This week I got to speak with a friend named Brandon Mungal. He is a tattoo artist and comic book creator. I have been a fan of his artwork for a few years now and can tell you that he is very talented! I hope you enjoy our conversation.
An Interview With Brandon Mungal
Aaron Iara: Hi! Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today. Please tell the readers a bit about yourself and the work you do.
Brandon Mungal: Hello my name is Brandon Arthur Mungal and i’d like to say that I’m an artist of all mediums. Tattooing is my main focus, but continuous dabbling and visitation of all art mediums keeps things flowing.
Aaron Iara: What made you land on tattooing as your preferred medium?
Brandon Mungal: Oddly enough, peer pressure in the beginning. Once I saw one being done right in front of me, everything clicked, like “why haven’t I already been doing this?!”
Aaron Iara: I loved Killadelphia. How did you get into making comics?
Brandon Mungal: Thanks! It’s kind of a long story. I’ve drawn and read comics, designed characters, and thrown together story books since I was little and I’ve always wanted to create a legitimate book of my own. Killadelphia was a project I started in 2011, as a 100% DIY book.
The book was based on the concept of a post zombie apocalypse scenario. Earth becomes a world where all the humans go extinct and walking, talking animals roam free led by a group of parrots trying to survive a life as the newly dominant species. Written, illustrated, inked, and colored by me in my free time. After losing all my work when my laptop suddenly crashed, I decided to scrap it, at least for a little while.
Fast forward to 2017, I was listening to a tattoo podcast featuring Brennan Freemantle and learned that while also working as a tattooer, Brennan and his partner Buddy Beaudoin were starting an Indy comic label and were actively seeking book submissions. After a bit of thought, I figured why not shoot them a quick pitch for shits and giggles. Not even a full day later I got a response and a contract offer to work with them and less than 6 months later, Killadelphia issue 1 was finished, printed, and sold out. It all happened so quickly, but that is ultimately how I got into making comics.
Aaron Iara: We recently discussed mixing business and art on the website. What are your thoughts on the balance between making art and making money?
Brandon Mungal: Everyone wants to make money. For me, I try not to let it influence my work too much. Consistency is the key to success, I think. You may go a while without making a penny, but keeping at one specific thing/style will eventually catch on. It’s hard to find the balance but there definitely is one.
Aaron Iara: How do you feel about freelance projects over working for a company, in regard to either tattooing or making comics?
Brandon Mungal: For me, I like to take on any project I can within my wheelhouse. Whether it’s tattoos, comics, design, or freelance and corporate gigs break up any monotony. I recently designed a sleeve for a girl in Australia while also designing a logo for a dab accessories company. Random is good sometimes.
Aaron Iara: What do you do to stay productive? Do you have any strategies for meeting deadlines and appointments?
Brandon Mungal: I typically don’t take any days off. That being said, I don’t believe in working myself to death either, so I try to spread the work out (being a father and partner as well) by doing a little bit each day, everyday. If there’s no work, I create new work by starting a new project and/or promoting.
Aaron Iara: Who are some of your favorite creators, comics, tattoos or otherwise?
Brandon Mungal: Honestly, anyone who works their asses off 24/7. The people who put the most work in always shine through at the end. Jim Lee for comics, David Tevenal for tattooing and DaVinci for fine art and illustration.
Aaron Iara: What advice can you give to someone who is interested in getting involved with tattoos? How about making comics?
Brandon Mungal: Do everything in your power to make it happen and ask lots of questions. It doesn’t cost anything to ask a question and the answer may be priceless towards your development. Internet access and social media make it super easy to pursue anything media wise without ever leaving home.
Aaron Iara: Do you have any upcoming projects or events that you would like to speak about?
Brandon Mungal: I’ll be tattooing this Halloween weekend in Tampa at the Spooky Empire horror event. Something Ghoulish and I have a collab set up for the show. Everyone tattooed by me at the convention will receive a free exclusive SG print made only for the event. I’ll be set up with a bunch of ready-to-go horror anime tattoo Flash and some woodcut paintings of your fav Japanese comic characters.
Aaron Iara:Thank you for taking the time to talk to me today. Please let the readers know where they can find you and your work.
Brandon Mungal: Brannytattoos on Instagram and coming to a city near you hopefully. Thanks and cheers!