By Gwen Sisson
It started out with a psychotic chicken in a floppy ear hat and a pessimistic clown.
Then Andy Childress got sidetracked doing a comic strip about two idiot brothers working for their dad in the appliance repair called QUICK APPLIANCE REPAIR. It was a little too close to home because Andy and his brother were working for their dad in Childress Appliance Repair.
Childress created Herman the psychotic chicken by accident around 1983-ish and started using him in actual strips around 1989. And Bubba World Comix has grown from there.
But before chickens and clowns, there were bugs. Childress had been drawing from a very early age. When he was one, his mom said he wanted a pencil and paper and would love to draw.
“It was dots big and small and when Mom asked what I was drawing I said bugs,” Childress said. “It started there in my high chair. By the time I was three I was fascinated by the Sunday Comics and would lay in the floor with my drawing board Dad gave me so I could draw while laying on the carpet. I would imitate the comics I had laying to my side. I didn’t even know you could read them for another three years.”
The Sunday comics would have been Childress’ first inspirations. Peanuts and Snuffy Smith then later Arlo and Janis and Garfield.
“Mom and Dad always encouraged me and my friends and brothers but the first time I met Arlo and Janis creator Jimmy Johnson I gave him some photo copies of my strips and told him to read them later,” Childress said. “We talked then I went to looking at his art hanging in the gallery show he was having in Jackson as others began talking to him. Later I heard someone laughing really loud and decided that’s the strip I want to be reading. When I turned around it was Jimmy Johnson holding some of my folded up copies during a time no one was talking to him. He saw me and came over and said that my stuff made him laugh out loud and that was the best compliment he could give a cartoonist. Then we had a really good comics conversation.”
Later, comic books began influencing Childress — first Casper, Archie and Richie Rich then later D.C and Marvel.
“Now I have friends on the coast who have or still work for these companies,” Childress said. “Fabulous artists like Steven Butler, Mitch Byrd and Steve Scott. Not only do I love their work but I get to hang out with them throughout the year at different events and talk shop with them.”
The Bubbe World Comix creator took two years of art at Louisville High School under Keith Adcock and majored in art at East Central Community College under Bruce Guradey.
“I still talk to my college art teacher about twice a year and years ago he told me the he never met Keith Adcock but that Louisville had the best art teacher in the state,” Childress said. “When ever he got a student from Louisville while Keith was teaching he said half his job was already done. He wished all the teachers were as good as him.”
Childress originally started with a comic strip called MISSISSIPPI SWAMP DRAGONS, about a psychotic chicken in a floppy ear hat and a pessimistic clown. He began working on the QUICK APPLIANCE REPAIR comic strip, but got to missing the first strip and decided to write and draw both. At the time, he was stockpiling drawings in the event he could get could get syndicated.
Then he had an idea for a redneck caveman and thus began DAWN OF TIME.
“Later my sci fi influences over the decades had to be quenched by creating CAPN’ GEEZER of the time space patrol,” Childress said. “One Halloween I was trying to design a Bat puppet and accidentally created the comic strip GOING BATTY about a mad scientist and his pet bat. Then why not have a space program in Houston, Miss. and call that strip SPACE REDNECKS. Those are the major six humor strips that I do. I do a special ZACK THE ZOMBIE HUNTER humor strip on special occasions.”
Childress is also the founder of the Backwoods Comic Festival, which has been cancelled this year.
“I thought it would be cool to have a comics festival in my home town, and it was,” said Childress. “We had a great time the last two years. They even filmed a Mississippi Roads piece on me at the first festival. Mitch Byrd and Steven Butler were at the second one and then there’s the web cartoonists and independent cartoonists and artists and writers and geek crafters that supported it.”
After having so many strips and getting a lot of advice to self publish, Childress started a paper that only had comics and ads in it. He published monthly four years around Louisville and the surrounding counties. He also has self-published books that can also be found on the website, the BUBBAWORLD COMIX GAS GIANT : GALACTIC MAYHEM VOL 1 & 2 hard cover books available now. Due to a few family health issues, he had to stop monthly publication of the magazine, and now his work can be found on his website, which is updated three times per week.
For more information about Childress’ work, go to http://www.bubbaworldcomix.com.