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Thursday, December 30, 2010


The great reveler.

This is an image from a book about the Olympian gods I am working on. It is very close to being complete. I will post more when they are scanned in.

For now, enjoy the great reveler.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Hold onto your seats!

The staff and I at “Static Fish” just received images from printer-liaison extraordinaire Michael Quinn (thanks Mike) of the new issue. And whoooowheee it looks gooooodddd. The whole shipment is on its way to Brooklyn and they should be available next week.

So, feast your eyes on photos for now and get yourself a copy of this before they are all gone and you are sad.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Black Diamond Express to hell

Below is a new illustration for this week’s New Yorker. The newsstand version is the 06Dec10 issue. You can check it out here as well.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Talent Show

A piece for this week’s New Yorker 22Nov10.

For the Talent Show at PS1, on view from 12Dec10–04Apr11.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fred gets a painful lift

This page is from my upcoming Severed Limbs. This is a scene near the last fourth of the book.

Fred gets an airlift in his hunt for Le Gooch as Potemkin observes from afar.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Jazzy fountain of searing jazziness

I have a new illustration in the current New Yorker (18Oct10). The piece is for a couple of jazz musicians called Apex. This is my first quarter page drawing for the New Yorker, so that is exciting.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Here is the latest installment of the Sunrays Brothers’ quest.

I am not completely satisfied with this one. It has an epic quality I was going for, but I think it tries to do a bit too much, resulting in something irresolute.

It looks good though, and there are some personal formal innovations I will redeploy in the future.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

AUX Volume 2: CD Packaging

If you will recall I designed a poster and promotional material for the AUX Festival in Athens, Ga. in the Spring. Well, in conjunction with the festival the AUX people produced a CD, which I designed. On it you will find the first new track from legendary Athens band Olivia Tremor Control in ten years. You will also find a collection of strange, ethereal, ambient, dreamy, surreal, and delightful music all over, under, and inside this disc.

Each package was lovingly screen printed by David Savino. It was then folded and die-cut by Mark Callahan and the AUX crew.

The limited edition CD will be available on October 19th. You can get your pre-order on here, and also find a track list. The CD is already being hyped by Pitchfork and others so snap it up if you like stuff that is not the same old stuff.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Illustration in the New Yorker

I illustrated an article about a band with a really lame name here:

F**ked Up, hardcore punk from Toronto, review:

To see it in full you will either need to purchase the 13Sep10 New Yorker or have an online subscription. But you can see a tiny little reproduction of a tiny illustration at the link above.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Welcome to Thursday City: Show opening

I am working with the fine folks at Contaminate NYC again to coordinate a show at a slick little hair salon in the West Village. Thanks to Virginia for curating and for writing such a thoughtful press release. Information below:

Curated by Virginia Villari


535 Hudson St., corner Charles St. (West Village), NY, NY 10014

Sept. 15th – Oct. 13th, 2010

OPENING RECEPTION: September 15th, from 6 to 9 PM

Welcome to Thursday City is the solo show dedicated to comic book artist and graphic designer Joshua Ray Stephens. The exhibition is a presentation of Joshua’s imaginary world: the city of Thursday City and its habitants. On display a series of drawings, black ink on paper, which unfold these personages to the viewer, who is thrown into an enigmatic universe, populated by heroic, mystical figures. Men, women, soldiers and philosophers, often hybrid creatures, half man half animal, move within surreal scenarios. In the end, they are modern characters: contradictory, ironic, provocative, always busy talking, speculating, wondering, fighting or doing some mysterious activities.

“I hail from the Deep South where people have the time to tell each other long stories.” Narrative is a crucial aspect of Joshua’s work. Whether within one picture or deployed through several, a meaning always informs his images. This visual writer has always been attracted by heroic narratives as well as by comedy. Comics is the visual medium that perfectly combines the two, as it can simultaneously be epic and silly, fantastic and absurd. Joshua’s influences range from Greek mythology to Japanese mangas, from Dostojevski to Moebius. His aesthetic is gothic and industrial, but always silly and humorous. Welcome to Thursday City shows us the heroism of the ordinary that we all experience every day, and invites us to not take ourselves too seriously.

Joshua Ray Stephens is a designer by training, a cartoonist by vocation, an educator by edict, an artist by accident, and a philosopher by autodidaction. He was born and raised in Georgia. He earned a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Georgia. After undergrad he worked and studied at Fabrica, Benetton’s internationally acclaimed communications research center in Treviso, Italy. He then went to Cranbrook Academy of Art to earn his Master’s degree in 2D Design. He has been initiated into the arcane mysteries through spiritual powers beyond verbal comprehension.

ContestaRockHair® is a brand created in 1996 by a group of hairstylists who shared the passion for fashion. Contesta is characterized by a rock soul that links music and art with the creation of hair styles, fostering innovation and experimentation. Today Contesta Rockhair counts 11 salons in Rome, Florence, New York, Miami and Shangai.

Friday, August 27, 2010

the Blighty

I was in Londontown last week with Mary the Queen of Sottsass. Much of the trip was top secret, but some I can share.

You should visit Nobrow, a shop in Shoreditch, only a few mere blocks from the grave of William Blake in Bunhill Fields. The shop is a beautifully curated little gallery slash comics slash illustration space. Definitely worth a look. It was only a block or so from our hotel, but we found it at a comics fair in a park several miles west. Magical.

Below you will also find a sketch I made during dinner the last night there.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


If you like hindu mythology and/or violence and/or dance and you live in New York go check out the kathakali performance at New York’s Downtown Dance Festival.

The current issue of the New Yorker (Aug 16-23) has an illustration by yours truly in their write up of the kathakali dance.

Pick yourself up a copy or go look at it online here.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The contrarietal stars are uprising tonight

As I posted the other week I went to Cooperstown on the 25th of July to install two shows at the Smithy Gallery. One of my own work and one a group show I curated.

It was a week full of hard work and little sleep, but it came off quite nicely I believe. There were a ton of people at the opening and so far I have heard a lot of positive comments.

Here are some pics of the two shows.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Queens Ledger/Brooklyn Star

The Queens Ledger/Brooklyn Star newspapers printed a write up of me and “the Moth or the Flame” last week. I garnered the front page of the Entertainment section. Below are some pics. And you can go check it out online here.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Uprising and Contrariety

I have a solo show opening next Thursday at the Smithy gallery in Cooperstown, NY. Home of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Simultaneously there will be a group show I am curating.

There will be a lot of really good work on display. If you are in the area between July 29th and August 26th check it out!

Below is the postcard for the shows and also a list of the participating artists in the group show.

Here are the artists in the show, a really great list of eclectic creators:
Jordan Awan
Andrew Coates
Alison Corrie
Arden de Brun
Elliott Earls
Morgan Elliott-Awan
Ed Fella
Ryan Hobbs
Alyssa Kosmer
Kristin Lindner
Ali Madad
L Nichols
Luke Rotzler
Benjamin Santiago
Morgan Sheasby
R Sikoryak
Kenneth Smith
Patrick Smith
Katelyn Snyder
Seth Nicholas Stephens
Benjamin Teague
Chad Verrill
Daniel Wagner

Monday, July 19, 2010

More MonstrAUXity

Here is the packaging design for the AUX CD vol 2. If you will recall I designed the posters for the AUX Festival, an experimental arts and music festival held in Athens Ga., in April.

Well the AUX people also produce a CD anthology in conjunction with the festival. The design is below.

The first you see as it is unfolded with the CD in place. The second is after the CD is lifted.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Divinity at work

The Lord(s) work in mysterious ways.

Which is no excuse to blame the Lord(s).

How can we raise ourselves up to the life of Spirit?

Not claiming to be God,
but neither excusing ourselves as “only human.”
By which we mean “I give up.”

The responsibility is, rather, to attend to Divinity.
To listen, and integrate.

The Lord(s) work in mysterious ways.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Playing house, or what we’ve been doing

This is what Brother Cucumber and I have been doing with Summer.

Playing house.

Now, the Bird has a Home Office.

And our guests have a bedroom.

A Guest Bedroom.

Of sorts.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Some kind of heaven to me

“A book must be an ice-axe to break the seas frozen inside our soul.”—Franz Kafka

“…books, the acute and excruciating acts of concentration by which humans aspire to self-transcendence, to capture forms of understanding more profound and rational and cosmic than they themselves are by nature capable of directly being…”—Kenneth Smith


Friday, June 11, 2010

Populated Desert Island

The release party for Static Fish has now come and gone.
Thanks to all who made it out.
To all who didn’t, you missed free beer and a store full of great books, people,
and gag toys.

Now, we have to get back to work on the next Static Fish and all the other things we all do.

Not to mention World Cup action has finally begun. Hurray!

Here are some pics from the show:

Kris looks on. The books vibrate with power. People commune. And, finally, Anthony makes his first grab with a set of chopsticks! Thumbs up Anthony.

Hunter, Anthony, and Kristin look on, skeptically intrigued, as Ben, blissfully ignorant, eats his cake donut while reading a book.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Reconnoiter for the first time

Last week I drove all alone Upstate.
What a beautiful and amazing place New York is.
Once outside the city that is.
Of course even Manhattan used to be beautiful.
If only the Red Indians had been a bit more cynical,
perhaps this natural wonder would have been allowed to remain.
I cannot help but think of the Red Indian.
He knew the natural paths and rhythms of this land.
The White Man came and destroyed all of that.
And thank the Great Spirit!
For where would we be without our highways, and interstates?
Where would we be without our Wal-Marts, and Targets, and Home Depots?

Here are some pics of places I swam at. And places I stopped at.
And 7444 Gallery where I installed a show.