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June 21, 2005

{     Interview : Fudge Factory Comics     }    

Travis Millard is the CEO of Fudge Factory Comics, a one-man pencil-shredding assembly line, pumping out some of the most strange and oddly rewarding illustrations, zines, books, and street art you'll see in this lifetime. His unique stories mainly revolve around this kid Brian, a neighborhood weirdo with mountain goat horns whom I won't go into here as it's better read yourself, and various other cats and birds that you would find wandering the suburban streets, kicking rocks behind Walmart, or jackin' suits down in the subway. Seriously, it's some very honest, really weird stuff, and thus great fun and well worth the effort of chasing down.

That said, after I endured my 3-year long week of fighting off what Travis skillfully diagnosed as the Avian Bird Flu, I got the chance to quiz the guy about higher education, the reasons for life, and his personal tastes in the finer things... but he wasn't havin' that at all, and gave us this instead...

Shane: How long have you lived in LA and why did you move there?
Travis Millard, Fudge Factory Comics CEO: I moved out to LA about 10 months ago from Brooklyn. A good friend of mine was living in this big space on the east side with some other good folks. A spot opened up and i figured: the rent's cheaper, the sun, the mountains, the ocean, plastic surgery and stuff ...sounded fun.

Am I right that you teach, or taught, elementary school kids?
Yeah, I used to teach comics and cartoon classes to Kindergarten - 6th graders at the Art Center in Lawrence, Kansas for a couple years. It was great. we had a ball. And I think we both taught each other a lot about drawing. My drawings definitely brightened up as a result of their influence. I haven't taught a scheduled class for years, but I still do little seminars with kids sometimes when it comes around.

And you do a lot of client work as well, right? How did you get into that?
I guess it started out just doing little illustrations for friends zines and stuff, then started branching out to the cIty weekly paper (Pitch Weekly, KCMO). The Get Up Kids asked me to do their "Something to Write Home About" record and that got my work out to a much wider audience. After that I started doing more work for magazines and other releases on Vagrant. All the while, making little Fudge Factory zines of my own and passing them around. Then one day I got a random email from Sia Michel at Spin (Magazine) asking me to do their last page. She'd seen a comic I did for Bunnyhop and contacted me through that. Then it just turned into a regular thing for about a year. The rest is rollin along.

Are you a big city kind of guy, or do you dig the sticks?
Definitely prefer the sticks. But I can't deny the city. I grew up catching crawdads in Kansas creeks. Not that I come from a farm. Kansas City is a sprawling metropolis, but it's not far from rural plains and old ways. It's really fond to me. but I wanted to get out and mix up the environment. So I moved to Brooklyn for a few years, (which also houses a chunk of my heart).

Do you collect anything? If so, what and why?
T-shirts. Lots of weird t-shirts. Also collect abandoned photos I find laying in the street, or left on the floor at Wal-Mart or wherever. They're just interesting to me cuz they're candid moments of strangers that would otherwise be lost. Most of them are unintentionally hilarious to me. Some are very sad. I collect old frames at salvage yards, garage sales, and trash heaps. Other trash too that I think someday I'll do something with. Chunks of wood. Vinyl records. Stuff like that.

What is your weakness? I'll keep it on the proverbial down and low.
High grade quality herbal disturbance.

On a political note, you totally think Bush is a joke, right?
Bush is a very unfunny joke. Let us unite and vote his ass back to the sticks!

What most makes you reach for the sketchbook?
I'm drawing all the time. I've usually got a little pocket sketch or some other book on me. nothing in particular makes me reach for it. or maybe I mean, everything does.

So, what is Brian anyway? Are those dreadlock ponytails, goat horns, or just simply bad skin?
Brian is Fudge Goat. and Fudge Goat's a shape-shifter. Be nice. He is a sensitive creature. And may bite.

Describe your work in the most contrived art world mumbo-jumbo you can.
"This the new dead pan! A chilling reflection of today's modern disaffected individual caught victim to the banal deceptions of the daily barrage of our exponentially rabid consumer driven society. A frenzy of unbridled exuberance conjuring many emotions, leaving the viewer prone to giddy chuckling /or/ a sadness akin to the weeping of a lonely herd of motherless fawns. One can only assume these offerings to be the rantings of a volatile young man teetering boldly on the edge of functioning in modern society yet innately tied to the primitive. simply put: irresponsible disconnected self-indulgent bafoonery. He ain't no Koons."

Are you strictly 2D, or are you a multi- and trans-dimensional kind of dude?
YES! From now on I will introduce myself as a trans-dimensional dude. Never put it down like that, but I would like to consider myself a trans-dimensional dude. Definitely have a solid foot in 2-D, but I'm always interested in branching it out and trying new things.

How did you manage to turn your comic work into gallery shows?
I don't know. I guess I don't really think of my comic work as my gallery work. I think they're related, but I don't really show comics. The drawings I exhibit are an extension of the comic work, but not explicitly narrative. Blah blah blah. Some friends invited me to be in a show, that led to other things, and eventually brought on the confidence to purpose a show.

What's next on the Fudge Factory line? Any plans for shirts, toys, underoos, cosmetics, microwavable dinners?
Oh yeah. All that crap. I just updated the fudge site with a bunch of new shirts. But I've got loads of schemes to make other stuff. I wanna make real practical items. Like dishwashers and ironing board slip covers. I dunno. Those aren't my best ideas. But you can't expect me to give out the goods in print, right?! Also been doing some cool product design with different companies. Doing a fudge goat belt buckle with 55DSL, also a line of shoes with Vans coming out next spring, along with some other accessories. Cartoons have fascinated me since I was a squirt. So I've been taking a stab at that. I guess we'll all just see what happens.

You can check out Meester Travis Millard's work over at the official Fudge Factory Comics website, and while you're there you can pick up some badass tee's, a hoodie, comics, sketches, prints, and other neat-o swag. So go on, getcha some of that good good Fudge...

    » Fudge Factory Comics website

Comments

Sorry, but what is kimerikas?

Jane.

Posted by: balabo_ow at March 27, 2008 12:22 PM

Sorry, but what is kimerikas?

Jane.

Posted by: balabo_ow at March 27, 2008 12:23 PM

Sorry, but what is kimerikas?

Jane.

Posted by: balabo_ow at March 27, 2008 12:23 PM
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