Showing posts with label mr unpronounceable. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mr unpronounceable. Show all posts

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Tim Molloy Interview Part One

My first encounter with Tim Molloy was at an Auckland Armageddon convention in the early 00's. In those days artist's alley was bundled into the foyer of the Aotea Centre and tables were free (!).  I was tabling next to Tim and friends and I recall them throwing things around the room and generally terrorising other cartoonists in the vicinity. The second day I saw one of the guests from Babylon 5 come over and hang with Tim and his pals. He'd been out with them the night before. Wow! I thought, these crazy comics guys hang out with tv stars!

On the last day I traded Tim my minicomic for an early Mr Unpronounceable comic which had the same disturbing surrealism of his recent work in a still developing roughly hewn art style. There's a period of New Zealand cartoonists from the
self-publishing boom of the '90's and early '00's that have kept their hand in the comics game,  of which I'd regard Tim and I'm glad to see his work reaching a wider audience in the last couple years through Melbourne publisher Milk Shadow Books.

What were the first comics you read? What were the comics that inspired you to make your own?
It would have been Tintin,  Asterix that kinda thing. Disney comics.. . Got into superhero stuff later,  then 2000ad Etc... Calvin and Hobbes... I was making comics very young. These probably had a hand in that...  I got into Milk and Cheese later . I started doing a mash up/ rip off of them and Calvin and Hobbes called Nasty Neville and Mr Weasel. When I discovered local stuff,  local creators I've Andy Conlan,  Wade Shotter,  Corn Stone,  knuckles,  you know,  James James... I dived right in with Poot,  Ninja Sheep,  Drunken Otter...

What are some of the influences from outside of the world of comics?
I draw inspiration from all quarters. I've actually spent a lot more time imbibing novels, audiobooks, cinema and fine art than I have spent reading comics... Earliest memory of art would be pulling a Dali book down off the shelf and having my 5 year old mind blown. I have a very active dream life also. I've always had a sense of 'the other' and explores that realm as best I can through experiments in lucid dreaming, readings into the Occult and in the past, psychedelics. Life itself is an inspiration... a turn of phrase, the way light might be streaming in through a strange window, a half glimpsed person down an evening alley... It's all good!

How do you find balance between working in various art mediums? to the best of my knowledge you create comics, paintings, sculpture and music, does any one art form take precedent?
I kind of tend to gravitate towards one thing or another at any given time. I'm just coming out of a heavy comics period (1 or 2 pages a day) and going into some traditional art territory. Whatever is most important at any given time is what I tend to concentrate on. Working out whats important can be the hard thing sometimes... In the end though, comics will probably win out. Here's hoping I never have to make a choice to stick to any one thing! Music is serious fun, and the only team sport I have ever taken part in. My band Plague Doctor explores a lot of the same themes I do in my work, but you can dance to it.

What led to you moving from New Zealand to Australia?
I am an economic refugee. I came by plane though, so thankfully I was not locked up indefinitely in a detention center.

Can you talk a bit about the comics/art community in New Zealand when you lived there.
My journey started with me going to those early 'Iconz' conventions (Is that what they were called?) I ran into the likes of Willi Saunders, Wade Shotter, Andy Conlan, Karl Wills. Loved the irreverent, DIY aesthetic. When I came across the work of James James, and then met him in person, I started getting my work out there. That was 1997? My last year of High School. Those were fun days. Comics and music and art and poetry were all in the same place in those days. I imagine they still are. K Rd was where it was at.

James and I were the youngest, and (sometimes) the most badly behaved participants at 'Poetry Live' at Alleluyah in St Kevins Arcade. Hanging around at Corn Stones house, playing Sooth, reading comics, smoking Beedies and drinking the cheapest booze available. Met a whole cast of weirdos and geniuses through that scene. Everybody knew everybody else and the yearly con at the Aotea Centre (sometimes a trip down to Wellington!) was a good chance to get drunk, hassle B-Grade Science Fiction celebrities and unload some photocopied comics on an unsuspecting public. 

It was a very welcoming, vibrant space to develop and grow as an artist, but not without it's share of drama and beef! We played a lot of music, UMX (The Uncle Marty Experience) was our first band (after 'The Tools of Waste' we made a tape called 'The Resin Sessions') and we terrorized audiences with the help of Uncle Marty, our aged patriarch - may he rest in peace.

I became good friends with Ben Stenbeck, The Sheehan Brothers and some of the other people on the 'weird' end of the spectrum. Drew a lot of inspiration and encouragement there. I hung around at Auckland Uni, got a lot of comics into Craccum, drank at Shadows, smoked in Albert park, studied animation on Queen St. Cheap rent, magic mushrooms, cask wine, The Kiss And Make Up Club, St Kevin's Arcade, inky fingers, good people, late nights and lots of fun parties...

Damn! I'm getting all nostalgic now! I could sit here, peering through the mist of time all day, but these are the first impressions that leap out of the gloom at me.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

2013 in Review: Tim Molloy

What have been your personal cartooning/comics highlights of 2013?
Being asked to take part as a guest of the Adelaide Writers Week as part of the festival in March next year! Madman taking on distribution of Milk Shadow Books was a big one.

What are some of the comics/cartoonists you've enjoyed in 2013?
Ben Hutchos You Stink and I Don't collection. Pat Grants story about his dad Toormina Video. Properly investigated  Moebius this year.  Always good. Thomas Ott's R. I. P.  Was amazing...

What is something non-comics that you have enjoyed in 2013? 

My wife and I had a baby boy this year! This experience has easily been the best thing that has ever happened to me!
What are you looking forward to in 2014?
The Writers Week thing should be great...  Later in the year the sequel to Mr Unpronounceable Adventures will be published ,  if all goes well! Just drawing all the time,  or as much as I can,  and hopefully getting better in every way.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Tim Molloy - Radio As Paper Article 2010

The following article featured in NZ anthology Radio As Paper #4 published early 2010. 

Tim Molloy

Late 2009, Tim Molloy's work was one of the last feature exhibitions at Gallery 696 in Melbourne, Australia. The well attended exhibition was also a launch party for Molloy's most recent comic, Saturn Returns. A combination of Comic Art, Paintings, Sculpture and Installations, the exhibition was planned a full year in advance and the work on display was filled with meticulous detail.

Reading from an early age, Molloy had Tintin and Asterix amongst his intake and started creating his own comics before adolescence. Picking up on superhero comics a bit later Molloy was also turned onto 2000AD back when it was affordable for kids and had a creative cast of today's comic superstars. Various friends introduced Molloy to alternative comics like Milk and Cheese and he also became aware of New Zealand comics in his teens such as Andy Conlan's Strumming Teeth and the work of Willie Saunders.

Andy Conlan's Strumming Teeth

A formative comic experience of Molloy's was when Auckland legend and housemate, James James, dragged him aside at a party and threw a blanket over them for an impromptu comic creating lesson. "Look at this shit man! There's a light source! make those lines darker!" Friend Ben Stenbeck has also been a source of advice and inspiration over the years.

One of the first publishing efforts Molloy contributed to was Poot, in collaboration with a couple friends. Set out on A4 folded into quarters, Poot was distributed around Auckland with a last issue print run of 500 copies. Later Molloy contributed cartoons such as Ninja Sheep and Drunken Otter and Satan and to the Auckland Uni mag, Craccuum, and self-published many comics in the ensuing years.


In his late teens Molloy tried Magic Mushrooms and these had an effect upon his consciousness that led to him discarding what he had been doing previously and to develop a new direction with his work. Symbolism and esoteric elements  became more prevalent. Saturn Returns like much of Molloy's recent work features dialogue rendered in an alien symbolic language coupled with surreal imagery which are all earmarks of a style, distinctly Molloy's.

Molloy's recent exhibition showcased his work in a few different mediums, included detailed maquettes of characters from his comic work. Utilising architects moulding clay he created fully painted detailed renditions of his 2d work.  Molloy uses Stabiler Artline pens and the Artline 210 medium 0.6 by Shachihata is a staple of his work, providing a great variance of line widths for a relatively cheap pen. For very fine detail he switches to .1 and .005 pens. All his line work he manipulates in  Photoshop and Illustrator. Molloy confesses the editing functions available to him via computers allow him to obsess over every corner and detail which he feels can be detrimental to getting things completed. "The knowledge that the average reader will only glance at pages is no comfort when you want to make your work as good as it can be."

Like many cartoonist's Molloy drew early inspiration from Moebius but also took a step back from the french master to avoid becoming too submerged in his style. Influences come from a wide range particularly outside of the comics field with an appreciation for the work of Bosch and Brugel and literary influences such as Stephen King (The Dark Tower series) and Henry Miller. Dreams and Synchronicity also provide influence.

Mr Unpronounceable

A full colour book of Mr Unpronounceable adventures has been completed and was planned for 2009 but unfortunately the publisher involved came askew due to the worldwide economic crisis. Hopefully this will be rescheduled for 2010. Molloy stated, "The Unpronounceable stuff is kind of a throwback to a slightly more messed up me, it almost felt like at a certain point I was derailing my own life so I could come up with the feeling to be there with Mr Unpronounceable and follow him around. My brother mentioned the new stuff feels more like I'm in charge of the characters and I'm exploring the world with them whereas the Unpronounceable stuff I'm following this guy around and he's leading me into these really dark places."

Tim Molloy Blogspot
Tim Molloy DeviantART

Since interviewing Tim Molloy in 2009, a collection of his comics, It Shines and Shakes and Laughs, was published by Milk Shadow Books in 2012, who will be launching a giant tome of Mr Unpronounceable Adventures at the BA3 2013 comic book launch in Melbourne.

Accompanying photos unless marked otherwise were taken during Tim Molloy's Saturn Returns exhibition at Melbourne's Gallery 696.
All artwork © 2013 Tim Molloy