Cool things on the margins

‘Comics have always been a cool thing in the margins…it’s such a low-tech form of storytelling that, in a way, it’s kind of insane they still exist’, ponders comic artist and hero of New York anti-folk, Jeffrey Lewis.

OFF LIFE 9 cover
OFF LIFE 9 cover

‘Ink on paper is just so simple, but that also keeps it cool and marginal.’

Lewis was sharing these musings with indie publication Off Life, in a charming interview delineating his views on underground mind-sets, being ‘stuck in the nineties’ and the music that has made him a bigger name than his main passion.

Jeffrey Lewis Fuff drawing
Jeffrey Lewis Fuff drawing

This, of course, is drawing comics (Lewis publishes his own comic book series, Fuff, as well as drawing his album artwork and other projects) – which he says he sees as ‘more meditative’ than communicating in song.

The interview is the shy, sweet star of the new issue of Off Life – and it’s wonderful to see the publication securing such a coup with its features: due to the simple, honest ethos of ‘spreading the word of comics’, it certainly deserves it.

Off Life launched in November 2012 as an anthology of new comic talent, artwork and interviews and has since seen the organisers take on events like last year’s Design Museum #QuickDraw Live Drawing evening, and more live drawing at the House of Illustration’s housewarming celebrations.

The publication launched a new site in March, which you can view here, built by Rhyso Rabiotti.

Brendan Kiefer.
Brendan Kiefer.

‘For nearly two years we’ve enjoyed promoting comics and championing new talent. But with that comes a huge debt of responsibility to the artists who entrust us their incredible work’, says Off Life editor Daniel Humphry.

‘Hopefully we can now do justice to our artists not only in print, but online too’.

Joe List
Joe List

We reckon he need not worry. The mag – and the site – are lovely as ever, showcasing the bizarre and brilliant breadth of unsung comic talent out there.

This issue features work from artists including Joe List, Will Elliot and Brendan Kiefer.

Will Elliot
Will Elliot

Tales range from a whimsical story of the rain, to a poignant lonely astronaut’s journey to the more bad-ass Officer Duty! By Matthew Alker, featuring such mean ol’ maxims as ‘fear will get you screwed in the ass’.

Off Life Issue Nine is free and available in various venues across London and Bristol. You can also download it at http://offlife.co.uk/2014/06/read-latest-issue/

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