Axel-In-Charge: Unmasking the "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Thirty-six questions. Six answers. One random number generator. Welcome to Robot Roulette, where creators roll the virtual dice and answer our questions about their lives, careers, interests and more.
Today’s lucky creator is Rob Guillory, artist and co-creator of Chew. Today sees the release of Chew #30, “the issue that is gonna take EVERYBODY by surprise.” It marks the halfway point of the the Eisner-award winning comic published by Image Comics, in addition to being a big wedding issue, so check it out.
My thanks to Rob for agreeing to answer our questions. Now let’s get to it …
4. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had (comic industry or otherwise)?
Years ago, I was hired as a caricature artist at a Bar Mitzvah. Picture a young Rob with my little sketchpad surrounded by a horde of 13-year-olds screaming “That doesn’t even LOOK like me!!!”, while 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” blasted in the background. That about sums it up.
10. Who is your favorite band/musical performer, and why are they your favorite?
Lately, I’ve been loving a New Orleans-based band called Galactic. Really brilliant, funky stuff that always gets me going. I used to be a really big TOOL fan, too, but I’ve grown too soft in my old age to really dig them anymore. SAD.
12. What comic (or graphic novel, webcomic, etc.) was your “gateway drug” and made you a comic fan?
Marvel did some He-Man and ThunderCats comics back in the mid-’80s that were pretty big for me. I was really into cartoons and toys more than comics back then, so having my favorite cartoon/toy franchises cross over into comics was a big attraction for me. And eventually, that led to me discovering the rest of Marvel’s superhero catalog.
21. Who has been the biggest help or motivator in your career?
In the last 10 years or so, my wife has definitely been the biggest help I’ve had, and I’d guess a lot of other creators would pick their spouses for this, too. And for obvious reason. My wife met me when I was just a painting major, driving to comic cons with a car full of sweaty nerds. She saw me strive to succeed. She saw me fail completely, as is par for the course in this type of work. She saw me brokenhearted to the point where I wasn’t even sure I’d ever be able to succeed at this. My wife was the one who pushed me to keep pursuing this dream, and I really don’t think I’d have gotten this far without her.
34. What kinds of reactions have you gotten from family and friends when they’ve first learned you’re a comic creator?
Well, my family wasn’t surprised by my career choice because I’ve always done this. They always knew me as the quiet kid, locked in his room making comics, so this is no shocker to them. They probably didn’t foresee this level of success, but neither did I. And truthfully, my family’s just happy that I’ve succeeded in staying out of prison (thus far).
36. How old were you when you started reading comics, and who introduced them to you?
I’m pretty sure I was around age 3 when I got my first comic. I had two uncles that were sorta the prototypical comic geeks. They were really into comics, toys and whatnot. And I thought they were the coolest uncles around because they had all the good toys. They also had a huge suitcase full of comics from the 60s and 70s that they’d let me rummage through. That was definitely the beginning of my love for the medium.