Disturbing

Empire State Building Gunman’s Bizarre Fantasy Art (Photos)

Before today’s shooting, Jeffrey Johnson was also an avid illustrator. A look at the work he left behind.

A tweet from The New York Times Friday morning, pointing to a T-shirt website maintained by the alleged shooter near the Empire State Building, led us down a deep, dark rabbit hole, at the bottom of which we found a series of wild fantasy illustrations, all drawn by Jeffrey Johnson, that depict pirate ships, fighter jets, and naked women—sometimes in the same scene. 

 

Here, a look at some of his most imaginative—and weirdest—work.

Buzzing a Pirate in Sarasota Bay

“Wading into Sarasota Bay she was anticipating a relaxing moonlight swim out to the Pirate ship,” Johnson wrote of this illustration filed squarely under the “alternate realities” subsection of his website. “Hurtling into the periphery of her vision in a blur of fiery motion, a Phantom screamed overhead into the nightscape. It was so low she had seen the reflection of its burners on the ocean’s surface. She’d been startled and forgot to dive in … they’ll have lots to talk about tomorrow!”

Buzzing a Pirate Hidden in a Secret Cove

“Wading along a submerged ledge of the cliffs encompassing this secret cove led her to find this 90 gun Pirate ship quietly hiding at anchor under the moon, on this summer night,” Johnson wrote of this piece. “Looking at the expanse of lighted windows on the ship’s stern, she noticed figures in flight suits out on the balcony like galleries. Entranced by the incongruity of this scene, she flinched in shock as the night’s idyll was split by the scream of a fighter plane slicing overhead.”

Chasing a Friend at Siesta Key

In this, the illustrator asks: “I don’t know who gets a bigger kick when we play chase, our avian friend or we who are hydroplaning in the surf.”

Airport Friends

"For once, she got to the airport ahead of them," he writes of this scene depicting two jet engine–enhanced eagles, an airplane, and an AC Cobra. “Barely enough time to get her boots on then go preflight the blowtorch. Can’t use the clutch very well in the Cobra, when you’re wearing boots.”

Markley at Lido1

“Beautiful start to a water color,” Johnson wrote of his painting on June 19, which depicted the woman at the center of the pirate ship–fighter jet scenes.

Gathering at the Flight Line

“Today will be interesting to say the least. We’re going to practice formation flying,” the illustrator writes. Formation flying, that is, between a fighter jet—and eagles.