Nick Gurewitch Interviews Tony Millionaire, Part OneJuxtapoz // Sunday, 08 Nov 2009
Ever wish you could be the fly on the wall as two comic-creating geniuses jam about…whatever comic artists jam about? Well here is your chance.
Nicholas Gurewitch, father of the Perry Bible Fellowship, a weekly comic strip filled with a morbid mixture of sex, aliens, children, fantasy, et al, probes the mind of Tony Millionare, outlandish cartoonist most well known for his syndicated comic strip Maakies.
Nick Gurewitch: Something I noticed about you, Tony, is that you output a lot of stuff. If we were racing I’d be far behind you. I find that I can’t go very quickly at all. But you can output high quality stuff at a great pace. I’m just wondering what you do to establish that pace.
Tony Millionaire: It actually only seems like a great pace, because it’s my full time job. So, like, if anyone had records of their full time job published, people would say that they’re prolific. But I work – I actually only sit at the drawing table four hours a day. Rest of the time is spent online, calling people, doing errands, stuff like that.
NG: I know from personally experience that it would take me a week to draw a Victorian House though. Something like that. Your weekly strips, which seem to be something you do on the side in addition to all this other work—
TM: Well, how long did it take you to draw your strip? Which I love by the way.
NG: Umm, I would take well over a week—
NG: Yeah, at least a strip, at least just the execution of it. But—
TM: Well how did you do a weekly strip if it took you over a week to do it?
NG: That’s why I stopped.
TM: Hahahaha! Yeah I don’t think one strip a week is pretty good for a full time job.
NG: Uh, I mean, it can and it can’t work.
TM: You sold a lot of books when that first book came. I was amazed. In fact, I was pissed off. I called up Dark Horse and said, “What’s goin’ on? Why is Nick Gurewitch selling all these books? Why can’t you sell my books like that?”
NG: I think you had a quote on that first book… featured on the back cover.
TM: I did! Yeah, and then I was like, “I got a quote on it!”
NG: It may have been your fault.
TM: I hope! I wish, maybe I should put a quote on my own books from now on….
NG: I mean…recognition is a lot. Oh Tony, if you ever want one, I’d be more than happy to say any number of things.
TM: A quote?
NG: Yeah, all of them entirely true.
TM: You’ll put a quote in my next book . . . that’s good.
NG: Who’s on the back of your book now?
TM: Dave Eggers did, no excuse me, I’ve been running the Dave Eggers quote for a while. I got Elvis Costello, he did the introduction to my newest book, and I don’t have any blurbs.
NG: Wow! Holy smokes….
TM: Well I got a job through a friend doing his record cover. And then he asked me to do a portrait of him, afterwards. And he says, “How do you want for the portrait?” And I said, “I want you to pay with an introduction to my newest book.” It’s great.
NG: It’s perfect.
TM: He even compared me to John Wayne.
NG: Had he seen your stuff before the album cover?
TM: Yeah, he went on my website. A lot of my stuff is up there.
NG: Have you ever found out about a celebrity that you didn’t expect appreciating your work?
TM: Yeah, Richard Brookhiser. That was weird. Richard Brookhiser is like the editor in chief of the National Review. He’s like the William F. Buckley. He took William F. Buckley’s job.
NG: Holy smokes!
TM: I know, and he’s like, he was great fan, he really loved the comic. Because my comic doesn’t really show any political slant. So he just, you know, instead of doing history stuff, I did a drawing of George Washington a couple times, he just assumed I was some kind of conservative.
NG: I could understand why he might have read that…
TM: He likes . . . those conservatives, especially the real conservatives—
NG: Your use of guns—
TM: Buckley type guys, they’re really into history and the Don’t Tread On Me and stuff.
NG: The guns you use in your strip, though, they must—
NG: They must give some clue that you don’t like gun control, I would think.
TM: Uh, oh yeah. No, I guess that’s an idea. But I’m highly in favor of gun control, I don’t want to get shot by some douche bag.
NG: But, Drinky Crow is really quick to pull out—
TM: Pull out his gun!
TM: Yeah, that’s that’s pro-gun control! If I had a gun around here, you think I’d be wasting all my time getting drunk?!?!
NG: You mentioned you were doing an interview for Marvel earlier today. Is that for the Iron Man piece you’re doing for their Strange Tales series?
TM: Yeah it is. I did one for DC Comics a couple years ago. Batman. And I used myself as a model. I just used a mirror. I didn’t try to catch the light. I wanted to see what a real nostril looked like.
NG: Do you see yourself as Batman to some extent at all?
More wisecracks and quips between these two talents lives online in Part 2 of this interview HERE.