The road to our conversation with the uber-talented James Jean was indeed a long one, but it was worth the wait. We contacted him some time ago through his site, http://jamesjean.com/, and got a polite response back that while he was interested in chatting, he was simply too busy. However...he would be in Atlanta in February visiting the Savannah College of Art and Design, and maybe we could do some podcasting then. Sounded like a plan!
We stayed on top of it for a couple of months, got his cell number before he left Cali (Thanks, Gary) and showed up Thursday night for the start of SCAD-Atlanta's Comics & Illustration Forum. That evening, James and artists Yuko Shimizu, Andrew Robinson and Eric Canete sat in the round with about 150 people and shared their stories and professional insights. Dwight and I had a great time and afterwards, much schmoozing was had.
The next day at noon, we met up with the man at SCAD and had a wonderful talk about his career and background, his time as a student at SVA, Fables and of course, art. We also touched on his participation in the West coast art event, Baby Tattooville and his upcoming 2009 gallery show in NYC.
And yes, James does love art. And art history. And jazz. And pizza too (he eventually got sustenance from Rick Lovell, one of the event's organizers).
The interview ran just under an hour and we couldn't have been happier with the outcome. Many thanks to SCAD for bringing these amazing artists to our city—it was terrific meeting them all. And a special shout of thanks to the "fairly reclusive Mr. Jean" for squeezing us into his hectic schedule—it was like that.
**This episode of the show features a snippet of CocoRosie's Rainbowarrior in honor of life in the Brew.