Illustrator Jim Benton demands satisfaction. Even though this artist already has a successful career spanning comics, books, merchandise, and television, he will not rest until The New Yorker takes his submissions for their magazine cover seriously. Below you can check out the seven unappreciated covers created by Benton and also read the interview I had with the talented and persistent artist.
Springtime In The City
The Jim Benton Interview!
Q: In my opinion, you seem to have conquered The New Yorker cover. If your boyhood home had its own magazine, what would you put on the cover?
A small blond boy riding an acid green huffy bicycle picking trash and looking for trouble.
Q: Your innocent drawings pair hilariously with your darker sense of humor. Do you think you were born this way or have you been shaped and molded by some outside force?
I don’t know. I just always laugh at whatever is the most wrong-headed thing to say or do in any situation. The absurd tragedy of existence is pretty funny.
Q: Your comic, cataloging the entire Bigfoot Family
, is wonderful and informative. With your vast knowledge of the Foot family, how would you recommend I track down your hairy friend?
I was so sad when they stopped printing Weekly World News, because I think it’s important that we know where Bigfoot and Elvis are at any given moment. I suppose now that you’ll have to lure Bigfoot from the woods—maybe leave out little saucers of conditioner.
Q: Your illustration career has leapt beyond the comic panel and into books, merchandising, and television. From my point of view, you have beaten the game of life but has your career ever thrown you a curve ball that you’ve struggled to hit?
All the time. I have a book that I’ve sold five times IF I’d be willing to change the ending ( I’m not ) and I have a script for a horror/comedy movie that was seemed very close to development last week until I got word that even though they loved the writing and the humor, they didn’t feel as though they were “connecting very well with the demon.” I need to write demons that are less emotionally distant, I guess. Yeah, the game is overwhelmingly curve balls.
Q: I believe every illustrator dreams of living off the crazy ideas in their head. What advice would you give somebody who wishes to turn their passions into a living, breathing career?
I think creatives may want to spend a little time thinking commercially. There are so many brilliant and talented creative minds out there that are working in directions that are very tough to sell. Do what you feel and love, of course, but it might be wise to cultivate a commercial project or two to keep the lights on.
Q: Before I let you go Jim, I just want to thank you for being awesome and taking the time to chat with me. Do you have any exciting projects in the future that you are looking forward to?
I have a book called “DOG BUTTS AND LOVE AND STUFF LIKE THAT. AND CATS” coming from NBM. I’ll be launching that at SanDiego Comic Con and it’s available on Amazon
. Also I have a picture book for kids called “THE END (ALMOST)”. That’s also on Amazon
I just want to thank Jim again for sharing his wisdom with me! If you want to keep up with Jim, you can follow him on twitter and facebook. Also, I highly suggest you indulge in his comics and check out his sketchbook on his website.