SLG announced the impending July 2007 release of Jellyfist, a new work of collaborative nonsense by Jhonen Vasquez (Johnny the Homicidal Maniac) and J.R. Goldberg, a comic that is quite possibly like nothing that heretofore has been seen in the universe. Produced in a climate of tension, aggression, meandering conversations and ego-clashing arguments, Jellyfist is the work of two artists who battle with interpretation and pull down the curtain between audience and creators, revealing artistic collaboration in all its alarming nudity.
Jellyfist is a 48-page, full-color book of strange, disconnected stories written by Vasquez and drawn by Goldberg, a newcomer to comics. Begun as a simple, spontaneous collaboration when Vasquez wrote “a tiny, incredibly vague surreal script” and gave it to Goldberg to draw, Jellyfist soon grew into a side-show-freak embodiment of the issues that arise when one artist tries to draw what another has envisioned. After the initial story, Goldberg began to take more time and care to draw the scripts Vasquez gave to her. “So I started getting a lot more bossy in my writing direction,” Vasquez said, “and then the battles begin.”
“So far, it has been a very bizarre, and crazy-making-hair-pully-outy-type experience,” Goldberg said of working with Vasquez.
Jellyfist, the work resulting from these battles, is a series of short comics featuring elements that the two artists could agree on, which Goldberg described as “anything shaped like a wiener, or characters with dim-witted expressions and nub arms.” These comics are, if you will allow another metaphor, the Wienermobile-like vehicle for an examination of the frustrating, ridiculous and sometimes fulfilling collaborative process. Conversations between Vasquez and Goldberg run at the edge of each of the comics, reproducing interactions that usually remain behind the panels.
“Our arguments with each other were just as bizarre as the comics themselves ended up being,” said Vasquez. “Each time she submitted a comic, the topic always turned into an argument/discussion on the subjects of interpretation of the surreal and visual storytelling in general.”
Goldberg elaborated on their discussions. “We are both terribly opinionated, which makes for a fair amount of clashing,” she said. “A lot of the arguments would end with him telling me that I’m not funny and me kicking him in the shins. However, there are those occasional moments of glory where he’d really dig something, and I would heave a huge sigh of relief, knowing that I wasn’t going to have to redraw stuff.”
Added Vasquez, “RARRGH!”
Jellyfist will be in a special 48-page, 7.5 x 6″ format, perfect bound and printed in full color, with production values that would cause its wiener-shaped, nub-armed characters to drop their jaws in dim-witted awe. It will be published in July 2007 and retail for $5.95. It is available now for preorder from Diamond Comics, and will soon also be available at SLG Publishing’s website www.slgcomic.com and Amazon.com.