Mickey Duzyj.

“At work, I’m definitely a 5th degree blackbelt messmaker, though I’m proud to say that this photo makes it seem I’m somewhat in control of my-body/my-workspace/myself. A random drop-in, though, will reveal that 8 times out of 10, my desk looks like a scene out of “Hoarders.” I really clean up after myself as part of a delirious post-deadline-ritual, when I get an adrenaline rush for having completed an assignment but can’t really physically do anything besides pick up scraps of paper, sweep dust, and windex.

My current set-up is to have two desks back to back- one is a 6 foot wide wooden thing with carved legs that is a glorified computer stand, and the other is a 5 foot wide, slanted-topped metal thing whose main attribute is effectively filling my entire field of vision with desktop and forcing me to work. The back to back arrangement is something I’ve done for a few years now, where it’s sometimes nice to have a workspace near to the computer (to make color separations, sketch, scan, print, etc,) also as a desk where an LCD monitor doesn’t seduce me into doing more “research.” I try (but fail) to not spend the day wheeling back and forth, and have been known to abandon one of the locations if it becomes over-cluttered (notice the portable slanted drafting table thing I bought for my wooden computer desk. Pathetic.)

To the left of my drafting table is another flatfile with a lightbox, which magically becomes covered with brushes, pens, and other supplies about 3 minutes after I clean it off. (I also have a separate workspace set up in a tiny room at my apartment, where I like to go if I really need to focus, need a change of scenery, or my mess is totally out of hand). That space is a top-secret bunker, both classified and un-photographable.

And there’s the tour! Thanks for the invitation and for the therapy.”

Illustrator and comic artist Mickey Duzyj is alive and well in Brooklyn NYC and continues to champion underdog sports teams, horse-racing and commitment to quality.   Recently, one of his Mike Tyson drawings from the “Fall Classic” gallery exhibition was purchased by a trustee from the Whitney Museum of Art.

Kate considers Mickey’s work a welcome step back in time.  He’s mod to be sure but it’s almost as if he’s emerged from the super visceral pulp noir days.

I have freakishly long arms and have been known to play for 5 hour marathon sessions.

Do you like working on the superheros (a la comic book guys) or more the Mike Tysons’ and real mugshots/sports figures of the world?

Even though I draw things to look comic-book-y, I’m actually not that interested in drawing superheros or those types of stories. Without trying to sound like an a-hole, I’m more turned on by real characters that have a different kind of real dimension, and who are surprising or contradictory in some interesting way. Mike Tyson was a subject that I enjoyed working with, Iggy Pop was another.I also write and illustrate my own stories, but those are purely fictional and fulfill more of an I’m-making-it-so-that-it-exists-in-the-world compulsion.

Since you supplied the artwork for Robin’s piece Understanding the Anxious Mind (her desk can be viewed here), do you read first then add your illustrative  take on it? Yep- I was sent her article by the Times and worked with a designer and the Creative Director to come up with the visuals. I originally pitched ideas that were more complicated and more having to do with children predisposed to anxiety, but they decided to go with a series of simpler portraits of various ages and ethnicities. Everyone seemed happy with how it turned out- I hope Robin liked the series too.

Robin wrote a great piece. And you nailed it on the illustrations. And ping-pong, Mickey? Are you any good? I love ping-pong and am pretty good. Not good good, but I have freakishly long arms and have been known to play for 5 hour marathon sessions. I really think that New York City is the best city to play ping-pong in the world- any day of the week, you can play with Russians in Brighton Beach, Chinese guys in Chinatown, Bengali guys in Kensington, or your average shmoes in a dozen other clubs throughout the city. There should be a Warriors-type movie all about the ping-pong clans who duke it out for bragging rights. For me, the game and world are a total joy. Ping-pong is super hip. I love New York period. Hey, any other comic illustrators you respect (dead or alive?). Let’s say your top three. Dead: I like Anne Cleveland, George Price, and Osama Tezuka.  Alive: I like Chris Ware, Sam Kieth, and Paul Pope.

Do you see all the blockbuster Marvel movies? I don’t think so. I liked the first Ironman movie a lot. The second Spiderman movie was good too, right? It was just okay.

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