I'm so happy to finally feature the man behind the new Geeks A Gogo logo, Robert Jennex. Robert and I worked together with the concept behind the logo, and I absolutely loved working with him.
As an artist, he was great at hearing my requirements and getting me the result that I wanted. I picked Robert from a group of artists because I love his work! There is just something "uniquely geeky" about his drawings, and I was drawn to a lot of his artwork in his portfolio. Here are some samples of his work:
M: Tell us a bit about yourself, Rob!
R: Well I live on the right side of Canada, at the east end of Canada's only road the Trans-Canada highway. In a little island town called New Waterford. I've been here the majority of my life, though lived some years away as well.
I was that weird drawing guy in school, I'm sure every school has a few. I've been drawing most of my life and managed to get some low level jobs at some animation production companies around here, mostly paint by numbers background stuff and a fun compositor gig. It paid the bills but there wasn't much creative freedom there. Eventually those jobs dried up and it was off to the factories and call centres for me. I used the down time at my jobs and my strong dislike for working there as motivation to really learn how to draw. Lots of practice and reading. Andrew Loomis is your friend. I eventually got hired as an in-house illustrator for a developer here and that was the start of me drawing for human monies.
M: What are your most notable projects?
R: I was the character colorer/painter for a cartoon called Toad Patrol for a short while. It was a low level job a monkey could do, and none of my friends ever heard of it so I had no bragging rights, but I thought those Toads were cute.
M: Which one is your most memorable project?
R: My first job about 15 years ago, I was hired for a short time as an animator for a 3D Halloween special. I have no idea why, I had no animation training and didn't know what I was doing. It was a weird experience but I had fun. So fake it till you make it, I guess.
Robert is currently working with Daniel Brodie on a Kickstarter campaign for Morgan's Organs (#1) - A Comic Book Inside Our Insides. The comic book is aptly descibed as "Disney's Inside Out for Adults". Morgans Organs is,
"... a new comedy comic book series set inside our insides. The premise is simple: what if there are micro-beings living within us who are what really keep us alive? They influence our thoughts. Our actions. Our urges. And they only care for what they want.". - http://morgansorgans.com/
They launched the project on February 1, 2016 and was already funded fully after 10 days from the launch date!
Why plug the kickstarter when it's already funded, you ask? Well, first, it's a really funny and awesome comic series, and second, if they reach $5,500 before March 3rd they will be giving more perks to people who help fund the project. The funding is cleverly tiered into themes inspired by the book- Molecle, Tissue, Organ and Ecosystem, to name a few.
Here's the kickstarter video for the project:
Monica: What was your inspiration for building the characters of Morgan's Organs?
Robert: Other then the great direction provided by the writer Daniel, I'd say my years of watching cartoons finally paid off. So for the style of this comic, inspiration came more from animated stuff then it did comics. The old Looney toons, late 80s to mid 90s tv Disney, John Kricfalusi's stuff and the folks his style inspired and newer stuff like Steven Universe and Adventure time all really pulled and shaped my mush brain.
M: What was the most challenging part about drawing the characters?
R: Coming up with a diverse and hopefully appealing cast of characters from what amounts to a bunch of pink blobs was a bit tricky, and anthropomorphizing the more oddly shaped organs was annoying. Those lungs, arrghh!
I tried to up the cute factor with Pepe the male organ, to offset the creepiness that comes with being a sentient penis. I hope that worked. I don't think that character could get away with as much if he had the face of Steve Buscemi. Not saying Steve Buscemi isn't cute in his own way though.
M: Which one is your favorite character?
R: Hmm, hard to choose. I guess that would have to be either Andy the appendix or Liv the Liver. One spends most of his time reading and the other drinking. So two characters after my own heart. I also really like their bulbous noses for some reason. I'm a simple man.
Although drawing Pepe the penis is the most fun. He's so goofy looking and the idea that I'm making money drawing a cartoon wiener is really amusing to me.
M: Tell us about working with Daniel.
R: Even though we're working at least 2000km apart the whole experience has been pretty smooth and positive. There is open communication here and his writing and direction are really clear and precise. But with enough wiggle room for me to play around in. The fact that Daniel is really organized and polite really helps to balance out my rude and disorganized style too. He probably wants to drop kick me, but can't, because he is too far away.
You can track the progress of Morgan's organs in the link below:
Catch more of Robert's work on the following websites: