So what does the Workhorse do when he’s not working?
Man! I try to be working a lot, but when I’m not, I guess you could usually find me eating a piece of limburger pizza in a dumpster or
something. On the real – I love teaching and am getting back into it this coming September. Teaching like, comic illustration to little kids. It’s
funny that society lets a dirtbag like me instruct the youth but, it’s really rewarding and I love it.
Who and what are your biggest influences in your art and why?
So many to name. But I mean, I’m just a huge comic nerd so all the greats inspired me growing up. Mike Mignola, Guy Davis, Frank Miller, SimonBizley, Barry Windsor Smith, Frazetta, Bachallo, . And I was a huge product of the 90s so I loved anything deadpool, cable, age of apocalypse- anything Joe Mad drew I had to have it. I love the one man working aspect of comics and love to read stories that I can tell come from
somewhere deep down in your guts. I Love pretty much any form of comic illustration, and my boys in Michigan inspire me a ton too. My hometown
heroes got to be my boy Adam Niemara, George Eberhardt, Rubix Cube, and Zac Gorman. I got to say my tattoo artist Shawn Heath, who works at Mos
Eisleys in GR – is a big influence on me too. I love when I have enough dough to work with him on an idea, I always feel like he takes what I want
and just blows it up.
As far as what also influences my art, just about anything really. From getting really awesome pizza from a restaurant to playing chrono trigger
for SNES wasted off colt 45. I guess i try to just find the things I like in little places, like if I saw a monster truck t shirt for some local
Michigan rider called “Bone Crusher” I’d probably think that was the sweetest thing I ever saw. I think it’s like, the over embellishment of
everyday things that makes things interesting. Like if I saw some big fat metal head spill nachos in his beard while he was waiting at a bus stop
I’d be like “that’s the coolest thing I ever saw”. Not that those things in particular exist, but – I try to stop and recognize radness wherever I am.
What is you favorite video game of all time?
I’m such an old skool gamer, I rarely follow any of the new stuff. I used to hardcore be into gaming during like the SNES days – I played a ton of
RPGs like secret of evermore, Mario RPG, Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, Zelda (SUPER NINTENDO ONE, YO!) , final fantasy – all that. I love it. I
thought super Nintendo was the best gaming system of all time.
But FAVORITE game of all time? I’m just gonna say Battletoads, for NES. Because not only where the main characters named Zitz, Pimple, and Rash –
but they where heavy metal toads who fought pigs and when you punched the bad dudes hard enough your fist would turn into a giant knuckle, or some kind of
huge boot. It’s pretty much; everything I think is sweet in a video game.
What heavy metal bands are you blasting into your brain while you work these days?
Aw shit man, as I was filling this out I actually was listening to Mastodon’s “Leviathan”, so I’m definitely a huge mastodon fan. I saw them
back when I was in high school and they opened up for clutch, but weren’t popular at all at that point. They had only released their one album
“remission” and nobody but extreme sludge death heads knew who they where. But after a f’n rad show they just hung out in the crowd afterwards. Like
it was nothing. And then, they blew up to be huge. I got to say I have loved mastodon for a long time, and that sort of metal is my favorite.
Epic bands who never gave up on their sound or struggle to keep creating. Converge, is probably one of my all time favorite bands too, just because
of their amazing legacy of being dedicated to metal for over 20 years in a positive way. They changed the scene and nothing will be the same after
converge has left, and in my life Converge’s lyrics, awesome artwork, and unfathomable wretched sound of Jake Banon’s choking velicoraptor voice
over top of metal so raw it will never touch commerciality, but they survive on their own because they are that awesome.
I guess if you can’t tell, I seriously just love metal. Other than my usual rant about how awesome metal is and how much love it put in my life,
here’s just a quick rundown of bands that I’m always spinning in my usual rotation: At the Gates, Black Sabbath, The Sword, Electric Wizard, Pig
Destroyer, Baroness, Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza, At the Throne of Judgment, Beast in the Field (Michigan whaaaaat)
Do you have a favorite project you have worked on ?
I try to make just about everything a favorite project, but I got to say anything I’ve really ever done with my main man Adam Niemara has always
been super fun. We worked on a show together called Black Death when I graduated, and we just drew a bunch of satanic and spooky stuff with our
other good bud Reuben Garcia. I ended up drawing a huge set of classic monsters, and I had a blast just detailing the piss out of Nosferatu,
Wolfman, Alien Invader, Mummy, Creature from the Black Lagoon, and Frankenstein. I enjoy doing just fun, straight forward work with a bunch
of buddies, doing art and hang’n out is always the most fun part of being an artist.
Is there an artist or artists you would love to colab with ?
Man well – you can always dream big. I pretty much worship anything Mike Mignola does, and think that he pretty much changed the face of comics. I
love his stories and have read and re-read Hellboy Aand BPRD a hundred times. I just love the storytelling, the artwork; everything about what he
produces is just awesome as hell. So – I’d love to try and show Mike my monster drawing chops sometime and do something horrific and unholy.
When Team Washburn shows up at your door at 1am Saturday morning what are we gonna do? And it better involve food, fun and furry animals!
Dude for sure it’ll involve food, and definitely fun – and the furry animals part guess gonna have to be part of the adventure. But if it’s at
1am on a Saturday night, your gonna have to drive cause it’s a safe bet I’m probably three sheets to the wind. I also – don’t own a car so you’d
be stuck driving anyway. Then I would apologize that I was such a dirtbag and you had driven all the way from cali to hang with a low life like me.
haha – but then man I’d show you what it like to party in Grand Rapids, MI! Lots of bars with bearded men and tattoos and people throwing up in
Speaking of furry animals, do you have any pets? If so what kind and names too.
I actually would love to do toys. Just sort of a matter of time, I have regular deadlines with tee shirts for bands, plus I’m always try’n to do
something related to comics so I don’t often stray away from that kind of medium. But I’m such a nerd and love miniatures, especially anything by
Warmachine or Warhammer. I think both of those companies make some of the best looking artwork around. I’d love to learn how to do stuff like that.
Or at least, transfer some of my artwork into a 3-D realm. I think it takes a lot of patience, and so when it doesn’t go my way in the first half
hour I get pissed (haha)
Are there any new and exciting things in the works you would like to tell us about?
Yea man totally. In my free time, just for fun I’m tryin to work on this ongoing comic about the “Party Pizza”, who is a giant slice of pizza
doomed to party 24 hours a day 7 days a week and to live through every death he brings upon himself. I feel like I always have to have a million
side projects going on otherwise I feel like I’m never busy enough.
Sandwich or Burrito?
BURRITO ALL DAY, SON!
Interview by Adam