Jon M. Lennon is the lunatic behind PRODUCT OF SOCIETY and the star of Matt Zingale’s documentary of the same title. Easily the most offensive artist you’ll find at any convention’s Artists Alley, he is a major force in indie comics.
ME: Your work has taken a new direction of late. What broke you out of your regular style and propelled you into this new transgressive style?
JML: Real life happened. I was shocked out of stagnation and complacency by a sudden, unexpected confrontation with my own mortality. In February 2013 I spent three days in the hospital with pancreatitis. A week later I fell in love with a woman who had no interest in me. These two events sent me on a new course that altered my life, art and future. I gave up fast food and pop and started exercising. The woman I was obsessed with was also an artist, so I started pushing myself to make better art to impress her. I eventually lost over a hundred pounds and was rejected by the woman who had been such a motivator for me. As an unexpected consequence of the weight loss more women began showing interest in me but I hadn’t really dated anyone for five years so I found myself unable to deal properly with normal dating experiences. As the physical changes and emotional trauma piled up inside of me I constantly worked on new art. I pushed my style and technique in ways I had never attempted before as the content of the pieces became darker and progressively nightmarish. The dust has still not settled on 2013 for me but what is clear is that I am physically and mentally healthier and I am more satisfied and excited about the artwork I am creating than I have been in years.