Quick on the draw


First Posted: 8/10/2013

Charles Bronson is not your average Scottie.

The detective dog and his sidekick cat, Zissou, solve mysteries related to the animal kingdom.

“It’s ‘Law & Order’ for animals,” is the way Jeff Evans explains it.

Evans, 32, formerly of Philadelphia, recently relocated to West Pittston and is offering cartooning and illustration classes on Saturday at Art on Main gallery in Pittston.

Classes for children, generally age 8 to 13, are held at noon and classes for adults are held at 1 p.m. At home sessions are available. Classes are $15, but include all the supplies you need.

Evans uses his dog, Charles Bronson, as a basis for a practice strip he draws. And his cat, Zissou. “All the cats are subservient to the dogs,” he said.

“If I get a new brush, or I’m trying something new, I’ll draw a Charles Bronson’s Mysteries,” he said. “It allows me to try new stuff while not interfering with any paid jobs I have.”

Each issue tackles a plot often centered around sausage, such as what is this delicious sausage stuff and where does it come from? Or what do animals do when their owners are asleep (they meet and discuss sausage).

“It’s all just fun,” he said.

Raised outside of Philadelphia in Chester County, he attended the Kubert School in Dover, N.J., one of the only trade schools for comic artists. He then attended the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia.

He first worked as an art teacher at The Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush, a creative and performing arts high school, and since 2008, he’s been with the Philadelphia School District as a graphics arts teacher. He’s also done freelance art and logo work.

He is married to the former Valerie Angelella, a behavior analyst.

He currently is working on a 300-page graphic novel, or a long-form comic, about an 8-year-old boy from a dysfunctional family and his relationship with his World War II soldier toy. It’s his first foray in the medium.

“It’s geared toward the book store crowd verses the traditional comic book shop crowd,” he said.

He’s gotten some interest from publishers, but they want to see the finished product.

Evans’ favorite comic book series is called Sandman. “He’s the purveyor of dreams.”

He also enjoys a political thriller called 100 Bullets. The core concept is based on the question of people willing to act on the desire of violent revenge if given the means, opportunity, and a reasonable chance to succeed. In each issue, a victim of a terrible wrong is given an opportunity to take revenge by being given a weapon with 100 untraceable bullets.

“It’s all about how people react,” he said.

He said comic books have had a resurgence in recent years.

“Especially with film really taking comic books in new directions,” he said. “The kids are all over it.”

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