ComicsDC blogger Mike Rhode interviewed Daddy’s Home co-creator Tony Rubino for the Washington City Paper about his career in comics.
WCP: Who are your influences?
TR: Cartoon-wise, the usual suspects: Larson, Watterson, Schultz, Hart & Parker. And also, Callahan (RIP), Groening, who I first saw in the Washington City Paper long before The Simpsons when he was only doing Life In Hell. I wrote to him, after seeing him in The CP and he wrote me back. Bet ya can’t do that any more. I still have the letter somewhere. I loved most of the alternative cartoonists in the City Paper. I’d have to say that the City Paper itself was a big influence. I was really intrigued by the alternative cartoonists’ departure from “normal” daily cartoon styles. That influence has lead to some of the different things I try today in Daddy’s Home and in my books. Also, the City Paper is one of the very first publications I ever submitted cartoons to. They rejected me. I used to read Mad Magazine regularly along with Cracked and even Crazy. Remember Crazy? [Yes, it was Marvel Comics’ version of Mad – MR] But I was and am equally influenced by Saturday Night Live and other non-cartoon comedy mediums. When I was a kid I used to sneak out of bed on Saturday nights and watch the very first cast of SNL, with Belushi, Chase, Murray, Gilda Radner, Jan Curtin, Dan Akroyd, etc. That show blew me away. I mean hell, it blew everybody away. But I think for any kid who had a propensity to be funny, it was an education. Before that, I loved the Carol Burnett Show. Then there’s Woody Allen, Letterman, Steven Wright. Steve Martin was and still is a genius. I actually saw him live when I was a kid, with the white suit and arrow through the head and everything. I bought all his comedy albums and memorized them. From an artistic standpoint, I’m also influenced by graphic design and pop art. I’m an art director; so conveying a thought through the organization of images is what I do, I guess, one way or another.