I.C.U. had the chance to catch up with Don Chin of Parody Press and chat about his new project - Beardzzerker - Now funding on Indiegogo
What made you decide to focus a parody on Keanu Reeves and his many famous roles?
Well, last year when I heard Keanu was going to be working on a comic book with BOOM! Studios, I was intrigued. And then I watched his promo video about it and the creative juices started flowing. There weren't a lot of details on the actual storyline, so I had to imagine what the character would be about based on the promotional artwork they were showing...a mysterious soldier of fortune who was very violent, looking for answers to his existence.
To tweak BRZRKR for Parody Press Comics' purposes, it needed something unique. So, I thought, "Let's take Keanu's Ted Rock N' Roll loving teenaged character, put him in a coma, and make him relevant to 2021. Keanu often has a beard these days, so "BEARDZERKER" was something I envisioned. Then I remembered the popular band ZZTop had these long flowing beards. I thought "let's take the ZZTop logo and incorporate into our logo, and that's how I came up with BEARDZZERKER."
Then the idea of who his enemies are would have to be addressed so I took a lot of liberty to make them have Keanu tie-ins, so you have bad agents like the ones in the Matrix, only mine are sadistic Germans who are responsible for releasing a Rick Astley Earworm Virus into the world, which turns people into lyric-chanting zombies. There are also a lot of musical celebrity satires in the book, going back to the many 1980's musicians that were in the original Bill & Ted.
It's been said many times that comedy in comics is incredibly hard, but you have made a career of it. What is your approach to making a comedy comic?
I was really inspired by MAD Magazine and CRACKED Magazine growing up, "Saturday Night Live" when it was funny, and comedy movies like "Airplane!" and "Young Frankenstein" by Mel Brooks. I'm kind of wired to be a satirist, I guess. The "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" was the first comic book I spoofed with success, and that led to the "Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters", which still has a devoted following. I think I have a "shotgun" approach to comedic writing and try to cram as much humor as I can in each panel. It may not work 100% of the time, but it's not for lack of trying.
I would like to give a big shout out to Billy Tucci (Shi), Ethan Van Sciver (Reignbow The Brute) and Mark Poulton and Mike McMahon (USAssassin) for letting us have permission to use their characters in our comic book campaign.
After the success of X-Farce: Reloaded and now Beardzzerker, what would you like to see in the future for Parody Press?
We will probably do some collections and remastered versions in the future of older material, and of course, new ones when the inspiration strikes. I also plan to release some non-humor comics that I will self-publish in the future, like "Enchanter", that I co-created with Mike Dringenberg who worked with Neil Gaiman on "Sandman".
Back Beardzzerker on Indiegogo
Follow Don Chin on Twitter: @realdonchin