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Gary Panter: Drawings, 1973-2019

Curated by Dan Nadel and Nicole Rudick

November 14, 2019 – January 11, 2020

Gary Panter: Drawings, 1973-2019
Gary Panter: Drawings, 1973-2019
Gary Panter: Drawings, 1973-2019
Gary Panter: Drawings, 1973-2019
Gary Panter: Drawings, 1973-2019
Gary Panter: Drawings, 1973-2019
Gary Panter: Drawings, 1973-2019
Gary Panter: Drawings, 1973-2019
Gary Panter: Drawings, 1973-2019
Gary Panter: Drawings, 1973-2019
Gary Panter: Drawings, 1973-2019
Gary Panter: Drawings, 1973-2019
Gary Panter: Drawings, 1973-2019
Gary Panter: Drawings, 1973-2019
Gary Panter Lady with painted face, 1973

Gary Panter
Lady with painted face, 1973
Ink on paper
16h x 13w in
40.64h x 33.02w cm

 

"In glitter rock days, I was living in Arlington, Texas, listening to T. Rex and drawing under headphones, and one night this strange lady emerged."

Gary Panter Rozz Tox, 1973

Gary Panter
Rozz Tox, 1973
Ink on paper
12 1/8h x 10w in
30.80h x 25.40w cm
 

"This was another of the science-fiction comics that came before Jimbo and the Dal Tokyo world that congealed a year or two later. These comics were like broadsides and gave information in elliptical, rather than rectangular, panels."

Gary Panter, Bin Am Jam, 1973

Gary Panter

Bin Am Jam, 1973
Ink on paper
12h x 10w in
30.48h x 25.40w cm

 

"This was another of the science-fiction comics that came before Jimbo and the Dal Tokyo world that congealed a year or two later. These comics were like broadsides and gave information in elliptical, rather than rectangular, panels."

 

Gary Panter Autodeath, 1973

Gary Panter
Autodeath, 1973
Ink on paper
12h x 13 1/2w in
30.48h x 34.29w cm
 

"When I began to make comics, I didn't have full story ideas, only fragments. An early idea was a religion that worshipped car wrecks. I hadn’t read Crash by J.G. Ballard at that point, but I had read A Clockwork Orange and been affected by its violence and the style of science fiction."

Gary Panter Elvis Zombie, 1979

Gary Panter
Elvis Zombie, 1979
Ink on paper
11h x 8 1/2w in
27.94h x 21.59w cm
 

"I was living in LA when Elvis died, and I always thought that he had an alien bearing and would have been good in monster movies, so I wrote and drew a book on that topic. He was a powerful psychic force, a sexualized psychic force, and a lot of monster movies have that sexual aspect to them. There’s always a monster carrying a woman around."

Gary Panter Germs with Middle Class, 1980

Gary Panter
Germs with Middle Class, 1980
Ink on Paper
11h x 8 1/2w in
27.94h x 21.59w cm
 

"Once upon a time I was married to the manager of the Germs and was sometimes called upon to do flyers. I didn't do a lot of them. This was one of my favorite punk images." 

Gary Panter Vinyl Fetish, 1980

Gary Panter
Vinyl Fetish, 1980
Ink and wite-out on paper
10 1/4h x 10 3/4w in
26.04h x 27.30w cm
 

"When punk first happened, it was hard to find the records, and there weren’t many. A few years later, there were too many records, and new record shops in L.A. had opened. Vinyl Fetish was one of them. It featured punk, post punk, and experimental music. This is not a literal portrayal of it, but a dream-like version."

Gary Panter Jimbo Editorial, 1980

Gary Panter
Jimbo Editorial, 1980
Ink on board
14h x 11w in
35.56h x 27.94w cm
 

"This is a self-conscious Jimbo-on-a-soapbox comic where I made the mistake of having Jimbo say that maybe punk rockers were conservatives, because at that point punks were trying to be the opposite of hippies, and I was trying to figure out the thrust of the punk-rock movement in L.A. This comic is really early, and I wasn’t politically well-educated. I was trying to speak reason, because some kids thought it was the end of friendship! I think punks were another version of hippies."

Gary Panter Aftermath, 1981

Gary Panter
Aftermath, 1981
Ink and gouache on board
19 1/2h x 27w in
49.53h x 68.58w cm

 

"RAW was a large-format magazine that was the first forum in the US for comics that aspired to art. There, I was able to do longer stories and in any media I wished. I did a story about the aftermath of a small atomic explosion as a meditation on the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki."

Gary Panter Jimbo is Running Sore, Page 2, 2012

Gary Panter
Jimbo is Running Sore, Page 2, 2012
Ink and wite-out on board
15h x 11w in
38.10h x 27.94w cm
 

"This is a page from a comic that treats the issue of my Choctaw blood. I am white but am a member of the Choctaw nation, as my grandmother was Choctaw. When I was a kid there were old people who still spoke Choctaw. My grandmother went to Indian school, where they “got the Indian out of you.” The US government has always behaved badly relative to natives in treaties, transportation, and cheating percentages of blood."

Gary Panter Henry Webb's Hollywood, 1983

Gary Panter
Henry Webb's Hollywood, 1983
Ink on board
18h x 12 1/4w in
45.72h x 31.11w cm

 

"I did this map for a free weekly paper in LA. I didn’t have a car for many years in L.A., so I walked around. This was my crawling man’s guide to Hollywood, according to Henry Webb, my evil character."

Gary Panter Spiked Hair, 1983

Gary Panter
Spiked Hair, 1983
Ink on paper
11h x 8 1/2w in
27.94h x 21.59w cm

 

"There were kids that had hair like this and even still—spiked hair with a lot of syrup, hairspray, and gel to get the extreme effect. Jimbo, my main punk character, never had hair like this in a story, only in this drawing. Jimbo was a short-spiked-haired kid, an observer rather than instigator, which made him good later as a stand in for Dante. I was an observer in punk rock. I never jumped in the mosh pit. I stood in the back, or on the sides, or even backstage, observing."

Gary Panter Screamer, 1982

Gary Panter
Screamer, 1982
Ink on paper
11h x 8 1/2w in
27.94h x 21.59w cm
 

"The screaming face was a logo I did for the band the Screamers. I combined their faces somewhat and featured their electric hairstyle. Also, a few years before, I had made notes for a story about a King Kong–like Mexican wrestler who is struck by lightning in a storm, and that was also on my mind. I did various versions of the image for the band and for t-shirt designs and a few painted variations."

Gary Panter Inversion, 1984

Gary Panter
Inversion, 1984
Ink on paper
10h x 12w in
25.40h x 30.48w cm
 

"This is a drawing that has two sides, as if drawn in an open sketchbook, and the halves are meant to contrast and echo each other."

Gary Panter Killbilly, 1986

Gary Panter
Killbilly, 1986
Ink on paper

15 1/2h x 22 1/2w inches

39.37h x 57.15w cm

 

"I started this as a collaboration with Edwin Pouncey, my English friend. The idea was to try to come up with another Ed Roth monster kit, except weirder. We had the idea of a hillbilly in a car made out of a mountain landscape and running over a pig. It’s nostalgia for being a twelve-year-old."

Gary Panter Robot Rescue, 1984

Gary Panter
Robot Rescue, 1984
Ink on paper
10 1/2h x 7 1/2w in
26.67h x 19.05w cm
 

"I could paint pictures from my comic stories, but I don't like the feel of that, so I look to the landscape of media for images that I can transform or rewrite in a way that I can then use as a painting template. This is one of those images becoming a form to paint."

Gary Panter Guy in a Dinosaur Suit, 1983

Gary Panter
Guy in a Dinosaur Suit, 1983
Ink on paper
8 1/2h x 11w in
21.59h x 27.94w cm
 

"The first monster movie I saw was The Land Unknown, which features ambitious but very phony volcanic landscapes and guys in monster suits. The unreality of that really stuck with me— theatricality and the possibility of the suspension of disbelief by crude means."

Gary Panter Jimbo's House is Gigantic and Condemned page 8, 1987

Gary Panter
Jimbo's House is Gigantic and Condemned page 8, 1987
Ink on board
29h x 23w in
73.66h x 58.42w cm
 

"When I finally got going, got the ball rolling on RAW, I made this strip as the first story in the second Jimbo collection. I tried to pull out all the stops and do something spectacular. I’d been telling my friends for years I had this place in my mind called Dal Tokyo, and once I started drawing for Slash and stuff, I realized I had never drawn it properly. When I started the Dal Tokyo strip, I was still trying to get out what I was seeing in my head. This was a good example of what a place in Dal Tokyo might look like."

Gary Panter Okupant X, 1991

Gary Panter
Okupant X, 1991
Ink on board
22h x 15w in
55.88h x 38.10w cm
 

"An early graphic story of mine was published by Diana’s Bimonthly Press poetry journal and featured this character, Okupant X, going to a kabuki-type show that contains Elvis Zombie references. It’s drawn under the influence of Victor Moscoso and Robert Williams, though it doesn’t really look like their work. It’s built out of a lot of dark shapes. This was a redrawing of the character who had run as a cover of RAW magazine and, later, on a large bus-shelter poster."

Gary Panter, Glyphic Figure, 1987

Gary Panter

Glyphic Figure, 1987
Ink on paper
8 1/2h x 11w in
21.59h x 27.94w cm

 

"This is a simple drawing thinking about cultures that have a unified symbol system—Egyptian or Mayan or Aztec."

Gary Panter Psychedelic Screamer, 1995

Gary Panter
Psychedelic Screamer, 1995
Ink on paper
21h x 14w in
53.34h x 35.56w cm
 

"A decade or more after I designed the Screamer punk-rock image, I decided to remake it in a pychedelic form. This is the resulting explosion, using common tropes of ’60s posters and art."

Gary Panter Mutation Sequence 1, 1984

Gary Panter
Mutation Sequence 1, 1984
Ink on paper
11h x 8 1/2w in
27.94h x 21.59w cm
 

"As a teen under the influence of Picasso, I began to draw and redraw images, letting the shapes degrade, reform, become angular or softerto see where this might lead. The first page begins a series of improvisations altering the proportions and angles of a figure. The second and third pages continue the distortion of the initial figure, maybe as if the lines are adrift in moving water."

Gary Panter Mutation Sequence 2, 1984

Gary Panter
Mutation Sequence 2, 1984
Ink on paper
11h x 8 1/2w in
27.94h x 21.59w cm
 

"As a teen under the influence of Picasso, I began to draw and redraw images, letting the shapes degrade, reform, become angular or softerto see where this might lead. The first page begins a series of improvisations altering the proportions and angles of a figure. The second and third pages continue the distortion of the initial figure, maybe as if the lines are adrift in moving water."

Gary Panter Mutation Sequence 3, 1984

Gary Panter
Mutation Sequence 3, 1984
Ink on paper
11h x 8 1/2w in
27.94h x 21.59w cm

 

"As a teen under the influence of Picasso, I began to draw and redraw images, letting the shapes degrade, reform, become angular or softerto see where this might lead. The first page begins a series of improvisations altering the proportions and angles of a figure. The second and third pages continue the distortion of the initial figure, maybe as if the lines are adrift in moving water."

Gary Panter I Drew the Sponge (page 20) from Jimbo in Purgatory, 1999

Gary Panter
I Drew the Sponge (page 20) from Jimbo in Purgatory, 1999
Ink on paper
23h x 16w in
58.42h x 40.64w cm

 

"Since I carry with me entanglements of a childhood processed through fundamentalist evangelical Christianity, it was good for me to study Dante, Milton, and Blake to contrast the limited and strict reading of religion I knew in Texas."

Gary Panter Such Pulsing Springs (page 27) from Jimbo in Purgatory, 1999

Gary Panter
Such Pulsing Springs (page 27) from Jimbo in Purgatory, 1999
Ink on paper
23h x 16w in
58.42h x 40.64w cm
 

"Since I carry with me entanglements of a childhood processed through fundamentalist evangelical Christianity, it was good for me to study Dante, Milton, and Blake to contrast the limited and strict reading of religion I knew in Texas."

Gary Panter The Innocent Root of All Man's Seed (page 28) from Jimbo in Purgatory, 2000

Gary Panter
The Innocent Root of All Man's Seed (page 28) from Jimbo in Purgatory, 2000
Ink on paper
23h x 16w in
58.42h x 40.64w cm
 

"Since I carry with me entanglements of a childhood processed through fundamentalist evangelical Christianity, it was good for me to study Dante, Milton, and Blake to contrast the limited and strict reading of religion I knew in Texas."

Gary Panter Snowflakes Fallen New (page 29) from Jimbo in Purgatory, 2000

Gary Panter
Snowflakes Fallen New (page 29) from Jimbo in Purgatory, 2000
Ink on paper
23h x 16w in
58.42h x 40.64w cm
 

"Since I carry with me entanglements of a childhood processed through fundamentalist evangelical Christianity, it was good for me to study Dante, Milton, and Blake to contrast the limited and strict reading of religion I knew in Texas."

Gary Panter Psychedelic Landscape, 1990

Gary Panter
Psychedelic Landscape, 1990
Ink on paper
11h x 8 1/2w in
27.94h x 21.59w cm

 

"I have studied my favorite hippie cartoonists and poster artists for many years and try to combine and advance or think about their portrayals of psychedelic mental landscapes."

Gary Panter Jimi, 1999

Gary Panter
Jimi, 1999
Ink on paper
8 1/2h x 11w in
21.59h x 27.94w cm
 

"This is when I was starting to build my small light show on Roebling Street in Brooklyn. I was making fliers and posters that I put up at the local record shop. The little light show I did was my first formalized attempt to make some small magic that would restart the ‘60s. There’s always a lot of Karl Wirsum hanging around in this kind of work—when it has weird shapes and a face in the middle."

Gary Panter Smulkin, 1999

Gary Panter
Smulkin, 1999
Ink on paper
11h x 14w inches

27.94h x 35.56w cm

 

"This comes from two images that I had for a long time. One’s a postcard of an amusement park, and the other is a little collectible bottle top of Ultraman Monsters. I put them together and always intended to paint this. I didn’t make up the sources, but it’s really very much like the place I’m trying to suggest through the drawing. Dal Tokyo is the imaginary setting of many of my comics—a science-fiction cartoon world. The place is an accumulation of things that interest me and the resulting terrain."

Gary Panter Hovering Dr. Nightmare Telephone, 2000

Gary Panter
Hovering Dr. Nightmare Telephone, 2000
Ink on board
13h x 11w in
33.02h x 27.94w cm
 

“The rotor flew across the room, showering with unglued metal shards on everyone below.” I made this as a flyer for a small light-show project I built in my Williamsburg studio around 2000. It is trying to participate in and evolve the idea of a ’60s psychedelic poster. Hippie black-light posters were hard to read, and you felt like you were in a special club if you could decipher them. Part of what I was doing was trying to obscure the information, not provide it. I’d hang these at the local record shop and when people asked about them, they’d get verbal information about the light show."

Gary Panter Born Wild, 2012

Gary Panter
Born Wild, 2012
Ink on paper
11 3/4h x 14 1/2w in
29.84h x 36.83w cm

 

"I was trying to see if I could put together two different things—a line drawing and these big black shapes, which are almost like sounds. I used black ink, then a waxy white pencil, and then white acrylic, and then black ink again. The black ink was on something bigger, like a speedball nib, and then another part is drawn probably with a small steel nib."

Gary Panter Fog Pad, 2019

Gary Panter
Fog Pad, 2019
Ink on paper
13 3/4h x 26w in
34.92h x 66.04w cm
 

"I was trying to see if I could put together two different things—a line drawing and these big black shapes, which are almost like sounds. I used black ink, then a waxy white pencil, and then white acrylic, and then black ink again. The black ink was on something bigger, like a speedball nib, and then another part is drawn probably with a small steel nib. "