A World Full of Doodles: Interview with Cartoonist Phil Wall
For this week’s special guest I figured we’d “keep it in the family” …no, not that way you pervs! He’s the brother of former SKC guest James Wall and someone I’ve previously hung out with over at Fuel Your Illustration. His name? Wall. Phil Wall. His mission? To take over the world one monster doodle at a time… this is the story of Phil Wall, the “doodle dude.”
Not only is Phil a world class strange kid – just check out this kick-ass Teen Wolf shirt he’s sporting below – but he’s also the man behind Project Photo Doodle, a site dedicated to doodling on every photograph Phil can get his hands on.
Welcome back, for the first time, Phil! Since we’ve got a new audience this time would you mind giving them a brief introduction to who you are and what it is you do?
Hello strange kids! I’m Phil and I’m a UK based illustrator. I live with my wife and two beautiful kids (one of them is an evil cat). I doodle monsters on photos emailed to me from around the world, an on-going project to doodle on the planet one photo at a time.
If I recall, you were bit of a comic book nerd as a kid. What are some of your favorite titles (past or present)?
SO many comics… I grew up on my uncle’s comic stash [so] I got into stuff like Fantastic Four, X-Men and The Incredible Hulk from a young age. I’m not a Marvel fanboy anymore, I’ve spread my wings. [Now] I love The Goon by Eric Powell (an awesome mix of great artwork, comedy and zombies!) and recently I’ve enjoyed Scott Pilgrim and anything by Mark Millar.
[There's] obvious stuff like Watchmen… I have a soft spot for Hellboy; he’s just an awesome, awesome character! And TONS of manga, I’m a big anime and manga fan; Studio Ghibli, Akira, Fist of the North Star… too many to mention. Oh, can’t forget The Walking Dead!
Have you ever fantasized about being a superhero (or supervillain)? If so, who would you be and why?
I think Wolverine and Hellboy are the coolest superheroes. I like their ‘don’t give a shit’ attitude!
I couldn’t help but notice your sleeves… what’s the nerdiest tattoo that you’ve gotten (or considered getting)?
It’s funny you should say that because I’m planning a Star Wars related tattoo at the moment, most likely a stormtrooper or R2D2. The wife and I are also thinking about getting Studio Ghibli tattoos and I’ve considered getting a video game-style lifebar.
The nerdiest tattoo I have is a Roman Dirge’s Lenore sleeve, a comic I loved in my late teens – early twenties. I sometimes get the old Johnny The Homicidal Maniac and Squee comics out to reminiscence.
Let’s play a quick word association game… Pac-Man.
Wedding (Pacman & Mrs Pacman were on my wedding cake)
Furry love child.
Hmmm… interesting. *rubs chin like ancient zen master* So, how has Project Photo Doodle grown since we last spoke in August?
It’s gotten a fair bit of attention on the internet; various websites and blogs. The response has been great! I was in Front magazine in October, I’ve had some exhibitions… and I self-published the first book at the end of November collecting some of my favorite doodles with plans to do a bigger and better one this year with the full doodle collection to date.
I’ve got some events on the horizon. Massive thanks to your sister site FUEL, who did a feature when I first started getting my act together.
To date, how many doodles do you think you’ve done as part of the project?
I’ve doodled on well over 100 photos.
And anyone is allowed to submit a photo, right? How can they go about doing that?
Yeah. Just attach a photo to an email, at least 800 pixels wide (bigger the better!) and preferably high res. They can send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or link a photo to me on Flickr (or similar website).
You’ve also got a great, geek-centric blog of your own called Shuriken Pixels. What typically goes on over there?
I’m not as consistent with it as I am with Project Photo Doodle, I wish there was more time in the day cos I could geek talk all day long! Generally lots of nerdy ramblings, Top 10’s and whatever geeky topic is on my 30 year old, geeky-child mind at the time.
Nerd to nerd, who do you think would win in a battle between Mario and Pac Man?
I think Pacman would eat Mario!
I could totally see Mario mistaking Pac Man for a pizza… then again, you gotta think that PM’s “bite” is worse than his bark.
The dude eats ghosts, you can’t mess with them skills. The original videogame mascot!
What’s the strangest thing you can remember doing as a kid?
I tried to teach my brother James (A Tiny Adventure Productions) to ride his bike by barking at him like a dog and chasing after him! I was reminded of this by him at my wedding, when he did his amazing best man speech.