For the past twenty years, cartoonists Jon Link and Mick Bunnage have dedicated their lives to mischief. The last twelve years, they’ve run a “scurrilous, global cult comic” known as Modern Toss out of Brighton in the United Kingdom.
Now, Link and Bunnage have created a coloring book. It’s called, simply, the Mindless Violence Colouring Book. And that’s exactly what it is: a collection of mindlessly violent, outlined scenes, just waiting to become variegated, waiting to spring to life. The book promises “an overwhelming sense of inner peace as you immerse yourself and your pencils in a world of detail and surprises.”
Inverse caught up with Mr. Link at a safe distance — via email — to find out more.
Was there a particular impetus, or was it just your run-of-the-mill buildup of modern society-induced low-level rage?
We’re just doing our bit to help people chill the fuck out.
‘Mindless violence’ and ‘coloring book’ are not two things someone would usually pair together. Who’s your imagined customer?
We haven’t got a clue.
Tell me why I, personally, would benefit from owning this coloring book.
You sound quite chilled out from your questioning technique, but who knows what you’re like behind closed doors after a bad day. I’d advise everyone to keep a copy in their library. The world would probably be a better place for it.
What percentage of scenes are pulled directly from your own daily imaginations? I don’t think that mindless violence daydreams are altogether uncommon.
Fantasy violence scenarios are popular for a lot of people while they’re at work. One of our most popular greetings cards is of a worker being told off by his boss. He has a big thought bubble coming out of his head with an image of his boss being fucked by a cart horse in it. This cheers him up to no end while he’s being told off.
What’s your favorite page in the book?
There are many favourites. I like the simplicity of the man trying to punch a tree.
I also like the page where a man is punching himself in the face while giving his attacker the finger. That works on a lot of levels for me.
Imagine that you are not Jon Link and that you’ve never heard of the Mindless Violence Colouring Book. You’re on the subway, and you notice that the person sitting next to you is working on a page in a coloring book. You reminisce; you smile to yourself. After a stop or two, you notice the book’s title and see one of the pages …
What’s your reaction? Do you say anything to him or her? Do you warn someone? Do you move to a new car?
That’s a complex scenario. Don’t disturb them, that’s the big one.
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.