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JON F. ALLEN : AN INTERVIEW WITH THE ARTIST : BONGLIZARD TAKES A TRIP TO THE POP WASTELAND!

This time Bonglizard blog checks in with JON F. ALLEN. Creative artist and creator of the underground comic / magazine : Pop Wasteland! This exclusive interview will give you a major view into his visions and the ideas behind the hectic madness that you will no doubt enjoy. Get ready to dive into the psychedelic, tripped out, artistic world of psychotic, weird almost indescribable images of terror and retro culture, these illustrations can tear your eyes and mind apart! Get ready to get dosed below! #art #interview #jonfallen #popwasteland #bonglizard #blog #bloglizard #artgrinder #interview #artistinterview #undergroundart #artist #jonfallenartist


Q - Hi Jon hope all's going good. You have a really intense drawing and illustration style. Visually some of it is like a bad acid trip, weird but exciting at the same time. What inspires you draw?


Jon - Trauma (psychological and physical), anxiety dreams, disassociation, isolation, disease, crime, news stories, lezzie porn. As a way of coping I drift off into my imagination where images can happen randomly. I taught myself to use drawings as a way to deal with that as well as calming toxic, intrusive thoughts. Kept up with it over many years and improved along the way. Am more into a methodical methodical process these days.


Q - Pop Wasteland has a wide collection of artists as well as you and your brother as the creators, it is a highly entertaining concept to read. How did the idea of Pop Wasteland begin? Jon - Thank you. Wanted to work on something fun with my brother Tim who writes fascinating poetry and psychological short stories. I got into zines heavily in the early 1990's. Stuff that provoked my iconoclastic nature was Weirdo and Answer Me!, as well as seeing artists such as Mike Diana, and Jeff Gaither turn up in various punk and hardcore xerox publications. Joe Coleman’s Cosmic Retribution, not a zine, is also a pivotal book of influence. I wanted to put something in the wild that I would’ve been shitting myself to get my hands on in younger years as well as now I am ecstatic to find the really cool stuff. A lot of artists such as Aaron Lange has a new and thoroughly absorbing graphic novel on the history of Cleveland punk and one of the pioneering early members of Pere Ubu you can find online Ain’t It Fun: Peter Laughner & Proto-Punk in the Secret City) I met at Philly art shows. Lange made me aware of others such as JT Dockery, and Liz Valasco. Others I discovered on social media such as Jenny Gonzalez (cover artist for PW 4),  Corinne Halberrt (couldn’t resist her sexy, demonic nuns, and she got a big psychedelic art book called Acid Nun—google her), Provocateur, self-publishing monster, visual artist musician, performance artist, and occultist Adel Souto, and much more. Buy a Pop Wasteland n’ you get all the art n’ lit contributors’ contacts a couple pages in.  Y’know, I wanted to be like Weirdo, but also wanted to show off art, photos, and poetry that didn’t go for the visceral punch.

Q - Have you ever run into any censorship issues with Pop Wasteland ? 


Jon - Not really. It seems there’s far worse content on streaming services. And we got some very nasty stuff amidst calmer art. 



Q - Whats your view on the AI art taking over at the moment? I believe it could killing the future of many would be artists and illustrators.


Jon - I’ll quote the great animator Miyazaki scolding his students, “ I am utterly disgusted. If you really want to make creepy stuff, you can go ahead and do it,'' says the 81-year old director.''I would never wish to incorporate this technology into my work at all. ..I strongly feel that this is an insult to life itself''. ''I feel like we are nearing the end of times,'' He continues. ''We humans are losing faith in ourselves.'' In other words we humans need to have pride in our endeavors and struggles. Thanks Ed Wilcox for the heads up on that.



Q - You have a great style of art can you go into what techniques you like to use?


Jon - Yeah, thanks. I collage in my head a lot, and I dig through reference material whenever needed. Automatic drawing is also employed. That’s where I drift off in my head and start doodling. I extract images from the mess. I also draw characters and scenes that would be uncanny and sometimes incongruous in the real world often delving into my minds capacity to be a kind of Dr. Moreau creating my own cryptozoology and mutant hybrids. The goal is to find deeper narrative meanings in these pairings and placements and sublimate my humor, anxiety and depression into a work of art.  As far as implements go I’m mainly into pens, graphite and color pencils, and schlepping it onto paper. 



Q - Your art features real life subjects, bizarre creatures and all around general filth and madness. What's your favorite subjects of focus?


Jon - Cancer, tumors, boils, rotting flesh, death scene photos, addictions, medieval and renaissance demons seen in paintings, prints, and sculptures of those times. And observation. I watch for people living on the edge and do my best to quickly memorize the essential details.



Q - GG Allin surfaces in your work, I thought He was the ultimate expression of absolute no holds barred, not give a fuck about anything or anyone when it came to the stage performance and attitude, a true one off in the history of music. I also like a lot of his music for the same reasons, there was nothing like him and I also like how people like to hate him and palm him off as a psychotic animal that just shits onstage but He was really much more than that, He had a vision that didn't fit in with society's norms and I think people just didn't get it and were afraid of that. What do you like about GG Allin, a fan or fascination? 


Jon - When I was a youngster I sought out shocking stuff whether it was the Faces of Death film series, National Lampon mag, Hustler Mag,  Howard Stern, Feeal House books, Slayer’s Reign in Blood or Alice Cooper’s guillotine gimmick. Can’t recall exactly the first time I heard GG. Maybe it was the Legalize Murder 7” with cover painting by Jeff Gaither (either oil or acrylic, not sure). Having grown up Roman Catholic and very disgusted with it I found GG’s extreme blasphemous and social transgressions made sense. GG pushed punk beyond Iggy or Sid. He truly brought to the stage the feces hurling one might only have seen in the dangerous ward of a mental hospital, Viennese Actionists,  or even chimpanzees in the jungle. Perhaps Dino the naked drummer’s assertion that GG performances were social commentary on a sick society is a key to it but I really don’t know. I’m not a fan of feces hurled or otherwise but I get the sentiment of wanting to hurl it at the public. GG was an ascetic saint for a nuclear era.

Yet, I find that many of the songs as well as concert videos cracks me the fuck up—especially the blasphemous ones—Bloody Mary’s Bloody Cunt, for example.

Ultimately, I view GG as having had long term CPTSD due to the combo of familial and religious abuse. I can greatly relate to that.



Q - Did you have anything going on art wise before the creation of Pop Wasteland ?


Jon - Circa late 1990’s people I knew convinced me to be a painter. Had been working ink on paper since I was very small. Did some art school. Felt very disillusioned and disgruntled after graduating. Co-curated a few art shows in Philly—lotta fun but a bit thankless/unrewarding. Went back heavily into the pencils and ink. My friend DV NIKT was drawing comics in a primitive style and he encouraged me to make a book/zine. Even provided the title: Heaven of Hell which goes back to Milton. I dig S. Clay Wilson art which influenced me to do a lot of highly detailed one pagers with captions. Still at the inks these days  but taking more and more time with process n details.


Q - Can you elaborate on the early years of your formation on how you came to be an artist?


Jon - Well, as I said I started drawing very early. Ballpoint pens or whatever type of pen or pencil happened to be around. It all starts with scribbles and seeing what I could see in them. I was always staring at things like carpets and faux marble counter tops. There are whole worlds in there, but mostly I’d see angry faces and demons. Meanwhile, I copied from comics like Mad or the naked ladies from my Dad’s Penthouse stash. Eventually, I’d be copying from gross medical photos. Nowadays, I feel imbued with that stuff so I can scribble and extract viscera from that via automatic drawing or I can draw directly what I want to see such as cirrhosis of the liver.



Q - What bands are you listening to at the moment? 


Jon - Here’s 10 albums I’ve been digging lately:

-Witchmaster-Kazn

-Blood Ceremony-Lord of Misrule

-Immortal-War Against All

-David E. Williams-A house for the dead and a porch for the dying (first time on vinyl)

-Darkthrone-Astral Fortress

-Funeral Mist-Deiform

-Confusion-Storm the Walls 1990-1994

-Svartgren-Prazan Grob

-Deicide-Overtures of Blasphemy 


Q - When it comes to movies what's your favorite films that again inspired your early formative years? I got loads like Class of 84, Dawn of the dead, The Wanderers, Bad News, Return of the living dead, Repo man, Meaning of life and loads more I still watch until this very day, good movies never get old they age like a fine drug.


Jon - Yeah, like fine drugs. Takes my mind briefly away from the drudgeries of life. You got some great picks. I’ve not seen The Wanderers or Bad News but all your other choices would be on my list along with Silent Night Deadly Night, Images in a Convent, Last House on the Left, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Network, all the original POTA, Carpenter’s The Thing, Fail Safe, First Blood, The Day After, Pink Floyd the Wall, the original 77-83 Star Wars films.



Q - I'm fascinated by aliens and all that cosmic weird shit beyond this universe, Through out my life I have seen some weird things and in the sky they can only be described as UFO's. Before and after relocating to where you are now, Have you had an experience or seen anything in the sky that cant be explained? Your destination is a known hot spot for activity. 


Jon - Nah. Nothing unusual, but I’ve run into quite a few believers. New Mexico has a bit of a UFO/UAP and big-eyed green n grey alien merch industry. But Roswell is the Mecca. The town seems to celebrate its alleged visitation status year round. Since moving to NM my drawings have begun to show mountain and desert landscapes with extraterrestrials in some of them. Having visited Roswell has been very influential. However, my take on it is that it’s either U.S. or foreign air craft folks are probably seeing. Ah, but who knows? “Keep watching the skies.”



Q - What art or artists are you a fan of? I listed a few of mine on the last Bloglizard, I love so many styles its hard to choose. But at the moment I'm really into studying the visual concepts of old album and video cover art again.  


Jon - I love your art and, holy shit, it would be fantastic to see it on a record cover. And, oh yeah, album covers can be great. Megan Lemay draws amazing satanic and war themed scenes such as a cover for the band Black Mass. I have her prints and a bloody Cannibal Ferox tapestry she was commissioned to create for Grindhouse Releasing. Derek Riggs’ Powerslave art for Iron Maiden, Slayer—Reign in Blood by Larry Carrol,  Frank Frazetta’s covers for Nazareth. Winston Smith’s works for DKs and Alternative Tentacles. Misfits’ Earth A.D./Wolfs Blood. The skeleton soldier for D.R.I Dirty Rotten LP. That ferocious collage for Carcass’ Symphonies of Sickness. Also, My friend David E. Williams just re released his album A house for the dead and a porch for the dying on vinyl for the first time. Stain glass cover art by Judith Scheacter is outrageously awesome. There’s a child in a coffin surrounded by ornate flowers, but the coffin is in what looks like a padded cell. The colors are psychedelic. Very powerful image that makes me think of lost childhood or at least one ended abruptly. Seems influenced by Victorian mourning photography.

And my top painting and comix artists that influenced me are

R. Crumb, Joe Coleman, Mike Diana, S. Clay Wilson, Bernie Wrightson, Ghastly Ingels, Robert Williams, Drew Friedman, George Grosz, Richard Corben, Giger, Dali. Coleman as well as Mike Diana art is some of the most liberating stuff out there. Their Art with it’s outrages and extreme imagery taught me that I did not have to constrain myself by making art to please others. There’s rage, trauma and an id, schadenfreude,  and very sick humor that all deserve a voice amidst the fluffy tripe that boxed-in thinkers with mainstream sensibilities perceive as artistic.


Q - Whats the art and music scene like where you live?


Jon - Classic rock, Country, Mexican folk, and a mix of the two. That’s just my town. Lots of metal in other parts of the state. Mayor Tim Keller of Albuquerque is a metalhead. I don’t bother with ABQ much due to the over-the-top and persistent violent crime but I did take the 40 minute drive a bunch of times when I first moved here. Even caught Kataklysm and Deicide at the Sunshine theater.



Q - Is there any future plans for Pop Wasteland?


Jon - No. I’m working on a solo project that’s under wraps for the time being. I’ll keep you posted on that. Pop Wasteland issues will still be available to order. 


Q-  Finally any shout outs and website links on where to find your work?


Jon - Oh yeah. Just go to my IG @pop_wasteland and go to links in bio. Pop Wasteland, my tshirt designs, and a very strange music collab I worked on with David E. Williams called Far Triloquist are linked via my IG.


Thanks for the interview and keep up the awesome art.


Huge thanks to you Jon for that most insightful and revealing interview, BONGLIZARD salutes you! That was immense! Check out Jon's work in the links above and support underground art, us weirdo, lowbrow, strange artists need it! Until the next installment of Bonglizard drops here on Bloglizard.... STAY UNTUNED! Check out the previous Blogs if you have not already, Share, re post, comment and spread the noize!






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