22 Comments

The parallel of our “dark years” happening at the same time in the same city is telling when I think how I was immediately drawn to your work in that tent of the Honest Ed’s parking lot. I wish I met you sooner my friend. I have so much I want to say about all of this, but I’ll keep it to “thank you for posting this.” (Also, major McKeever vibes in your older work and my God I love that skyline page!)

Expand full comment

It is the sadness in your art and writing that I'm drawn to.

You've done it again with Mazebook.

Thank you Jeff for the ultimate cathartic read.

Expand full comment

Thank you for sharing, this was a wonderful post.

Expand full comment

I really relate to a lot of your talk about depression and your development as an artist without any training. Inspiring for me to read, as I’m sort of returning to drawing comics after a good decade of filmmaking. Looking forward to hearing more about your journey from these early days to now. Thanks for sharing!

Expand full comment

I know you stated that you weren't happy with it but gosh I wish I could read Soft Malleable Underbelly!! I know a TON of us are into the dark stuff!

Expand full comment

Beautiful article thanks for sharing I also struggled with anxiety and depression in my twenties now as a dad I hope my daughter's don't have to suffer because the old stigma of depression and mental health.

Expand full comment

This first instalment was a fascinating read.

The insights in your privat life and staff about your early short films was especially interresting!

I first discovered your work back when you had that big exibition in Germany at the Comic Salon Erlangen in 2018. I was deeply impressed by your expressive drawings, the art of your storytelling and your evolution as an artist (Pages from Lost Dogs to Roughneck were exhibited). Later at that con you signed Essex County 1 for me and I asked you if you got an advice on doing my first graphic novel. You said, you really dont know, but worked like 5 years on your own before getting public with your art. Since that, I was always curious how your early unpublished art looked like.

So thank you for sharing tons of your early artwork.

And for the inspiration…

Expand full comment

Jeff, this is so cool to get to know you. Thank you for sharing your story.

After all that experience in the kitchen, do you have a favorite dish to prepare?

Expand full comment

I've really been digging these From the Vault posts so far. It's cool to see your style develop and read about how you cut your teeth as an artist. Thanks for sharing.

Expand full comment

It seems like a fair few people are interested in getting Ashtray in their hands, would you consider reprinting it?

I loved seeing all these early sketches from you, really enjoying reading the story about the guy behind the stories too. thank you for sharing

Expand full comment

Wonderful. Brings back memories of my own university years in the 90s. I was at Bristol in the UK and Massive Attack used to DJ occasionally at my uni, until they became massive and had to figure out how to play everything live. I saw Radiohead touring their 1st album around that time as well. They were nothing special back then.

As far as comics went, I was complaining that nothing was as good as Alan Moore all the time.

Expand full comment

Oh wow. I’m loving this, all of it. I was already in heaven perving on your studio walls at all that gorgeous art (great to see you kept the variant cover to Black Hammer 1 :) but this early insight into how you started is something else.

Jeff thanks for letting us into your heart a little bit, I’m really enjoying understanding how one of my favourite creators came to be.

One of your gorgeous original pages from Essex County (a quiet page where Lester is chatting to Lou about enemies whilst Lou is putting on skates & Lester is readying his slingshot) hangs pride of place in my nerd room. Love your work, really looking forward to the next instalment :)

Expand full comment

This brings back memories for me, Jeff. You may have left comics behind at the beginning of film school, but your love of comics rubbed off on me. Comic books weren't a major part of my childhood, but in the time we spent together at school I developed a love of Dave McKean, Daniel Clowes, Seth and, yes, The Beguiling. A lot of the work I did in my short time at Ryerson was heavily influenced by comic books – and by you, Jeff. Those were difficult years for me too, but also great ones thanks to you and our small group of friends. Thanks for sharing. - Alex

Expand full comment
author

Alex!!! Love hearing from you old friend. I’ll reach out directly

Expand full comment

I'd love that. Let me know if you need my coordinates.

Expand full comment

Another awesome post. Loving every minute of this!

Expand full comment

This is wonderful. A great insight to your background and how it shaped your work.

I'm sorry that you experienced anxiety and depression and it's brave of you for sharing. I know these experiences, although they help shape us, can be hard to even reflect on. I'm glad you have been able to work on and manage your mental health.

For what it's worth some random stranger from the other side of the continent is giving you a hug.

Thank you Jeff and looking forward to more Tales From the Farm.

Expand full comment

I'm not really an "extras" guy, so I mainly just subscribed to get in on your new work - but I'm totally enjoying these posts.

Expand full comment