Jill Thompson is amazing. There’s no denying that her career as a cartoonist has produced some of the most fantastic spooky artwork out there. There’s both a playfulness in her line work and a genuine sense of creepy in her colors, making her a great example of how spooky and weird can be fun.
I first found her work through the ‘Scary Godmother‘ character back in a comic shop. The character, who she would list as a cross between a fairy godmother and a witch in the ‘Ghouls Out For Summer’ story, is joined by a list of spooky characters – Harry the Werewolf, Bugaboo the Monster-under-the-bed/in-the-basement and Mr. Pettibone the skeleton. Friends of a young girl named Hannah, Scary Godmother’s initial books are aimed more at the younger set. More spooky than scary, the collection is a great way for the young to get into reading. But for adults, Jill Thompson’s art is spectacular. Real crisp linework and vivid colors make each page a great sight to see and each reading shows something you didn’t see before. You can get the collected books here for a really great price.
For the more adult readers is her work with Evan Dorkin, the Beasts of Burden. The series details the continuing adventures of a group of animals first appearing in the Dark Horse Book of Hauntings (with a story in The Book of Witchcraft, The Book of the Dead, The Book of Monsters.) Showing how the animal world deals with the supernatural, it’s a great comic book.
Jill Thompson also does Magic Trixie, which I can’t front and say I know much about. But it seems to pick up with the whimsical supernatural adventures that left off with Scary Godmother. If ever I find myself near a comic shop this season, I’ll have to check it out – and I encourage you to, as well.