Today’s guest is artist Joe Phillips. Since 1987, Joe’s work has not only been seen in books from every major comics publisher but also internationally in advertising for a number of products. He’s also a sculptor and animator, including the music video for Air Gold’s “Where The Music Takes You.” Joe and co-creator Chad Prato are running a Kickstarter to build a new clothing line called “Vampire vs. Werewolf.”
ANTHONY: Hi, Joe! Thanks for taking some time out for a chat. How are you?
JOE: Good thanks for asking, Any day above ground is a great day right?
ANTHONY: You know I’m fan-boying a bit right now. I have several of your calendars still hanging on my wall even though the years they represent are long past. So, let’s talk a little about you, first. How long have you been illustrating professionally?
JOE: For over 25 years, I know right. But yeah I’ve been drawing since high school. Doing fan -zines and local papers first then independent comics and working for the big boys.
ANTHONY: What have been some of your favorite projects to work on?
JOE: I did a national ad campaign for Bud Light the same year I drew the illustrations for “the Joy of Gay Sex” LOL lot of crazy projects in my time but MR. MIRACLE for DC was my first time big comic and so it stands out for me.
ANTHONY: I hate the “where do you get your ideas” type of questions, but so much of your work seems drawn from real life … so what inspires you to work on a project?
JOE: My mind is haunted with all sorts of strange things and the voices speak to me to let them out. Sometimes they are profound images or sometimes just a great butt will inspire my work.
ANTHONY: The project we’re here to talk about today is your Kickstarter for “Vampire vs. Werewolf.” Tell us a little bit about the project.
JOE: It’s a fun project inspired by all the Vampire and werewolf fever there is in pop culture. As a cartoonist at heart I wanted to do a classic vs match between them, not so much as who would win in a fight but who is cooler. I wanted to do cool t-shirts and magnets and stuff so folks could show their love for their favorites.
ANTHONY: How did the idea for this project come together?
JOE: I was talking to my long-time friend Chad Prater who use to put on comic conventions down in Florida years ago. We have been wanting to do a t-shirt company and needed something fun to do as a first project so we came up with this.
ANTHONY: Tell me about the rewards backers will get if they support Vampire vs. Werewolf.
JOE: The pledgers get t-shirts and stickers as well as really nice prints and magnets. We will be adding new images throughout the pledge time so there will be lots to choose from.
ANTHONY: If the project does get fully funded, are you planning on doing more with the concept? Is there perhaps an idea for an animated webseries or the like?
JOE: How cool would that be maybe a web cartoon series or comic book. I’m open to suggestions.
ANTHONY: The art style for Vampire vs. Werewolf is a different from your better-known work. How did you decide on this particular style?
JOE: Well it comes from my love of cartoons I loved the rubber legs of old black and white cartoons and the new fun stuff like Adventure time and Regular Show. The style came from that school of thought.
ANTHONY: What was your process for creating the art for this project? And how different was it from your usual creative process if at all?
JOE: With this I just open up to all the foibles of being a werewolf or Vampire. you can see my humor in how pretenses the Vamp boys are and how rowdy the wolf pack is. It’s just fun to let go and let them tell me what to draw.
ANTHONY: What else are you working on these days?
JOE: New calendars, new art books and releasing my first novel. Please check my website for more info on upcoming projects.
ANTHONY: And my usual final question: What is your favorite book, and what would you say to someone who hasn’t read it to convince them that they should?
JOE: LOL my favorite book is Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis I laugh out loud every time I read it.
ANTHONY: Thanks again, Joe!
JOE: My pleasure. If we make our pledge goal we can buy the equipment to do all sorts of fun stuff. Thanks for the interest.