Whether creating killer comics like Scarlett Takes Manhattan, modeling for fellow artist’s or meticulous researching the palace of Versailles for DC’s The Puppet Makers Molly Crabapple has a style that is all her own. One of the masterminds behind the coveted Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School her work has hung in art galleries across the world while also appearing in everything form The Wall Journal to Mainstream Marvel and DC comics. Dubbed “A Downtown Phenomenon” by the New York Times Ms.Crabapple was nice enough to answer a few questions about her travels, her art and her life general in a two part interview series exclusively with comiXology. Check out part one below:
comiXology: First off, What is the origin of Dr. Sketchy’s and in what ways has it grown over the years?
Molly Crabapple: During college, I studied art and worked as an artist’s model. The classes, while educational, didn’t live up to the absinthe and Kiki de Montparnasse fantasy I had. I started Dr. Sketchy’s to create an art class that jived with my fantasies. Since we started it in a dive bar in Brooklyn five years ago, we’ve exploded to over a hundred cities across the US, Europe, Asia and Australia. We’ve done flash mobs in Times Square, thrown events in the Museum of Modern Art, and, today, Roger Ebert said we were ”inspired” on facebook. Roger friggin Ebert!
comiXology: Any memorable sessions that stick out over the five year’s you’ve been running it?
Molly: We’ve had so many sessions that, after them, we’ve screamed “Best session ever!” A few of my favorites are our Hunter S Thompson tribute, with bats hanging from the ceiling, our five year anniversary party, where we had all the Apocalypse’s (the rapture and nuclear bombs and Kali Ma and tank girl and zombies) happening at once in our favorite speakeasy, our Sandman Sketchy’s where Death, Delirium and Desire were so friggin’ embodying their characters I have to say though, that our last Dr. Sketchy’s, which was a tribute to Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson’s Transmetropolitan, will live on in glory because of the prop making genius of our creative coordinator Melissa Dowell, who stayed up late into the night constructing bowel disruptors and two headed cats, our makeup artist Jess Versus, who recreated all of Spider’s tattoos, and because of our models, , Jiz Lee and Ryan Keely, who sneered, smoked, shot and flipped the bird through three epic hours of art rockstarness. Guys, I salute you.
comiXology: As the one of the head’s of Dr. Sketchy’s anti-art school you’ve gotten to travel all over the world, folks can read about your past adventures on the travel blog on mollycrabapple.com, but are there any trips your looking forward to in the near future?
Molly: The next three months are proper insanity- I’m speaking at SXSW in Austin, and then Stumptown in Portland is bringing me out as a guest. But I’m really looking forward to tagging along with Fred to Istanbul in May, where he’s a guest at the Turkish Humor Festival, and I will lounge around eating loukham and going to hammams. I haven’t been to Turkey in almost 10 years, and it was one of my favorite countries to visit in the world.
comiXology: On the subject of Puppet Makers how did the project come about?
Molly: Me and John were totally into steampunk before it was cool! In college, we really liked the idea of using anachronistic technology to explore how fucked up a society could be. We were reading alot about Versailles, and I started thinking that, were their robots in the court of Louis XIV, aristocrats would totally use them to fulfill inane court rituals. The historical moment that inspired it all was when a royal mistress, of middle class origin, fainted after performing her twenty five deep curtsy for the queen mother. Court protocol was too much for human bodies. Also, ruffles. I like to draw ruffles.
Molly: Me and John are way more in each other’s business than the typical artist/writer team is. We create the plot together, I make suggestions on John’s scripts, John thumbnails our comics, and draw hundreds and hundreds of lilies. Then I gild them. The Puppet Makers also necessitated an insane amount of historical research. John even made the trip to Versailles.
Tagged: Molly Crabapple · Puppet Makers
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