Casey Roonan

Cartoonist/ Illustrator/ RISD Undergrad
“Walter White,” digital (ink on bristol), 8” x 10”, 2014.
A new color version of a Bryan Cranston portrait I did months ago. Still thinking about “Breaking Bad” regularly.
-CR

Walter White,” digital (ink on bristol), 8” x 10”, 2014.

A new color version of a Bryan Cranston portrait I did months ago. Still thinking about “Breaking Bad” regularly.

-CR

Film Portraits 2013,” watercolor and ink on bristol, various sizes, 2013.

All of the weekly film (and television) portraits from this past year, as follows:

Elvis Presley (Blue Hawaii), P.J. Soles (Rock ‘N’ Roll Highschool), Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation), Shelley Duvall (Three Women), Mary Elizabeth Winstead & Michael Cera (Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World), Ingrid Bergman & Humphrey Bogart (Casablanca), and Melanie Laurent (Beginners).

-CR

Comics From Other Places,” brush pen on bristol, 4 1/2” x 6”, 2013.

Around this time last year I was leaving for Rome to study abroad for a semester. I tried to draw from life as much as possible, and started making these quick, on-the-spot strips while I was travelling. These are some of the better ones… None of these, coincidentally, actually take place in Rome.

I also recognize, in hindsight, that the food in Barcelona should probably be termed “Catalonian” rather than “Spanish” in the first comic. But I think changing these after the fact or trying to downplay my ignorance would sort of ruin their charm, or integrity, or something. Anyway, I apologize.

-CR

“Adam’s Powers,” ink on bristol (edited digitally), 11” x 17”, 2013.
An experiment in ligne claire based on a story my roommate told me.
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Adam’s Powers,” ink on bristol (edited digitally), 11” x 17”, 2013.

An experiment in ligne claire based on a story my roommate told me.

-CR

Sick Day,” ink on bristol, 17” x 11” (two pages), 2013.

A horror comic built exclusively around what I could take solid reference photos of. Plus some other stuff.

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“On Record,” opaque watercolor, 11” x 17”, 2013.
Vintage Roonan melancholia, now in glorious color.
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On Record,” opaque watercolor, 11” x 17”, 2013.

Vintage Roonan melancholia, now in glorious color.

-CR

“It’ll Be Fine (Have Some Coffee),” ink on bristol, 11” x 17”, 2013.
Playing with format and multiple narratives. I like how this is simultaneously a very wordy and totally word-less comic.
-CR 

It’ll Be Fine (Have Some Coffee),” ink on bristol, 11” x 17”, 2013.

Playing with format and multiple narratives. I like how this is simultaneously a very wordy and totally word-less comic.

-CR 

The Frown Album,” digital (ink on bristol), 12” x 12” (album art and details), 2013.

Designed for release on vinyl, I tried to took advantage of the 12-inch format and cram this cover for The Great American Novel’s “:(" (The Frown Album) with as many references to pop culture (and, of course, the lyrics themselves) as possible. The apartments of New York twenty-somethings always strike me as very cluttered, so I wanted to capture that.

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Suburban Heart (comic, part two),” ink on bristol, 11” x 11” (17 pages), 2013.

Part two of three, from the comic to accompany the album of the same name by The All-About. Read more here.

The album is available online, by suggested donation, at the All-About’s Bandcamp page and includes a .pdf of the comic as well as a digital lyric booklet (which I also designed). Physical copies - including hand-made editions of the comic book, seen here - are also available for order.

-CR  

Suburban Heart (comic, part one),” ink on bristol, 11” x 11” (17 pages), 2013.

Part one of three.

For The All-About's second LP, we decided to do something special and finally pull the trigger on an idea we’d been toying with for several years. Based on early demos from late 2011 and 2012, as well as our numerous conversations on the thematic “next step” for the new record, I began “writing” a comic to accompany the album - as both its packaging, and a sort of alternative to a “music video.”

Early on it was decided to keep the comic “silent,” so as not to step on the songs’ lyrics, which I wanted to be “Suburban Heart’s” only text. Having talked many times about the importance of both pieces working well not just as a unit but also individually, I avoided pinning down a precise story-line from within those lyrics… Instead only riffing on the album’s central themes, and making small visual nods to the imagery and characters referenced. The goal here being, first and foremost, to respect the All-About’s music - setting up the comic book in a way which complimented the record but did not do the job of interpreting or translating it for the audience. By keeping the plot evocative and somewhat elusive, I tried to build on “Suburban Heart’s” associations rather than stifle them - and force the audience to give the comic multiple readings, just as they would give its pop songs multiple listens.

The idea of repetition as a means of deepening understanding was central… Not only in the fluid, enigmatic narrative, but also in the structure of the comic, itself - Utilizing a language of repeated and fragmented “architecture and fading pictures.” This was the motif that would, ultimately, inspire the final album art, the design of which was finalized only after the comic had been drafted out.

The album is available online, by suggested donation, at the All-About’s Bandcamp page and includes a .pdf of the comic as well as a digital lyric booklet (which I also designed). Physical copies - including hand-made editions of the comic book - are also available for order. Please check it out and enjoy - it’s been a long time coming, and we are very excited to show it to you.

-CR