Review: Jonny Negron Selected Works 2012-2013
Hey there folks, this is Benjamin Anthony, aka, myfakehead and this is the first review I’m doing for Graphic Policy and it’s about, well it’s sorta not a comic, but also sorta a comic. It’s this new collection of art from Jonny Negron, and there’s no words with any of the images, aside from a few magazines, pop bottles and dvd cases that help flesh out the scenes. Nor is it some sort of artsy wordless comic story like Frank or something. Though just saying that I find myself curious to see a Jonny Negron interpretation of the white gloved terror that is Jim Woodring’s bucktoothed monstrosity, but I’m getting off track. I’ll start again, hold on…
Hey folks, do you like hyper-sexual, curvy pin-up models? What about Street Fighter? Did you play a lot of Street Fighter when you were younger? Do you still play it? Wait, maybe that’s not right either…
Okay, listen, there is no right way to do this. Jonny Negron Selected Works 2012-2013 is an art book, it’s filled with pin-up models drawn by Jonny Negron, but, there is a lot more going on here than just sexy looking ladies and gents piled around on beds and bicycles and jungles. All that stuff is going on of course, but, it feels like we’re voyeurs, like when I bought that high powered telescope and told my parents I was really interested in trying to find the Sea of Tranquility and get a closer look at all those craters and mountains on the moon. When of course actually it was aimed at the street behind ours and the bedroom of that girl from fifth period and her foxy round bottom. But it turns out all she did in her room was look at magazines and eat chocolate bars and sometimes drink cocoa out of a spider-man mug. Except that one time…..
Make no mistake folks, there’s for sure a bunch of naked bodies, but if you read pin-up and don’t understand that, well, I’m not gonna be the one to explain all that for you. But at the same time Jonny isn’t just drawing naked ladies, it’s more like he’s letting us look in on private lives and moments of these characters, there’s so much going on in each picture, not lots of movement, more reflection and consideration. One page has a girl sitting, maybe hiding, in a patch of grass or ferns or something in the moonlight and I can’t help wondering what is going on? Why is she there? Why does her face look so pained? Another has a man being smothered by the enormous breasts of the woman draping herself over him.
Jonny doesn’t shy away from sex at all, it seems he’s asking us questions, making us consider something else that is going on right under the surface or behind the walls, and he’s not afraid if sometimes the answers we find to his questions are disturbing, or make us feel guilty for slipping a few more quarters into the Street Fighter 2 cabinet. I guess I keep referencing the classic Capcom game because stylistically it feels so similar to Jonny’s work.
You don’t need me to tell you how much anime and manga have influenced artwork all over the world, but where often times the inherent sexual nature of much anime is toned down or edited out, we see here the full untamed effect. If you love art books and surreal scantily clad beauties you can’t go wrong picking up some work by Jonny Negron and this feels like a great start for new explorers in his world as well as already conscious collectors.
Floating World Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
MYFAKEHEAD is the online version of Benjamin Anthony, a former chef, janitor, lunatic, prisoner, cultist, clerk, tow motor operator (smooth) and is currently an artist and writer. He is also morally and legally responsible for Super Awesome Comics. You can find him online at myfakehead.com and all your favorite social media internets.