"Doubt Kills More Dreams Than Failure Ever Will"        ✯ Suzy Kassem ✯

An Interview With Popeye Wong


Click on the picture to visit his website.

I have been trying to bring you this interview for a week and a day. It's been torture to work out all of the minucia involved with managing the website and making it accesable. But, finally I have decided to just let it be and write it out. I was at RAW when I ran into some art that just spoke volumes to me. The fun and light hearted approach of cartoon art, with the serious subject matter of the female form; rendered into nothing less than pure art. But, I digress. It's time for you to find out for yourselves.


What follows is what was gleaned from a noise polluted recording, some shorthand, and a recollection of facts. Imagine if you will, a dinner on the strip. The place is packed, and our table is crowded (and if you really want a sensory imprint, Olvia Newton John's 1978 classic a little more love is playing amidst the clatter of coffee cups on saucers.)


Q. I started off with what I imagine is one of the most typical questions. What are your wildest aspirations.


A. His answer was "Honestly I don't like being in the spotlight. I'd rather live comfortably at home with enough to pay the bills with a small shop to do my art. RAW was my first art show in years, and that was okay, but I'd rather stay home and not be a high end artist."


Q. You have a few BDSM themes in your artwork, is that an artistic preference, or a personal preference?


A. "Both. Artistically I love it,It's very open and expressive. I don't have any problem with BDSM, even experiencing. I've had my little share of pain through BDSM (and you can quote me on that), and like the culture a lot. I'm just not really a "community" person, from any kind of group, and that includes BDSM. I'm not afraid of saying: I like BDSM, I've experienced it a bit. I just don't consider myself part of it, as I don't consider myself part of anything. I like to watch groups and enjoy their interactions. Am I part of it? no. Not because I feel afraid or anything like that, I just like to see the interaction without disrupting anything, without being part of it myself."


Q. One of the things I often do when prepairing for an interview is gather some facts first. No one likes to be asked the same questions over and over, and people who already know the artist want to know more, not just a rehash of something they have already read. One of the things that really grabbed my attention was the fact that I found Popeye Wong listed on the Heavy Metal Website, so I asked him about it.


A. "Heavy Metal was 2006. Really I call it a lucky shot because I sent one piece, and Kevin Eastman liked it. That's the previous owner of Heavy Metal. He liked it, and he put me on the back cover"


Before I could ask my next question, he instinctively answered it for me without my having to ask.


"Have I pursued more? That's it. I'm pretty sure I would have done a cover or something, but my art just shifted. And now, I was just thinking again about Heavy Metal and Playboy, but Heavy Metal just got sold.."


He went on to say


"The problem with me is that once I do something, it's kind of hard for me to keep it; like my attention goes somewhere else. Like, for the longest time we wanted to do Comicon, Oh Comicon, I mean...; but we made it and then we were anh..."


That's got to be great!



"It is but.., well actually something that really turns me off, for whatever reason; is when something becomes really popular.Like, it doesn't have the same appeal to me. Comicon is way too big now.That's why I like Wondercon. If it gets bigger I might not like it."



Q. Is that before it gets commercialized? Before it looses some of it's heart and soul?



A. "I honestly don't have anything against commercialism. It's just sometimes it's not my cup of tea, but no; it's kind of like a contradiction. I love commercial stuff too, but I guess it's because I don't take anything, anything seriously."


The interview (as you can well imagine) was much like a conversation that passed in and out of topic at the end as we got to know each other a little better, but before the night ended I did ask him a few more questions that I found had really interesting answers.


Q. One of those questions was what artist might have influanced him and his art work.


A. For his sultry sci fi art he said: Luis Royo, and Boris Vallejo

A. For his Cartoon pinup he said: Dean Yeagle, and Rion Vernon


Q. The last question I asked him had to do with the logo for his website. I had asked if it was supposed to be an owl.

A. He said that it was really a bit of a joke he shared with family who were always saying he had dark rings under his eyes.



Interview by SorrowsFade and assisted by Lyrica Black and Jetta Toxic March 13th 2015


© 2018 Starla Holeman

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