Last fall, it came to my attention that Wilco, in cartoon form, was featured in the nationally syndicated Jumble® puzzle. Turns out that the artist behind the comic, Jeff Knurek, is a big fan of Jeff Tweedy and company and has drawn the group a bunch of times since they first appeared in a Jumble See & Search book printed in 2003 (“I drew them poorly twice in that book,” he told me).
Being greatly amused by Knurek’s Wilco-related Jumble work, I reached out to him to find out more about his fandom.
Wilcopedia: “How long have you been a fan of Wilco?”
Jeff Knurek: “I first saw them at the Taste of Chicago in 1996. But it was in 1999 at the Riviera that I really became a fan. The started the show with ‘Via Chicago’and I was blown away from that point on. I love listening to their music, but seeing them live is the part of being a fan that I love the most.”
W: “What inspired you to include them in your Jumble art?”
JK: “When I have to draw a band or musicians, I might as well make it someone I like. I love when Wilco fans talk about or post the cartoons of the Jumble online. Plus I was hoping it would allow me to meet the guys. Oh well, that hasn't happened yet.”
W: “How many times have Wilco or Tweedy appeared in the puzzles? I’m not sure I have an exact number of the times I’ve drawn them. It’s probably close to a dozen. Now the times I've drawn a character, usually me, wearing a WILCO shirt, is too many to count.”
Daniel Cook Johnson’s Wilcopedia: A Comprehensive Guide to the Music of America’s Best Band is available for order here.