Saturday, December 6, 2014

Boys Will Be Boys: An Interview w/ Joe Phillips

Joe Phillips is one of the most impressive people I have ever had the pleasure to interview. His career has taken him places most artists/illustrators could only dream of. He has worked with DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, IDW, Image, Wild Storm, Now, Prism, Wizards of the Coast , Fleer, Upper Deck, Xodus USA, Justus Boyz, and Jocko, just to name a few. He has worked on big name comics such as Speed Racer, Justice League of America, X-Men, Mister Miracle, The Incredible Hulk, Silver Surfer, Legion of Super Heroes, Captain America, Superboy, and more. And, let's not forget his original comic The Heretic. And his long running JoeBoys series in which he beautifully illustrates gay life and relationships.

Joe is also the creator of a wonderful series of animated shorts turned award winning DVD The House of Morecock: The Animated Misadventures of Jonas Morecock. The stories involve a supernatural investigator who always seems to wind up in compromising situations with vampires, werewolves, and other creatures. It's hilariously funny and pretty darn sexy, too. There was a sequel and a whole graphic novel series called Tales From the House of Morecock. 

It would be impossible to list all of the amazing work that Joe Phillips has been involved with since his start in the 80s. Despite his success, he is still driven to create non-stop and is one of the most prolific artists. Right now he has a new JoeBoys anthology book coming out via Bruno Gmunder, a 2015 Boys Will Be Boys calendar to promote,  he is participating in tons of art shows and going to lots of conventions, all despite recently losing part of his right leg in an accident. The man is unstoppable. 

Frankly, we are shocked he had the time to even do an interview. But, we are very thankful he found a few moments to talk to us. If you would like to explore more of Joe Phillips on your own, we suggest his Website, Twitter, JoeBoys site, Wikipedia, and this really insightful self written bio on the Prism Comics page.

Q: Ok, first things first...How is the world did you pull off such an amazing Dr. Zaius costume at Bent Con last week?
Joe: I went to a performing arts school and was a theater major. I have always been into dress up and making costumes is a passion.

Q:  On your twitter feed I noticed a sculpture of a very large octopus sitting in a cookie sheet on top of your oven. It was awesome, but there was absolutely no context given. Care to elaborate?
Joe: I'm also an avid sculptor and I do steam-punk. The Octopus was a lamp base and I was making it for a steam punk convention where I sell stuff as The Brass Menagerie.

Q:  What was your very first professional gig as an illustrator?
Joe: I did comics for a local gay weekly back in Atlanta back in the 90's then I started doing comics for a comic called EX-Mutants and then for the Southern Knights. My first big break was drawing SpeedRacer and  Interview with a Vampire.

Q:  My pal Steve is huge fan of yours and had a question! Which medium do you feel you have the most fun working in? IE: comic art, illustration, painting, animation. And which allows you really explore your creativity the most?
Joe: All of the above. I'm no one trick pony. I have to do everything. I guess film making would be the most as it has everything in it.

Q: I really love the award winning animated video you made for Matt Fishel's "When Boy Meets Boy." Though. now I am concerned that my crotch doesn't sparkle and shoot stars. Should I go to the doctor? And, is it wrong that I was more than slightly turned on by the thugs in the video?
Joe: They were fun to do. The stars were for censoring and just fun. If you are with the right guy I'm sure your crotch will shoot stars.

Q: On your Prism Comics bio you state that you almost became a stand up comedian but got sidetracked. Have you ever seriously considered giving comedy another shot?
Joe: I'm old school corny. I think my brand of humor was for a different generation of kids. I think I'll just add humor into my art and movies.

Q: What was your inspiration behind doing an entire Rule 63 superhero series? Do you have a favorite creation?
Joe: I just wanted to come up with something fun and sexy that folks weren't expecting from me. I love the Gotham Trio the best: CatBoy, Harvey Quinn, and Poison Oak

Q: What artists/illustrators do you currently follow?
Joe: Stuart Immonen and Olivier Coipel

Q:  You have been in the various facets of the comic industry since the late 80s. How have attitudes towards LGBT characters changed over the decades?
Joe: It's hard to say. As a whole, I would say good. There are many GLBT artist out there and many kinds of books. For the most part mainstream comics doesn't really care one way or another, as most of the talent is freelance there isn't any office politics to contend with.

Q: Would you humor us and draw Batman with your eyes closed?

**Click any pic to enlarge.

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