Aron Wiesenfeld has taken a somewhat unique path through the arts, ostensibly going from drawing X-Men comics in the early ’90s to holding solo gallery shows for paintings in world cultural destinations, from Olso, Norway to New York.
Indeed, in 1993 Wiesenfeld drew a couple issues of Cable penned by Fabian Nicieza. He next made a bigger splash in comics with his surprising and inventive work a few years later on Deathblow/Wolverine. His most recent direct contribution to comics was roughly 16 years ago, with covers for Y: The Last Man. Aron Wiesenfeld has even been brought up in the comments of this very website as a creator whose work is missed within the industry.
Today, however, Wiesenfeld has returned to a comics-adjacent space, launching a new Kickstarter for Travelers, a book that compiles his paintings over the past six years, and Wiesenfeld took some time out to discuss the project with The Beat, as well as some of the work being done in comics today that continues to inspire him.
ZACK QUAINTANCE: Congrats on the new Kickstarter project, Aron. 100 pages is quite a bit of work, are there any uniting interests in these pieces that you can tell us about?
ARON WIESENFELD: Thank you! It has been a lot of work, 6 years of it is represented in the book. The artworks in the book continue on themes that have interested me for a long time. In many of the paintings there is a lone young person deciding whether to stay with the comfort of the known, or step out into the unknown. Most of the paintings have an entryway or threshold that is the first step of that journey. I’m interested in what is going on in her mind, and what her story is, and my hope is to invite viewers to participate in the telling of the story by filling in the missing pieces in their own way.
QUAINTANCE: It’s been some time now, but your progression through comics art and onto fine art was really striking. How have you so steadily pushed yourself to continue evolving as an artist?
WIESENFELD: It’s often felt more like a meandering path than an evolution, but I’ve tried to follow a couple of guiding principles – to always do the best work I was capable of, and, regardless of the medium, to work on the projects that held my interest the most at a given time. That second principle (when I have followed it) has ensured that I was always engaged with what I was working on, and it has never felt routine or repetitive.
QUAINTANCE: Finally, do you keep up with new comics or graphic novels at all these days, and if so what are you finding interesting within the industry these days?
WIESENFELD: I think there is a lot of exciting work going on in comics. Here’s a short list of some of the comics I have enjoyed in recently:
“Sunny” by Taiyo Matumoto
“Beautiful Darkness” by Vehlmann & Kerascoet
“The End of the Fucking World” for Charles Forsman
“Bad Gateway” by Simon Hanselmann
“Stitches” by David Small
I also continue to be inspired by a number of comics creators, such as Edward Gorey, Mike Mignola, Chris Ware, R. Crumb, Thomas Ott, Joe Sacco, and Ian Bertram, to name a few.