I recently got to have a chat with the two-man crew of Fat Guy Inc., Peat Vasquez, and Brendan Shaw. If you’re familiar with Fat Guy Inc, you know that Peat and Brendan are some awesome guys, kick arsh artist and happy to say good friends of mine. If you haven’t met them and so happen to see their table at a convention, I recommend stopping and talking to them. They are always welcoming to fans, artist and just two great dudes. Well let’s get past introductions and get into the interview, shall we?
So guys tell me, how was Fatguy inc formed? Basically let us know your origin story.
Peat: The origin story? Well it’s pretty easy, Brendan had a booth for NYCC 2014 with a friend of his and his friend bailed. So he asked me to go in with him. He knew from a long time ago, I was his bartender and cwe shared a love of art and comics. I figured this was going to be a cool thing to do. A bucket list thing so we went for it! We didn’t know what the hell we were doing and it was amazing. It was incredible, so we decided to try to try it again at a few other shows. Five years later here we are. Crazy accident really but freaking cool
Brendan: Fat Guy Inc’s origin is pretty backwards. My own history is pretty backwards. I was only interested in art back in high school and even went to SUNY Farmingdale for advertising art and design back in 96. That didn’t work out too well. (Laughs) I kept drawing and painting for a few more years but eventually stopped. I didn’t do anything more than doodles for 13 years. In 2014 I found myself very suddenly with a table at New York Comic Con. I had no portfolio and no knowledge of how conventions worked. I immediately thought “who the hell can I do this with?”. I’d known Peat for years. He was my bartender more times than I could count in the past. We’d recently reconnected at our favorite comic shop, Fourth World Comics, and it became clear. We’re 2 big personalities with similar interests so I gave him a call. We didn’t know at the time whether this would be a one-time thing or an ongoing one, but here we are almost 5 years later still going strong. Our first gig was the biggest show in the country, every challenge since has been easier because of it.
What have been some of your art inspirations?
Peat: Only for me, my art inspirations are all over the place. Michael Turner from Image and Topcow comics, George Perez, John Remotia jr. and sr.,Greg Capullo, Jackson Pollock, Bob Ross, Keith Herring, Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Master Kim Jung Gi, Sylvia Ji, Niko Hurtado. I’m all over the place. Comics, Art, graffiti. You name it. If it makes me feel something I dig it.
Brendan: My inspirations range from comics, television, movies, pop culture to sports and fine art. Star Wars, Walking Dead, Salvador Dali. These are some of the things I’m inspired by. But I’m also inspired also other artists. The folks who I sit next to at the conventions. They push me and drive me. They motivate me and inspire me to be better. I’m grateful for their advice and knowledge. A little healthy competition doesn’t hurt either. (Laughs)
Can you tell us a little bit about your comics “Fat Guy Inc Presents”?
Brendan: FGI Presents is a compilation of stories comics, comic strips, artwork, poetry and quite frankly anything else we feel like putting in it. We follow a very loose guideline but there are few staples. Peat has got 2 ongoing stories in the book, Jimmy Friday and Hope. I have 1, Sons of Odin. Sons is a story about
2 Viking brothers. One of whom has the ability to actually see the gods who meddle in the lives of men. There’s also a 3 panel comic strip called Fleishman and Gut about an aging hippie who’s got a face with its own personality on his giant belly. It’s a project I’d abandoned in the 90s that recently received a facelift and resurrection. One of the things we also try to do in every issue is pay it forward to other artists, creators and writers. We feature other folks in the industry. We feel it’s important to both pay back the folks who helped us out coming up as well as usher in the new crop of talent who are coming up behind us. The art community is tight and bridging the gaps is going make us even closer moving forward. We can all learn from each other.
Peat: Always want to do my own comic book. Since I was like in grade school. So I had a few stories in my head and I know Brendan had a couple stories in his head so we decided to go for it. We wanted to put a couple different stories into each book so wouldn’t just be one little story. An anthology. We also wanted to include some artwork for my friend’s mother emerging artist because we are very pay for it kind of guys and we want to share this trip with our friends.
Peat: This Company involves every day. Our plan basically is world domination, but I think you wanted something a little bit more specific. What we’re gonna do is add more shows and expanding our radius. We will be going to Philadelphia, New Jersey, Boston and Baltimore and so on and so forth. Basically what the plan and the goal right now is to spread our company all over the USA. As far as the industry goes, just want to get our name out there. We want people to see what we’re doing. We want people to get a kick out of it and enjoy this journey with us. It’s all about sharing the goals and sharing the trip and having fun with it and I know it sounds corny as hell but doing what we love.
Brendan: Goals? Future plans? Why, world domination of course. (Laughs). Honestly, I’d love for us to be a household name. Have a line of toys and action figures based on our original stories. Be featured guests at conventions. To expand our brand to the rest of the country. We’re currently NY based but we do shows all over the northeast. Personally, I’d love to be living the full time artist lifestyle but it’s tough. So for now I’m punching a clock.
Any other projects you guys worked on?
Brendan: As far as other projects are concerned; we’ve always got commissions. Whether they’re comic book sketch covers or tattoo designs. Our commission list is always open. Personally, I’m actually working with Topps doing sketch cards for some of their Star Wars and Walking Dead sets. I’m also working on a super-Secret sketch card project for Upper Deck. Real hush hush. (Laughs)
Peat: Personally I do several independent art shows throughout the year in NYC and other places. I’m working on my own personal pet project comic book and I’m always drawing painting or doing something creative because I’m absolutely insane. I’m also going back into 3-D art ceramics and things like that.
Can you tell us some of your favorite Convention moments?
Peat: If it was, NYCC two years ago when Adam Savage is dressed up as Totoro and I called out to him and he turned around. Then 1 million people started contacting us to tell us that we are on the Nerdist channel because Adam Savage was filming that day in the costume. That’s one of my favorites. I got to be honest with you and again this might sound corny but every experience of the show was great because I love being a cons
Brendan: My favorite convention moments are usually the people. I love meeting other artists and fans. Hearing their stories particularly how certain folks are affected by our art. It’s humbling to have that kind of an effect on people. To be able to evoke some of the emotions through our art. Truly humbling.
What advice would you give to someone looking to break into the industry?
Peat: Best advice is to do it, we did! jump in! just do it! I mean worse comes worse to have a bucket list experience best is you start doing what you love! Just dive in and do it! always be drawing and always be painting always be doing whatever creative thing you do! constantly be creating!
Brendan: Advice? To quote Pops from Marvel’s Luke Cage Netflix show, “Always move forward, never backward”. Draw, sketch, network, promote, ask questions and LISTEN!!! Listen to those that have come before you. They’ve made the mistakes so that you don’t have to. Trial and error. Just because it works for others doesn’t mean it’ll work for you, and vice versa. Don’t quit. Don’t Get discouraged. We all go through rough patches. I didn’t even break even my 1st year. I learned from it and applied what I’d learned to make year 2 a great one.
Recently you guys have been able to team up with Geek Ronin and Inbeon Studios to present Comic Bar Con. Tell us a little bit more about this con and how it came to be?
Brendan: Bar Con? What’s a Bar Con? (Laughs) I’m going to let Peat tackle this one. He’s the driving force on this project and also the one putting in the time and energy. It’s only right that he be the one to take the reigns.
Peat: CBC came to us last year at Inbeon con. We are offered to take the lead I jumped right on it. We want to create a more adult, indie art scene, where artists can hang out, network, meet the public and also people can cosplay, listen to cool tunes, kick back, have a beer and enjoy some dope art and have a good time. It’s an Indie Art Show for adults. We want to grow the Indie art scene
Finally, if you could have a superpower. What superpower would you guys have?
Peat: Personally I want to read minds….It would make playing Poker easier
Brendan: If I had to choose a superpower, it’d probably be super strength. Carrying Convention gear is hard work. (Laughs)As we all know; heroes don’t usually get to pick their powers though. I’d probably end up with the ability to talk to plants or something.
Thanks Guys again for the interview. For all those wishing to catch up and follow Fatguy Inc. check out all their social media links below. Thanks for reading.