According to Jack, his entire inspiration for building this goddamn monstrosity stemmed from having dinner with Shane one night. During the meal he couldn’t help but notice “He just had this crazy hair going at the time, there was no other way to describe it than Muppet-like”.
These were back in the ‘glory days’ too, when Jack would spend up to four solid weeks on any given portrait project. To say he’d take a concept and run with it would be about as much of an understatement as ‘Sleep wasn’t really a priority for him in those days.’
Before issue#1 had even been sent to the printers, Jack already had plans for issue #13, The Horror issue. It may have been years away, but his whole vibe was that the entire issue would be “Really brutal!”. Many a concept was discussed over many a Coopers at the Shakespeare Hotel, the Journal’s first official ‘office’ [Which also went on to feature on the cover of issue#30]
Cut to 2009, and with issue#13 a few months away from completion, ‘AZAR AND
FIENDS FRIENDS’ was one of the first projects he set about sinking his teeth in to. “I made all the puppets life-size using high density foam, bought the eyes off eBay and the rest was wool and fabric… We shot the final portrait in Pete Daly’s studio which was situated in Bondi at the time. This was the same night we shot Ryan Wilson’s ‘American Psycho’ portrait…”. But that’s a story for another day.
Like many of Jack’s projects, the ridiculous hours he put into this build went largely undocumented, apart from these few shots dug up from an old hard drive years later (taken on a phone that may have been on the first moon mission, so apologies for the lack of pixels). It was always his style to slave away in secret, then unexpectedly do an unveil a few days out from deadline. Which Pete Daly, who has shot most of Jack’s creations for not much more than a beer or two ‘loved’… (sorry Pete)
Epic battle, epic trifecta: trick, photo, footage. As for the window? Apparently it buffed out. [*Note the customised movie posters in the background.]
PHOTO: ANDREW PETERS | VIDEO: SU YOUNG CHOI
The entire issue was full of little hidden gems and nods to all things horror. As for ‘AZAR AND FIENDS‘ FRIENDS, the interview itself was gnarly. One of several Shane has shot for us over the years. Not unlike Jack, he also goes above and beyond when duty calls. Other than that, Jack doesn’t really have too much more to say about it. He lets his handy work do the talking and saves his voice for more important things in life like footy and drag cars. “From a glance over the dinner table… next thing we end up with some funny arse looking zombies, and an even funnier arse looking Azar!”
A slightly less muppet-haired Shane Azar: 2016 | PHOTO: Andrew Mapstone