book us

Matthew Draws 38 – Redemption

by | Nov 21, 2014 | Matthew Draws | 5 comments

In the wake of the publication of Matthew Draws Anthology, Vol. 1, I have been wondering whether the halting, sputtering visual utterance known as Matthew Draws has run its course. Was it, I asked myself, time to hang up my spurs, so to speak, and move on to other pastures, such as writing stories and the like?

But then the universe responded, first in the form of an enthusiastic hand-written letter from real-live and incredibly talented illustrator Peter Arkle, praising Matthew Draws Anthology, Vol. 1 and encouraging me to venture forth with more of the same. Then, in NYC this week, Robbi had lunch with real-live and incredibly talented illustrator Yuko Shimizu and real-live and incredibly talented art director SooJin Buzelli, both of whom also enjoyed the book (photographic evidence below) and offered encouraging words.


Then, just today, a thoughtful, literate, downright encouraging article by Carey Dunne in praise (or was it pity?) of Matthew Draws was posted on the I Heart Daily blog. (Carey is also part of a cool project called Red the Book. You should check it out.)

To quote her article for those of you who are too busy or intractable to follow the link above:

Sometimes the worst drawings are the best drawings. At least this is the case in Matthew Draws ($10), a new book of 61 hilariously awkward celebrity line drawings by technically unskilled illustrator Matthew Swanson. His primitive portraits make Hollywood’s beautiful people look like deranged criminals, and he describes the book as “part guessing game, part artistic statement, and part sociological experiment.” 

He’s made great entertainment out of this awful portraiture. (Just tell me you’re not already trying to make sense of the celebrity you’re looking at here.) Can you tell that that eye-bagged ghoul is supposed to be the illustrious Meryl Streep? (If this gives you a sense of how much room there is for interpretation, incorrect Meryl guesses include Glenn Close, RuPaul and Michael Jackson.)

To see the “baggy-eyed ghoul” in question, have a gander at the glory of Matthew Draws past.

The point of all this is that, it seems to me that it would be the worst form of unseemly to stop drawing now. Clearly someone wants me to keep on going and see where it leads. My apologies to the Matthew Draws detractors out there. If you would like to present your case for why I should stop drawing immediately, feel free to use the comment field below this post.

And now, since it is Friday, I am happy to offer the latest batch of drawings for your pleasure or pain. Here they are (such as they are).


Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.





  1. Veronica

    Please don’t give up on Matthew Draws. Its a real community event. Like Christmas Tree lighting or St. Patty’s Day parades. Its a community event on the internet. We love it!

  2. a fan

    I have to agree with Veronica. It’s a community event. Like when everyone comes out onto the street together to watch the neighbor’s house burn down. Or how they all crane their necks out their windows then phone each other up to find out who just got shot. I’m guessing it’s candidate #2 above, by the way …

  3. Matthew

    Thank you, my screaming fan base, for making your enthusiasm known. I would have continued drawing were there only one of you out there. But given that there are two, I may even up my already blistering pace.

  4. Tara

    In the book, you and Robbi “solemnly swear that this unprecedented lapse into one another’s media will be short-lived and never repeated.” You big, fat liars.

  5. Matthew

    Tara: The statement was true based on the information available at the time. At the time I did not realize the extent to which the world loves, nay NEEDS, Matthew Draws to keep turning. I think you will understand that, in light of this new information, it is critical that I stay the course.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *