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Interface: Interview with creator Justin Tomchuk (UMAMI)

The Big Ship sat down with animator, musician and creator Justin Tomchuk to discuss his web series Interface, his process, and his inspirations.

Justin Tomchuk's Interface may just be the crown jewel of online esoterica. This hand-drawn oddity follows a one-hundred-year-old man and his sidekick, an ominous, shape-shifting entity with a clown visage named Mischief, through a journey to escape corporate cybertronics and reclaim lost memories. Following the release of Interface's 24th and final episode that concludes the four-year-long project, I spoke to Tomchuk about the internet, his process, and his inspirations. One that he cites is Micheal Mann. You can see in Interface the director's same pulpy conspiracies licked with a stormy melancholy. I think that's part of what makes the series so compelling to so many people: it has a kind of 2 am, ethereal ambience, that reminds you of watching violent cartoons way past your bedtime. There's comfort in its hallucinatory weirdness and nostalgia burning beneath its red sky. It might seem like I'm stretching to connect with an online series whose protagonist is a neon pink spaghetti demon but this rarity that makes no sense seems to feel ever closer to home with each passing second. Tomchuk is making a case for the artistry behind memes and shows that auteurism can be found in the "weird parts" of YouTube.

You can find 'Interface' and more of Justin's work here.


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