Jonny Fu full body suit made by London based fashion designer Rebecca Zehr

Jonny Fu in town

The other day, an old friend suddenly showed up in Tokyo with a big red costume in his suitcase. Back in the days when we worked in London together, Ron Jonzo made me crack up at least once a day with his incredible chaotic life-style anecdotes. There is only one thing he certainly cannot do, and that is to sit still. Always working on 10 things at the same time, he was determined to meet friends, find a job, do graffiti and film a movie here in Tokyo while actually trying to take a holiday… Here are some of the images he also presented at Tokyo’s PechaKucha Night, spreads from his sketch book and some fun stories about what else happened while time flew by in Nipponland.

Written by Uleshka

Could you please introduce yourself quickly?

My name is Fu, Jonny Fu – Special Agent. Any thing cooking tonight, honey?!

No, wait a minute, I just got confused there! My name isn’t Jonny Fu, it’s Ron Jonzo – the man with a pen! I’m just one of the creators of the comic character called Jonny Fu. I do a mix of graphic design, illustration and animation and I like to spice it up with a bit of outdoor painting – a street art graffiti type of thing.

giant skate-monster paper-sticker decorating the walls of NakaMeguro

another monster with a heart

Japanese ladies… what can I say?

Ron, knowing you for a while now, I must say that your story of creating that little clay animation starring Jonny Fu is still one of the most motivational stories I know: together with a friend you locked yourself up in a garage for about 3 months while you were still at uni, convinced that your first clay animation movie will be a hit! You did nothing but taking still after still, forming, playing, shaping the movie and then, after it was completed and you wanted to rewind the tape in the camera, the tape got shredded and you lost everything. Followed by a rather aggressive-frustration-drink-session you were then back in that garage the next morning thinking: we can’t just give up now! – started again from scratch – until the movie was finally done! Respect!

Yes, that was tough…

stills from the original clay animation Agent of Death

stills from the original clay animation Agent of Death

stills from the original clay animation Agent of Death

stills from the original clay animation Agent of Death

You seem to like little monsters! You made a whole series of monsters – one for each bigger city in Japan like Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka,…

Japan monster series
more monsters inside Ron’s sketch book

Who is this mysterious Jonny Fu – character then?

He is a kind of retired super agent, who used to work for the government. He’s more like a fallen hero. His mind is a bit twisted also he has a pornographic past which catches up with him eventually. The whole thing is not ment to be for kids basically.

I see…

Since Jonny Fu is – obviously – Asian, visiting Japan was some kind of “bringing Jonny home” – action.

You told me you now want to make a new Jonny Fu movie combining clay and “real” video footage. What is the new story about?

The story goes something like this:

Jonny tries to hide in Japan to find peace. While meditating at a temple playing the flute…

…his former superior “The General” manages to find him and confronts him with a new challenge.

Jonny refuses any possible job, but when “The General” tells him that “Strawberry Death” is in town Jonny has no other choice…

Flashback: “Strawberry Death” tried to kill “The General” ages ago. Badly wounded, he survived, but ended up in a wheelchair…

Jonny accepts to revenge “The General” and goes training the next day…

Convinced that he is invincible …

… his trainer Komata (Japan’s #5 middle weight kick boxing champion) quickly manages to convince him…

…that he definitely needs to catch up!

When Jonny finally found Strawberry Death, they have a crucial fighting scene on a playground in the rain…

…Strawberry Death is about to lose, when…

…Jonny must painfully learn that the cute little killer girl can transform herself into a Monster Gorilla.

…now it looks pretty grim for Jonny and he loses big time…

Well – the story is of course pretty much cliché-trash, but that’s why it’s fun!

How did you manage to dig up people like Komata from MTong, Japan’s #5 middle weight kick boxing champion as a trainer or multi talented jazz singer/goth punk band leader/hypnosis therapist/make up artist/full contact fighter/stunt woman: Strawberry Death?

I guess I was very lucky to have found Ill Pitecantropo Eretto who organized a superb crew for me, had tons of ideas for the story, did all the casting, co-directed and even volunteered to wear a super-hot costume for 16 hours: on the train, in the rain and at Karaoke. That must be love! Thanks guys!

Ill Pitecantropo Eretto earning funny looks on the train

Yuko AKA Strawberry Death getting changed at Ebisu station

What else happened during your stay in Tokyo?

I was graffiti painting with a crew called “Zombie Cola” and put some posters up in the streets together with graffiti artist Ill Pitecantropo Erreto (oh yes! I forgot to mention, that he does that as well…), met all sorts of people – from Cartoon Networks to game companies to advertising and music… It was pretty mental. I have bags full of business cards now.

some more studies from Ron’s sketch books
some more studies from Ron’s sketch books

What other fun projects will you be working on back in London then?

I am currently into embedding monuments into an environment! Basically monuments which nobody asked for…

little carved Ronzo character

monument embedded in a dangerous environment
Ronzo monument next to lesser known monunent

Another thing is that together with two artist friends: Dface and Owen P. we have a cool little art studio/ atelier in East London called Stolen Space. We just got it all set up and are building the website at the moment. (…err…. and yes! I am also working on an update for the slightly old Jonny Fu page…) You should definitely visit our studio when you are around …

Thanks – Let us know once your little fun movie is out! We love you, Ron!

  • geno petro

    Love the art and the sight.

  • Julia

    whaaa, super artist, nice interview! Big up, PingMag!

  • mysterious al

    and we all thought he was just out there drinking Sake and playing Tekken 5! Great stuff!

  • Solaris100

    I love you too Ron!!!!

  • Anonymous


  • owen

    Big up!

    ace feature!

    Stolenspace represent!

  • hamansutra

    well dun you maid!
    take your time and do your thing

    “talents talks, genius does”

    speak you soon
    your master

  • pierre

    Looking forward to share flat with you Ronny boy! But the suit stays out! lol

    lg. P

  • http://blog, vas

    Fu back to his homeland. What a touching moment! looking forward to the “Agent of Death” sequel!

  • Trizzle

    Ron iz a sassy mofo fo’ sure…. Hit me up if anyone wants him but get your cheque book ready as he is, like, totally, so hot now.

    Ron’s Manager and neighbour…

  • zoltan

    big up ronzo! you’re one talented dude – even if nigh impossible to get hold of in person ;)

  • Maxo

    That´s amazing.
    Hope i get the chance to meet this guy sometime!
    rock on, man

  • Dom


  • Badger

    Ive seen some of that monster series stuff in London.
    haha, its great seeing all these things in London. makes me want to go outside.

  • Laynie

    Hehe must’ve been a sight!

  • Pingback: Boredom Is Your Fault » Blog Archive » Ron Jonzo gets fame, lacks fortune ;)

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    Cool article, even if written in 2006. I would love to read more about Jonny Fu like costumes being worn in a land and culture quite different to Europe.

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