Sean T. Collins is bringing back the column in which he investigates the work of up-and-coming artists, and today he’s introducing the Brooklyn painter turned cartoonist Meghan Turbitt. Here’s a sample:
You were doing fine art back then.
I was doing large-scale oil paintings of geishas incorporated with Catholic imagery—prayer cards and rosaries. I was also using the image of the Virgin Mary and other female saints as inspiration for making large-scale geisha prayer card portraits. I also painted directly onto Catholic prayer cards, turning the saints into geishas. I became obsessed and made over one hundred of them. I incorporated Japanese culture into my work. In school I also became interested in Jenna Jameson, started listening to Howard Stern, and really was exploring my sexuality. I painted myself as Jenna Jameson and did collages of myself using porno mags and birth control pills. Lol.
What was the connection you saw between the saints and geishas? Did the cultural familiarity of saints give you an entry point into a less familiar culture?
I was rejecting my upbringing and culture, and wishing I was anything else — and, probably, being a bit disrespectful. I think I even told my mother and grandmother that I wished I was Japanese at one point, which is something a ten-year-old would do. I remember being intrigued by the fact that the geishas and the female saints were wearing very similar outfits, even though they were such different ladies.
And now that you’re making comics rather than fine art, have your underlying ideas about this changed along with your medium of choice?
In Lady Turbo and the Terrible Cox Sucker, my sidekick is a geisha named Brent, a friend in real life, so I guess I’m still using geisha imagery now. I’m just more interested in making work that’s funny and a commentary on how ridiculous my life is right now, and I think I’m less angry at my family, so I’m making work that’s less an “F U” to them.
—Profiles & Interviews. Sean Howe has a nice, long profile of Frank Miller for Wired, and it’s easily the best, most thorough one I’ve seen in this latest round of media for the artist.
Amazon interviews editor Chris Duffy about his recent anthology of comics based on WWI poetry.
Harper Harris talks to Farel Dalrymple about The Wrenchies, which I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about.
—Reviews & Commentary. Aaron Noble has an in-depth analysis of Jack Kirby art, comparing a 1950s Boys Ranch spread with a similar 1970s spread from Mister Miracle.
—Misc. I think it’s kind of hilarious that iO9 thinks it’s necessary to repeatedly inform its readers that Michael DeForge’s “Canadian Royalty” story is “fake.”
The Comic Book Attic has released a new Basil Wolverton e-book.