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CREATOR PROFILE:

KEVIN HUIZENGA

Biography:

“My comics are mostly about the suburbs and the midwest… I grew up in a small town. It was a suburb of Chicago, but it was kind of its own little village. Chicago expanded out to meet it. The community always had a small-town feel… I guess growing up there, this really had a big effect on me. And over time I saw that town overtaken by sprawl, and become another exit off the highway in the miles and miles of sprawl, with a McDonald’s and with a bunch of car dealerships, and all the same stores every other town has. That’s the world I grew up and lived in. That’s a story of the landscape of America that interests me.”
Kevin Huizenga

Kevin Huizenga (1977- ) grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. He began drawing comics in high school, xeroxing the first one (with friends) at the neighborhood Jewel Osco in 1993. Since that time he has self-published many comic books. In 2001 The Comics Journal named him ‘Minimalism Cartoonist of the Year’ and called #14 of his Supermonster mini-comic series “one of the best comics of any kind released in 2001.” He started the online shop for mini-comics, USS Catastrophe, which is now run by Dan Zettwoch. His work has appeared in his Or Else and Ganges series, as well as a number book collections. He lives with his wife, Katie, in St. Louis.

Essential Reading:


Curses
Drawn & Quarterly, 2006

In a collection of short stories Kevin Huizenga fuses the most banal aspects of modern culture with its most looming questions. Huizenga’s central character is Glenn Ganges, a seemingly middle class man living in the suburbs whose blank-eyed wonderment at everyday experiences brings together such diverse aspects of our world as golf, theology, late-night diners, parenthood, politics, Sudanese refugees and hallucinatory vision, into a complete experience as multifaceted as our own lives. Curses collects Huizenga’s work from Kramer’s Ergot and The Drawn & Quarterly Showcase, his award-winning and nominated comic book series Or Else and Time Magazine.



The Wild Kingdom
Drawn & Quarterly, 2010

In The Wild Kingdom, Glenn Ganges blindly interacts with the nature of his suburban neighborhood: dead house plants; a recipe for grey squirrel brain; and pigeons eating discarded french fries in the parking lot of a fast food joint. Huizenga juxtaposes Glenn’s ignorance of his surroundings with television commercials highlighting society’s needs for cure-all pharmaceuticals and ‘hot new things’ like teeth whiteners. Starting off wordless, Wild Kingdom grows more complex page-by-page, ending with encyclopedic entries, biographical excerpts, anthropologic flow charts and a cataclysmic encounter of nature and technology.



A Brief Introduction: How To Start Thinking
About Learning To Draw Comics

The Center For Cartoon Sudies, 2006

The Center For Cartoon Sudies located in White River Junction, Vermont, USA, offers a college-level education to budding cartoonists through intensive one and two year courses of study. Students become proficiaent in several areas including illustration, design, computer applications and writing. With an emphasis on self-publishing, CCS students not only make books but explore ways of marketing and distributiong their work as well. The CCS has become a unique community of young cartoonists who challenge one another to make great comics. Enrolling at CCS means embarking on a course that puts cartooning at the center of your life. Is cartooning the right career for you? In a free downloadable pamphlet, Kevin Huizenga provides a brief introduction about how to start to think about learning to draw comics.

 

Bibliography:

Books:
The Wild Kingdom (2010)
Curses (2006)

Comics:
Fight Or Run: Shadow Of The Chopper (2008)
How To Start Thinking About Learning To Draw Comics (2006)
Ganges #1-3 (2006-2009)
Or Else #1-5 (2004-2008)

Short Stories:
The Call Of Vegulu in The Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror #15 (2009)
Balloon in Kramers Ergot Vol 7 (2008)
Jeepers Jacobs in Kramers Ergot Vol 5 (2005)
Glenn Ganges in Drawn & Quarterly Showcase Vol 1 (2003)
Green Tea in Orchid Vol 1 (2002)

Mini-Comics:
Back-Up That Fact (2010)
Fact Parader (2009)
The Factoids Of Life (2008)
New Construction #1-2 (2007-2008)
Sermons #1-2 (2003-2006)
Supermonster #1-14 (1993-2001)

Interviews:
The Comics Journal # 259, 300

Links:

Official Sites:
Blog: The Balloonist
What Things Do
New Construction

Online Comics:
CCS: How To Start Thinking About Learning To Draw Comics
Amazing Facts… & Beyond
Fight Or Run

Publishers:
USS Catastrophe
Buenaventura Press
Drawn & Quarterly
Fantagraphics Books
Sparkplug Comics