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See Hilarious Comics From a New ‘120 Minutes’-Inspired Zine

Derek Marks recreates great MTV moments in drawings of artists like Thurston Moore and Courtney Love

120 minutes

Derek Marks

Growing up in Miami, Derek Marks was obsessed with MTV and his favorite show was 120 Minutes, the midnight video block that brought college rock to cable and premiered the clip for "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Creator Dave Kendall often played the role of VJ, but he also stepped aside for guest hosts like Thurston Moore, Lou Reed, Juliana Hatfield and Michael Stipe.

"It was on too late, so me or one of my friends would set the timer on the VCR and come over and watch it," Marks remembers. "That's how we discovered a lot of people."

More than two decades later, the cartoonist and photo agent began sketching some of his favorite musicians, and when he looked for old interviews, his favorites were always from 120 Minutes. This led him deeper into its unofficial YouTube archives. "They all were really candid back then," he continues. "The show got really great stuff out of people. They got their real personalities — at least as real as you could know."

The time-killing project eventually led to 120 Minutes: The Interview Sketches, a new zine compiling black-and-red illustrations inspired by his days in front of the TV set. Marks hopes to someday produce three volumes and 120 drawings, but here you can see highlights from the first edition.

courtney love and kim gordon

Derek Marks

Courtney Love and Kim Gordon

"I really love the Courtney and Kim one," Marks says. "I think Kim had co-produced the first Hole album, and it was funny to see Courtney being so sarcastic and Kim Gordon just wearing her sunglasses being like, 'Whatever. Yeah, Madonna.'"

Beck and Thurston Moorre

Derek Marks

Beck and Thurston Moore

In one of the most memorable 120 Minutes interviews, Thurston Moore talks to a dazed, young Beck. The "Loser" singer cues up strange sound effects, and when Moore asks him about writing his first hit, he compares it to "surfing in some oil spillage."


Derek Marks


Marks first saw Björk on Spanish MTV: He would flip to the station during MTV's commercial breaks, and it was there that he became a fan of artists like the Sugarcubes, the Icelandic singer's old band.

kate bush

Derek Marks

Kate Bush

"I wanted to make them kind of shitty, for lack of a better word," says Marks, describing the style of illustration. "I didn't want them to be super great portraits. I feel like it makes it a little different, just simple line work, a splash of color here or there. It's about getting an expression more than it is about getting an exact perfect likeness."