WHO ARE YOU? WHY CAN’T I MOVE? WHERE ARE MY PANTS??
Shh. I am an unlicensed cartoonist. You are in my power now. Just relax and let the chemicals wear off. You are on a website called Whatisdeepfried.com. Does that help?
SO, WHAT IS DEEP FRIED?
Deep Fried is a drug; a dark dose of that good stuff. To be more specific, Deep Fried is a comic book/comic strip specializing in untouchable comedy subjects. It is written and drawn by me, Jason Yungbluth. Deep Fried is a humor anthology featuring recurring characters and assorted one-offs. Frequently returning players include Beepo and Roadkill, Clarissa and Weapon Brown.
WHAT IS WEAPON BROWN?
Weapon Brown is a parody of newspaper comic strips set after the apocalypse, starring Chuck, a young “blockhead” who grew up into a crusty cyborg who is known in the wastelands as Weapon Brown.
For the past everal years, Whatisdeepfried.com has been primarily focused on Weapon Brown, which began as a feature in Deep Fried. Intended only as a one-off spoof of the Peanuts comic strip. It has now grown into an expansive, all encompassing parody of all modern and classic newspaper strips. The story will l be turned into a graphic novel in 2013.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DOING DEEP FRIED?
I have been drawing Deep Fried since 2000. The comic book comes out on a schedule determined by the voices in my head, but is carried in comic shops nationwide when it does. Deep Fried is distributed by Diamond Comics Distributors, Cold Cut and FM International.
The strip, which was spun off from the comic book, ran weekly (minus a few sabbaticals) from 2001-2006, appearing on this and several other websites and in several weekly papers, including The Buffalo Beast, The Rochester Insider and Duluth’s Reader Weekly.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COMIC BOOK AND THE STRIP?
Deep Fried the Comic Book is concerned with long (five pages or more, usually) comic stories and is much more cruel and scatalogical than the strip. Though the stories are usually self-contained it does have some slowly unfolding arcs, such as Beepo’s efforts to connect with women and Clarissa’s poisonous home life.
The strip, which features some characters from the comic book, such as Beepo and Roadkill, began after 9/11 when I felt that history would benefit from my commentary on all the sizzlin’ new political matters that that wonderful day made possible. Some of the politics creeped into the comic book as well (especially in my 48-page special We’re #1!), but in general the two are separate beasts.
My strip made a big enough splash to be featured in Attitude 2: The New Subversive Alternative Cartoonists, published in 2004 and edited by Ted Rall.
THE COMIC BOOK DOESN’T COME OUT VERY OFTEN. ARE YOU STILL PUBLISHING IT?
WHEN IS THE NEXT ISSUE COMING OUT?
I’ll let you know.
WHAT ELSE ARE YOU WORKING ON?
Weapon Brown is my primary focus at the moment, with several other projects on my agenda to begin soon after it is completed. Deep Fried continues to emerge as a comic book as often as I can produce it, and when I am not working on that, I labor as a cartoonist for an underground ‘zine called “MAD”. Here’s one of my doodles!
I’m also seen occasionally in newspapers, like the Kansas City Star. Between meals I also do a lot of freelance illustration work for magazines and ad agencies.
WHERE DID YOU GO TO SCHOOL?
I received a BA in illustration from the State University of New York at Buffalo (UB). Beepo and Roadkill actually debuted there, in The Generation (the student magzine), later moving to The Specturm (the student newspaper).
ARE YOU GOING TO GET SUED FOR WEAPON BROWN?
Unlikely. Weapon Brown, which is a send-up of various popular comic strips, practices “safe satire”, which is to say, it wears a parody condom. Inasmuch as I do not use the distinctive names of those characters I mock, and that my characters only resemble other, well known creations to the extent neccessary to convey my clever lampoon of the American comic strip as both art and business, I cannot see anyone having a problem with my sweet, First Amendment-protected parody.
There is a great book on a vital court decison on this subject called The Pirates and the Mouse (Bob Levine/Fantagraphics Books) that I would recommend for anyone with interest in parody vs. copyright protection.
ARE YOU GOING TO GET ARRESTED FOR CLARISSA?
WHERE ELSE ON THE WEB ARE YOU?
WHICH OF YOUR CHARACTERS ARE YOU MOST LIKE ?
Slamwich. Smashing my way through life, and with no indoor voice.