Funny Creek, the comiXology Originals series written by Rafael Albuquerque and Rafael Scavone and illustrated by Eduardo Medeiros, is coming to an end on September 1.
The book is a very cool comic, set in the 1980s and conceptualized around a young girl who falls into her favorite show.
This setup has enabled the creative team to play with a lot of different themes and aesthetics, and today The Beat has an interview with Albuquerque about the book.
You can find our conversation below!
ZACK QUAINTANCE: So, I really like the mix of influences in Funny Creek. Can I start by asking where the idea for this book came from?
RAFAEL ALBUQUERQUE: Thank you! We started developing the idea around 3 years ago, trying to, first, leave our comfort zone and create something aimed for younger audiences, and second, a project where we could work with Eduardo, so, something specifically designed for him. The initial ideas were completely different, but considering Eduardo’s background in animation, that brought us some ideas about the path we could go on. The main references definitely came from “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”, style wise, and tone wise I can say that Pixar’s “UP!” and “Inside Out” were definitely things we were constantly thinking while conceiving this story.
QUAINTANCE: Another thing I really like is the 1980s setting. What inspired you to set the book in that era?
ALBUQUERQUE: Honestly? Our childhood. I remember being a kid who loved Bozo’s show, in the eighties. That’s also a big inspiration on the story, of course. At the time I was so into that show and those characters that I remember, my dream was to find a way to BE in there, with the craziest outcomes possible (such as getting into the phone line and digging it until finally finding a way out in Bozo’s red phone.). Remembering these things, we realized that a kid’s imagination is something deviant, and I think old memories like this kind of drove us to build the affection that Lilly has for this show and especially Clumsy Clown.
QUAINTANCE: Did this being a digital-first series influence the way you created it at all, and if so, how?
ALBUQUERQUE: Not really. There were some guidelines regarding the digital reading, and we tried to fit in them, but story wise? No. We just wanted to make sure to do something that would work both digitally and printed, with the same impact.
QUAINTANCE: As an artist yourself, how did you convey the art style you wanted for these comics to Eduardo Medeiros and Priscilla Tramontano?
ALBUQUERQUE: This was a collaborative process. Eduardo co-wrote the story as much as Rafa and I had our hints into the artwork. This is how we work in Stout Club, pretty much in every single project, but specifically for Funny Creek, Eduardo was the mind behind the art direction and he did such a great job on it. His storytelling is fun but also deep, and layered, that’s exactly what a story like that needs. If we couldn’t work with him in this project, we’d definitely just move on and do another storyline. No one else could do that the way he did.
QUAINTANCE: Finally, what can you tell me about the upcoming conclusion issue?
ALBUQUERQUE: It will be surprising. It’s risky. I think either people will love it or hate it. And we’re all good with it. This is the story we wanted to tell since the beginning. It’s a story about loss, about grief, tough subjects at pretty much any age, but especially as an inventive kid, how would you deal with it? This question drove us until the end of Funny Creek and I personally think the final chapter is bold and brave, and I’m proud of being part of it.
The fifth and final issue of Funny Creek is due out via Comixology on Tuesday, September 1st.