Chuck BB Loves Strawberry Ice Cream (And Also Draws Comics) [NYCC 2012]
This weekend at New York Comic-Con, writer Ivan Brandon (Viking, 24Seven) announced a new publishing venture called Offset Comics that was met with a great deal of excitement, largely (for me, anyway) because of the amazing promo art for Deathface. Drawn by Black Metal's Chuck BB, the promo promised an 80s action movie feel combined with a skull-styled luchador mask, which is just about everything I like to see in my entertainment.
However, during a conversation about his upcoming work on Deathface and Black Metal, Chuck BB brought up a far more important topic: His taste in ice cream.ComicsAlliance: Yesterday, I was talking to you and you made a very controversial statement.
Chuck BB: Yes.
CA: You said that of the major ice cream flavors, your favorite is strawberry.
CBB: This is an accurate story. I think of the basic flavors, the Neapolitan, I would choose the strawberry. It's the most delicious of all the flavors.
CA: Why do you not go for chocolate or vanilla?
CBB: Here's the thing: As a human, I like chocolate, because chocolate is pretty good. I don't eat it very often, I haven't had it in a while, but chocolate ice cream is not as good as a chocolate bar. It pales in comparison, unless it's amazing. Vanilla? Vanilla's boring. Vanilla's only good when it's got the crap in it, the vanilla bean or whatever that is that's crumbly and delicious. But strawberry? You'll find little fruits, it's refreshing, it's pink. It's about life.
CA: I find that to be offensive.
CBB: How so?
CA: Vanilla's not boring. It has this reputation of being boring, but it's not. It's delicious. It tastes great. I would rank vanilla above chocolate.
CBB: What toppings do you get on your pizza, cheese? Come on.
CA: No, but I get pepperoni! Pepperoni pizza's the most common, but it's delicious.
CBB: It's good, but there's more to life than just a pepperoni. Vanilla is the cheese pizza of ice cream.
CA: That's insane.
CBB: It's good if you're going for a high-end ice cream, but I'm talking about a regular, working-class man. Where's he going to get his vanilla? The Cold Stone Creamery? I don't think so. Four dollars a scoop? Get out of town.
CA: Vanilla is underrated. Strawberry is a good flavor, but I find that there's a lot of variation in there. Chocolate is generally universally very good, with vanilla you know what you're getting even if it's a richer, more complex vanila. But strawberry... it runs the gamut. Fresh strawberry ice cream where you know the fruit is in there -- which, by the way, uses vanilla as a base --
CBB: Oh, I know. A pizza with all the toppings uses cheese as a base too, my friend.
CA: Do you find a lot of variation in strawberry ice cream?
CBB: There's obviously a quality variation. The more you spend, the better the place you go, the better it is. But I still know I'm going to get a quality strawberry, some seed crunchies, the color's always the same. It goes down smooth.
CA: You mention the color. Is that consistency of color something that appeals to you as an artist?
CBB: It's the one that I see that looks right back at me and says "put me inside you." It's in the middle of the Neapolitan, too. It's the middle ground, we all meet in the middle. Republicans. Democrats. But in the reality, everyone is in the middle, the strawberry of the world.
CA: Is that why you do a black and white comic called Black Metal that has a lot of black in it?
CBB: If there was an ice cream that was black, I would eat that s**t. There is not.
CA: Would you consider strawberry the most metal of the ice cream flavors?
CBB: I don't know... The most metal? I don't know what would be, but if you consider an open-minded approach to metal, like the Rob Halfords of the world, they're in line with that. Very talented man, very flamboyant. It's pink ice cream, what do you want me to tell you?
CA: What do you think your taste in ice cream says about the way you make comics?
CBB: It says I'm open-minded. I'm not afraid to be a man eating a pink ice cream. Some people don't want to look like a "sissy," but the reality is that it's a delicious flavor that's a very bright and beautiful color. I am not a wimp. I'm a man. I take risks. I'm not afraid to make a comic called Black Metal and a comic called Deathface. These aren't pink comics, they're a man's comics, but I'm not afraid to eat a pink ice cream.
CA: Tell me about Deathface.
CBB: It's sort of Ivan Brandon's and my homage to straight up balls-out eighties action movies like Predator, Commando, Rambo. I think more Schwarzenegger-esque, if Schwarzenegger wore a mask and pushed a little further, but it's definitely along the lines of "let off some steam, Bennett!" That's what moves the dialogue.
CA: So it's your tribute to Jeph Loeb.
CBB: Absolutely. That is his finest work.
CA: I would agree. A lot of people say Teen Wolf, I say Commando.
CBB: Teen Wolf is good, but when he says "let off some steam" and throws a pipe through a man, it is literally an impossible thing to do and he does it. That's in the script, and I have to give him credit.
CA: We've talked about Black Metal before pretty extensively.
CBB: Volume 3 is almost done. We're on the cusp.
CA: You said you had about thirty more pages to draw. Does this complete the Black Metal saga?
CBB: I would never say that there's not a possibility of some other Black Metal-ness in the future, but this is going to get us to the point where we wanted to get to from the beginning, so this is the full complete arc. It's probably the final story that's going to be this large.
CA: Are you and Rick Spears planning to collaborate more in the future?
CBB: I'd love to. No plans just yet, but I like working with Rick. It doesn't take a lot of communication; we both understand each other very quickly. I wouldn't be surprised if it happens again.
CA: Have you had an ice cream conversation with him?
CBB: Rick's one of those guys who, every time we go out to dinner at conventions, he always orders a hamburger. Every restaurant, no matter where we are, a hamburger. So I don't talk to him much about ice cream. He's not an exciting eater. Probably a chocolate guy.
CA: What about Ivan Brandon?
CBB: He's the opposite. A very food-oriented man. He'd probably be eating a gold-flaked bacon pistachio ice cream.
CA: I see him as a guy who's more into gelato.
CBB: Gelato is probably better than ice cream.
CA: When can we look for Deathface?
CBB: Sometime next year. We haven't announced yet when and how it will be delivered, but sometime next year.
CA: Anything else to say about ice cream and comics?
CBB: Ice cream. Comics. Both things that you enjoyed as a kid that you can enjoy as an adult. There's something kind of special about that.