Friday, October 14, 2011

Inspirtation Spotlight #6: Perry Bible Fellowship

Change of pace for the Spotlight this week. By now a lot of you know how big on the fantasy genre I am, and sometimes this leads to people overlooking my love for other genres, like humor. I take a more humorous route with my Youth work and my Comic Strip, and I think it's time to give a tip of the hat to one of my favorite comic strips, The Perry Bible Fellowship.
The Perry Bible Fellowship was created by Nicholas Gurewitch and a small group of his friends who give their ideas and input. The comic first appeared in Syracuse University's Daily Orange Newspaper, which is the same newapaper that I worked for and ran my own comic in during my own time at college. Turns out Nick and I share the same alma mater, the same page in the comics section of the Daily Orange, and we even had the same teacher for a class.
It was a huge surprise my freshman year in my Narrative Drawing class when my professor Yvonne Buchanan laid out a bunch of books for the class to draw inspiration from, and one of them was a book of Perry Bible comics. I remember telling Yvonne how much I loved the comic strip and was surprised to hear her say "Oh, I know him! He was in my class." It was really exciting to talk to her about it, as I was already a huge fan of the comic at the time.
An even bigger surprise came when I became Art Director for the Daily Orange newspaper. The D.O. had their own house off campus where they made the paper. I had a small room to myself to work in and the walls were covered in drawings and writing from art director's past. There were tons of drawings scattered all over the room and piles more lying in drawers, filled to the brim with archived comics and illustrations. One day I decided to go rooting through all the drawers when I came across a drawing that looked very familiar. I immediately recognized it as the original New Specs for Ken drawing/inks. Happily surprised, I rooted through every other piece of paper in the room (which was a LOT, trust me) and found about 2 or 3 more PBF drawings. Apparently Nick had been trying to get the drawings back from a previous Art Director, so he sent an email asking for an update on the comics. He used to work as the Art Director for the D.O. as well and I guess he left some of the comics there a long time ago while working there. I told him that I had found a bunch of them and sent them to him in the mail.
As a sign of gratitude, Nick kindly offered to send me a signed print of whichever comic I wanted. I'm now the happy owner of a signed print of Scorpy the Forest Friend (above). Nicks comics continue to inspire my humor and keep making me laugh, despite the comic not been produced regularly anymore.

If you enjoy the PBF, you should purchase the Perry Bible Fellowship Almanack. It's 256 pages of beautifully printed comics, included never-before released comics and an interview. It's one of my favorite books in my collection.

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