Lillie Craw: Forming is so pretty — in particular, I love all the pinks. It’s a comic that’s pretty gnar at times, so why so much pink?
Jesse Moynihan: Pink is a color that doesn’t come up so much in casual experience. When you see something with heavy pink saturation, it feels like it really pops. Whenever I see bright pinks I usually stop to notice it. So to me, when choosing colors, I use pink when I want to viewer to really pause and get a feel for the power of what I’m trying to convey. To me, pink equals vitality and a power that is higher than the mundane.
LC: There’s been a lot of interest in pink lately — the Boston Museum of Fine Arts just closed an exhibit on pink attire (which included a reproduction of the Ralph Lauren suit worn by Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby), and GQ just ran an article about pink attire featuring a picture of Drake in a pink dress shirt. Where does Forming fit into the public’s love affair with pink?
JM: Lots of times these things move in waves. Maybe we’re all tapping into the same inspiration. I feel like that’s a likely answer. Pink is like a laser beam to your eyes. It’s a weapon you should use to slay your audience.
LC: Talk a little about the (anti)hero Nommo.
JM: Nommo is based on a lot of self-doubting, lazy artists I know, and have empathy for.
LC: Nommo gets pinker as Forming progresses. Is this in a “real men wear pink” way or a Victoria’s Secret “Think PINK” way?
JM: Nommo gets pinker because I started using a different brand of paint at some point. The original pink I was using re-activated if I got water on it. That was bad for archiving my pages. So I switched to this other paint and I couldn’t quite match the original. I figured nobody would care, but look, I was wrong!
I don’t know if real men wear pink, but I wear a pink fanny pack every day and sometimes I get shit for it. “Why are you wearing a pink bag?” Uh, because pink is cool. Get with it losers.
LC: It’s not just Nommo or other characters like members of the Operation Heavenly Sword away team that are pink — the landscape itself is pink at times. There’s pink lightning and a pink sea toward the end of your most recent installments of Forming. Is this like Homer’s wine-dark sea (http://www.laphamsquarterly.org/essays/a-winelike-sea.php?page=all)? Is pink in the worlds of Forming some other color in our world?
JC: When I was about to paint that lightning, I reached for blue paint, but I thought to myself, “How boring! Everyone uses blue to paint lightning. If I use blue, the lightning will have no meaning. No one will remember this moment if the lighting is stupid blue and white in the center. If I make that shit pink, people will remember this page.” I will always go for non-representational colors if I feel like it will have more impact, or enhance the meaning.
I’m trying to slowly strip away literal representations of color. When you paint grass, you immediately think, “Grass is green. Break out the green,” and I still do that a lot. But I’m trying to get away from that. I’m trying to give my colors more power to help the story.
LC: Ein Sof is kabbalistic Judaism’s infinite God. Do you think Forming’s Ain Soph would prefer pink string bracelets to red ones?
JC:I don’t think Ain Soph has any preferences. It exists outside of the characteristic of making choices. That’s my understanding anyway.
TONIGHT at Gridlords #24, Jesse Moynihan will present a special musical powerpoint performance that will take guests into the world of FORMING.
9:30 at the Hollywood Theatre!