Kevin Cannon: 100 Creatives


Number 93: Kevin Cannon


City: Minneapolis


Years spent living in MN: My whole life, except for 4 years going to school in Iowa.  So... twenty-seven.

Illustrator and cartoonist Kevin Cannon has been working on the local scene for quite some time. You may recognize his work from his production studio, Big Time Attic, where he and his business/creative partner Zander Cannon (ironically, no relation) create publications that inform as well as entertain, tackling such heavy topics including genetics, paleontology, and the U.S. versus Russia space race. He has also been a regular contributor to Lutefisk Sushi, an ongoing publication series featuring hundreds of local comic artists. His illustration work has been featured in Target ads, on the Cartoon Network, and in City Pages (check out his awesome, award-winning Twin Cities Rock Atlas).


[jump] Name three things that are inspiring your work right now:


  1. Old maps

  2. Peter Freuchen

  3. Pipe organ music

    Name three things that inspired and/or motivated you as a budding creative type:

  4. Die Brücke

  5. Dan Clowes

3. Wet Hot American Summer


What was your last big project?


I just finished illustrating my first children's book. Very recently the author, Andrew Sherburne, and I decided to produce a hockey-themed children's book and get it out by Christmas. So, I spent most of my waking hours last month working on it.


What do you have going on now or coming up in the near future that should be on our radar?


Well, the children's book, called Ben and Lucy Play Pond Hockey, will be out in late November, and I co-illustrated a nonfiction graphic novel called Evolution: The Story of Life on Earth that hits shelves January 4. Both books are considered "must haves" by experts.


Creative/career high point (so far)?:


Probably the moment I found out that Top Shelf wanted to publish my graphic novel, Far Arden. It's the comic book industry equivalent of finding a golden ticket in a chocolate bar.


What has been your biggest challenge as an artist?



Wanting to be a people pleaser. This can sabotage a career in numerous ways: not being able to say no to projects, over-delivering on projects, and not charging enough.

How has the local scene changed since you began your career?


The local comics scene has exploded since 2004. I think there have always been lots of cartoonists working around the Twin Cities, but when Steven Stwalley started the International Cartoonist Conspiracy it gave all of us an excuse to come together and hang out. Through the Conspiracy we've organized gallery shows, published comic anthologies, do jam comics twice monthly, and members have even started a KFAI radio show and organized camping trips.


Favorite super hero? Villain?:

Don Draper, and... Don Draper.


You are given the ability to cancel one television show. Which show would you choose?


Dallas. Thirty-one seasons is ENOUGH!

Looking for more? You can check out Kevin Cannon's work over at Big Time Attic.

Do you have a suggestion for someone whose work we should be checking out? Feel free to leave your top picks in the comments.

Past creatives, so far:

100. Jennifer Davis

99. Sean Smuda

98. Chuck U


96. Amy Rice

95. Kara Hendershot