Gary Panter’s “Jimbo” limited-edition vinyl figure
One of the most iconic and bizarre characters of the modern era is about to make his first appearance as an authorized vinyl figure. He is none other than “Jimbo,” the quasi-heroic denizen of Dal Tokyo, Gary Panter’s hypothetic Martian space colony.
Since his explosive appearance on the Los Angeles punk scene in the early 1970s, to his strong work in venues like Art Spiegelman’s RAW magazine, Jimbo has inspired, puzzled, enraged and captivated artists and graphic story readers worldwide.
Apart from Jimbo, Panter’s designs and graphics have graced venues as diverse as Time, Rolling Stone and The New Yorker, as well as a smorgasbord of more esoteric venues. His design work for “Pee Wee’s Playhouse” garnered him three Emmys, and longtime pal Matt Groening is happy to admit the similarity between Jimbo’s spiky hairline and that of Bart Simpson.
“I am a longtime fan of Gary’s,” Dark Horse President Mike Richardson recalls, “and to have him trust us with making the first Jimbo figure is a really big deal for me!” The figure, sculpted for Dark Horse by Yoe! Studio, was designed from Panter’s control art and personally checked over and approved by Panter as it progressed. Measuring 9.5“ tall, and featuring fabric costume of tartan loincloth (anatomically correct beneath) and tattered t-shirt, this unusual vinyl item is a limited-edition release. Only 2,500 copies are slated to be produced for worldwide distribution, with a special signed and numbered edition of 100 copies, featuring special packaging and other extras, planned for simultaneous release.
Asked to comment on the project, Panter remarked, “When I draw my comics, I see them in my mind a few different ways; as the black and white drawing I’m trying to pin down and capture, as a big budget action movie, and, more importantly as toys in a sandbox or floor set up. Sometimes I dream about toy versions of my characters and it’s a drag when I wake up and have to leave them in dreamland. Here, at last, is a dreamy, neanderthal- punker toy Jimbo, that won’t fade from view when the sun rises. It has been a pleasure working on it with all the nice folks at Dark Horse. Punk’s not dead.“
Craig Yoe added, “I’ve tried to live my life with at least a little punk-rock attitude each day. It was a thrill then when Yoe! Studio got the assignment to sculpt the ultimate punk rock character, Jimbo, who was created by the Gary Panter who originated punk [expletive] art!”
The Jimbo vinyl figure comes packaged in a full-color window box, with new art by Panter featured. Suggested retail price is $34.95. Release is in late July 2007.