Thursday, March 1, 2012

Little Heart Interviews: Alex Fukui!


Little Heart is a comic anthology created to show support for marriage equality. Currently we are engaged in crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter, to aid us in funding this awesome comics volume. To help promote the series and the artists involved in the book we are having snapshot/stock interviews revolving around this anthology. For more information, please visit our project page and consider pre-ordering. And thanks!

Alex Fukui is young cartoonist and recent graduate from MCAD. He's got some fun looking comics and drawings, color and black and white that are viewable on his site.

1): Could you tell us a little about yourself and your general interests as a cartoonist/artist/creative person?

Alex Fukui: My interests as a cartoonist could be described as oriented towards gross humor, fantastic horror and social anxieties - the fun little beasts that eat us all up inside. I'm a huge fan of cartoonists like Johnny Ryan, Joe Matt and Yoshihiro Tatsumi. I try to explore unusual topics and sincere narratives for comics without sacrificing the storytelling, beauty, or fun.

2): Was there something in particular that interested you enough to be involved in the comic anthology Little Heart?

AF: The stuff I've seen printed through 2D Cloud before has been really gorgeous, and I'll jump at any opportunity to be among that kind of talent, but particularly the subject matter of this anthology is pretty near and dear to me as a gay man and Minnesotan (although it is bigger than Minnesota). There's been a lot of great queer-themed comics, but I think there could be a lot more, especially in this state and at this time.


3): Why is marriage equality important to you?

I feel like creating an equal standing on marriage would perhaps save a lot of people a little anxiety, and maybe topple the dominoes on the other problems plaguing queer people.


The story I submitted was largely about one of those problems - that lovelorn anxiety you feel at a certain age and in a certain environment where you are most vulnerable. In school, I was lucky enough to be in a safe community with a great GLBTQ club, and my experiences as a gay teenager were never, ever as bad as some - namely certain districts in our very own home state with skyrocketing teen suicide rates, and especially what transgender and gender queer teens experience in general. There's a sort of sexual repression that all teenagers suffer, but some are made to suffer more than others for what they're perceived to be, and that's really not fair.


I don't think marriage equality will magically validate and cement all gay relationships and relieve the suffering of people who fall in love - I don't think anybody expects it to. But in time it might pave the way for legislation that protects students, maybe by letting queer parents and parents of queer people participate with some freedom in that process.


Also, fuck Michelle Bachmann.


4): Are there any non-profit fueled anthologies of note that have sparked your interest in the past?


Ghost Comics comes to mind immediately - lots of great stuff in that. And although I'm not sure if it was nonprofit-fueled, Gay Genius as well - if you like some of the comics in this book, Gay Genius would probably be very much your cup of tea too. It's interesting how a kind of political unity still results in such a diverse pool of artists and comics.


5): Could you tell us a bit about your comic, how you approached the project, the tools or medium used in its creation, or what it means to you?


I think it's too short for me to say too much about the plot, not that it has much of a plot - it's kind of a portrait of myself from high school, or more a hideous, uncomfortable part of myself from high school that I'd like to forget. As such, it's not very objective. It's a weary teen tale of compulsion, obsession, and self-absorption. I fought nobly but in vain with the lettering, I'm mostly naked for a lot of it, and it's largely oriented around drawings of feet.


6): Should Little Heart be successfully funded via Kickstarter, do you plan to be in attendance at TCAF for it’s debut?


If I'm successfully funded by my job, and successfully excused from it (or successfully fired), and the plane successfully lands without exploding and killing me, or I successfully board a plane without worrying about the plane's success, or Toronto doesn't succeed in seceding, sure, I'd love to.


7): Finally, what are you working on now (comics or otherwise)? Anything readers can look forward to?


I'm working on something to publish comics on the web right now, something called the Sweaty Comics Initiative, which isn't finished yet. After that, I'll continue working on comics to publish, if I'm not old and gray by then, and hopefully have at least one new mini for CAKE. In the meantime, I'll upload smutty drawings on my blog at alexfukui.com.


Thanks Alex! That was a fun interview!



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