Wednesday, 20 October 2010

One Question Interview #12: J.T. Yost


Here at ATF, we dig J.T. Yost; that's just a fact. From his acclaimed Xeric-winning mini anthology Old Man Winter and Other Stories, to his half-real half-imagined tales of urban woe, Loosers Weepers, and everything in between (dream journals featuring adventures with Snoop Dogg & Dick Cheney; need we tell you how great they are?), we can't get enough of his work.

Fans of his comics as we may be, today is not the time to talk about them; oh no. Today is the time to talk about his extraordinarily bizarre side-project Peculiar Pet Portraits. Rather that introduce the concept with our boring old words, we thought the above picture would do a much better job of illustrating the concept. That, and of course a selection of much more exciting words from the man himself:

Oh my god, we've just found your Peculiar Pet Portraits website. We demand to know everything about this activity!

"Okay then!

Pet portraits were a natural outgrowth of my admiration/worship of critters. I can confidently state that there is almost nothing funnier than animals wearing suits. I've known this since sixth grade, when a friend and I would use every homeroom period to draw various beasties donning their Sunday best.

Fast forward to the year 2000. I was wracking my brain for a suitable gift for my non-linear dynamic physicist slash banjo playing buddy. On a whim I painted one of his cats, Galois, wearing overalls and strummin' on an old banjo. To tell you the truth, I don't even remember if he liked it or not, but I had fun painting it. And so, I continued to do so for other friends.

Eventually, in an attempt to afford salsa to go with my rice and beans, I started selling these peculiar pet portraits. Some potential customers couldn't handle the raw undiluted hilarity of pet personification, so I also began offering traditional oil portraits and hand-carved block prints.

The rest, as they say, is hiss-tory (couldn't resist)."

Meoaw-oving stuff. As usual, we'd like to take the opportunity to thank J.T. for virtually stopping by; it's our honour! Be sure to come back soon for a more in-depth look at his work. If you're impatient, or even if you aren't, you're advised to head on over to the Birdcage Bottom Books website to order up his fantastic comics. More to the point, you can commission your very own peculiar pet portrait via Yost's Primarily Pet Portraits today!  "Meoaw-oving"? Outpun that, Yost!

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