Panel Borders: The Worldwide Comix of Jeffrey Lewis

Fuff Covers by Jeffrey Lewis

Fuff Covers by Jeffrey Lewis

Continuing a month of shows on the British comics radio show Panel Borders  looking at the connections between comic books and music culture, guest presenter Conor O’Grady talks to American underground cartoonist Jeffrey Lewis about his comics such as Fuff and The Worldwide Comix Scavenger Hunt. O’Grady and Lewis also discuss the latter’s various musical collaborations with Peter Stampfel Band, Diane Cluck and Schwervon!…

Born and raised New Yorker Jeffrey Lewis leads a double-life, as both a comic book writer/artist and a musician (or is that a triple-life?). His band also has a multi-faceted existence, restlessly exploring a stylistic swath from contemplative folk narratives to distortion-fueled garage rock to soundscape abstractions and more. Most often a trio (though occasionally just Jeffrey solo, or as a duo, and on some tours as a four-piece), the Jeffrey Lewis group has shuffled its name a number of times over the years, from Jeffrey Lewis & The Creeping Brains to Jeffrey Lewis & The Jitters, Jeffrey Lewis & The Jackals, Jeffrey Lewis & The Junkyard, Jeffrey Lightning Lewis & The Rain, and others, in 2014 becoming Jeffrey Lewis & The Jrams.

For the 2008 Mountain Goats album "Heretic Pride", Mountain Goats songwriter John Darnielle wrote descriptions of each song on the album for Jeff to illustrate. Scroll down for the resulting 3-page "comic book press kit" used for album promo .

For the 2008 Mountain Goats album “Heretic Pride”, Mountain Goats songwriter John Darnielle wrote descriptions of each song on the album for Jeff to illustrate. Scroll down for the resulting 3-page “comic book press kit” used for album promo .

For the 2008 Mountain Goats album "Heretic Pride", Mountain Goats songwriter John Darnielle wrote descriptions of each song on the album for Jeff to illustrate. Scroll down for the resulting 3-page "comic book press kit" used for album promo . Mountain Goats album "Heretic Pride" art by Jeffrey Lewis - Page 3

These various formations (often in the past featuring Jeffrey’s brother Jack on bass and Bronx-native David Beauchamp on drums) have toured the world from Los Angeles to London, Berlin to Beijing, Melbourne to Moscow, blowing minds all along the way and sometimes sharing stages or full tours with the likes of Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Devendra Banhart, Devo, The Mountain Goats, Thurston Moore, The Fall, The Vaselines, Roky Erickson, Pulp, Beth Orton, Frank Black, The Fiery Furnaces, Daniel Johnston, Scout Niblett, The Moldy Peaches, Cornershop, The Cribs, Dr. Dog, Kimya Dawson, Adam Green, Akron/Family, Black Dice, Au Revoir Simone, The Television Personalities, Jarvis Cocker and many other luminaries.

Live shows often incorporate “low budget videos,” Jeffrey’s large illustrations displayed to accompany certain songs, such as Jeffrey’s educational multi-part “History of Communism” or flights of fancy like “The Creeping Brain.”  In 2001 Jeffrey Lewis signed to the venerable Rough Trade Records label (home to The Smiths, The Strokes, and many more alternative legends) and has since released six albums worldwide on Rough Trade/Beggars, the most recent of which is 2011’s “A Turn in the Dream-Songs” which was recorded at an all-analogue studio in Manchester, UK and features musical cameos from Dr. Dog, Au Revoir Simone and The Vaselines among others.

Jeffrey has been self-publishing a comic book series called “Fuff” since 2004, has lectured around the world on topics such as the Watchmen comic book and independently produced music, and in recent years his work has been featured by the History Channel, the New York Times, the Guardian, NPR, and elsewhere. As of 2014 his most recent projects have been creating the soundtrack for the film Radio Unnameable(distributed by Kino Lorber), illustrating Jaimee Garbacik’s academic book Gender and Sexuality For Beginners,writing/drawing a 9-page comic book biography of Woody Guthrie for the Paul Buhle-edited book Bohemians, writing/illustrating/publishing three installments of Sonnet Youth (an attempt to rewrite the discography of Sonic Youth in sonnet form), and finally publishing Fuff #9.

Jeffrey’s side-project band with Peter (Holy Modal Rounders) Stampfel released their second album “Hey Hey it’s… The Jeffrey Lewis & Peter Stampfel Band” in May 2013.

• Panel Borders: The Worldwide Comix of Jeffrey Lewis is repeated 11.00am Thursday 24th April 2014 on Resonance 104.4 FM / streamed at www.resonancefm.com / podcast at www.panelborders.wordpress.com

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



Categories: Audio, Creating Comics, downthetubes News, US Comics

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