As if getting to interview the artist of Hybrid Bastards, Kate Glasheen, wasn’t great enough, I got the opportunity to pick the brain of the author himself, Tom Pinchuk. It was so much fun to peek inside the mind that created such hilarious insanity!
Christina: First off, I’d like to thank you for the mental image of Zeus running around humping inanimate objects. That one’s a keeper. How did you come up with Hera’s devious plan for revenge?
Tom: Heh… you’re welcome. The mental image came out of a sophisticated, almost erudite conversation I had with a friend in high school about what would happen if some dude humped a wall. How it would swell, how it’d messily eject a brick baby, and so on. You might say that was the “seed” of the idea.
As for Hera’s plan, I figured it achieved the double whammy that any good revenge prank needs. First, it’s far, far too late for Zeus to do anything about this. Second, what’s perhaps worse than getting what you want is getting far more of it than you could ever desire. To that end, if Zeus is so proud of the handful of heroic demigods he illegitimately conceived with beautiful maidens, shouldn’t be doubled over with pride over having an army of grotesque, object-birthed monsters calling him daddy? Obviously, he isn’t… and it’s in the worst way he could ever imagine.
Christina: Are you concerned that Zeus might strike you down with a bolt of lightning for exposing his less than positive character traits? He could make it look like an act of nature after all.
Tom: The sad thing is… that dark thought’s actually crossed my mind on a few occasions when I’ve thought too much about this story. If he were to accuse me of slander, I’d point out that the ancient Greeks themselves were staging lewd satires about their gods long before I was even a twinkle in my daddy’s eye.
Christina: I was thrilled to see some more hybrids in “The Family Tree.” Which hybrid was your personal favorite?
Tom: Cotton, without hesitation. He might be a jerk, but he’s still the most well-adjusted character in the story. I just got a kick out of him having this droll attitude about all this absurd, outrageous fantasia. None it impresses him. He’s got better things to do than be involved with this ridiculous revenge plot.
Christina: Were there other hybrids we didn’t get to see and what were they? (I’m very curious as to what all Zeus got it on with.)
Tom: You actually get to see a few of them on the family tree you mentioned. There are outright rejects like Matt (a gym mat), Dusty (a ball of lint), and Corky (a bottle cork), and there are really nasty ones like Toby (a cigarette), John (a toilet), Sheldon (a bad egg), and, my favorite, CC (a bag of crack). I can’t say when the world will finally get to see them in action, but I know it’ll happen eventually. They’ll strike like a knife in the dark.
Christina: How did you decide which hybrids would star in the comic?
Tom: Let’s be clear about this… I didn’t decide anything. The bastards materialized before me one night, while I was pondering in my study, and they demanded I make them the stars of their own comic. They went on to stress how each one of them represented a different kind of inanimate object — clothes, machines, food and masonry — and assured me that they’d chop my head off if I didn’t comply with their demands.
Christina: Does the final product visually match what you had in your head?
Tom: I want to say that Kate pierced her talons into my skull and pull out the dripping-wet imagery exactly as it was in my mind’s eye, but that wouldn’t be true. The truth is… she took these simple ideas I had and shot them up into outer space. That is, this book doesn’t look like what I visualized; it looks ten times better. I almost felt like a reader experiencing this, because she made my head spin in surprise with on every single page.
Christina: What other twisted ideas are bouncing around inside your head and do you plan on letting them out?
Tom: I’ve got another comic called Unimaginable coming out at the end of the year from Arcana Studio. I did this one with artist Kurt Belcher. It’s about a “problem solver” in a city of monsters who has to take care of all these incomprehensibly surreal tasks like having to plumb sewers clogged entirely with brains. However, the biggest problem facing her — the one, seemingly unsolvable problem — is the Unimaginable, creatures so terrible that nobody can actually imagine what they are. I’ve been describing this one to people as an “evil Little Nemo.”
Thanks so much for your time, Tom, and for that little sneak peek into your next creation!