Note: The following article contains images of an adult nature.
Molly Crabapple has a quite a lot of stuff going. She models, she writes, she draws. She got a brand spanking new (and more than slightly naughty) book out from Sepulculture Press, which she’s doing a book tour for, as well as doing a new pornographic strip for "Playgirl" magazine. And she’s squeezed in an appearance at New York Comic-Con in between signings and Dr. Sketchy’s classes.
What’s a Dr. Sketchy’s, you ask?
That’d be Dr. Sketchy’s Anti Art School, founded in 2005 in Brooklyn by Crabapple and A.V. Phibes as an alternative to your typical art school experience sketching live models. From the Web site, "We combed New York to find the most beautiful burlesque dancers, the most bizarre circus freaks, and the most rippling hunks of man. Then, every other Saturday, we let you draw them for three hours. Interspersed with posing are ridiculous drawing contests (best left handed drawing? Best incorporation of a woodland animal?) where you can win booze or prizes."
The show has now gone international and is the inspiration behind Crabapple’s new book, " Dr. Sketchy’s Official Rainy Day Colouring Book," which is aptly and accurately described as “one part DIY handbook, one part activity book on acid, and one part history of the Sketch Revolution.”
All of which is to say she’s very, very busy, but CBR News managed to snag Molly long enough for a quick interview.
Molly Crabapple: I was born in Queens and grew up an angry little punkette in Long Island. When I was 17, I took off for Europe and spent a year there, on an off, with excursions to Morocco and the Middle East.
CBR: Have you been drawing all your life?
MC: Since I was old enough to know better. I wasted lots of educational tax dollars drawing, rather than listening during math class.
CBR: You have a pretty distinct style. Who were your big artistic influences?
MC: Toulouse Lautrec, Beardsley and Brueghal
CBR: So, how’d you get into modeling?
MC: Poverty, man! There aren’t a lot of job openings for art students. I started posing for art classes, but, goaded by higher pay rates, quickly transitioned to photography
MC: "On Writing Well" [by William K. Zinsser]. It’s an awesome book that’s taught me to prune down at least half of my literary effusions.
CBR: You’ve got a decidedly victorian meets burlesque thing going on. What makes that interesting to you?
MC: I’m a dirty-minded 13 year old trapped in a 23 year old girl’s body. Victoriana has just enough repressed perversion to keep my brain cooking
CBR: Speaking of which, what lead to the creation of Dr. Sketchy’s anti art school?
MC: While logging in my time on the model platform, I often wondered why art classes were so sterile. Dr. Sketchy’s is my attempt to add some decadence
MC: People kept bemoaning the fact that there wasn’t any sketchy action in their hometowns. So, I wrote a tutorial, and artists took up the call. There are now 20 branches in eight countries on three continents.
CBR: And now you’ve got "Dr. Sketchy’s Official Rainy Day Colouring Book" just recently out. What can people expect if they pick that up?
MC: One part saucy burlesque colouring book, one part history of Dr. Sketchy’s, one part DIY handbook for making your own class.
CBR: How’s the book tour been going?
MC: I just did my first date in Boston. 75 people showed up to sketch the gorgeous Devilicia and hear me read. I’ve got my fingers crossed for the rest of the tour. If you’re in DC, Baltimore, Norfolk, Richmond, Greensboro, Durham, LA, SF or PHX, write me!
CBR: What else have you got coming up in the future?
MC: A Dr. Sketchy’s pinup calendar. A second book. Hopefully, some dates in Canada and Europe. And a pornographic comic strip in "Playgirl."
CBR: Thanks for talking with us Molly.
Now discuss this story in CBR’s Indie Comics forum.