Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: We recently had the pleasure of meeting at The Comic Bug in Manhattan Beach, CA, although I have been following your cartoon work for years! What initially inspired you to become an artist?
Lonnie Millsap: I was first inspired to draw comics by a summer school teacher between high school and college. The teacher’s name was Gary Panter, who has since become a very well-known artist. After that first class, I pretty much started using sketchbooks and drawing cartoons all of the time.
BD: What is most appealing to you as a creator about utilizing cartooning as a visual medium, and why do you feel that it has remained such a popular source of entertainment for readers for so many decades?
LM: The thing I find appealing about cartooning is that when things go right, I can make someone laugh uncontrollably…and it’s a very satisfying feeling. I think cartoons have remained so popular for so long, because they are such a great source for quick information. If cartoons are created well, they can trigger any emotion that the cartoonist intends. They’re also available in so many formats, from single panel comics (like I do) to graphic novels and comic books. With cartoons, there’s always something for everybody.
BD: Congratulations on the recent release of your new comic, bacon, which was recently released through GoComics.com. How would you describe the new comic for readers who may be unfamiliar with your work?
LM: I would say that my comic is a single panel gag comic, with humor that isn’t completely predictable, that is supposed to make you laugh out loud. Sometimes, my work gets compared to The Far Side, but I think my cartoons are maybe a little grittier, less refined, and less G-Rated.
BD: In addition, you recently released the cartoon collection, Next Time I’ll Drive!. Do you feel that each of your cartoon collections focuses on a certain theme or rather a span of time for your work?
LM: My books definitely have no theme. For me, it’s more about trying to elicit actual laughter, or thinking and laughter…so I guess the common theme between my books is that I’m trying to get big laughs.
BD: Do you feel that there is another medium to which you would like to adapt your work, if given the opportunity?
LM: Since I have already conquered books and refrigerator magnets? Yes, someday I would like create an animated version of what I do. I don’t have any specific show ideas, but I think my work could translate well to animation. In the short term, I would like to paint really large cartoons in acrylic on canvas.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
LM: My next book, that will be released in summer 2017, is almost complete but still untitled. I’m also collaborating on an untitled book of cartoons with David Ury who played a character whose head was crushed by an ATM on Breaking Bad. This book will also be released in the summer of 2017.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to purchase copies of Next Time I’ll Drive! and find more information about your work on bacon?
LM: The easiest way that people can purchase Next Time I’ll Drive is from my website, www.lonniemillsap.com, or from Amazon. To see bacon, people can go to www.gocomics/bacon. New cartoons are up every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.