Los Angeles-based cartoonist and illustrator Jay Howell — creator of popular zine Punks Git Cut — was working on an animated series called The Forest City Rockers that caught the attention of Fox. They recruited him to create art for their new show Bob’s Burgers, about a family that runs a hamburger joint next to a crematorium. Since then he’s been developing a pilot for Nickelodeon, while also working on a new zine called Dark Wave. Today, however, it’s his drawings on Harlequin novels that got us excited.
The cartoon-style drawings are set on the title pages of the mawkish best sellers, conceptualizing the art-text relationship in funny ways. “I was in a thrift store maybe six months ago and I noticed that the titles in these books were just so funny,” Howell said in a recent interview. “I was doing all these drawings about people reading books with funny titles, [because] I really like making up fake names and fake book titles. Then I saw those books, and it was just so perfect.” Click through to see Howell’s lanky and monstrous characters take over the pages of Harlequin novels in our gallery below.