Week two of our Artist Spotlights splits his time between New Orleans and New York City, but he believes he’s here in NYC to stay. Mike Grossman is the creator of Goofy Froot. He got his comic creating feet wet back in 2011 when he collaborated with fellow artist, Max Travers. Since then, they’ve been collaborating on Goofy Froot and splitting both the writing and the art work between them.
Mike and Max of @goofy_froot, at the Dallas Fan Expo in 2016.
We sat down with Mike to talk a bit about his work, and highlight what you’ll see at Inbeon Con this summer. *(See info on Inbeon Con below).
Here’s what he had to say.
Lorisse (L): What is Goofy Froot all about?
Mike (M): Goofy Froot is a new comic book universe where all of our characters are life sized pieces of fruit with different personalities, like the Gangsta Grapes and Boss Banana. We have a bunch of characters and more will be revealed in our future comics.
We honestly accidentally landed on Goofy Froot while working on a prior project BattleWorld TV when Max came up with the idea for a sketch series of our characters. That’s when he drew up the initial designs for the Gangsta Grapes, Chil Pepper, Boss Banana and a few others.
We ended up going in on a run of prints and seeing how people reacted to our characters at a local comics and zone fest, when we were living in New Orleans. We sold pretty well and decided to keep going eventually adding more characters and then going full speed ahead with the comics.
L: What theme drives Goofy Froot; what is the inspiration for it?
M: It’s really everything, we wanted to create a world that anybody could enjoy and laugh at. There’s enough out there to deal with the doom and gloom aspects of life, and we wanted to be the polar opposite of that.
L: What types of influences did you have from childhood, good or bad, that pushed you to being an artist?
M: I’ve been an extreme nerd for cartoons and animation ever since I was old enough to read. Some of my earliest memories are of watching Looney Tunes cartoons and laughing my butt off, but also scrunching up my eyes to try to make out the names in the credits. Tex Avery, Mel Blanc, and Chuck Jones, became some of my earlier cartooning heroes. Later, I caught myself doing the same thing with Doug, the Rugrats, the 90s X-Men and Spiderman cartoons, and the Simpsons. I knew someone had to be making these things!
But just to be clear, it wasn’t just animated cartoons I was obsessed with. I loved reading as well and I read everything and anything I could get my hands on. What I love about comics is that they are a sneaky way to get kids (and adults) to read a book. Comics are books y’all, comics are books.
L: What challenges have you had to overcome to get here?
M: How much time do you have? Literally every type of challenge imaginable has cropped up on our journey as artists. I think when you stake a claim to something the Universe likes to constantly throw obstacles in your way to test your commitment. The biggest area of challenge we’ve had is finances, but underneath that is everything from horrible roommates, mental health issues, busted bike chains, and a lack of ripe avocados. If it wasn’t for our friendship and having each other’s backs we would have probably called it quits a long time ago.
L: (Laughs) We’re gonna have to come back to “lack of ripe avocados” offline, because no one should have to suffer through that.
M: (Laughs) Yeah.
L: So, what would you say to someone who would like to do what you’re doing as an artist?
M: Be persistent but be patient. Be humble but be confident. Be friendly but be selective. Practice your craft in some form every single day and study the masters in your field.
L: Amazing advice. What’s in store for future projects?
M: So much more! This is only the tip of the iceberg for us. We have a second installment of Goofy Froot in the works, as well as a stand alone story featuring one of our favorite characters. I don’t know if I can reveal the details just yet, but I have some scripts in production with other indie collaborators as well.
L: Great! Good for you, bro. Last question, what can we expect at your Inbeon Con table in August?
M: Well… I’m hoping I’ll have the full printed version of Goofy Froot: Ripe Off The Page, which will take up most of the table. If for whatever reason I don’t have a fat stack of books for y’all I’ll definitely have our character prints, stickers, enamel pins & buttons. Right now I just need to keep my fingers crossed that we’ll keep on schedule.
L: Well good luck with everything, and we’re so excited to have you in August. Thank you so much for your time, bro.
M: Thank you, and thanks so much for this opportunity. I am looking forward to it.
Mike Grossman, www.goofyfroot.com
*Inbeon Con is a convention by artists, for artists. For more info visit www.InbeonCon.com. Save 20% using Lorisse’s code, CROSSPLAY, at checkout for your tables and tickets. Tables are still available for artists, but they’re going fast, so act soon.