Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Interview at Maxine's


JB Webb and the Reverend produce a podcast about the Orlando Arts and Culture scene called The JB Rev Show. I recently did some art work for this show which depicted this dynamic duo as if on the cover of a comic book. It was fun working with JB to make that happen.

I was called in to Maxine's on Shine for an interview on the show. The production was staged in the red room in the back corner of the restaurant. Before the place became the restaurant it is today this room was used to stage weddings. Now it's walls are blood red and it has plenty of romantic and erotic art.

The JB REV Show is quirky and fast paced. I put on the headphones and joined in for the ride and it was over before I knew what hit me. Honestly I am not sure if I got a word into the mix. I was so mesmerized by the quirky hosts. I then settled in to sketch the production as they interviewed their next guest, Tony Mauss who was the husband of Billy Maines.

My life is measured by the pages in my sketchbooks. Just 15 pages prior to this sketch, I had sketched Billy Maines as he talked about his experiences after the Pulse Nightclub Massacre. Shortly after doing that sketch I found out that Billy had been let go from Watermark where he was the editor and chief, and shortly after, he died on Friday, July 21, 2017 at the age of 45. It was a real shock since he seemed in good health the day we spoke with him. He did joke about a persistent cough.

In a statement to the Orlando Weekly, Tony said, "My husband, Billy Manes, passed away peacefully on Friday afternoon surrounded by his family of friends. He had been ill for a couple of weeks with what turned out to be pneumonia, and by the time we sought medical attention, it was too far advanced. He died due to complications of his condition leading to organ failure."

Mauss continued, "Billy Manes was a walking fucking miracle, a man who fought ferociously to create a world where justice, equality and respect were the cornerstones of his community. He loved Orlando. He knew what was possible here in this sprawling mass of ex-pats, misfits, introverts, seekers, party people, bookworms, performers, makers, artists and friends. His driving force was love. He loved you, Orlando, and he knew of your love for him. He fed off it; it sustained him. He would have fought proudly for each and every one of you forever. Unfortunately, his body had other plans.

"So … grieve, Orlando, grieve, but don't forget to laugh, create joy, and love each other wildly. That would honor him."

Though the JB Rev Show makes a point of being irreverent, they toned down the jokes a notch to pay tribute to a man who had spent his life reporting about local politics in the Orlando Weekly and Watermark, making the seemingly boring inner workings of local government entertaining and relevant.


Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

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