Shop UO UO Blog

UO Exclusive: Get Free

Planning a summer adventure? We have the perfect books to inspire and the cameras to document. To kick it all off, photographer Jordan Sullivan sent us some favorite shots from his new book The Young Earth, a fictional hardcover photo series shot in Iceland on 35mm and Polaroid film. As one of our favorite current photographers, we also had Sullivan take our new self-snapping Autographer Camera for a spin. To spend a day in his life, read the full feature here.

On The Road: Book Companions

On The Road: Book Companions

Road-tripping is, of course, a great time to bond with your friends in the very close quarters of someone’s borrowed car, but it’s also a perfect opportunity to find those lulls and moments of silence in the backseat to do a little reading. Even in an age where e-readers are at their prime, books are the best road trip buddies, and if you’re a nerd/bibliophile/love the sound of your own voice like me, you can read passages aloud to your friends. Here are some choices to throw in your bag to read between point A and point B. Maitri

Astronomy 101 By Carolyn Collins Petersen
This lovely little book is packed with clean illustrations and gorgeous technicolor photos of the heavens above. If you’re driving on the open road, you can try and find those corresponding constellations.

Colorstrology: What Your Birthday Color Says About You By Michele Bernhardt
Can you paint with all the colors of the zodiac? Colorstrology will tell you what colors will brighten (or darken) your life, and who on the spectrum is your color match. I’d like to think I’m a Pantone Radiant Orchid.

Love Is a Mix Tape: Life And Loss, One Song At A Time By Rob Sheffield
Similar to when you’re on an airplane, emotions run high on road trips — confined space, the vast country of America, running out of Pringles, etc. Sometimes it’s good to go with those emotions, so you should read Love is a Mix Tape, Rob Sheffield’s powerful and SUPER sad story of the love of his life’s death, and all the music that held them together. Then go dig up the first mix CD your high school boyfriend gave you and re-listen to all those old Arcade Fire songs from Funeral.

How Music Works By David Byrne
If you’re road-tripping this spring or summer, there’s a good chance you’re on your merry way to a music festival. Why not read a music and life-affirming manifesto from the Talking Heads weirdman/genius, David Byrne, to remind you how music can (and is about to) change your life?

Stargirl By Jerry Spinelli
Throw some fiction in the mix. Stargirl is one of the best “young adult” books out there, so forget about The Hunger Games. This one's about a girl who is loved and admired for her strangeness until one day, for reasons seemingly unknown, she’s turned on by her friends. It’s gonna stir up some bad tween memories, for sure, but it will also make you proud of being yourself.

Fine Print: Katie Heaney

Katie Heaney has a hilarious Twitter, a feature on The Hairpin, and she’s also a regular writer for BuzzFeed. To top it all off, Heaney’s first book, Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without A Date, was released earlier this year from Grand Central Publishing. In it, Heaney tells the tale of being the odd woman out; for some reason, even though she’s a total catch, she's just never been in a relationship. It’s not a book of woe, but a story of how it’s empowering to invest instead in your female friendships. I recently chatted to Katie about her book, her best friend Rylee, and her favorite Mr. Darcy.
Interview by Maitri Mehta. Photos c/o Katie Heaney.

First of all, congratulations on writing the book! Have guys from your past come out of the woodwork since you published it?
Thanks! Not really. Most of the feedback I’ve gotten has been really positive emails and tweets from women thanking me for writing the book. I’ve gotten a few messages from dudes, some creepy, some polite, but I usually just ignore them.

One of the main characters in your book is your real-life best friend, Rylee. How does she feel about being a part of it?
Rylee knew about the book from the beginning. Sometimes it was hard in college. I think that despite her having a different dating life she never thought it was weird that I wasn’t seeing anyone. It wasn’t something that came up a lot, even. It was more her struggling to understand why I didn’t WANT to be with anyone.

How long have you and Rylee been friends?
We’re coming on nine years! It’s been work at times, but part of the challenge of finding the right BFF is finding someone that also wants a very committed, loyal relationship they can devote time to, even if one or both people are also in romantic relationships. Finding the right best friend is just as tough and just as important as finding a significant other.

You wrote this book in "real-time." Was that weird?
At first, but by the end it was more like journaling mixed with being aware that I was writing a book. I was always hoping that it was going to be a good finished product, something that people would want to read. I still considered it a project to be finished that was very much separate from my actual life (even though it was my life I was writing about!). It’s good that I didn’t really have the chance to go back and change it.

How did you choose which dudes and experiences to write about?
I have to say I chose the crushes I had that were more substantial, more romantic, or just more interesting.

Who’s your favorite Darcy?
Obviously Colin Firth from the BBC miniseries.

Same! He’s the only choice, really. What do you think of the enormous statue of him in his long johns that was built in England?
I think it’s totally creepy and it doesn’t do him justice.

Who was your first kiss?
I can’t remember his name. Maybe Eric? It was at a frat party while I was visiting a friend during my freshman year of college at her school. I never saw him again!

Who’s your favorite Austen heroine?
You know, I always say Emma, but in a way I kind of hate her, too. She thinks she’s being helpful and great but then all these guys fall in love with her, and she’s just perfect, and oblivious, and annoying. I love the book but god, Emma kind of sucks. I’d be so jealous of her if we went to college together.

I hate to even ask (because it’s horrible to talk about out loud), but do you use Tinder?
I mean, I’ve been on OKCupid, and I have Tinder on my phone, but I’ve really only used it to test out a story or as a half-assed attempt to please my friends that think I should have it. I don’t like it at all!

What do you want people to take away from Never Have I Ever?
Young women shouldn’t feel bad about being single or wanting to be single and actively not wanting a relationship. It’s perfectly fine to prioritize other things in your life.

Fine Print: Jaime Hernandez

Jaime Hernandez, an illustrator from Los Angeles, is best known for his comic book series Love and Rockets. The series, which Hernandez writes and illustrates with his brothers Gilbert and Mario, recently celebrated its 30th anniversary and continues to be a mainstay in the alternative comic movement. Last fall Hernandez teamed up with Riverhead Books to illustrate Junot Diaz’s book This Is How You Lose Her, a heartbreaking and tender collection of stories from Diaz that celebrates and laments his character Yunior’s relationships with the women in his life. We were lucky enough to talk to Hernandez from his home in Los Angeles about illustrating and writing female characters.
Interview by Maitri Mehta. Illustrations c/o Riverhead Books.

First of all, thank you for illustrating this book. It’s one of my favorites, and I just got a copy of the illustrated version. It’s beautiful!
Thank you! But I owe it all to the publisher [Riverhead Books]; they did all of the design work.

Did you know Junot Diaz before you illustrated his work for The New Yorker?
Yeah, I was emailing him back when I did one of his first stories, but my computer crashed and I lost all the contact information until this time around! I was first introduced to his work through part of the Oscar Wao story [The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao].

Many people—myself included—find a lot of similarities in yours and Diaz’s work.
Sure, sure. A lot of the character development is similar. Maybe it’s just Latino culture.

Is there a reason you’re drawn to creating female characters? Do you feel like it’s more important?
There’s a million reasons. I basically… like women! You know, all around. For the right reasons and sometimes for the wrong reasons [laughs]. I think it all started when I was 13 and learning to draw women. I was a little scared to before that. Growing up Catholic, my mom was uptight about stuff and uptight about sex and I was a kid, you know? It was always, “Don’t draw girls, you’ll go to hell," or worse, "Mom’s gonna get mad." And when I was 12 or 13 my older brother Gilbert was already drawing women and doing comics with women, and he was like “You should draw girls, it’s fun.” From then on, it was like if I wanted to do stories about women I had to... should I say, back it up? It didn't feel right JUST to draw curvy women. I had to put something else in there to bring them to life. I think that's where it started. I just started to like writing women. I don't know if I was doing it right, but I was trying, and by the time we did Love and Rockets, a woman came up to me and said, “I like your women characters and I like the way you do women.” And I said bam, okay, I'm here. I've got nothing to apologize for.

I think it's hard for male artists to write a good woman which is really why I love Junot Diaz. Did you have a favorite of the girls in This Is How You Lose Her?
Yes, the one that read comics, Nilda, because she had 50 million things going on in her head. I liked the craziness and the sweetness and the intelligence, all of that put together in one character. She spoke to me more than the others.

Was it difficult to illustrate someone else's writing?
Yeah, especially because in prose you don't have to describe people in detail so I was looking at every detail in the writing, thinking, "Okay, I'm getting an idea about this woman," and then three pages later I find out she's not Latina, she's white! I guess I could have asked Junot himself but I figured it was my job that I was hired for, to figure it out myself, to put my two cents in there. You know, to help create his world. Luckily he agreed with 99.9 percent of what I did.

Did you have a lot of freedom in how you interpreted his characters?
Yes, a lot, but there were a few things that came back to me in his notes. You know, make this character bigger, or make this character more this and that. But not too much, and I’m happy that he trusted me because this is his world, and I know how personal that can be.

Diaz’s stories are really autobiographical. Are yours too?
Yeah, of course, but I take liberties and change things because my life is pretty boring and my characters need a more interesting life for my readers to follow them. I romanticize sometimes but within reality.

It seems like you ended up doing exactly what you wanted to do in life—any advice for young illustrators or artists in general?
Ooh! Tell the truth. Or I guess, be truthful to what you're drawing; don't fake it because you'll be found out later. It's hard to explain... but that's why I'm an artist and not a teacher.

Did you ever teach anywhere?
Nope. I sat in on a graphic novel class once; I didn't know I was being primed to maybe teach a class. I just sat there kind of like a doofus. I could never express myself the way these teachers do; that’s why I let it come out in my art.

Happenings: Bookmobile Project

Our friends who started The Bookmobile Project are currently hosting a Kickstarter campaign to produce a book that chronicles their time spent on the Bookmobile from 2001-2005. The Bookmobile Project was an annual touring exhibition of artist books, zines, and independent publications hoping to spread their love of print to various corners of the globe. Traveling by way of a vintage Airstream, the Bookmobile visited a variety of venues in Canada and the US, and a group of coordinators traveling with the exhibition facilitated a series of workshops, artist talks, and educational forums. The project exposed thousands of visitors to a unique collection of independently produced book works and collaborations, and the book hopes to do the same. As a project that was partially based in Philadelphia, this one is close to our hearts!

If you'd like to see The Bookmobile Project reach their goal, you can pledge a monetary donation over on their Kickstarter page. Any amount past their goal will just ensure that the book will be even bigger and better than they could have hoped for. We have no doubt that the book is going to be amazing, and are so excited to see this project find its way to a larger group of people.

Read Your Heart Out: Comics

For the end of the year, we thought we'd finish our 2013 Read Your Heart Out series with a small collection of some of our favorite comic books. Ranging from the serious (Persepolis) to the not-so-serious (Walking Dead), each book is filled with a wide array of eye-catching illustrations and stories. Check out which of our favorites made the cut. Katie

This is the complete collection of Unlovable comics, originally found in the back pages of BUST magazine. The entire comic series is loosely based off a diary that was found in a gas station bathroom, and Esther Pearl Watson's illustrations perfectly capture the awkward moments of adolescence recounted by the unknown diarist. To check out some of Watson's other work, click here.

Megaskull by Kyle Platts
Kyle Platts' illustrations are hilariously creepy, and the jokes within the comics themselves are more of the same. (Check out his comic "Neglect" to get a sense of the humor in this one.) Perfect for anyone who has an offbeat, internet-y sense of humor.

The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
A lot of people may have heard of Persepolis after it became an animated film, but diving into the original comic is an absolute must. Through comic strips, Marjane Satrapi tells her story of coming-of-age in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution and then living in exile from her country. It's an extremely candid and heartbreaking read.

The Walking Dead, Vol. 1 by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore
This is another comic that people may have learned about through the (small) screen version, but The Walking Dead comics are slightly different from the show, and offer a little bit more to the reader than the show would. Plus, ZOMBIES!

Fine Print: The Le Sigh

Since its launch last winter, The Le Sigh has been an online cool girl clubhouse of sorts. With consistently excellent indie music and arts coverage along with a strong allegiance to zine culture, The Le Sigh is one of the best well-rounded blogs in cyberspace today. This month, the Le Sigh girls will be moving to print with THE LE SIGH Vol. 1, a full color publication. The contributor list reads like a who's-who of Tumblr It-girls with work from Grace Miceli, Laurence Philomene, Lauren Cook, and more.

But the glossy, bubblegum pink-tinted zine is not the only thing these ladies have up their sleeves. The Le Sigh is partnering with Brooklyn-based record label Birdtapes to put out a girls-only tape compilation featuring acts such as the twee singer-songwriter Frankie Cosmos and the raucous punk band Priests. The publication and tape, which will be available for purchase online November 18th, will debut at The Le Sigh zine launch party November 17th at Silent Barn, which features performances from musicians on the tape like Whatever Dad, Lizard Kisses, and more. Hazel

Read Your Heart Out: Kim Krans

For this series, we've been reaching out to some of our favorite people to ask for themed book suggestions. We then make those books available for you to purchase online. Easy! What better way to get to know some authors you might have overlooked?

For this installment,
we spoke to Kim Krans, the incredibly talented artist behind The Wild Unknown. In the spirit of the season, we found out what books Kim recommends to keep the mind mystical.
(Photo above by Daniel Arnold)

Kim's choices:

The Book of Imaginary Beings by Jorge Luis Borges
"The perfect bedtime book for anyone with a mystical mind. Borges tells the tales of over a hundred magical creatures, the likes of which you’ve never imagined before. My very favorites are the Animals That Live Inside The Mirror. And then there’s the classic tales of the Phoenix, Fairies, Gnomes, and Dragons. Oh but wait… you’ve never heard their stories told like this before."

The Art of Dreaming by Carlos Castaneda
"If you want to fall asleep at night and feel like you’re steering the dream wheel (at least a little bit), this is the book for you. Don Juan drops super knowledge on how to be a true 'sorcerer' and walk consciously through the sleeping hours. Believe it or not, your dream life is there for the taking – it’s just a matter of practice."

Shakti Woman by Vicki Noble
"Ladies, its time to get down with the Dark Goddess. Here’s why: Vicki Noble (author of the Motherpeace Tarot) gives us like a million reasons why not acknowledging this force within keeps us from finding inner peace, true creativity, and power. And then she gives us lots of ways to unearth this shakti, allowing it to unfold and brighten our lives. Ladies night book club, here we come."

Dune by Frank Herbert
"For years I made the mistake of thinking this was a sci-fi book for dudes only. Totally wrong. This is the most beautiful, spiritual, and intensely yogic story ever told. I am obsessed. If stranded on a desert island and I had to pick one book, this would be it. It’s wild and otherworldly and will have you sweating and crying at the same time. HBO, will you make a series out of this please?"

Shop The Wild Unknown Tarot

Spooky Lit: The Turn of the Screw

At some point in your scholastic career you may have been assigned Henry James and thought, "Why are there so many words? Boring! I'm just gonna play my Tamagotchi in class." But James is a master stylist, and reading a scary story is a rare pleasure in the modern world of teen slasher flicks. Plus, this isn't even real book. It's a novella. That's a short novel. Also, it's available as a free ebook, so you have no excuses. Reading is good for you. 
The story takes place in England back in the day when "cars" were attached to horses, and has all the elements of a classically spooky story: a creepy old mansion, creepy kids, mysterious happenings, etc. I can't tell you what happens because that would ruin it for you, but I swear I read it and liked it. It's kind of like The Others, okay. That's all you get. Angelo

Are You a Cyber Witch?

I can not remember exactly how I stumbled upon this beautiful e-book titled The Cyber Spellbook: Magick In The Virtual World, but I am so glad I did. I mean, witchcraft and the Internet together in one book!? The book outlines the ethics of being a Cyber Witch and how to effectively use the digital world to enhance your spells. I know what you're thinking: how do you know if you are a Cyber Witch? Well, the book explains it all, but start off with this handy quiz:

Another great Cyber Witch tip is to make a "Book of Shadows." It's basically a blog. Actually, it totally is a blog:

I love the one spell that makes sure the emails you send don't get misinterpreted! Need this for when I send too many cryptic emoji that only make sense to me. 

And never forgot to keep some goddesses around with you at all times. Maybe put some pics on your Palm Pilot? Oh how I love you, 2002.

Wes Week: BTS Photos from 'Royal Tenenbaums'

In honor of us selling The Wes Anderson Collection by Matt Zoller Seitz, we wanted to share these brilliant behind the scenes photos from (my personal favorite film) Royal Tenenbaums. The image of Luke Wilson with that hawk STILL gives me the butterflies. (Via Vulture) —Ally

Buy The Wes Anderson Collection

The Secret Language of Birthdays

The Secret Language of Birthdays will explode your brain. I first flipped through it after seeing it on the bookshelf of a kooky old lady (possibly a witch) at my old job. The book has a page for people born on each day of the year and the "personology profiles" are scary accurate. And not just cute, coincidental accurate like a Teen Vogue horoscope that happens to predict your new crush, but creepily, semi-troubling accurate. Plus, each day of the year has a cool name like "Day of the Cryptic Secret." 

After tripping on my own page, I started photocopying my friends' birthday pages and sending them to the friends, who were mostly like "Hey, don't read my page, I don't want you to know my inner secrets!" But it's not all bad - the book gives a positive meditation guide for every profile and ways to maximize the positives of your personality. If you can track this book down, check it out and share it with your friends and family and make them all depressed.

For an internet friendly run-down, you can also check out the Birthday Horoscope Tumblr that we visited a few weeks ago. Angelo

Read Your Heart Out: Shea Serrano

Shea Serrano is a music writer for various websites, the author behind Bun B's Rap Coloring And Activity Book, and the perfect candidate for our Read Your Heart Out series here on the blog. For this series, we've been reaching out to some of our favorite people to ask for themed book suggestions that we then make available for you to purchase online. Easy! What better way to get to know some authors you might have overlooked?

For our first installment, and in honor of his Rap Coloring And Activity Book, we asked Shea to recommend some of his favorite books about music. Here's what he picked. —Katie

Mo' Meta Blues: The World According To Questlove
"This is probably this year’s most enjoyable music nerd book to read if you are a music nerd. Questlove is great and super charming and he tells a bunch of great stories and I really can’t think of too many ways that this book could be better. I joked with him on Twitter that our only goal was to sell more copies of our book than he did of this one (because his is fairly new and so is ours). I think he maybe sold, like, 60 million copies already though, so I’m not sure if we can catch him anymore."

Love Is A Mix Tape: Life And Loss, One Song At A Time
"Oh man. This one is just heartbreaking to read. It’s about Mr. Sheffield and the sudden death of his wife and how everything changed after that and it really is just a remarkable thing. I’m lucky enough to be married to a woman that I love desperately and so I couldn’t help but put myself in his spot while reading this and, I mean, I don’t even know. It’s just brutal. You have to read it. And then you have to tell other people to read it."

Dirty South: Outkast Lil Wayne, Soulja Boy, And The Southern Rappers Who Reinvented Hip-Hop
"I picked this one in part because I am mentioned in it, and that’s definitely the easiest way to get me to say that your book is good, but mostly I picked it because it’s a recap of the rise of southern rap but it’s written around a bunch of enjoyable, well-written anecdotes. The author, Ben Westhoff, drove around the bottom of the United States and met up with rappers and hung out with them and then wrote about it and that’s the sort of thing that’s always interesting to me. It never seems like enough people are doing proper reporting."

Ego Trip's Book Of Rap Lists
"I’d once considered doing a book of rap lists but then I found this one and was like, “Well there goes that idea.” This is a lot of fun to read. I’m hoping that they do a new version again soon."

Shop Bun B's Rap Coloring And Activity Book
Follow Shea on Twitter!


Are you a feminist? Do you like food? Do you enjoy the intersection of the two? Well, then you're going to want to submit to the new print zine Vag Appetit! The zine wants whatever you have related to feminism and food, from poetry to illustration to essays and more! The zine's also running a Tumblr for submitted videos (no longer than 3 minutes) so get your feminist brains cookin', and send any submissions you have to by October 15! —Hazel

Meet Alex!

And now! Introducing the newest addition to our fabulous blog team... drum roll please... ALEX!!!!

"Sup? My name is Alex. I pretty much don't leave my house because everybody is terrifying. You can find me in my room drinking a coke, watching made for TV movies on VHS from the '90s and studying the production/songwriting credits on Britney Spears' discography. Oh yeah: I recently just finished writing my first novel, YOURS TRULY, BRAD SELA."

Read more from Alex on his Twitter page @alexkazemi and be on the lookout for his posts, coming to you right... now.

Alone With Other People

I love writer Gabby Bess' zine Illuminati Girl Gang, which brings together some of the coolest female artists, poets, and more across the 'net in one publication, so of course I knew her debut collection of poems and stories Alone With Other People was going to be good. The new book frankly explores the inherently complicated experience of being a young woman through Bess' intimate poems and stories, which tackle topics like fame, alienation, and constant digital performativity. One of my favorite aspects of the book is the collection of graphic text pages that punctuate the longer pieces, which include darkly funny lines like: "go back in time to warn self about self (if possible)." The book is a beautiful collection for the tragic female figure whose identity is intrinsically tied to her Macbook (aren't we all, though?) and it's pretty damn good. Hazel

Books: By Their Cover

Okay, so you're totally not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but like, everyone does anyway and whatever, it's fine. Especially when the books are really pretty. Sure, some textbooks have not-boring and informative content, but are those going to look cute on your coffee table? HELL NO. Here are some dreamy, pretty books that we totally judged by their covers. —Katie

The First Rule of Swimming by Courtney Angela Brkic
"Courtney Angela Brkic's First Rule Of Swimming is a haunting hardcover, one that explores the legacy of betrayal and loss in a place where beauty is fused inextricably with hardship, and where individuals are forced to make wrenching choices as they are swept up in the tides of history."

In Between Days by Andrew Porter
"In Between Days is a softcover novel that paints a portrait of an American family trying to cope - it's a story of choices and of doubts, told with piercing insight and psychological suspense. This is a novel about love and family, about betrayal and forgiveness and about coming home."

Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell
"A magical collection of mind-bending & unforgettable tales from Karen Russell. Stories as amusing as they are amazing, courtesy of an award-winning author."

Secret Garden by Johanna Basford
This is an awesome little activity and coloring book with really beautiful and busy illustrations. Who can say no to an adult coloring book?

Fifty Fashion Looks That Changed the 1960s by Paula Reed
This is chock-full of iconic shots from the '60s, perfect if you need a little retro inspiration in your life. This one can go right up on the coffee table.

Recap: Aaron Paul Autograph Signing @ UO San Diego

We recently had a very special guest at our UO store in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter: AARON PAUL! For real! Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad! He stopped by to sign autographs and hang out with fans (and also be, like, "Well done, bitch!" for an exclusive video - part of a new blog feature you can check out right HERE). It was insane. SO MANY people love Aaron Paul. And it's not hard to understand why. He's an awesome dude! Seriously. Best around. But ok...enough chitchat. Look at this craziness: 

This is way awesome but you probably shouldn't ever actually go anywhere with a bag of fake drugs. Sayin'.

Fans that lined up early got first dibs on a special early run of our limited edition Breaking Bad tote bags! But don't freak out if you weren't there - you can get your own bag free with purchase at your local Urban Outfitters store! You least until we run out of them.

This is Robyn. She was the very first person in line. She got to our store at 8:45am. For an autograph signing that started at 6:30pm. She's the best. know that thing about how good things come to those who wait...


(Photo via Tracilyn Tsarnas)
Yes, that is the Breaking Bad Walt Pint Glass, available here.

(Photo via Tracilyn Tsarnas)

A fan made this pencil drawing of Jesse Pinkman. It was amazing. 

(Photo via Tracilyn Tsarnas)

The last two people in line for the signing were the cutest kids in the entire universe. They brought their own homemade version of that super meaningful teddy bear that kept floating around with one eyeball in Seasons 2 and 3. And...then they gave it to Aaron!

Here's the UO store (and Home Office) crew, celebrating after the signing. Yo, Gatorade us, bitch!

Thanks for being awesome, Aaron! And thanks to the San Diego store team for being awesome, too! And to the tons of fans that came out, who were the most awesome of all. Holy shit we're so psyched for August 11th! 

Watch our exclusive "Well Done, Bitch!" video and read an interview with Aaron here!

Shop Breaking Bad

Interview: Rob Guillory of Chew

Rob Guillory is the artist behind Chew, the witty, gory, awesome-y comic that has become a favorite of mine and hordes of others over the past few years. Written by John Layman, Chew takes place in an alternate reality wherein food regulation has evolved to violent extremes. I talked with Guillory about the process behind making Chew come to life, sneaking in pop culture critiques and styling protagonist/cannibal Tony Chu. Angelo

What is your process like working with writer John Layman? Does the art or story take shape first?
John hits me with a full script first. His scripts are detailed enough to give me a feel for what he's envisioning, but loose enough to really let me experiment and put my own stamp on it. From there, I pencil, ink and color it (with my color assistant Taylor Wells). Then Layman letters it, and Image Comics shoots it to the printers. A standard issue takes about 5 weeks from start to finish.

I ask because I was wondering: there are tons of pop-culture references littered throughout Chew — things like TPS reports (from Office Space) and Paula Deen posters — do these things come from you or John or both?
I do about 90% of them. I'm the bigger pop culture fan of the two of us, so I just throw them in as fun little extra content. They're not crucial to the story, but they're fun bonuses for attentive readers.

Chew obviously deals a lot with modern food culture, processing, celebrity chefs — was this an area of interest to you before working on the comic?
Nope! I have a love/hate relationship with food, so I would've never come up with a food-centric comic. Layman loves food far more than I do.

If the FDA was really a militarized organization in 2013, who would they be busting?
I wish they'd bust the guy that thought serving a Lobster Sub at Quizno's was a good idea. He's a sick man.

Does Tony have a particular style? Do use any references for how Tony dresses?
Tony is a complete square, so when he's not in basic black suits, he's usually in muted colors. Because of his generally grim demeanor, I view him as sort of a former-Goth, so I always put him in drab unexciting clothes.

Your illustrations have a bit of the frenetic energy of a fashion sketch and details that make me think you're someone that pays attention to clothing. Is that just me projecting or do you have an interest in fashion?
I didn't have any interest in fashion... until I met my wife, who's big on fashion. So in the nearly ten years we've been together, I've developed a real appreciation for well-made clothing and accessories. My latest acquisition is a really sturdy bag from Chrome that is just friggin' EPIC.

Style Icon: Archie

Back off Betty and Veronica, the boy is mine. Archie Andrews was always the quintessential comic book cutie. Whether it was because of his clumsy charm or vintage bitchin' ride (you don't meet dudes these days who have jalopies, trust me), Archie was always wooing babes and readers alike. Maybe it had a little bit to do with Archie's classic American steez? Here's some tips on how to copy his look, Ben-Day dots not included! Hazel

OBEY Vegan Leather Varsity Jacket
Archie's a sporty dude. Fake your varsity spirit with a sick jacket.

Dickies Skinny Straight Work Pant
Bright red pants to compliment your ginger hair? Totally. Weirded out by color? You're a fucking cartoon character! You can wear whatever you want!

BDG Stripe Regular Fit Tee
Comic book characters dig striped Ts. Get one, duh.

Vox Series 22 Guitar
For fronting your kick ass garageband, The Archies!