Visual Abuse is an outrageous and optically rich collection of the halcyon days of illustrator and cartoonist Jim Blanchard, whose work from 1982–2002 intersected with punk rock, grunge, psychedelia, alternative comics, “zine” culture, portraiture, and “girlie” art. The book gathers Blanchard’s different eras and disparate art styles into a cohesive whole. After self-publishing the punk rock/art fanzine Blatch in Oklahoma, Jim brought his act to Seattle, Washington in 1987, where the nascent “grunge” rock scene was poised to erupt. Visual Abuse assembles the best of Blanchard’s LP covers, posters and flyers from the hardcore punk era through grunge, including iconic Black Flag, Nirvana, and Soundgarden posters. Augmenting the posters are exclusive photographs from the shows, including shots by famed photographer Charles Peterson. Also chronicled are page after page of Blanchard’s obsessive psychedelic art, bizarre sociopathic comics, exquisitely detailed pop culture portraits, twisted “glamour girl” art, and some tongue-waggin’ eyeball-poppin’ freaks, making this an overwhelming and long-overdue compendium by an elusive, dedicated, and complex artist.
A treasure trove of fucked-up shit from the dark end-times of a lost civilization. Daniel Clowes
Blanchard's images are a total visual overload, an all-consuming, mind-subsuming onslaught of pictorial intensity where freewheeling cultural subversion, social malevolence, aesthetic anarchy and libidinal excess comes hurtling out at us, naked, hard, deranged, bloody, screaming and armed to the nines. When Blanchard picks up his pen, you'd best duck. Carlo McCormick
Blanchard is a master of texture and commands an extensive illustrative vocabulary. His pointillist portraiture never ceases to amaze. Juxtapoz
Born in Texas, Jim Blanchard has lived all across the U.S.A. and in Norway. From 1982–1988, he was the editor and publisher of the punk rock/graphics zine Blatch. In 1987, he moved to Seattle, Washington, where he’s been an illustrator, designer, and comic book artist, as well as an art director for Fantagraphics Books. He now lives in Bellingham, Washington, with his wife Diana and his dog Lucius.
Charles Peterson is best known for his grunge rock photography. He lives in Seattle, WA.
Jim Woodring lives on Vashon Island in Washington State’s Puget Sound with his wife, Mary. The recipient of numerous rewards —including a Genius Award —he is an animator and a fine artist as well as a cartoonist.