Eric MONSTER Millikin has a new website headquarters at ericmonster.com. I caught up with him via email to talk about the new website, painting zombie portraits and other comics projects, and of course, Monkey Day.
Where are you located these days?
Detroit, Michigan, working on experimental occult paintings and launching new websites while locked away in the attic of an old
dark house on a hill. In front of my mysterious house there’s a young woman in a white nightgown running away from me through the snow. She looks cold, scared, haunted, yet strangely attracted by my new website.
Tell us about your new website: ericmonster.com.
Dudes, I totally have a new website located at ericmonster.com where I post all my cryptic love letters, underground anarchist manifestos and observational monster paintings. I have to paint fast before they kill me. It’s my return to the Eric Monster art comics I started posting as an art student on my first web site way back in the fall of 1995. I’m running it on Webcomics Nation so I can build all sorts of experimental codes that are basically public beta tests of the stuff I expect to be doing on the new ComicSpace when it launches. I’m experimenting with things like the “Secret Message” 15-language translation engine and the “Prints of Darkness” gallery widget that’s all over http://www.ericmonster.com/
I’m now working on some experimental navigational devices designed around ancient demonological principles. You will need a handbook for this future, and I am writing it.
Is this homebase for all of your projects now?
Yeah, that’s the idea. All of my darkest secrets, whether they be related to how to get totally ripped abs through alien parasite
implantation or instructions on impressing the ladies by performing interpretive breakdance based on post-feminist Barbie Princess fan fiction, you will find it at ericmonster.com.
Also, zombie fetuses.
It says on ericmonster.com that you "used" to do the comic Fetus-X. Is that officially done?
Definitely not “officially.” Your earthly government officials with their systems of official webcomics laws and regulations and
genetic structures cannot control this artwork. I’ve not filed the official paperwork with the Office of Homeland Webcomics Security Blankets. But unofficially at least – and let’s just keep this a secret between you and me so this doesn’t fall into the wrong hands – I will, as my life experiences require, continue to produce the occasional diary comics based on the inspiring true stories of my getting cock-blocked by a zombie fetus that may or may not be my missing Siamese twin or a clone of me from an alternate timeline or dimension. Sure, they all laughed at me, but I will show them by continuing my scientific exploration of how zombie fetuses can affect your romantic relationships. However, from this day forward, forever and onward, those fetus diary comics will be published under the Eric Monster banner. I think that only makes total sense.
Is there any big change from your recent work on Fetus-X to your current work on Eric Monster?
“Big change” is relative. In the field of comics where some artists beat the worst of ideas to death for decades, some people think
“big change” is Spider-Man changing his clothes once every thirty years. I disagree. Artists are supposed to constantly do things that are new and different.
As you can see, from 2007 to 2008, I’ve gotten much worse as my zombie painting arm has continued to rebel against me. 2009 can only get better. So, just as my online monster art from 1995 morphed into Fetus-X, Fetus-X has now morphed back into Eric Monster. It’s more of a continuum of constant experimentation and change than a start and a stop. Think of it like a spin-off, except it’s actually sort of a spin-back. Or it’s like, got a lot of back-spin on it. Or maybe it’s a head-spin? I knew breakdancing would be involved somehow.
You seem like you're completely plugged into the web — you're on livejournal, myspace, talkaboutcomics, Pownce, Facebook,
twitter, DailyKos, FetalPositions, Ning, flickr, pandora, ComicSpace, Yahoo Pipes… How do you keep up with all of these
On Communist Internets, Facebook keeps up with you.
Did you work on leading celebrations for Monkey Day this year?
I will continue to do everything in my power to defend our most sacred holiday from the conservative insurgents in America that have
launched their War On Monkey Day. It makes baby monkeys cry to see these people using propaganda channels like FOX News and White House stationary to wish each other “Happy Holidays” instead of “Happy Monkey Day.” But they cannot stop the monkeys. They will have to pry this monkey poop from my cold, dead hand.
Of course, among our most powerful weapons are artwork and raising money for charity. So, I painted for charity a touching portrait of a giant ape and my stitched-together zombie bride.
This year our Monkey Day art show included great artists from throughout the primate order. One of my favorite artists showing there was the chimpanzee Jackson who was celebrating his 8th birthday shortly after. Monkey Day co-conspirator Casey Sorrow reports this year’s Monkey Day charity art auction raised about $1,000 to help house neglected and abused chimpanzees at the Chimps Incorporated animal sanctuary. Other Monkey Day art shows have sprung up and reports are still coming in.
What was the story with you and Casey starting that holiday?
We just do what the monkeys tell us.
It's a real holiday now, right?
It’s a hyper-real holiday. Monkeys are more real than Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny and Christopher Columbus combined. We’re even bigger than Presidents Day, man. It’s nice to pick up, for example, the entertainment magazine of the conservative newspaper here in Detroit and see Monkey Day on the cover. And now that Americans have elected the world’s most liberal terrorist-pal senator as President, I fully expect Barack Obama to sign legislation requiring Bill O’Reilly, John McCain, Pastor Rick Warren and King Kong to be four-way gay married to each other on Monkey Day 2009. Can I get some monkey howling behind that?
What kinds of reactions did you get to your recent series of portraits of political figures, including the presidential candidates?
Well, some people really like my political paintings; other people don’t like them at all. I sold a monkey ton of Obama paintings
ever since he won the election. On the other hand, while people seem to enjoy pointing and laughing at my freak show paintings of John McCain, nobody seems to want to hang those paintings over their couches or beds.
Instead, they get hung in museums and galleries of horror art next to H.R. Giger alien penis drawings. I can live with that.
Are you doing these as art? As commentary?
I’m doing these because I’m a hopeless romantic and chicks totally dig them. 2008 was a great year for my political art, helping
get Barack Obama elected, fighting the economic meltdown, and digging into the mayoral scandal here in Detroit that ultimately sent him to jail. It was good to see my activist artwork on CNN and get fan mail from state governors and see elected officials waving my artwork around on the floor of congress. Bring on 2009, I say.
What do you have planned for 2009?