One of the highlights of MCM Manchester this year was meeting the wonderfully talented Chris McCoy, the man behind the quite brilliant comic strip Safely Endangered. If you follow us on Twitter or Instagram you’ll know this from our #SaturdayStrip feature – and he’s a very nice chap too. Alix fired some questions his way in the form of an interview and here’s what he had to say…
Alix: So Chris, how did you end up here? Have you always doodled?
Chris McCoy: I’ve always been a big doodler. The back of my schoolbooks were full of crude Simpsons imitations.
A: Did you study Art at College or University?
CM: I enjoyed art class [at school] but never pursued it. I studied Engineering at University but it wasn’t for me so I left. I started drawing comics as a hobby after I left University. I uploaded some to Tumblr and got some positive feedback so I kept drawing more.
A: What was your big break?
CM: I’m not sure I had a big break. One of my early comics about vegetarianism gained some traction which helped me to start building an audience. I think joining Line Webtoon as a permanent contributor has been the highlight of my comic career so far!
A: As good as your comic looks, the humour is brilliant – who would you say are your comedy heroes?
CM: I love both British and American humour. The Simpsons, Futurama, Fools and Horses, Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Monty Python. The list is endless, I watch too much!
A: Aha – so what is your favourite Simpsons episode?
CM: I always enjoyed the episode where the town poorly rebuilds the Flanders house.
A: What other interests do you have? Are you a gamer? A big fan of music?
CM: I’m a big gamer and I’m also a musician! Been playing guitar since I was a kid. The stuff I play is usually bluesy/folk/alt rock but I love listening to most genres. At the moment a lot of funk! As for gaming, I’ve owned a lot of consoles, mostly Nintendo. I’ll play pretty much anything. Just finished Mario Odyssey and I’m playing Poly Bridge on Steam
A: Are you in a band?
CM: Not currently, only ever played a few live sets.
A: There are some strong themes throughout your work – for example do you own any pets? Are you a keen astronomer? How often can we expect to see your personal life reflected in your work?
CM: My girlfriend has a dog, he’s the inspiration for all my canine comics. I’m not big on astronomy but I like science fiction as much as the next guy. I’ve drawn quite a handful of comics featuring planets. And my personal life doesn’t really play into my comics at all!
A: So can we expect to see you drawing storyboards for Pixar any time soon?
CM: I’m afraid I can’t give any details about the position I’ve just started as… It’s sweet though!
CM: I wish!
A: That response is such a giveaway… Hey, we have previously tagged you in posts on Instagram but there’s a fair few to choose from – are they all you? If so, just how many languages are you publishing in?!
CM: @EndangeredComic is me on Twitter. Then I get a lot of people translating my stuff [on Instagram]. I’ve seen a lot of accounts, they usually get lazy and give up. Cheers for sharing them though, I appreciate it.
Safely Endangered is available now and for free, check him out!