Lisa Hanawalt, The Brilliant Illustrator Behind BoJack Horseman

by  | June 25

BoJack Horseman is a wry, irreverent, stunningly-animated Netflix original series featuring the vocal talents of comedy powerhouses like Will Arnett, Paul F. Tompkins, Alison Brie, and more—but what sets it apart from other “cartoonz 4 grown-upz” of its ilk (see: Bob’s Burgers, Rick and Morty) is its idiosyncratic, quirky, and uniquely hilarious design style, which can all be credited to the genius artist Lisa Hanawalt.



Show creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg snatched Lisa to animate his series because of her illustrations that capture a perfect mixture of relatable anxiety, colorful playfulness, with a whole lot of animal whimsy to boot.

In her personal comics and illustrations, instead of rendering herself as a two-dimensional cartoon, as artists like Allie Brosh of Hyperbole and A Half and Randall Munroe of XKCD are famous for, she lets glimpses of her autobiography and strange sense of humor shine through drawings of toucans twerking in tankinis, giraffes posing in Members Only jackets, and Ryan Gosling with a gob full of toothpicks (sincerely).

Her comic contributions to the world of high literature thus far include My Dirty Dumb Eyes from Drawn + Quarterly, a favorite of chuckle heads like Patton Oswalt and Kristen Schaal, featuring hysterical and surreal snapshot comics including quick and dirty cartoons like “How We Can Tell if Martha Stewart’s Drunk” and “Rumors About Anna Wintour.” Lisa’s got the sweet nostalgic style of Richard Scarry plus a helluva potty mouth, so haters of dogs and flatulence jokes and the beautifully weird will have to step on over to the left.

The second season of BoJack Horseman gallops (sorry) back to Netflix on July 17, and if you find that you need to glom onto Lisa’s killer artwork even more in the future, rest assured that she’s hinted at plans for future books and pieces, hopefully featuring more misbehaving lizards in Raybans, TV-binging cats, and otters who excel at synchronized swimming. To tide you over in the meantime, check out these amazing sketches of characters straight from BoJack:

sketch1 sketch2 sketch3 sketch4