For those just joining us, the good news is that this week the blog has been dedicated to the amazing Heeby Jeeby Comix; the bad news is that today is the last entry in our three-part interviews with the four super-animate minds behind it: Bob Flynn, Dan Moynihan, Chris Houghton and David DeGrand. Fear not, fashionable latecomers, as here are links to part one and part two of this fun and insightful discussion.
Following the collective voice of frustration regarding the “all ages” label on Wednesday, we thought we’d end the interview on a high note, getting down to the fun stuff and discussing the direct influences behind the comic. As could be expected of a group with such diverse styles, a lot of names pop up and everyone from Roald Dhal to SpongeBob Squarepants is mentioned. Read on for those, their thoughts on Bill Watterson’s evergreen Calvin & Hobbes, and what to expect next from them. Also, we conclude on one of the most important questions of all time.
What do you consider the influences behind your work in Heeby Jeeby Comix to be?
Dan Moynihan: I grew up loving newspaper comics like Calvin & Hobbes, The Far Side, Bloom County, Garfield, B.C., Beetle Bailey, Robotman, etc. as well as the old cartoons that were shown on TV like Bugs Bunny and Droopy. These things were not necessarily made for kids, but are certainly enjoyable to kids. That's where my sense of all-ages entertainment comes from.
Chris Houghton: I think first and foremost I'm influenced by a lot of the old MAD Magazine artists and/or writers like Sergio Aragones, Harvey Kurtzman, Jack Davis, Will Elder, Paul Coker Jr., the list goes on and on! I also love shows like Ren and Stimpy and The Simpsons but who doesn't?
What's the greatest "all ages" comic of all time?
Seriously, Bob Flynn does not look like this. I should know, I've seen his Facebook.
It's interesting that almost all of you have referenced Calvin & Hobbes. I would argue that part of what makes Watterson's (and Schultz') work so great (and so massively popular) is the unpatronising, empathetic way childhood is explored. How much does your own childhood influence the way you create your material? Is your inner-child secretly pulling your strings?
Houghton: Definitely! I had a great childhood growing up in the farmlands of Mid-Michigan. I spent my winters building snow forts and my summers building tree forts. I had a great and adventurous childhood which definitely plays a big role in my artwork.
DeGrand: There's no telling really, but we can probably all guarantee plenty of weird creatures and bizarre goings on!