Jesse Moynihan

Jesse Moynihan is a long-time native of West Philadelphia’s music/art scene. His previous comics include Xeric Award-winning comic: The Backwards Folding Mirror and Follow Me. He currently writes and storyboards as part of the creative team behind cult Cartoon Network show Adventure Time. So, between making comics and creating super cool designs for an awesome TV series, Jesse took the time to let us know a little bit about his influences and process…

What inspires and informs your work?

Forming was largely inspired by a documentary about the making of Philip Glass’ opera, Akhnaten, where I learned that the Egyptian Pharaoh, Akhenaten had male and female anatomy. Akhenaten also introduced Monotheism to his people. This planted in my head the idea that if we lose the idea of “separateness” or “the other”, in terms of sexuality, location, and achievement, our power potential is infinite.

I’m also inspired by: late nights listening to Coast to Coast, Joseph Campbell, Manly P Hall, my relationship problems, Jack Kirby, prog rock, Stanislav Grof, and seeing Fist of the North Star as a kid.

Tell us a little about your process:

For Forming I spent 9 months researching subjects I felt would help the story. I outlined a rough sketch of the arc and started thumbnailing. I try to stay ten to twenty pages ahead of myself, but allow for changes as I move along with the finished pieces. A lot of my original notes for the story are now useless. I’ve revised the story arc 5 or 6 times, and now it’s more like a collection of reminders to hit certain narrative beats.

I thumbnail in Moleskine notebooks because it makes me feel like a cool-guy. I pencil stuff out with a red coloured pencil for no reason. I paint the pages with Acryla gouache. I ink over the gouache with a brush and Speedball India ink. Sometimes I try to avoid inking and let the shapes speak for themselves. Sometimes I achieve gradients with an airbrush. That’s how I’ve been doing it lately.