WE RECENTLY SAT DOWN (VIRTUALLY) WITH LOCAL PHILADELPHIA ARTIST COLIN PEZZANO AND ASKED HIM A FEW QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS LOVE OF COMIC BOOKS AND CARTOONS. YOU CAN SEE COLIN’S BEAUTIFUL WOODEN ANTHROPOMORPHIZED CREATIONS SUNDAY, MAY 29TH @7PM AT MAKERS MAKING BUT FOR NOW, PLEASE ENJOY COLIN’S MUSINGS ON SUPER POWERS AND GO-GO-GADGET ENHANCEMENTS.
INTERVIEW BY CHRISTIAN HARTMAN
MM: If you could be drawn directly into any cartoon, which cartoon world would you choose to inhabit?
CP: This is actually a conversation me and my roommates had like a week ago at my house. It's a really tough one but I think Ed, Edd, n Eddy. I really like the whole squigglevision aesthetic and no adults, am I an adult yet? I don’t know. Plus the Eds are always building crazy shit just to get some candy. I really identify with that. I don't really think I'd be their friend because I'm not an Ed but I feel like I could hang with Johnny 2x4. That kid is nuts.
MM: You’ve been gifted one Go-Go-Gadget cybernetic enhancement, which one would it be?
CP: Definitely go-go gadget arms. I know this is a basic answer but I think it is one of the more versatile of his gadgets. Imagine how much more work I'd get done! I mean yeah, it would be cool to have a helicopter propeller bust out of my hat but if I am being honest, I'm just not that flashy.
MM: What were some of your most cherished childhood cartoons?
As far as my favorite childhood cartoons go, it's a little difficult because there was never a time in my life where I wasn't interested in cartoons. As a kid I watched a ton of cartoons but not because I was a shut in or anything. I went to catholic school growing up and all my friends went to public school. I would get home at 2:30 and my friends wouldn't get home till 3:30 or 4:00, so I would spend that time just watching cartoons. Courage the Cowardly Dog really interested me because of how distinct the style of the show was and how different it was from anything else. I really liked their use of real photographs and also, how minimal dialogue was. The whole show is pretty much a visual narrative. Once again, Ed, Edd n Eddy really stood out visually. I know it made a lot of people sick but I just love squigglevision, all that shaky line work. It was one of those endless summer shows and who doesn't love that. But I think the reason it resonated with me the most was because growing up I had two best friends we used to make weapons, run around in the woods, and beat the hell out of each other. In some way I felt like we were the Eds. Billy and Mandy was a great show. Nothing really crazy, stylistically, but just mad funny and super into the occult. As a kid I was into folklore and stuff like that. My brother used to try to scare my friends and I with stories about werewolves and vampires and the Gandies, which were an imaginary family that rode their motorcycles and stole kids after dark, but instead of scaring us he only made us more interested. Rocko's Modern Life is a show that still holds up to this day. Kind of a beautiful combination of the mundane and the surreal. I think this show actually holds more weight now. Rocko is a young bachelor trying to make ends meet, has a jerk neighbor and some wacky friends. "Turn the page, Wash ya hands." The Power Puff Girls was a cool show with some badass chicks. Kind of similar to the whole magical girls vibe like Sailor Moon. I actually have a fond memory of it when the movie came out. Me and a friend wanted to go see it but felt weird because we were twelve year old boys, so we tagged along with his littler sister and mom.
MM: What are some of your favorites now?
CP: As an "adult," I became more aware of more mature shows thanks to Adult Swim. These are really the shows that I found within the past year. Mission Hill’s color pallet is amazing and I really love how they visually show body language like having daggers shoot out of someone’s eyes. It’s about a little brother moving in with his cartoonist brother in the city, which was perfect timing for when my brother went off to college in the city, I use to visit him a lot. Chowder combines claymation and puppets worked into a 2-d world. It’s interesting how fabrics on characters clothes are stationary. Gravity Falls. Oh man! This show is nuts. I started watching this show last year, it kind of has a twin peaks vibe. I can't believe this show is on Disney. Occult and supernatural love! Home Movies is an amazing show. Super dialogue heavy. I'm actually pretty sure the dialogue is improvised. Like Ed, Edd, n Eddy this show is squigglevision. It’s about kids who make movies in their basement. Morel Orel isn’t really a cartoon but it’s super important to me. The show is claymation and It's a take on David and Goliath. It’s about a kid living in a very religious town. First two seasons are kind of just poking fun at religion but the third season is super dark and each episode goes in depth about a person living in the town.
MM: If you could have just one super human power, which would it be?
CP: Ah, the age old question that has plagued man for centuries. Once again, I just had this conversation with my roommate. I think the best power is to BAMF (teleport). It's Nightcrawler's power from x-men. Dude is pretty badass in my opinion. He had a sword. Not only can he teleport himself, but he can also touch objects and bring them with him. Ok...so I gotta move out of my house. If I had my go-go gadget arms, I'd be able to wrap my arms around the whole room and BAMF that shit to the other house in a second. My only concern is do I have to be blue?
MM: What’s the origin story for your power, like how did it develop?
CP: Have you been spying on me? We talk about this too. I probably made a deal with Satan or something. For Fame? For Wealth? For Power? For Candy? Maybe all of the above, but that's probably how I got my power and it's probably just a side-effect of making a deal with Satan. I'm pretty sure Bob Dylan can teleport. Hail Me!
MM: What were some of the comics you read as a kid?
CP: Growing up I used to go into the comic shops and pick up books based on if I liked the art inside them. I’d mostly pick up books because I wanted to try drawing them. I was really into Jhonen Vasquez because I liked Invader Zim, so I read his comics Squee and Johnny The Homicidal Maniac I've always had a soft spot for slasher flicks. I also used to read this spider-man book called Spider-man: Legend of the Spider Clan. I was mostly into it because he had these big claws he used to climb around with, I always thought that was kinda cool. Honestly, these are really the big ones that stand out to me and that got me excited about drawing. I had a few X-men comics that I read and a few fantasy books that kind of escape me at the moment. Nothing super flashy though.
MM: Well what have you been reading lately?
CP: The kinda books I read now are mostly Graphic Novels. Not really super hero stuff but more about internal human conflict. I really love Daniel Clowes. My favorites of his are Death Ray and Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron, which actually has a soundtrack to go with it and I love that! I also like Pussey, and his new book Patience. These books have a main character that I guess you could view as a hero but they are driven by super cynical, almost teenage aggression, which makes their moral compass kind of off. Another book I have a super soft spot is Underwater Welder, which is something my roommate recommended to me years ago. I bought it and it sat on my bookshelf for about a year. After reading it I instantly regretted not picking it up sooner. It was the kind of story that made my heart sink. Insane splash pages. It’s kind of reminiscent of the Twilight Zone.
MM: Well, I’d feel bad if I didn’t ask you at least one question about woodworking...What’s your favorite type of wood?
CP: My favorite type of wood? I guess it kind of changes depending on the kind of work I am making. Lately I have been getting into being a "woody" which is like a dis name for woodworkers. I guess I'd have to say my favorite now is maple. I've been doing a lot of product work with maple. It's light visually and can have these nice waves in the grain that are kinda reflective. It's a weird thought because I used to always just paint everything but as I get more into the field I find myself wanting to find a balance of the natural and the painted opposed to hiding the material fully.
MM: One last question, dog or cat person?
CP: I am a dog person. I am very fond of greyhounds. Greyhounds, Whippets, Italian Greyhounds. Give 'em all to me!