Pre-Festival Interview: An Inside Look at IHEARTCOMIX with Franki Chan, CEO
Before we dive into IHEARTCOMIX and all things Franki Chan in general terms, let’s discuss your plans for this weekend at Festival Supreme in Los Angeles, CA. What was your inspiration for the IHEARTCOMIX SUPERSHOW?
The Festival Supreme crew decided to add a dance area to the festival this year. They reached out looking for some ideas for talent and we’d been hard at work developing a new character universe for ourselves among other things, so we volunteered to take the time. It’s taken us down this wild journey of creating a 2 hr stage show that features a newly filmed narrative story, a majority of our characters on stage and musical performances from most of the acts on our label 1NFINITY. My creative partner, Jesus Rivera, and myself developed it together. It’s gonna be wild!
Why do you think Festival Supreme is the perfect place to showcase the music and stage show?
For us it made a lot of sense for the direction we’ve been headed over the last few years, which is way more content, comedy and geek culture based. Music is in our blood and is our foundation, always will be, but what has taken us in exciting directions is using that culture and applying it to our other passions. Fest Supreme is the perfect outlet for that, especially since we get to be among so many artists we draw inspiration from.
Who are you most excited to see at the festival?
Flight of the Concords, Weird Al, Sarah Silverman, Eric Andre, Gelmania, Nancy Whang, TENACIOUS DJ!
Who would you most like to collaborate with at the festival? What sort of project would you collaborate on?
Hmm good question! So many amazing people on the fest, but I’d love to work on something w Tenacious D. Those guys are so full of creativity. Ideally the project would be something that was a new challenge for us both.
Now moving on to topics specific to you…
What was your a-ha moment in your career? Like when you knew you had finally made it?
Still trying to make it! BUT a big moment for us was a couple years ago when we self funded and filmed a pilot for the Check Yo Ponytail TV show. It’s not out and it may never see the light of day, but that was a huge moment for us internally as it showed what we are capable of and opened up our eyes so much to where our passions really lie. There are some really cool things that came out of that experience and ultimately lead us to where we are now.
As someone with an established artistry and talents ranging from DJing to visual art, what is your favorite medium to create with and why?
I think one of the issues with having many talents and interests is that your favorite keeps changing (which is the case for me always). Although, that diversity allows me to express myself in the most needed way of the moment, which is a big help for what I want to do.
However, when I boil it down, storytelling is my favorite part and the mediums are just expressions of that. Whether Directing a video, making a comic or even doing an event, it’s all a form of storytelling to me.
Any advice for up-and-comers who are trying to establish their brands? (eg. was your hat and thick-brimmed glasses an intentional aesthetic?)
Hat and Glasses, not really, but I embraced the uniform for sure. Just became part of the personality (unintentionally).
As for up and comers, don’t rush it. Everyone wants everything right away and usually make bad decisions to get there. The short term rush is not worth sacrificing the ultimate goal, so work hard, keep your focus and think before you act. Will make a big difference, especially if this is something you want to do for a long time.
What are your top three albums of all time?
Jawbreaker: Dear You
Soulwax: Night Versions
Your go to ice-breaker?
Start with what you don’t like.
And finally, what is your favorite topic to discuss right now from current pop culture?