Monday, 7 December 2009

Jeffrey's comic influences

In an interview between Jeffrey and Logan Kaufman on the adventures underground website i learnt a lot of new things about Jeffrey, one of the biggest things i found, that i hadn't been able to find a lot of before was what influenced Jeff early on to write comics.

Jeffrey Lewis said this "Rom #7 is sort of the first comic I recall having real significance to me; for some reason Rom grabbed me a lot more than Superman or the Hulk or the usual popular stuff. I got Rom comics whenever I could. When I was a little bit older my babysitter Laurie got me into the black and white Elfquest comic magazine, so I was kind of into independant "underground" comics almost right from the beginning, and through picking up stuff at garage sales I also got into the English translations of Tintin comics from Belgium. So even from a pretty young age, I had a wider view of the comics world than if I was just into the mainstream superhero stuff, not that I didn't love that as well. And we never had a TV in the house the whole time I was growing up, so reading books and comics was my main form of entertainment."

Here is the link to the page

Friday, 4 December 2009

Reply Jeffrey Lewis

This is the amazing reply Jeffrey sent us.


1) -The outline of your career development and how they moved towards combining two or more disciplines, for example how your music and lo fi videos come together to enhance your work?

I was always into drawing and making comic books, since I was a little kid, and when I started making songs and playing at open mics I was much older, like around 21 or 22.  Playing music was a good way to make people aware of the comic books I was selling, and in 1998 and 1999 or so when I started playing shows and drawing fliers to advertise the shows I would make these very elaborate tiny comic books that were the show fliers and I felt like the shows were advertising the fliers rather than the fliers advertising the shows. For the first few years the shows were a lot more experimental in the sense that I was always trying things that didn't necessarily work, and I played a lot of bad shows partially due to lack of rehearsal because there were always new things to try without having tried them before, like stuff with reciting movies on top of music (I had Evil Dead 2 memorized), or trying to play along with 4 tape players as back-up, and I was always playing with different friends and musicians and instruments at each show before it became a more stable "band" of guitar/bass/drums so it was usually haphazard and a mess.  One of the things I tried at a show was presenting one of the songs in illustrated form, and this was my first "lo-budget video" in 2001, and it worked so well that I just kept making them and it became a regular feature of my shows even when the shows became a little more normal.  That's one problem of being a band on tour, you can't be as experimental because you are the same three people rather than a changing line-up for every show, but on the other hand it makes you a much better artist to have all of that practice of playing every night for weeks rather than just a number of scattered shows per year. 

2) -To what technical and aesthetic effect have you combined disciplines in one piece of work or series of works? 

A lot of the songs that became my most popular illustrated songs were not very popular in normal song form, like Champion Jim or the story of the Red Hand or the Creeping Brain, they were songs that I might have performed once or twice and then abandoned.  But because I decided to try to illustrate them, they really came alive in a new way and work much better with drawings than without.  

3) -To what extent can your work be considered Postmodern?

I don't know, I'm not an expert in Postmodernism but would it be correct to say that something Postmodern freely incorporates disparate influences? If that's the case then there's definitely something Postmodern about the combination of things that go into my musical and artistic projects, I always feel like I'm not particularly good at any one thing but somehow the fact that I out everything that I love into what I do makes it a good thing.  For example, I'm not the world's best folk song writer, nor the world's best singer, nor the world's best garage punk rock guitar player, nor the world's best comic book artist, nor the world's biggest expert on the history of Communism.  But the fact that at one of my shows there will be all of these elements coming into play in one form or another ends up making my band a better band (at least in my mind) than a band who is perhaps much better at one of those things than I am, and just does that one thing.  

4 )-How do you feel your Audience influence your shows and how you create songs and comics?

It's harder to create when you have too much awareness of the fact that there's going to be an audience for what you're doing, I think a lot of my early songs couldn't have been written if I had had the thought that I'd be performing them in front of a lot of people, they are too embarrassing for various reasons - though I think they are good songs, they are just more private.  Not just the lyrics, but the performance of them, if you listen to the first couple albums, you can tell a lot of the material is just from one guy alone in a room, which of course is something I like a lot in some of my favorite albums but it's not something that combines very well with being a live performer and going on tour and all of that stuff.  I've noticed that a lot of my stuff in the past few years is a lot more outgoing, less self-centered, less whispery, more of an attempt to converse or interact, maybe like the difference between writing in a diary and writing a letter to someone.

5) Also, we were wondering why you changed your comic book series from Fuff to Guff then back to Fuff?

It started as Guff, and I published three issues as Guff, then someone told me there was already a comic book with that title so I just changed it to Fuff starting with issue four.   And then when I started reprinting the first three issues I reprinted them as Fuff.  So, somewhere out there in the world there's a few thousand old copies of the first three issues under the name Guff, but every new issue and every reprinting of the first issues is Fuff.


Emailing jeffrey lewis

myself and another student in my class, Matt who is also researching Jeffrey Lewis decided to email him, this is what we sent.

Dear Mr Lewis.

My name is Matthew Hornby,
Me and my partner, Sam Chappell-Winnington, we have chosen to do a research project on you for our course work in Creative Media Diploma at Long Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge, England.
We were wondering if you would be able to spare a few minutes to answer some of our questions which will hopefully give our final essay a boost in marks and a personal touch.
If this ok, here is a few vital questions which will help us and our project in learning about you and your career.
Our working title is 'What can the work of Jeffrey Lewis tell us about Creativity?'

-The outline of your career development and how they moved towards combining two or more disciplines, for example how your music and lo fi videos come together to enhance your work?

-To what technical and aesthetic effect have you combined disciplines in one piece of work

or series of works? 

-To what extent can your work be considered Postmodern?

-How do you feel your Audience influence your shows and how you create songs and comics?

If this is not too much hassle it would be very much appreciated and would help us out a great deal.

Also, we were wondering why you changed your comic book series from Fuff to Guff then back to Fuff?

Yours Sincerely,
Matt and Sam

Friday, 30 October 2009

Jeffreys Comics

Lewis' Art plays a big part in his music, illustrating his point and helping make things more interesting. But not only is it a part of his music, it's a whole different area to Jeffreys work. with 7 issues of his 'Fuff' comic (formally known as 'Guff') and many more comics make him highly popular in the comic world.

#3 Jeffreys live music

obviously very closely linked with his recordings, Jeffrey Lewis performs alot of live shows across mainly USA, the UK and europe. Jeffreys shows aren't like any normal live show, some people say it's music performed by a funny guy, some say hes a comedian that does his stand up with music. However the only way his shows have been set into a genre is by calling it Anti folk. When he performs on stage Jeffrey encorparates his music, his comic book art and his comedy into one multi sensual experience.

here is an example of his live shows, a video clip from youtube. Creeping brain by Jeffrey lewis

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Jeffrey's music

I started on and wanted to find out how much music he has made so i clicked the discography link, this gave me a comprihensive list of all his recorded songs, how they were recorded, who played/wrote them and when they were recorded. The list consisted of 26 'Albums' although some were re-recordings etc.

Jeffrey Lewis' work

I decided that because Jeffrey Lewis has such a broad portfolio it was most sensible to record my research of him in sections. Im going to make the most of Bloggers tagging option by tagging my posts as either Music, Art or Video and sometimes more than one tag if it applies to different areas. I began my research with his music. 

#1 Jeffreys website

SOURCE: i decided to start my research by finding Jeffrey Lewis' own website.

HOW AND WHERE FOUND: i found it by searching Jeffrey Lewis in Google this is his website:

SUMMARY OF INFORMATION: The website shows you pretty much everything Jeffrey has done in organised links etc whilst the site it self is styled by Jeffrey as well.

REFLECTION: I Found the website very informative and gave me a very good insight to all of his work and will make it much easier to research further as i can refrence it and show me what i need to be looking for.

There is so much information and all of it is on Jeffrey, that i didn't see the need to write much of it here.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Jeffery Lewis

This is where i am choosing to record the research i do on Jeffery lewis. as of yet i havn't researched him as such but i have a basic knowlege of him and his work. I know that he crosses over into the three main creative establishments. Those being art, music and videos. Jeffery is also known to be a big part of Anti Folk.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009



When and where found

How found

Summary of information