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Nick Gurewitch Interviews Tony Millionaire, Part Two

Juxtapoz // Monday, 09 Nov 2009

Today we bring you part two of an exclusive comic-on-comic interview between Nick Gurewitch and Tony Millionaire. Read on as they drop some wisdom about vegetarianism, the plentitude of Victorian houses,  and how irony is used these days.


Comic genius Tony Millionaire writes and draws the ongoing adventures of Sock Monkey, published by Dark Horse Comics since 1998. He is the creator of the syndicated comic strip, Maakies, which has been collected by Fantagraphics, who also published his graphic novel, Billy Hazelnuts. His comic strip Maakies has been adapted to the small screen as The Drinky Crow Show for Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.


Here is part two of a conversation between Tony Millionaire and Nick Gurewitch, who is a prolific and talented cartoonist in his own right. If you missed part one, you can check it out here.
Tony Millionaire


NG: Do you see yourself as Batman to some extent at all?


TM: No.


NG: No? What about Tony Stark?


TM: No, not that either.  Tony Stark is a playboy who flashes around in hot-rods, drinks bourbon.


NG: But he’s a millionaire.

TM: He’s a millionaire but he’s also, also a military industrialist.  And I am definitely not that.  I started out as a hippy!  Then I became a punk.  Now I’m a guy who sits in the garage and drinks beer.  That’s not Tony Stark.

Drinky Crow


NG: But there’s something in Tony Stark that reminds you of yourself?


TM: No, not at all.  If fact I didn’t know anything about Tony Stark until I got the job to draw Iron Man and then I had to look him up.  People are like, “Oh Iron Man! You’re going to do drunk Iron Man, good.”  I’m not going to have any alcohol in Iron Man at all. I’m going to have him fight a character named Baloney Head.


NG: You’re not a vegetarian then?


TM: No, in fact, I was discussing vegetarianism with some vegetarians a couple days ago and I said, “I am very much against killing a pig so that I can eat his body. I think it’s disgusting.  But I’m not umm… evolved enough consciously to separate the ham from the pig.”  And I hope that someday my decedents will become that conscious that they’ll be able to associate the meat with the animal.  Meat right now, it’s like fucking ribs, let’s get some.


NG: And with that consciousness will come vegetarianism?


TM: Yeah.

NG: Do you feel the same way about murder in general, like maybe if you understood it, maybe you wouldn’t depict it so frequently?


TM: I’m not so much against murder.  Cruelty.  I don’t like cruelty.  I would eat a pig if I had to kill it myself because I’d do it like, “Hey look over there piggy, look at that beautiful corn over in the field-“ BAM!  Then I could eat the pig.


NG: Umm… You’ve got these great comics that hearken back to an age, the Golden Age of comics in my opinion.  I noticed you are oft to depict a character like in a barrel to hide nakedness.  I think I’ve seen this, one character imagining another character having the body of a plucked chicken, like in those old Looney Tunes cartoons, where one character is starving. A lot of these tropes are pretty much… fading away.


TM: Not in my world, they’re not.


NG: You’re one of the last bastions of the use of this.  And like the cartoon eye that has the triangular indentation.

TM: Exactly.


NG: Do you feel bad that these things are disappearing, or do you feel proud that you’re one of the last people to exercise them?


TM: Well, I feel about it the same way I feel about  . . .a lot of things that are happening in the world now.  Because I kinda step back way back from it and try to look at it from a historical perceptive.  I don’t care that reading the daily comics is like a painful experience.  Because I have collections of really old comics from the 20s when they were really good.  The 30s.  Popeye.  Kin-der Kids.  You know, of course Winsor McCay and George Harrimen.  So I can just look at those.  They’re all done, they’re books of them, lots and lots of them.  And I can look at them and then I draw the comics thinking of that stuff.


So the fact that people aren’t making them anymore doesn’t really matter.  It’s like with Victorian house, there are so many Victorian houses it doesn’t matter if they’re making them anymore.  It doesn’t matter that they’re making this horrible bullshit architecture, because they already made a lot of them.  So there’s plenty around.


NG: Yeah, thing is though, modern houses can support a roof. A lot of modern comics, you and I both know, can’t support a laugh, can’t support a character or structure.


TM: Kids today are taking their comics in a place where they want to take it.  Into irony, into you know, meta-humor.  And into, whatever they’re going into.  And that’s fine.  They can do it.  I’m not paying attention to it because it’s something that doesn’t interest me.  It’s like you know, like step-dancing doesn’t interest me, so I don’t turn it on.


NG: You’re content.


TM: I’m content looking at old comics and making my comics.


Didn't read Part 1 of this interview? Read it now HERE.



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