MRR Comics & Art Issue Artist Q&A with Freak City
This month’s MRR magazine is the Comics & Art Issue! Throughout March we are highlighting some of the participating artists right here on MRR.com. Today we hear from Mathieu, aka Freak City, from Bordeaux, France.
What are your main publishing projects?
I started drawing for bands around 2007, when friends asked me to design their tour shirts or record covers. In the beginning I mainly drew for local straightedge or hardcore bands, like Get Lost, Lasting Values, Santa Cruz or Strong As Ten. At the same time I got involved in the art zine scene, where I drew comics and illustration, for posters, exhibitions or screen-prints. Since then, I’ve drawn for more popular bands, like Vitamin X and New Morality, and also did lots of record covers, shirts and so on. I also regularly publish personal stuff, like the 2013 Paranoia Babylone screen-printed book on my friends’ publishing house Arrache-Toi Un Oeil. And besides that, I do a lot of commissioned work, for skateboard brands, clothing brands, or editorial press like I do with Vice or Schnock.
What are some of your artistic influences?
US comic artists like Charles Burns and Jaime Hernandez of course, as well as more recent dudes like Mike Giant, though he’s an illustrator/tattoo/graffiti artist. Also, French cartoonists Jano, Chaland and tons of others from the ’80s rock scene, and the great Joost Swarte. Oh, and Jim Phillips is definitely the main thing that got me started, although not a cartoonist.
Bad Brains. Early Boston and NYHC stuff. Everything that makes me wanna crash your skull. But also a lot of different things, because you can’t just focus on hardcore while drawing ten hours in a row. Early hip hop, dub, garage, psyche, stoner, minimal-synth, whatever… I just love music that has guts and soul.
How would you describe your style of drawing?
Bricks, chains, shadows and dots. A mix of the Abused 7” cover, with stupid and funny stuff from the ’80s skateboarding scene, mainly revolving around Santa Cruz decks and the like.
What other punk projects are you involved with?
Right now I’m just singing in Shock. We put a noisy demo back in 2012 and just recorded new stuff. Expect more Boston-oriented stuff, though still noisy and dirty. I was one of the three stooges that run the fanzine Sex Before Suicide before we went on a hiatus. Other than that, I’m way too focused on my work to be involved in other activities and do them right.
What’s in the future for you as a cartoonist/artist?
Evolving. Doing what I’m currently doing, but also on walls, skins and everything I can draw on. Putting out fanzines or books I hope, as well as showing my work everywhere people ask me to. Working with children and teens; setting up workshops, having fun while teaching some stuff to kids is something I love and makes me feel useful. And still drawing for bands I love and magazines I read.
Check out more from Freak City at www.freakcitydesigns.com.