Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Geek of the Year Interview - Chris Hicks - Sole Artist and Designer of the Mighty Muggs

Okay the Holiday Season has overwhelmed me a bit and my geek of the week interviews have faded into more of a geek of the month so I decided to bring out my last, best interview of the year!

I am lucky enough to be good friends with someone whose husband is the sole artist and designer of the Mighty Muggs from Hasbro. His name is Chris Hicks and even though many of you don’t know his name yet, you’ve seen his work in toy stores around the world!

Without further ado, here is the Mighty Man himself…Chris Hicks (you can hear the crowds roaring).

1. Who are you, where are you from and how long have you been creating art?
That’s a pretty heavy question- who am I? I dunno, just some dude? I’ve been creating art (if you apply a very liberal definition of “art”) ever since I was a little kid. The first grade is my earliest memory of really enjoying drawing. Oh, and I am from Rocky Point, New York. The Most God-Forsaken Place on Earth!

2. Do you create for a specific genre of geek (ie. sci-fi, gaming, horror, math, fantasy, music, etc…)
I work in toys now, but I’ve done comics and gaming illustrations too.

3. What was the first “geekey” craft or artwork you ever made?
Probably drawing up pictures of my Dungeons & Dragon characters when I was a teenager. Doesn’t get much more geeky than that!

4. What inspires you to create?
Movies, comics, video games. Anything inventive and fresh, with a good story and good characters.

5. Where can we find your work (website, shows, blogs, etc.)
I have a lot of my freelance work on my web site http://www.pyroplant.com/ although it’s in a dire need of an update. Also, my comic book “Mister Blank” is available through Slave Labor Graphics or Amazon.

We also know one of your secret identities is as the sole artist who designs all the Mighty Muggs for Hasbro Toys so we’ve got a few Mighty Mugg Questions:

1. What is your favorite Mighty Mugg that you’ve designed so far?
Hmmm, probably one that is so ridiculous it will never appear in stores and I dare not even mention its name. My favorite ones are the ones with a little bit of dark humor twisted in.

2. How did you get such a cool job?
I honestly don’t have the slightest clue. The cliché answer would be “right place, right time” but that seems to slick and elegant. It’s more like a Mr Magoo cartoon where I’ve bumbled and flailed around and somehow landed in a spot with a chance to do something awesome. The details are a blur!

3. Are there any new Mighty Muggs coming out soon that you can tell us about?

I was a HUGE Transfan growing up, back when Transfan wasn't even a word. And I still am. So I was very excited about doing Transformer Muggs. I tried to pump as much of the detail and my memories of those characters as possible. Soundwave was my first Transformer, and still my favorite, so getting to do him as a Mugg was A LOT of fun!

4. How do you feel about people who paint over your Mighty Muggs so they can design and paint their own custom Muggs? Do you consider this a form of flattery or do you hate seeing your Mugg designs get painted over?

Definitely the latter. The whole custom market for Muggs is AMAZING. People are doing some really inventive and cool things out there. Plus they are in the enviable position of being able to make a Mugg of any character or license they want.

Thanks again Chris!


nob01 said...

Fascinating stuff - thanks for posting this interview!
Do you think Chris would be interested in visiting our Mighty Muggs site?
Thanks again :-)

ursulaandolive said...

I hear that Chris actually visits your site quite often, he just does it under one of his many secret identities...of which I was told I can't reveal what that identity is..thus the word secret before it... :)

Toy Overlord said...

Nice interview, I was always curious to who did the art for them. We have reviews and visual guides on the Muggs at mightymugg.com

Zach Oat said...

Well done! He is truly the Geek of the Year.