This week on campus in the Art Department at Marywood University, we had the privilege to hear a talk by graphic novelist, Tim Lane. Not only does he illustrate and write graphic novels and comics, but he also writes music to go with some of his work. Not to mention, he jumped freight trains!
Tim started by showing slides of his major influences. He included visual artists as well as musicians and actors. One major inspiration for his work is old comics like “The Spirit.” From there, Tim showed us pages from his sketchbook he took with him after graduating. He took on different jobs that did not put him in the spotlight. These jobs gave him the opportunity to study the “characters” around him. During this time he met a great deal of people, some who would inspire characters in his later work. Not only did he create sketches, but he also wrote many notes. Tim said the time he spent traveling was like grad school for him; he learned a great deal during this time (such as, if you are ever hitchhiking in the desert, don’t walk ahead; wait for someone to pass by).
The Lonesome Go
We also had the opportunity to view some of Tim’s recent works such as “Happy Hour in America” and “The Lonesome Go,” in which Tim explores the “great American mythological drama.” It is a collection of stories linked together by the idea of wandering. In it, Tim explores ghostly landscapes, such as an amusement park that has been abandoned, and brings you along freight train hopping.
Tim finished his his presentation by sharing the character of Jackie No-Name and the song he wrote about him. Tim asked other musicians to cover the song as well, and, although the share the same words, each sounded different and unique.
From illustrator to storyteller to musician, Tim Lane is a man of many talents. It was amazing to hear him speak and share his experiences with us!
For more of Tim’s work you can visit his website. (Which you should because the design is fantastic!)
All images from www.jackienoname.com