Don’t be fooled by the name of Alex Halaszyn’s That Snot Funny Comics. These crude, goofy comics are indeed very funny. You might see his stickers posted up all around Washington DC, but if you want an even more expansive look at his art, you’re gonna wanna truck on down to The Trunk Space in Phoenix, Arizona on July 7th for the opening night of his first-ever art show. Alex joined WASTOIDS to tell us a little more about his wonky art.
When did you start That Snot Funny Comics?
I’ve been drawing the character since high school. I was in a band called SUCKAAA! back then and I would draw a comic on the flyers for all of our shows. I came up with the name for the comic in response to some people not liking my drawings. I thought they were funny as hell but they would straight up tell me it wasn’t funny! I used that as inspiration and decided to just call everything I made “That’s Not Funny!”. I made some zines while I lived in New York and Arizona, but it was all just a fun little hobby. When I moved to Washington DC, I started to carry a roll of tape and a stack of drawings around the city with me and tape them up all over town. It was a super fun way to explore the nation’s capital! I did that for a few years and then when the pandemic hit, I decided to really focus on making art.
What artists or comics ignited your love for the medium?
I mean The Far Side was a huge influence if I really think about it. I had so many of those books when I was just a boy. I’d read them all the live long day. I always liked the format with it being only one panel. The majority of my comics are only one panel. I saw the documentary Crumb when I was a teenager which really blew my mind. I remember there’s this part in the movie where Robert Crumb is talking to his son about drawing and emphasizes the importance of drawing with a pen instead of a pencil. Like never give yourself the option to erase and just work with the mistakes that you make. I don’t know why, but that really stuck with me, and even though my drawings are somewhat simple, I still only draw them with a pen or a sharpie. I feel like it makes me draw better cause I’m focusing so hard on not messing up. My biggest influence as an adult is easily Johnny Ryan though. Everyone pales in comparison, man. I had obviously been drawing in my style for a minute when I first saw his work, but it was crazy to see someone drawing cartoon characters doing reprehensible things and make it so funny! Like R.Crumb was cool as hell but Johnny Ryan was just another level.
Do you spin tunes while drawing? What kind of music works best for you in creative mode?
I’m always listening to music! I have a record player in my studio where I draw so I constantly have something playing in the background. I tend to lean towards punk but really like all kinds of stuff. I have this weird thing sometimes where I’ll get hooked on a song and just play it over and over and over again. Like I’ve had that with Starless by King Crimson before. Just over and over again for hours. There’s a painting in my show that I named “Starless by King Crimson” because I just had it on repeat the whole time I was making the thing! Some of the bands I’ve had on heavy rotation lately though are Tha Retail Simps, Des Demonas, and The Whiffs.
Have you ever received any funny or weird comments about your art? Or have people ever messaged you to let you know something offended them?
I have this sticker I made that has a comic saying “Did you check up your stupid butthole?” and at this point it’s all over the place in DC on bathroom walls/street signs/etc. I give the stickers out all the time and sometimes if the person recognizes it, they respond, “Oh, you’re the butthole guy!?” That’s pretty cool to be known around town as the “butthole guy.” No one’s let me know outright that they’re offended but I drew this comic once of things my mom’s said in response to seeing my drawings. She said stuff like “Any chance you could draw some PG ones so I can show my friends?” and “OK… are you gay?” and “Can you just stop drawing ones about 9/11?” I thought that was pretty funny.
What’s one podcast/YouTube channel/online thing everyone should check out?
I mean, obviously www.thatsnotfunnycomics.com is pretty great, but if there’s one person who deserves all the hype, it’s Kate Parnell AKA Garfield From Memory. Kate has been doing this great project for the last few years where she literally paints Garfield from memory in all kinds of poses and situations. I found @garfieldfrommemory randomly on Instagram during the pandemic. I was stoked to find someone local making such funny and cool art! I owe so much to Kate cause she was the first person who really gave me the confidence to start selling my art to people. I had been giving these comics out for free for almost 20 years! There are these markets all over the city where artists can sell their wares and Kate got me into the circuit. It was super inspiring to see someone making a living doing something that they love! She even invited me to contribute to this magazine she makes called Horsecorn. I have a comic in 2 of the issues! Completely insane. So yeah, check out @garfieldfrommemory on instagram!
Have you ever had any paranormal experiences?
I honestly get spooked pretty easy so luckily, no. Like I definitely wouldn’t go out of my way to stay somewhere that’s haunted cause I don’t think I’d enjoy it very much. A semi-famous bluegrass musician lived and died in the house that my wife and I currently live in and as a joke, we always warn houseguests not to worry if they hear “Dueling Banjos” in the middle of the night. Im telling you though, if I ever hear the pluck of a banjo string, I’m gonna make a run for it! For any true Paranormal freaks out there: I do have a portrait I made of Art Bell in my art show so you should come see it! I can listen to Coast to Coast all day long. I’d love to visit Mel’s Hole for sure!