Here we welcome you Gonzo the Great…
Well not that Gonzo, Nick Gonzo the creator of Funk Soul Samurai by Madius Comics, his art style is very unique and he’s kind enough to spend some time with me.
Dodgy: Nick Thanks for joining me on the Comic Crusader couch!
Nick: Thanks for inviting me. I love the Regency period library style interior decoration you’ve got here, and I really appreciate the Jonny Walker Blue Label. Isn’t this like £500 a bottle? Anyway, yes, I understand you have some questions for me…
Dodgy: My boss Al is on a budget, really that’s tea in that bottle. It’s just for show. Here the questions come…
CC: What made you decide to write/create your own comics?
NG: I’ve always been about telling my own stories and doing my own art. I’ve been making comics as long as I can remember. I used to run copies off the art college photocopiers. It’s just something I’ve always done and when I don’t make comics I write and draw stuff separately. It’s just something I’ve got to do.
CC: Who are your biggest influences?
NG: I was talking to some friends about this recently, and I suppose my true influences are the people I looked to and started copying. I used to copy the weirdness of Kev O’Neill, and used to add the detail of Geoff Darrow because I was convinced I could bury the fact I couldn’t draw in myriad objects, cogs and wires. When I got more confident I wanted to shape everything up with the shadow of Mignola and artists like Gabriel Ba. As a writer I look to post modernist writers like Thomas Pynchon, William Burroughs and J. G. Ballard as well as more confessional writing and poetry like Sylvia Plath. In comics themselves I admire Warren Ellis and Matt Fraction, I think the genre needs to be pushed and they’re doing it.
I also have a wicked mad crush on Brandon Graham.
CC: Tell us what influenced Funk Soul Samurai?
NG: I was working on 50Signal and its a very fixed comic, all the characters move around very carefully, and I wanted to do something different. So I aimed for something kinetic and vibrant, along the lines of when Peter Chung did Aeon Flux after doing the Rugrats. Big influences were computer games like Jet Set Radio Future, as well as “One Nation Under A Groove” by Funkadelic, “Mothership Connection” by Parliament and “Purple Rain” by Prince.
CC: What would you label your style of work?
NG: Frantic post-neo realism? I dunno, I just do what I want and people seem to like it.
CC: What does Funk Soul Samurai drink? And what does he listen to?
NG: Are we talking about me or the Samurai. The Samurai drinks mostly Water, Diet Mountain Dew, and the occasional Chai Latte. When in a pub or bar situation they’d order a Lime and Soda because it’s a cheap alternative to Coke or Lemonade.
For the first issue they listened to LP3 by Ratatat and Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow by Funkadelic, but right now they’re enjoying Carrots and Eggs by Moka Only. Felt Before is a real ear worm.
CC: Is there a second issue on its way? If so when?
NG: YES! And I realised long ago as an indie creator I should never buy into a release schedule. So, I’d say sometime late 2016. I see it being like an annual, the next one will be a big chunky volume with more art, more explosions and more sound effects. One of the best things about this was working with different artists, and I think for issue 2 I’d like to get even more artists involved. Blow some Minds.
CC: What do you do to relax, aside from making comics?
NG: I’m a real music fan, so I go to a lot of gigs and spend an insane amount of time seeking out new music. I also like to Video Game when the opportunity arises and love a good RPG. But most of the time when I’m not making comics I’m painting, I am a fairly skilled watercolour painter, or cycling. I take my cycling very seriously, and know the pleasure of a good set of tyres.
CC: Where can fans find more of FSS? Or Nick Gonzo?
NG: You can follow me on twitter for a subtle blend of comedy, comic talk and a slow controlled emotional collapse (@Nick_Gonzo) or you can like me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/thenickgonzo/) or look to me blog for long wordy things www.doperobotic.wordpress.com
I personally picked up this commission piece from Nick himself. It’s not only penciled but also hand painted with water-color and Indian ink. It looks amazing, please contact him if you’d like to get yourself a piece of art!
To check out Nick’s books, visit the Madius Comics Online Shop: Madiuscomics.bigcartel.com