2012 is ramping up to be a banner year for artist Corey “Reyyy” Lewis. The long-awaited sequel to his breakout graphic novel Sharknife is due out this month, and the artist is planning to release the third volume of his Layered Jacket anthology at this year’s Emerald City Comicon in Seattle at the end of March. And now he’s making it even more special with an art show during the convention.
Titled “Pure Sass,” this show at Seattle’s Bauhaus Books & Coffee promises to be a rare glimpse inside the frenetic mind and creativity of Lewis’ work. Although it’s taken six years for Lewis to finish his sequel to Sharknife, he’s put out a number of mini-comics, ashcans, posters, webcomics and surprising guest appearances in a number of comics and magazines. From his unlikely comics debut doing a cover for Marvel’s Captain Marvel #35 in 2002 to the present, seeing his artwork all in one place — and all originals — sounds like a modern-day comics archeological find. Now I just got to find a cheap flight to Seattle.
When Corey Lewis first broke into comics, he was mentioned in the same breadth as friend and fellow Oni artist Bryan O’Malley. Lewis’ Sharknife and O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim both roughly launched at the same time, but after that their careers took very divergent paths.
After the success of the first Sharknife volume in 2005, Lewis announced that a second volume was set for 2006, but it has been continually delayed with the artist and publisher Oni scheduling a release for this year. Between that, Lewis has done a number of side projects like the kickball one-shot Peng!, a Street Fighter spinoff series, and several webcomics. Lately, he’s been focusing his frantic comics energy and ideas for multiple projects in his self-published anthology series Layered Jacket, somewhat in the path of Paul Pope’s THB series.
As 2012 comes around, Lewis is working on the third installment of Layered Jacket, featuring original shorts as well as stories spinning out of his previous works like the hackey sack comic Stall featuring characters from Peng!. Lewis plans to have copies on sale at Emerald City Comic Con in March, and later on his online store.
Lewis has never been a “traditional” comics artist, and has never had a desire to be one. While it might not lead him down the same career path as O’Malley, his frantic energy shows up on every page he draws and is worth tracking down.