By Sean T. Collins
Even before bringing Marvel's mutant munchkins back to the racks in the upcoming X-BABIES, Jacob Chabot already has plenty of experience in the field of super-humans—if you count a maniacal elementary-school student with a skull for a face as "super." (And why wouldn't you?) The creator of the hit humor comic The Mighty Skullboy Army takes a turn for the heroic when he tries his hand at the Thing and the Fantastic Four in his contribution to STRANGE TALES, but don't worry: It'll still be pretty damn funny. And hairy, as you'll understand from our interview with Jacob below...
Marvel.com: Why the Thing and the Fantastic Four?
Jacob Chabot: I didn't really start paying attention to the FF until those three issues that Art Adams did with the new Fantastic Four where they fight Skrulls and big rubbery monsters. I liked them so much, I stayed around for Walt Simonson's return where the Thing comes back and the crazy Mr. Fantastic/Dr. Doom time fight. I loved the high adventure aspect of the team. They didn't sit still and they didn't just go on crime watch. They went on fantastic voyages and trips into the unknown! Besides that, their team dynamic can't be beat. These guys were friends and family and had a reason to hang around each other. I gravitated towards the Thing because I love his tragic "man-monster with a big heart" character. I like monsters. Plus he was a wrestler, which never hurts.
Marvel.com: What's the scoop on the storyline?
Jacob Chabot: It's the tragic tale of a man and his moustache. The Thing grows a moustache using Chia seeds. Sue Storm hates it. Plant Man loves it. It's four pages of manic moustache mayhem!
Marvel.com: Moustaches seem to be very hot these days. I remember the Marvel staff even had a moustache contest a while back. To what do you attribute this delightful trend?
Jacob Chabot: The moustache has been a long-standing symbol for manliness. It can also be used as a useful literary and cinematic tool of characterization and identification. A mere twirl or stroke of the moustache can be used to convey deep thought. Moustaches tend to make people focus on one's mouth, thus enabling them to focus on what you are saying and emphasizing your emotions. The moustache has also had a tradition of being used as a symbol of social and political rebellion, with many instances of moustaches being drawn on posters to show disapproval. Plus, all the coolest people have moustaches. Tom Selleck, Billy Dee Williams, John Waters, Groucho Marx, Ghandi, Mario—the list of cool people with moustaches is endless!
A page from Jacob Chabots contribution to STRANGE TALES #1
Marvel.com: Did you find that your approach to the Marvel material you did for STRANGE TALES varied from the vibe of X-BABIES?
Jacob Chabot: Well, both stories have been totally different working experiences. With X-BABIES, I'm drawing a story that was written by a pal of mine, Gregg Schigiel. Plus, it's being colored and lettered in the normal Marvel manner. I'm part of a team! In my STRANGE TALES story, it's all me from brain to page. Consequently, the STRANGE TALES story is a lot shorter as well! [Laughs] Vibewise, though, both stories are kind of similar. They're both fun, cartoony romps, which really plays to my strengths. But those X-Babies are way too young to grow moustaches.
Marvel.com: Of course. What do you think bring to the table as a writer and artist that's different from the norm as far as Marvel readers might be concerned.
Jacob Chabot: I like to bring the funny. Plus, I think moustaches are going to be the new zombies. It won't be long before you're seeing special moustache variant covers on all your favorite Marvel books. Mark my words!
Marvel.com: I think this is the best idea I've heard in weeks. It would certainly make MS. MARVEL and SHE-HULK covers entertaining...
Jacob Chabot: I'll say! Plus it would be easy to do! Just hand the cover art over to any five-year-old kid and let them go to town. Just make sure to snatch it back before they get to the devil horns and monocles.
Marvel.com: What's the first Marvel comic you remember reading?
Jacob Chabot: The first Marvel comics I read were probably the "Spider-Man Super Stories" in the back of the Electric Company Magazine. The first actual comics I bought were MADBALLS, which were part of Marvel's old Star imprint. I went on to collect Marvel's ALF and TRANSFORMERS comics.
Marvel.com: What Marvel books have you been into lately?
Jacob Chabot: Right now it's been DEADPOOL. I can never get enough Deadpool, although I never thought I'd see the day when he had more than one series! THUNDERBOLTS and ULTIMATE COMICS AVENGERS, too. I'm kind of a sucker for most of Mark Millar's stuff. He's kind of a guilty pleasure. I also enjoyed Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillip's INCOGNITO series, which just wrapped up.
A page from Jacob Chabots contribution to STRANGE TALES #1
Marvel.com: And your all-time fave?
Jacob Chabot: If I had to pick my favorite Marvel comic of all time...hmmm...I've got a pretty impressive run of UNCANNY X-MEN, if that says anything.
Marvel.com: Are there any other Marvel heroes or villains you'd like to work with one day?
Jacob Chabot: Oh, man, I don't know! Forbush Man? I'd love to do a Marvel Wrestling League comic with super-matches between Marvel wrestlers like Armadillo, the Thing and Crusher Hogan, as well as the behind-the-ring aspects of running a pro-wrestling league in the Marvel Universe. That could be cool.
Marvel.com: For those fans out there who don't know your stuff, what do you recommend if they're hungry for more of your work?
Jacob Chabot: The Mighty Skullboy Army! It's about a skull-faced boy who owns a large corporation, but has to go to elementary school. He's like Mr. Burns meets Charlie Brown. He has a secret army consisting of only a smart-mouthed robot and a lackadaisical monkey that he uses to carry out various nefarious missions. Chaos and comedy usually result. There's a trade paperback collecting all of my Skullboy comics under one cover. Dark Horse published a collection of my early mini-comics. Skullboy and the gang have also been appearing as back-ups in Chris Giarrusso's G-Man: Cape Crisis series at Image. Other than that, if you're quick, you might see some Spongebob comics I drew in the last few remaining issues of Nickelodeon Magazine.
Marvel.com: What else are you working on these days days?
Jacob Chabot: It's all X-BABIES all the time at the moment! I'm used to doing short stories and whatnot. I've rarely drawn a full, 22-page comic, so this four issue series has been pretty epic. I'm also constantly plugging away on more Skullboy stories whenever I can. Anything else can be found at www.beetlebugcomics.com.
Check out Jacob Chabot's Thing story in STRANGE TALES #2, on sale October 7! To find a comic shop near you, call 1-888-comicbook or visit www.comicshoplocator.com Not a subscriber to Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited yet? Join now! Download SPIDER-WOMAN Motion Comics now on iTunes!
Check out Jacob Chabot's Thing story in STRANGE TALES #2, on sale October 7!
To find a comic shop near you, call 1-888-comicbook or visit www.comicshoplocator.com
Not a subscriber to Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited yet? Join now!
Download SPIDER-WOMAN Motion Comics now on iTunes!