Everyone Should Read This Interview With Mike Lacroix
Mike Lacroix is a cartoonist, blogger and finely-tuned athlete. He's currently working on his third webcomic, the appropriately titled Foxy Lollop. His previous efforts include the long-running Gluemeat (since 2001) and the underground classic, Aren't We Real. Lacroix and myself were both founding members of the pioneering, but short-lived webcomics collective ALTBRAND. As such I've known Lacroix (or Case Yorke as he was known back in the day) for around eight years.
More recently, Lacroix has been blogging about politics and whatever else he finds of interest. Given his varied interests, his latest webcomic Foxy Lollop is sure to be hard to classify. Regardless, everyone should read it. It's called Foxy Lollop.
Can you explain the genius that is the webcomic, Foxy Lollop?
It's a heartwarming boy-meets-girl story between two teenagers whose lives get turned topsy-turvy when their single parents become involved with one another because that premise has absolutely no relation with the comic, whatsoever.
Is there really a story or is it going to be more random comedy?
I'm going to try out a few new things with Foxy Lollop that I haven't done in a long time. Character names, for instance, will be one of those innovations. Also, even though it's not apparent at this stage, I will also be trying my hand at something called a "storyline," of which I hear is very popular with the cool kids.
Regardless, everyone should read it. It's called Foxy Lollop.
What happened to Gluemeat? I took the summer off from webcomics and you wrote this Gluemeat on the website called Gluemeat... and now it's hella hard to find the archives of the comic called
Yeah, it's really hard to miss a big old link in the upper right-hand corner which reads "Here is the entire Gluemeat comic archive".
Pointed sarcasm aside, to make a long story short, I merged a secondary blog I had been running into Gluemeat itself. I had been thinking about doing it for a while. I started getting more and more involved in video production work and various creative side projects. Since I have never considered myself as a "webcartoonist", but rather a "guy who does a webcomic," I felt like it was fair enough for me to mutate Gluemeat into my all-encompassing creative outlet-slash-sharing space, whether the output was comic, video, written word, or miscellany.
I agree that you're more of a guy that does webcomics and not a "webtoonist", but nothing wrong with that. Still you're a very funny writer - have you ever thought about collaborating with another artist on a comic?
Most definitely. I have quite a few ideas jot down which will probably never come to fruition in comic format due to my illustrative limitations.
It's hard to find a cartoonist who will be willing to share a project, especially since most good cartoonists are already involved in their own things and, strapped for time, can't commit to a second project. I'd love to discuss some of the aforementioned ideas with people who would be inclined to seeing them through.
Regardless, everyone should read Foxy Lollop.
How long did Gluemeat the comic run?
The very first Gluemeat comic was published on the web on November 19, 2001. I guess it's still ongoing because I haven't killed it yet.
Gluemeat started in 2001? Wow. I always thought Gluemeat was funny and very accessible. Did you feel pretty good about the readership and the feedback over the years?
Absolutely. I've been privileged to have a tight, loyal base of folks who seemed to understand what I was trying to do. Gluemeat's unique voice attracted equally unique people. I've had some great exchanges with these folks, and some have become very good friends of mine since. I didn't have the biggest readership, and while it wasn't tiny, it was top-notch.
How did you know you weren't having fun with Gluemeat anymore?
I had gone into hiatus in September of 2005 and returned in the New Year. Then, when I stumbled into another one in May, I knew something was wrong. Something was missing, something had gone. I just couldn't bring myself to admitting that I wasn't having fun with the comic anymore especially since, and anyone who ever read Gluemeat can attest to this, I have always said that I would stop doing the comic the minute it stopped being fun to do.
I figured that by turning the Gluemeat site into something that wasn't all about the comic I would naturally lead back into doing the comic.
Is the plan now to make them when you feel like it?
Either that or calling it quits officially. It's a really tough call to make. I love Orange and Blue so much. They've been rewarding, fun and therapeutic, all at once. They're like that girlfriend who nursed you through your bout with tuberculosis but with whom the sex has now become tepid: it's loyalty versus passion.
Regardless, everyone should read Foxy Lollop.
A lot of the old school webcomics folks are hard to track down these days. Do you keep in touch with anyone from circa 1999-2001?
It's funny to think that five years later, I'm considered "old school".
BoxJam and I have traded cease-and-desist letters over the past few years, and that's about it. I've been getting my usual two-emails-a-year from Lee Herold, and I've chatted a bit with Adam Burke recently. I'd say that's about it. I'm also trying to channel the spirit of Jon Meyers.
You and I were in a "collective" back then, possibly one of the first actually. Collectives are all the rage in webcomics now, thanks in part to our former partner in crime - Brad Guigar, who is now part of the Blank Label Comics group. Did you realize you were such a pioneer in webcomics?
The thought of me being a pioneer in anything sounds like the premise of a dirty joke.
One more webcomic question - are you Horse? Or Petey?
Christ, there's going to be about three people who are going to understand this one. Four, if Lee Herold is still alive. They're both me. My personality split in two.
Do you read other webcomics? (which ones?)
This is the kind of situation where I'm afraid to offend someone if I forget a comic.I've spent a substantial amount of time reading one BoxJam and his comic entitled BoxJam's Doodle, perhaps you've heard of it.
I also enjoy other a couple of other obscure comics; there's this one named Achewood which is about a bunch of talking cats, if you can believe that. There's also another one called The Perry Bible Fellowship. It's kinda out there, one of those "thinks out of the box" outfits. Very kooky!
I've recently discovered the tremendously talented pool of... talent, over at Transplant Comics and have taken a liking to The Flowfield Unity, Voids, Toy Division, Raspberry Soda, Lonely Fetus, Idiot Comics, and Journey to Mt. Moriah. They've basically restored my faith in a genre which seems to be saturating itself with Friends knock-offs, gamer humour, and (not-so-) wacky college hijinks.
I want to ask you about your video for One Giant Jump day. Did you do all of your own stunts?
Yes, but it took months of training, dedication, and talks with insurance lawyers. But the payoff was worth it, as One Giant Jump won the World Jump Day video contest. As you all probably know, World Jump Day is an annual even where people from all over the world are asked to jump at the exact same, so the collective impact can knock the Earth slightly off its orbit to end global warming.
There's also an alternate ending. That's how huge it is. You know it's huge if it has an alternate ending. Or full frontal nudity. I settled for the alternate ending.
Regardless, everyone should read Foxy Lollop.
So now that Gluemeat the website encompasses comics and blogging about LOTS OF THINGS -- has your readership come together to sing kumbayah on the new site or do some still want only the comics and the others only the political commentary?
You'd be surprised at how seamless the whole thing went down. Even if I don't wax social upheaval with every post nor do I talk webcomics all that much, I feel I've merged a "best of two worlds" scenario. I get the impression my more fanciful posts are seen as temporary diversions through the social discourse. So yeah, I go through lots of things on Gluemeat, but that's what real life is.
I know it's going against the canonical first rule of blogging, something to the extent of writing about one topic and sticking to it, but I, like everyone, have multiple interests, and therefore have multiple opinions. I feel strongly about my politics, the environment and the treatment of children, but I also enjoy YouTubes and root beer. Perhaps it's more a personal blog than, say, Comixpedia, Fleen, Wonkette or Ito, but then again I'm not planning on quitting my day job to be a full-time blogger.
So on Bloglines I have a politics and a webcomics folder. Where should I put the Gluemeat feed now? It's a tough call sometimes - for example, I've had Eric Miliken (Fetus X) in comics, but now he's in politics.
I think you should open up a new folder called "CANKERS ON MY THIGHS" and toss me in there along with Miliken's blog and any other blogs you find confusing.
I bet you're struggling with BoingBoing, too.
Randomness should be embraced. Categorization is for search engines. They have algorithms to do that kind of stuff.
I think it's great to have a blog that reflects your personal voiceand has readers who want to hear it. Comixpedia is not that personal. That can be frustrating sometimes when I'd rather be able to write about whatever I am interested in that day. For Comixpedia at least I try not to inflict too much "not comics" material on the readers. If you had to describe the "Mike Lacroix voice" what would you say?
It's a dynamic, yet soothing inflection, seeking to fill the mind with moments of derision, smidgens of thoughtfulness, and reminders to read Foxy Lollop.
Are you still doing improv?
Nope, hung up those shoes a couple of years ago. But I am developing ideas and scriptwriting in audio and video production here in the big city. I've also been taking on a French language project called Minivan Cabaret which is slowly starting to gather steam. I'm very involved in the performing arts still, but not on the acting front.