Cartoonist Jim Benton is probably best known for his children’s book illustrations and the cynical “It’s Happy Bunny” cartoons that are plastered all over shirts, stickers, keychains and every other kind of merchandise you can think of. Accordingly, he’s the last person most people would expect to have an opinion about fashion. But most people would be wrong.
“I experiment quite a bit,” Benton told us over the phone Thursday afternoon. “I think that most artists are constantly working in much broader areas than most people realize.”
Specifically, Benton was referring to his illustration “My New Designs For Lady Gaga,” which he posted on Reddit this week, and which we have decided are the coolest comics we’ve seen this year. [Big nod to Geekosystem editor Robert Quigley for pointing them out to us.] Benton says he’s a “big, dumb fan” of Gaga, and he’s always keeping a watchful eye on what she wears.
“Probably the meat dress was the thing I wanted to respond to” with the illustration, he said. “How do you follow up on that? I love seeing what she wears and trying to figure where she’s going to go next.”
In a manner of suggesting where she might go next, Benton mocked up four costumes, one of a gigantic Lady Gaga head as a dress, another where she wears the boxes all her other costumes came in as an outfit. Then there’s the (kinda gross, but still genius) roll on the floor of a barbershop, and a suit made of the skin of her critics.
Benton said his favorite real-life costume of Gaga’s was the meat dress, and he also loved what she wore in the music video for “Telephone.” He says the costumes are “mobile works of art.”
And he’d really love to see one of his works of art go mobile, too. “Nothing would please me more than if she would take one of the cartoons and turn it into a costume,” Benton said, adding that the giant Lady Gaga head would be his favorite option.
“The hair one would be quite provocative, but it’s quite repellent at the same time.”
On both scores, we couldn’t agree more.
this is some kind of spaceship or something.