Jesse Moynihan

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Jesse Moynihan
Jesse Moynihan in 2012
Born (1978-01-04) January 4, 1978 (age 39)
Santa Ana, California
Nationality American
Citizenship United States
Occupation Animator, writer, artist
Years active Early 2000s–present
Notable work Adventure Time

Jesse Moynihan (born January 4, 1978) is an American artist, composer and director who is best known for being a writer and storyboard artist on the animated television series Adventure Time as well as being the creator of the graphic novel Forming. He also released the animated short Manly exclusively through Cartoon Hangover, made with his brother Justin.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Jesse was born in Santa Ana, California to Shoko and Robert Moynihan. The family moved to Pennsylvania when he was one, where he spent the rest of his childhood with his younger brother, Justin.

At an early age, Jesse was encouraged to draw and learn music. His parents started him on violin when he was five. In elementary school, he drew his first comic about a character named Super Bug, described by Jesse as a dust ball with legs and Garfield eyes.

Jesse went to a Quaker boarding school in Westtown, Pennsylvania. It was here that Jesse and his brother Justin began their leap into greater explorations of art and music. Jesse graduated from Westtown School in 1996, and attended Pratt institute for one year, before moving to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to focus on his own artistic endeavors. He later earned a film degree from Temple University.[3]


In high school, Jesse formed the punk band, Anal Sausage with his brother and friend Dave "Sausage" Walling. The group lasted from 1993-1999 and gained cult notoriety among the underground punk scene in Philadelphia, playing such venues as the legendary Stalag 13.[4] After Anal Sausage disbanded, Jesse and Justin moved into a house in South Philadelphia with their high school friend, Brandon Beaver, who later went on to play in the band mewithoutYou. The three built a recording studio in their basement, where they would practice and record with their band Hiroshima Nagasaki. Other bands Jesse has been in include Hunson Abadeer, Ivy Labs, Wolf Vs, Kuru Kuru Pa, Hiroshima Nagasaki, and Hiroshima Lemon.[5] In addition, he also auditioned as drummer for Dr. Dog. Make A Rising is Jesse's most current band, and consists of brothers Moynihan, and John Heron. Past members of Make A Rising include Brandon Beaver, John Pettit, Andrew Ciccone, Nick Millevoi, and Travis Woodson.[6][7][8] Photos for the band's album covers were taken by friend and photographer Ryan Collerd.[9] Jesse has also contributed violin playing to bands such as Dr. Dog, Man Man, Whales & Cops, & The Teeth.[10]

In 2005, Jesse, Justin, & MAR drummer John Heron moved into a warehouse in West Philadelphia which they coined The Avant Gentlemen's Lodge. They turned the warehouse into a DIY venue space, which hosted "The Astral Projection Club"; plays by local playwrights; seasonal solstice and equinox parties, and musical performances from notable acts such as Dan Deacon, Kayo Dot, and The Flying Luttenbachers.


Jesse has published three graphic novels: Follow Me,[11] "The Backwards Folding Mirror",[12] and Forming. The story of Forming continues to be updated on his website[13] and is collected in volumes through Nobrow Press[14] Forming has received a fair share of critical attention: with Rob Clough of The Comics Journal describing it as "a success on so many different levels", and praising the series' storyline and "brightly colored and bizarre images".[15]

He has contributed work to such publications as Philadelphia Weekly,[16] The Philadelphia Independent, Arthur magazine,[17] Mome,[18] Meathaus,[19] The Believer magazine, and Vice[20]

Jesse collaborated with graphic novelist Dash Shaw in the May 2010 issue of The Believer magazine.[21]


In 2005, Jesse received the Xeric Foundation grant for self-publishing comic artists.[22] He used the money to self-publish two issues of The Backwards Folding Mirror.[23]

His work on Adventure Time gained him an Emmy Award nomination for the third season episode "Too Young".[24]



Year Title Role
2010–2015 Adventure Time Writer, storyboard artist
2014 Manly Co-creator, writer, director

Art exhibitions[edit]

  • Secret Headquarters, Los Angeles, CA: New Age Fighters (Solo Show) April 5, 2013[25]
  • Giant Robot 2, Los Angeles, CA: Video Game Show June 2012[26]
  • Giant Robot 2, Los Angeles, CA : Post Its November 7, 2011[27]
  • Gallery Nucleus, Alhambra CA : A Look Behind the Land of Ooo April 2011[28]
  • Space 1026, Philadelphia PA : CGI vs. Forming January 2011[29]
  • Eyelevel BQE, Brooklyn, NY : Future Ink, June 2009[30]
  • Seraphin Gallery, Philadelphia, PA : Group Show, February 2006[31]
  • Diane Ashley Gallery, Philadelphia, PA:
  • Local Yokel: Lubrica Mi Vida, May 2005.
  • Big Jar Books, Philadelphia, PA : Brothers Moynihan, 2004.
  • Padlock Gallery, Philadelphia, PA : Degenerate Art, 2004.[32][33]
  • North Star, Philadelphia, PA : Jackpot, 2004.
  • A-Space, Philadelphia, PA : New Planet Collective, 2002.


  1. ^ Moynihan, Jesse; Moynihan, Justin. "Manly". Tumblr. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Jesse Says Work’s Underway on the 'Manly' Backgrounds". Frederator. July 17, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  3. ^ Moynihan, Jesse (2009). "About". Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  4. ^ Stalag 13. "Last Show". YouTube. Retrieved July 27, 2013. 
  5. ^ Moynihan, Jesse (Storyboard artist). 2013. "It Came from the Nightosphere" [Commentary track], Adventure Time Season Two [DVD], Los Angeles, CA: Cartoon Network.
  6. ^ "History". Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Make A Rising". Bandcamp. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  8. ^ Dahlen, Chris. "Make A Rising". Rip Through The Hawk Black Night. Pitchfork. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  9. ^ Collerd, Ryan. "MAR". photos. Ryan Collard. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Jesse Moynihan Discography of CDs". CD Universe. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  11. ^ Moynihan, Jesse. "Follow Me". Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  12. ^ Moynihan, Jesse. "Backwards Folding Mirror". graphic novel. Jesse Moynihan. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  13. ^ Moynihan, Jesse. "website". web series. Jesse Moynihan. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  14. ^ Moynihan, Jesse. "Forming". Nobrow Press. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  15. ^ Clough, Rob (May 15, 2012). "Forming". The Comics Journal. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  16. ^ Moynihan, Jesse. "Kime Agine". Philadelphia Weekly. Review Publishing. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  17. ^ Moynihan, Jesse. "GWC". comic. Arthu mag. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  18. ^ Moynihan, Jesse. "Vol 22". comic. Mome. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  19. ^ Moynihan, Jesse. "Manly". comic. Meathaus. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  20. ^ Moynihan, Jesse. "New Age Fighters". Vice Comics. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  21. ^ Moynihan, Jesse. "Believer Mag". collaboration with Dash Shaw. Believer Mag. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Xerix Foundation Comic Book Self-Publishing Grants". Xeric Foundation. 2005. Retrieved August 26, 2013. 
  23. ^ Moynihan, Jesse. "Backwards Folding Mirror". graphic novels. xeric. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Adventure Time". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Untitled 6 Prints by Jesse Moynihan". Retrieved July 27, 2013. 
  26. ^ Moynihan, Jesse. "GIant Robot Video Game Show". Retrieved July 27, 2013. 
  27. ^ "GR2 12/10 – 12/29 – Post Its 7 – Reception". Giant Robot. November 17, 2011. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Adventure Time: A Look Behind Ooo". Gallery Nucleus. May 5, 2011. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  29. ^ Grigoropol, Dre (January 6, 2011). "Check out Jesse Moynihan and Lance Simmons Art Show this First Friday". Philly Comix Jam. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  30. ^ "2008-2013". Eyelevel BQE. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Archive 2006-2007". Seraphin Gallery. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Padlock Gallery". Art. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Shows". Padlock Gallery. 2006. Archived from the original on April 21, 2006. Retrieved August 26, 2013. 

External links[edit]