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A Fortean Shoutout to Artist Jack Cusumano

One of the things I love the most about the Fortean world, is how these mysteries can do more than just make one scratch his head in confusion; sometimes they can also inspire artists to create amazing content, which consequently influences the cultural perception of said mysteries in a very peculiar ‘cross-polination’ process –for more about that, read Mutants & Mystics by Jeffrey Kripal. In fact, I am of the opinion that a person with an artistic sensibility is more suited to grasp the nature of the phenomena, than a lab coat-wearing scientist rigidly adhering to ‘rationalism’ and the scientific method.

Among those artists who took Forteana as his bug-eyed muse is Jack Cusumano. Jack is an animator living in L.A. and has worked in TV shows like Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja and Rick & Morty; he also collaborated in Dumm Comics –a website I’ve been a fan of since 2008. Jack had had a keen interest in weird stuff and the supernatural at an early age, but later went through a ‘skeptical’ phase in which he was convinced all paranormal phenomena could be ‘explained’ by Science through conventional interpretations, thus becoming disinterested in them; It was around 2012 when one of his co-workers suggested to him Mysterious Universe –the podcast produced by our friends Ben & Aaron– and listening to it not only allowed him to reconnect with the things which both fascinated and terrified him in his childhood, but also forced him to entertain the possibility that there might be something in these mysteries which may elude a simple, mundane explanation.

Above all, Jack manages to see the amusing side of the Fortean world, something that has helped him create the wonderful moving images showcased in his Tumblr page High Strange Gifs; all the gif images are inspired by actual reports and posts Jacks find online in websites like MU, Open Minds, Epoch Times and other Fortean outlets. Below are more samples of his delightfully quirky artwork:

Bigfoot Stalking Buffalo in Yellowstone Park
(via Above Top Secret Forums)

Flaming V-Shaped UFO in Brazil, Horse-Shaped One in Mexico
(via Mysterious Universe)

Metallic Orb Could Have Been Sent By Aliens, Scientist Suggests
(via Open Minds)

Here’s also a quick animated his wife Teri –who is also an artist interested in the paranormal– created and Jack assisted with, based on a concept of hers involving my favorite Schrödinger cat cryptid:

As a life-time fan of animation, I for one would have loved to watch a Saturday morning cartoon full of cute, Fortean creatures when I was growing up. Here’s hoping one day Jack and Teri will create that show for your children.

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