Jesse Moynihan
Jesse Moynihan, 2012 Stumptown Comics Fest (cropped).jpg
Jesse Moynihan in 2012
Born (1978-01-04) January 4, 1978 (age 44)
  • Animator
  • writer
  • artist
Years activeEarly 2000s–present
Notable work

Jesse Moynihan (born January 4, 1978) is an American artist, animator, composer and director. He is best known for being a writer and storyboard artist on the animated television series Adventure Time and as 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]

He has most recently participated in The Midnight Gospel as director of the art department.

Early life

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, 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 novel series: The Backwards Folding Mirror,[11] Follow Me,[12] and Forming.[13] As of February 2018, the story of Forming continues to be updated on his website and is collected in volumes through Nobrow Press.[14][15] Forming has received a fair share of critical attention; Rob Clough of The Comics Journal described it as "a success on so many different levels" and praised the series' storyline and "brightly colored and bizarre images".[16]

He has contributed work to such publications as Philadelphia Weekly,[17] The Philadelphia Independent, Arthur magazine,[18] Mome,[19] Meathaus,[20] and Vice.[21] Jesse collaborated with graphic novelist Dash Shaw in the May 2010 issue of The Believer magazine.[22][23]


In 2005, Jesse received the Xeric Foundation grant for self-publishing comic artists.[24] He used the money to self-publish two issues of The Backwards Folding Mirror.[25]

His work on Adventure Time gained him an Emmy Award nomination in 2012 for the third season episode "Too Young".[26]



Year Title Role
2010–2015 Adventure Time Writer, storyboard artist
2014 Manly Co-creator, writer, director
2018–present Summer Camp Island Writer, storyboard artist
2020 The Midnight Gospel Art Director
2021 Alpha Betas Director
2021 Adventure Time: Distant Lands Writer

Art exhibitions


  1. ^ Moynihan, Jesse; Moynihan, Justin. "Manly". Tumblr. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  2. ^ "Jesse Says Work's Underway on the 'Manly' Backgrounds". The Frederator Studios Tumblr. Frederator. July 17, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  3. ^ Moynihan, Jesse (2009). "About". Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  4. ^ "Last Anal Sausage 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. Make A Rising birthed from the fertile Philly art-rock scene of the early 00's. Founding members: John Heron, Brandon Beaver, brothers Moynihan and a revolving cast of super talents performed elaborate stage shows set to Brian Wilson influenced pyramids of bedroom indie prog. MAR released two albums through High Two and a free 3 song EP. They are currently working on a 3rd full length album.
  8. ^ Dahlen, Chris (October 25, 2005). "Make A Rising: Rip Through the Hawk Black Night". Pitchfork. Condé Nast. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
  9. ^ Collerd, Ryan. "MAR". photos. Ryan Collard. Archived from the original on August 22, 2013. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
  10. ^ "Jesse Moynihan Discography of CDs". CD Universe. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  11. ^ Moynihan, Jesse (2005). The Backwards Folding Mirror. Nonlocal Books. ISBN 978-0-9769625-0-2. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
  12. ^ Moynihan, Jesse (2009). Follow Me. Bodega. ISBN 978-0-9777679-8-4.
  13. ^ Moynihan, Jesse (2011). Forming. Nobrow Press. ISBN 978-1-907704-13-0.
  14. ^ Moynihan, Jesse. "Welcome". Jesse Moynihan. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  15. ^ "Jesse Moynihan". Nobrow Press. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  16. ^ Clough, Rob (May 15, 2012). "Forming". The Comics Journal. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  17. ^ Moynihan, Jesse (July 25, 2007). "Kime Agine". Philadelphia Weekly. Review Publishing. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  18. ^ Moynihan, Jesse (September 9, 2009). "'GWC' pt. 1 by Jesse Moynihan". Arthur. Floating World Comics. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  19. ^ Fantagraphics Books, Inc. (June 19, 2011). "Mome Vol. 22: Fall 2011 – Jesse Moynihan". Mome. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
  20. ^ Moynihan, Jesse (July 26, 2013). "Manly Cartoon". Meathaus. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
  21. ^ Moynihan, Jesse (May 31, 2010). "New Age Fights". Vice Comics. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  22. ^ "Bonus: A free 35-inch-tall comic strip about Lost". The Believer. Vol. 8, no. 4. May 2010. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
  23. ^ Moynihan, Jesse (April 30, 2010). "New Comic!". Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  24. ^ "Comic Book Self-Publishing Grants". Xeric Foundation. 2005. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
  25. ^ Moynihan, Jesse (January 15, 2009). "The Backwards Folding Mirror Volume 1". Jesse Moynihan. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
  26. ^ "Adventure Time, Cartoon Network". Television Academy. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved January 23, 2013.
  27. ^ "Untitled 6 Prints by Jesse Moynihan". Secret Headquarters. Secret Headquarters. Retrieved July 27, 2013.[dead link]
  28. ^ Moynihan, Jesse (May 17, 2012). "GIant Robot Video Game Show". Jesse Moynihan. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
  29. ^ "GR2 12/10 – 12/29 – Post Its 7 – Reception 12/10 6:30-10p". Giant Robot. November 17, 2011. Archived from the original on February 1, 2013. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  30. ^ "Adventure Time: A Look Behind Ooo". Gallery Nucleus. May 5, 2011. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  31. ^ Grigoropol, Dre (January 6, 2011). "Check out Jesse Moynihan and Lance Simmons Art Show this First Friday". Philly Comix Jam. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  32. ^ "2008-2013". Eyelevel BQE. Archived from the original on August 25, 2013. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  33. ^ "Archive 2006–2007". Seraphin Gallery. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  34. ^ "Shows". Padlock Gallery. 2006. Archived from the original on April 21, 2006. Retrieved August 26, 2013.