steve Walters, Billy and Jason Delicious, so many good people and great artists. Its been fun to watch everyone grow and to see the various studios take form.

Yeah, it seems like its really community based there. Theres a few little gangs (Bird Machine) but everyone is really good friends with everyone else. OR that's how it seems from someone who has never been to the city.
It really is like that. We have all grown out of printing at Jay's or Steve's shop , for the most part. The Chicago Reader had a nice article this summer on the scene and that was the overall vibe- there is no backbiting here, people care about each other, with no bullshit. I think it is somewhat unique, although it shouldn't be! Friends in other cities tell me some silly stories in that regard. I think if you are already part of a minority (art vs. say , uh, accounting) its smart to be in good stead with likeminded people.

Totally, shared resources totally makes it easier for everyone involved and having a place to go get started makes it so much more inviting and easier for people to get into it.
Totally true. Plus, there's someone to drink with!

Hahah. Absolutely! What were you doing before you got into making posters?
I was making paintings. I was showing some art at what used to be a huge and cool festival in Wicker Park called Around the Coyote - all the artists showed in these cool old warehouses (that are of course now condos and dental offices). Bob Hartzell was showing there as well and invited me to start making some posters. He was working with Steve Walters over at the old Screwball Press Loft on Western Ave. So that's how it all started. The first one I made was for the Vandermark Five. It was ridiculous, like 6 colors or something. SUPER CLEAN.

I remember the first thing I saw by you was the Godspeed! You Black Emperor poster you did. It was really puzzling and intriguing. I came across it later in person at Chloe and Yannick's pile of posters when I was doing an internship with them. It was really nice to see it in person. Your style sure has evolved, where would you like to take it from here?
At this point I just want to see where the imagery and technique will let me go. I'm making a bunch of huge art prints and large drawings in the next few months- the screen-printing is a huge part of it. As far as posters, I'm making more improvised music stuff again, which is great. Its funny, the project I just finished is unusual, its a drawing , full color , that I scanned in and sent to a promoter in Krakow Poland for the Resonance Music event, a Jazz concert with US, Ukrainian, Polish and Swedish musicians. I'll send you a jpg later. I almost never make a poster that way. It was financially impossible to print them here and send them over, they wanted 2000 of them.
Woah, that is a pretty awesome job! I'm excited to see how it came out.
It looks crazy. Montreal seems to have a great scene of artists of all sorts as well. I'd like to visit there. I made a Besnard Lakes/Handsome Furs poster and that was fun.

Yeah, Montreal has a lot going on creatively. Everytime I go there I get pretty excited. Working with Seripop has opened my eyes/ears to so many amazing things.
Its really great to see where they have gone/evolved in the last few years. Chloe and Yannick were next to me at Flatstock 2 in 2003 , which seems like a million years ago now. Thinking about posters, I think I would really like to make another poster for The EX someday. I fucking love that band.

What other dream jobs do you have if time/money wasn't an issue.
Really all I want to do is make my work. I want to make these bodies of work to show- I feel a sense of urgency for sure. Maybe because I'm getting older; the birth of my daughter Ella 2 1/2 years ago was a huge event, obviously. I feel about 1000% more creative since she has arrived. I just want to look at the world with more curiousity- which is impossible to do without the temperance of fury at the total mess humanity has made of the planet. Its impossible to reconcile the beauty and ugliness that contrast each other. My main mission right now is to be as true to my vision of creativity as I can and figure out how to bring it to a financial and practical level that can enable me to fully support my family with it. Insurance in the US is fucked (newsflash!), so that alone is terrifying. We are fortunate to own our home, I just want to build on that. I would really like to curate some shows this year. I am talking to venue now about a print show in Chicago. I also would like to publish an art anthology again. I did one in college called Chop Fold and Grind. Id like to resurrect it and fill it with Dale Flattum, Seripop and the like. I should also add that I'm going to be doing some special stuff with Bongout in Berlin in an exhibition capacity at some point in the future. I'm excited about that.

Seriously, its a small world now! Any final words?
I have to check on my stew!

To see more of Dan's work, including awesome process photos check out

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Drawn and Quartery's New Store

I was in Montreal this past weekend and walking for breakfast I stumbled past the new Drawn and Quarterly store. My friend had told me about it at TCAF and I was excited to see it once it was open. It is still pretty early in its development but has so much potential it is really exciting. Its up on Bedard in Mile End so Go check it out.

Interior Back
Interior Front

A Beautifully Painted sign by Seth.

I Can't wait to see what they do with the space

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Live from the Dirt Palace

An awesome schizophrenic 8mm film about the Providence collective Dirt Palace. Well it isn't really an film about it rather than a fast paced view of it all, made by Xander Marro and Mat Brinkman.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Sight for Sore Eyes

Here is an out-take from the Fun From None DVD that Load Records put out of the band Sightings performing at No Fun Fest.

Monday, September 17, 2007

La Strada

Again the library comes through with the great selection of films. I heard my girlfriend gush over her love of this one a while ago so I jumped at the chance to check La Strada out. It is the first Fredrico Fellini film that I had the pleasure of seeing and it was definitely worth checking out.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Art is Dogfood.

Probably the most famous graffiti artist around right now, Banksy, has posted a few of his sketches for his pieces. I get really excited whenever I see new work from him and I really enjoyed getting a behind the scenes look at his process.

Click here to see more.

As my friend art-teacher Bert Stabler put it, reading McCloud’s first book, *Understanding Comics* is “like getting a lecture on sexual titillation from a talking pair of pants filled with lunchmeat.”

This is my first post as a contributor here, and I thought I'd link to this Noah Berlatsky review of Scott McCloud's Making Comics. There are parts of the review I take issue with, including the notion that copying other artists is such a surefire way to grow as an artist (it's certainly one aspect of studying art, and an important one, as is drawing from life, formal instruction, etc.) But for the most part, I think he's pretty on-point.

I've always had issues with McCloud - I haven't read Making Comics, but Understanding Comics always seemed like a such a drab, joyless read. It bothers me especially to see it as a prerequisite on almost any Graphic Novels course, including a course in French comic books I took in my first year at U of T. It felt very wrongheaded to be studying a Scott McCloud study of a Tintin page, when it was infinitely more effective to refer to the full-size Hergé page to analyze its formal properties.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Red Beard

I've discovered that the Library of Ottawa stocks quite a few fantastic movies so I've decided to start doing little movie features. The first one is Akira Kurosawa's Red Beard which I watched last night. At first when I learned it clocked in at a whopping three plus hours I was a little bit put off, but stumbled on none the less.

It is the story of a man who is training to be a doctor and the trials and tribulations that he encounters along the way. There is also a few little sub plots so it seems like kind of a documentary in a way, broken up into little pieces while showing the path he takes to his final decision in the end after all the attacks on his courage and strength. I'm not going to go too much into it as you can read plot summaries on the wiki or, hell watching the film. The Criterion edition has an awesome commentary with film scholar Stephen Prince. It is stunningly well shot and really pulls you in.

To be an artist means never to avert one's eyes.
-Akira Kurosawa

Saturday, September 1, 2007

The Bravest Nino

An awesome comic done by Elio up on flickr.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Daydreams Are Fleeting

A nice little interview with Gary Panter.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Jesjit Gill

Pierre: How long have you been making things, Jesjit?
Jesjit: For my whole life! When I was a little kid I made drawings of really bloody gun fights and I would make my own X-Men comics. Maybe 5 years ago I started screen-printing, which is everything that I do now.

Did you read a lot of comics or did you just like the artwork and want to do that part of it?
Oh, I read so many comics when I was young, not so much now. I don't think I could afford that kind of habit, but yeah, I was really into superhero comics, like wolverine! I don't think I was very concerned with the art in comics.You didn't really have like a favourite inker or something? Haha. Your posters seem like they're influenced by all kinds of different artists and mediums. What do you do when you're going to design a poster? What influences you?
For the most part I try not to look at posters by other artists when I'm doing one myself, because it really psychs me out. It's hard to say what influences me, because my process isn't a very consistent thing, sometimes I'll draw, sometimes it'll be collage... but for the most part screen-printing brings whatever ideas I have together. Yeah, its the process that influences me, trying to do as much as I can within the limits of the print is what I think is great!

That is a pretty nice cycle of things, never ending. You taught a course this summer on screen-printing, was that really rewarding?
Totally! I was really pumped to share this thing that I love so much with others, and I ended doing one little workshop with a group of like 5 year old kids, and they were so into it! They thought it was magic, and it is! totally a magical thing, being able to make so much with just your hands, very satisfying. That is what I get out of it.
It seems like you really get a lot out of working with others and really want to push the screen-printing technique out there so people see it and appreciate it for what it is. You curated a show of posters in Toronto and also in Kingston, how did that come together?
I was in a group show in Europe last winter, and though I couldn't see it in person, seeing photos of it floored me, and I thought why not do that here? It was a chance to get all of my favorite artists work in one room, so it was pretty humbling, but really great to share this stuff that inspires me with people who aren't poster-art nerds.

Are you planning on doing more things like that in the future?
Yes! Maybe! I don't have anything in mind right now.. I think I'm just trying to concentrate on making stuff for now.Like the collab drawing books? Being a part of those has been so much fun. Its cool how you get people who weren't able to make it out to the jam involved by doing covers or other illustrations for them.
Yeah! I mean why not? Screen-printing is a medium that just lends itself to collaboration. From posters, trading and stuff I end up getting to know so many amazing artists! So it makes total sense.

Is there anyone you want to maybe work with in the future?
Oh, can I just name my favorite artists? Ron Liberti , Zeloot, Seripop , those are people I would want to work with/work with more. Oh Tadanori Yokoo . Is he still alive? Art Chantry... I don't know. Oh! Cosmic Bubblegum, that's someone else I'd like to work with. his bubble letters are amazing!

What do you have on the go right now?
Right now I am printing a drawing zine from that drawing party a few weeks ago called Raw Draw, and a poster for a band from Hamilton called the Junior Boys.
Music obviously plays a huge role in what you do, have you ever been in a band or wanted to do that too?
I played the flute in middle school. and I have a guitar, I know 3 chords. I have been meaning to sit down and practice more, but it's tough I think screen-printing has spoiled me. I think I need the immediate gratification, of like pulling a print.

Totally, it is a pretty unique medium. It seems to give people power to realize it isn't impossible to make something really cool.
Do I talk about screen-printing too much? It comes up every time I talk to someone. I think I've been doing it for so long, that I'm the 'screen-printing guy' , I mean if I just started doing something else, I would stop to exist. There would be a big hole in my life!

Never too much screen-printing talk. Any final words?

You can see more of Jesjit's work at and his posters here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Remember the past?

At TCAF I was lucky enough to see a little talk that Peter Maresca gave about his publishing house Sunday Press Books who put out a massive collection of Little Nemo in Slumberland and Gasoline Alley Sunday their original size!

Seeing those books in person is really an awe inspiring event as they are just beautifully produced and you can really tell that Peter wants people to experience them and their stories as they were intended. They are hardcover and are a whopping 22” x 34”. They are truly beautiful books. Joe Matt helped out with his complete set of Gasoline Alley Sunday's drawn by Frank King as he has probably the best ones available anywhere.

A Reproduction you can get when you order the Walt and Skeezix Book

Here is a great interview with Peter himself.

Monday, August 27, 2007


I'd just like to post this controversy over a poster that Seripop made for a poster exhibit that was going to run in Hamilton and Windsor. Apparently a member of the board of the the gallery in Windsor thought it would somehow be okay to deface the posters that were made for the show because it had a few type-o's on it.

Okay, keep in mind that the space the show was being held in Windsor is a Printmaker's Studio. Don't they realize this kind of thing is a no-no?

Link to Seripop's post on the matter on their blog with comments from heavy hitters