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William Wray is a trip. Let me say that up front. He is a former comic book artist, former animator, former cartoonist, and present-day fine artist; but turns out his real superpower is that of storyteller. And his stories will trip you out.
If his name sounds familiar, it's because Wray went by 'Bill Wray' back in his commercial art days. As Bill, he worked for animation houses like Spumco and Filmation, drew comics for companies like Marvel and Dark Horse, and was the one-man creative force behind Monroe, a strip he did for MAD magazine. Monroe ran in over 100 issues of MAD before a frustrated BIll finally hit the ejector button.
During our conversation, Wray dropped a few names, but not at all in the douchey way. When one has had as varied a career path as him, one is bound to have run into everybody: Dave Stevens, Doug Wildey, Howard Chaykin, John Kricfaluci, Roy Thomas, Al Williamson, Tony Dezuniga, Alfredo Alcala, Jack Kirby, Ashley Wood, etc. Exhausting, right?
We jumped on board the Bill Train and held on for dear life as he regaled us with tales that will literally curl your hair. And he also shared some insights into his life now as a fine artist; a pursuit he finds richly satisfying, but replete with its own unique challenges.
Oh, and do pick up a copy of Wray's new art book from Brandstudio Press called Monolith. It's his second book with Brandstudio and looks to be 48 pages of full-color, full-bleed, urban landscape awesomeness.
Thanks for checking out the interview. We had a lot of fun. William Wray was a hoot.
And a trip.
Below are a few of Wray's fine art pieces. Love 'em!