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MITCH
O'CONNELL

Since I don't really know a thing about comics, I typically just walk into a comic store and look for a cover that appeals to me. No Super-heroes, No Elves, no Furry half rabbit half super model. Yes! a green woman in a bikini with hot pink hair and lots of tattoos!
This is how I initially came to know the art of Mitch O'Connell, and I ever since them I have been a Mitch-o-phile. Every time I 'd see his art on a cover of some mag. I would would say a small prayer that there was more inside. But no dice. It usually turned out to be a great comic anyway. But I was looking for more scantily clad women surrounded by Chee-Whiz and Spam. Luckily I found Mitch's self published book Good Taste Gone Bad- because that's exactly what I found! Tons of great stuff, and even a couple comics. Even one with Betty Page. And it's not one of those books that you finish with, and put up on a bookshelf to die. I promise you will keep finding a new twisted image to remind you of how warped you childhood was.

Anyway I was so inspired, I asked Mitch O'Connell a few questions by way of mail...July of 95...

Your covers for Deadline USA, Madman, Johnny Dynamite, etc...are great! Do you have any covers in the works?

First of all- I'm amazed that you saw all those covers- my work is so scattershot not many people see much of it. The only cover I'm working on is a wraparound for the second issue of Tor Love Betty. When people ask, I'm usually happy to do 'em. Oh- and you missed a recent one- the Cover to Married with Children # 1.

Do you read comics yourself?

The comics I've read recently are CUD, Hate, Eightball, Palooka-ville, and Madman -but my favorite comics are the goofy pre-code horror comics and wacky DC comics like Jimmy Olsen from the early 60's.

What projects are you working on?

Right now I have four back covers for Kellogs Cereal Boxes about to hit store shelfs, some illos for Seventeen, a double page spread for Hustler, a full page for the next issue of Playboy, some clip-art, article illos for Tease Magazine, on and on and on... as soon as I finish one I have 10 more to do. I'm quite happy I'm busy since we're having a baby this July.
(They had a little boy, and now a little girl too!).

Do you collect anything?

I collect a ton of junk. The oddball, kitsch and sexist in anything from big busted figurines to tasteless gag gifts. I have stacks of old mens magazines, comics, and postcards. Among the items in my studio are full size medical school model bodies with removeable organs, many religious statues and paintings along with even more big eyed kid and animal statues and paintings. I love all this wacky Americana and try to work much of it into my art.

What artists do you admire?

J.C. Leyendecker, Alex Toth, David Sandlin, Ron Murphy, Roy Lichtenstein, Dali, Ernie Bushmiller, Hank Ketchem, Charles Harper, ... I cold keep on writing for an hour, but that would cut down on my T.V. time.

Are the only artist in your family?

YUP

If you weren't an artist what do you think you would be doing?

Male Model

What would your dream job be?

Getting paid tons to crank out my goofball images so I wouldn't have to do a lot of bland advertising art. But I have no complaints about how things are going now- it's a great way to make a living.

For more on Mitch, as well as ordering info on His new book Pwease Wuv Me:

Please visit his swell web site at mitchoconnell.com

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Big Eyes!
BESMIRCHED