Said the creator of his creation: “[It’s a] surrealistic melting pot of anything that might pop into my head and onto the page and does not necessarily need to be explained.” Fair enough. He doesn’t have to say much, but I’d like to throw in a comment or few. Drazen Kozjan, the above quoted creator of a morbidly humorous weekly comic strip called “The Happy Undertaker”, is a master of understated dark comedy and deceptively quaint illustrations. The comic series, which he pumps out almost weekly on the comic’s blog, seems to take inspiration from vintage horror films, 1950s Hitchcock suspense thrillers, and nostalgic Atomic-age comics. In the end, Kozjan’s dense, lively line-work and unique, silent storytelling method tell a macabre tale that strangely leaves you smiling or chuckling at the demise of usually every character except the Happy, ever whistling, Undertaker. The panels and title page of his comics are always inventive, and his color choice has a great retro feel.
So who is Drazen Kozjan? Well, like his comics, he seems to be at ease with living mainly in wordless bliss, speaking succinctly but happily on his works if he introduces them at all. It adds to the mystery and intrigue of the whole affair. A short bio he offers says that he “appreciates the finer things in life such as comics, rock ‘n’ roll, horror movies and phantasmagoric fiction from his home in Toronto where he resides with his wife Alison, Igor the cat and Lucky the bunny.” He has done illustrations for numerous successful kids books and is currently nominated for the 2011 Joe Schuster Canandian Comic Book Creator Awards in the category of “Outstanding Web Comics Creator”. Sounds like a pretty rad dude to me! You can see more of Kozjan’s personal and commercial art work (besides but including his “Happy Undertaker” work) here at his blog Hypnotik Eye and visit his illustration website here.