Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

December 20, 2012

Art with a sense of humor: Stripped exhibit comes to Essex Art

The Andover Townsman

---- — Andover native Don Mathias -- whose comic Entering Andover ran in the Townsman for many years -- is among the comic book illustrators who will be featured in the upcoming exhibit “Stripped.”

Stripped, featuring original comic book illustrations by Mathias, Brian McFadden, Norm Feuti and Elena Steier, will run Jan. 11 through Feb. 15 at Chester F. Sidell Gallery at Essex Art Center. There will be an opening reception on Friday, Jan. 11, from 5-7 p.m., with music by The Payne-Taylors.

Essex Art Center offered the following descriptions of the artists:

Don Mathias Jr. is an award winning freelance illustrator, cartoonist and creative mind behind “Peanizles,” an almost daily webcomic. A 1989 graduate of Andover High, he received his BFA in Illustration and Graphic Design at Montserrat College of Art, located in Beverly, Massachusetts. Don’ first comic “Entering Andover” (which during its first several years was co-written with editor Neil Fater) ran in the Andover Townsman from May 1998 to April 2011, and his art work and illustrations have been featured in numerous newspapers and magazines, including the Weekly Dig, Skope Magazine, and most recently in the critically acclaimed comic book series, “Zombie Bomb” published by Terminal Press. In 2002, Don created Peanizles, an all-ages urban-based comic strip freaturing a diverse cast of characters, which has been printed in newspapers and magazines around the globe. Peanizles went live on the web in the summer of 2009, and has since received world wide recognition. Peanizles was one of the few comic strips to be chosen for “Team Cul De Sac” a compilation book of cartoons and comic strips geared toward fighting Parkinson’s Disease, with proceeds going to the Michael J. Fox Foundation. When Don is not working with the Peanizles gang and doing the convention circuit, he spends his time teaching art, cartooning and illustration at the Essex Art Center and the Bellesini Academy in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Don lives in Boston with his wife and a variety of animals. For more information visit

Brian McFadden was born and raised in Brockton. Immediately after college, he moved back home and began the irreverent and frequently political alt-weekly comic strip “Big Fat Whale.” It has appeared in weeklies across the nation, including: The Boston Phoenix, Cleveland Scene, Daily Kos and Funny Times. After a decade toiling among concert listings and escort ads, Brian was picked to draw “The Strip” for the New York Times’ Sunday Review in the summer of 2011. He’s been

drawing it ever since and had the good fortune to force his ill-informed opinions on the entire nation throughout the 2012 Republican primaries and the Presidential campaign. He lives in Quincy with his cat, Gizmo.

Elena Steier has been a cartoonist for the past 20 years. Her cartoons have appeared on ESPN and in Nickelodeon Magazine among other places. Her strips have been syndicated by DBR Media, and have also run independently in a number of publications.

The Chester F. Sidell Gallery is located on the first floor of Essex Art Center at 56 Island St., Lawrence.