Monday, January 28, 2013

Tim Molloy - Radio As Paper Article 2010

The following article featured in NZ anthology Radio As Paper #4 published early 2010. 

Tim Molloy

Late 2009, Tim Molloy's work was one of the last feature exhibitions at Gallery 696 in Melbourne, Australia. The well attended exhibition was also a launch party for Molloy's most recent comic, Saturn Returns. A combination of Comic Art, Paintings, Sculpture and Installations, the exhibition was planned a full year in advance and the work on display was filled with meticulous detail.

Reading from an early age, Molloy had Tintin and Asterix amongst his intake and started creating his own comics before adolescence. Picking up on superhero comics a bit later Molloy was also turned onto 2000AD back when it was affordable for kids and had a creative cast of today's comic superstars. Various friends introduced Molloy to alternative comics like Milk and Cheese and he also became aware of New Zealand comics in his teens such as Andy Conlan's Strumming Teeth and the work of Willie Saunders.

Andy Conlan's Strumming Teeth

A formative comic experience of Molloy's was when Auckland legend and housemate, James James, dragged him aside at a party and threw a blanket over them for an impromptu comic creating lesson. "Look at this shit man! There's a light source! make those lines darker!" Friend Ben Stenbeck has also been a source of advice and inspiration over the years.

One of the first publishing efforts Molloy contributed to was Poot, in collaboration with a couple friends. Set out on A4 folded into quarters, Poot was distributed around Auckland with a last issue print run of 500 copies. Later Molloy contributed cartoons such as Ninja Sheep and Drunken Otter and Satan and to the Auckland Uni mag, Craccuum, and self-published many comics in the ensuing years.


In his late teens Molloy tried Magic Mushrooms and these had an effect upon his consciousness that led to him discarding what he had been doing previously and to develop a new direction with his work. Symbolism and esoteric elements  became more prevalent. Saturn Returns like much of Molloy's recent work features dialogue rendered in an alien symbolic language coupled with surreal imagery which are all earmarks of a style, distinctly Molloy's.

Molloy's recent exhibition showcased his work in a few different mediums, included detailed maquettes of characters from his comic work. Utilising architects moulding clay he created fully painted detailed renditions of his 2d work.  Molloy uses Stabiler Artline pens and the Artline 210 medium 0.6 by Shachihata is a staple of his work, providing a great variance of line widths for a relatively cheap pen. For very fine detail he switches to .1 and .005 pens. All his line work he manipulates in  Photoshop and Illustrator. Molloy confesses the editing functions available to him via computers allow him to obsess over every corner and detail which he feels can be detrimental to getting things completed. "The knowledge that the average reader will only glance at pages is no comfort when you want to make your work as good as it can be."

Like many cartoonist's Molloy drew early inspiration from Moebius but also took a step back from the french master to avoid becoming too submerged in his style. Influences come from a wide range particularly outside of the comics field with an appreciation for the work of Bosch and Brugel and literary influences such as Stephen King (The Dark Tower series) and Henry Miller. Dreams and Synchronicity also provide influence.

Mr Unpronounceable

A full colour book of Mr Unpronounceable adventures has been completed and was planned for 2009 but unfortunately the publisher involved came askew due to the worldwide economic crisis. Hopefully this will be rescheduled for 2010. Molloy stated, "The Unpronounceable stuff is kind of a throwback to a slightly more messed up me, it almost felt like at a certain point I was derailing my own life so I could come up with the feeling to be there with Mr Unpronounceable and follow him around. My brother mentioned the new stuff feels more like I'm in charge of the characters and I'm exploring the world with them whereas the Unpronounceable stuff I'm following this guy around and he's leading me into these really dark places."

Tim Molloy Blogspot
Tim Molloy DeviantART

Since interviewing Tim Molloy in 2009, a collection of his comics, It Shines and Shakes and Laughs, was published by Milk Shadow Books in 2012, who will be launching a giant tome of Mr Unpronounceable Adventures at the BA3 2013 comic book launch in Melbourne.

Accompanying photos unless marked otherwise were taken during Tim Molloy's Saturn Returns exhibition at Melbourne's Gallery 696.
All artwork © 2013 Tim Molloy

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