Fri, 31 December 2010
There's a saying in music that goes like this. Sometimes a singer or band will record their very first album and it's so good, so fully formed, that it sounds like they spent their whole lives writing it.
One of our buddies, artist Leland Purvis, (Vóx, Resistance: Book One) got his hands on a copy earlier this year and said it best. "Rodd Racer is like Toby throwing down the gauntlet to other artists in this business saying show me what you can do". That's not a direct quote, but you get his point.
This gasoline-fueled tour de force is set in a fictitious past where zepplins fill the night skies and a deadly race called Thunder Alley is the city's main event. Below is Toby's own description of his noirish tale:
"He keeps his past to himself, but Rodd's always been running from something."
I became a hardcore fan of Cypress' after seeing some of his older stuff that another buddy, Rico Renzi, (The Perhapanauts, Loose Ends) had colored. I was all like, "Who's that?!"
"Have I seen his work before?"
"If you haven't, then you need to."
After that, it was Killing Girl for me, Batman/Nightwing, The Tourist and a few other goodies.
Toby doesn't do an awful lot of mainstream work. He confesses to a deep love of independent comics. And that makes sense—he likes to do his thing.
His style, while grounded in classic art influences like Alex Toth and Noel Sickles, is also shaped by other things like old b&w movies, cartoons and his own eclectic taste in music.
And just like the name of his publishing company, PUNKROCK*JAZZ, he comes off like this weird and wonderful amalgam of all that stuff.
With so many folks out there talking about doing their own projects, it's nice seeing Toby Cypress finally make Rodd Racer happen. And then some!