Glenn Manders originally established his brand ‘Bad Teeth’ back in 2005 as a vehicle for his comic creations, and it quickly grew to becoming internationally distributed, with artists such as Michael Skatuum, Luke Temby (‘Cupco‘) and ‘Blurble‘ contributing.
Recently, Glenn and ‘Bad Teeth’ have also entered the art toy game, releasing one sold out resin piece so far, and another in the works.
(Picture below of the clay prototype for Glenn + ‘Bad Teeth’s upsoming Cheestroyer figure – scuplted by ‘Double Haunt‘)
So get to know Glenn Manders + ‘Bad Teeth’ in the interview below…
Basics/Getting to Know
Name + D.O.B?
Glenn Manders – 16/12/82
City, State n Country you’re Repping?
Brisbane, QLD Australia… Bloody rippa mate! Throw another shrimp on the barbie! Bonza!
(Picture below of Mr. Glenn Manders)
Describe– a memory from three stages of yr life ….basically trying to piece together
Mr. Manders’ pivotal moments. Concerts, art, action-figures, women, school, college… ANYTHING man.
* age 10 – pre pubes:
I was reading my older brother’s Uncanny X-Men/X-Factor comics & trying to draw like Jim Lee.. Collecting Monster In My Pocket toys.. renting Jim Henson’s The Storyteller on VHS every week
(Picture below of the cover to Uncanny X-Men No. 275 from April 1991, with cover art by Jim Lee)
* age 15 – pube rage:
Drawing in class, drawing at home.. repping straight edge (before finding out that it already existed and had a name a few years later) Watching a lot of music videos on Rage/Channel V & making compilation tapes.
* age 20 – acceptance of pubes:
Working in a comic shop, starting to make zines and getting into the whole stickering/street art thing.
“Whatever” “I Guess So” “Hhhmm”
Maps & Atlases, Beastie Boys, Poison the Well, Backstreet Boys, Owen, Joanna Newsom, Bear vs Shark, Mates of State.. all sorts of stuff really.
Favorite TV show(s)?
Wonder Showzen, Sesame Street, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Cosby Show.. I’ve been watching a lot of Ink Master recently!
Favorite sport(s) + teams?
It’s all about tennis!! Of course there’s players like Federer, Nadal & Djokovic but if you haven’t had much exposure to the sport check out highlights on Youtube from guys like Monfils, Dimitrov & Dolgopolov and you’ll be hooked.. just in time for the US Open!
Alien, Vanilla Sky, Freddy Got Fingered, Back to the Future, Big, District 9, From Beyond
Favorite books and comics?
Flowers for Algernon, No Country for Old Men, Acme Novelty Library, Prison Pit, goofy single issue 1980s Spider-Man stories.
(Picture below of a ‘Bad Teeth’ cartoon by Glenn)
Specifics on Art
Do you consider what you are making to be ‘art’, ‘design’, re-hashed crap?
Hhmm not really design, and I’m not so sure about ‘art’ these days.. Re-hashed crap probably.. at least as far as Cheese goes.
I’m sure Mayor McCheese was a strong influence from my childhood. The Cheese character was originally intended to be a one-appearance only type of guy.. A physical manifestation of the Buddy character’s horrible cheeseburger only diet. People wanted to see more of him & he’s pretty fun to draw so he stuck around and now he’s the top dog in the Bad Teeth universe.
When and why did you first start making ‘art’ (toys, drawings, paintings, anything)?
I always remember drawing..
My first memory would probably be drawing two opposing cliffs with little stickmen and tanks firing dashed lines at each other! I feel totally comfortable when I’m drawing/painting/making things so I guess that’s why I kept doing it, I really enjoy transferring the images in my head onto a piece of paper.
Why + when did you decide to go in on the art hustle?
It would have been after finishing up a 2 year animation course.
At that time, 3D animation was really taking over & my class was stuck in the middle of that transition. So we got one year of 2D skills and then another year of 3D computer animation but only really basic stuff because the teachers were only just learning how to do it as well.
Due to that, the idea of working in animation kind of soured so we tried going back to our roots of drawing things on paper. A bunch of people from my class started a Mad Magazine style book called Phatsville. That was the start of self-publishing for a lot of us.
(Picture below of some of Glenn’s drawings)
Any formal art training? Or pivotal moment/influence?
None besides the animation diploma.
One big pivotal moment came in the early 2000s when I discovered Fantagraphics and books like Eightball, Acme Novelty Library and artists like Dave Cooper, Ivan Brunetti and Jim Woodring. At that point I was reading Marvel/Image and looking upto guys like Travis Charest and John Romita Jr. so it kind of blew my mind to go from that superhero style of drawing to all of these other indie books that were not availble from newsstands.
Favorite ‘other’ artist(s)?
Worst aspect of the contemporary art-hustle?
There’s a lot of people that own a copy of Adobe Illustrator out there..
Best aspect of the contemporary art-hustle?
It’s nice getting surprise emails about new projects when you wake up in the morning!
Is the rise of ‘art’ toys an indication of the changing nature of ‘art’? OR just a bunch of nerds with too much $$$ and time?
Hmm maybe a little bit of both.. I think it’s just easier to get things done these days thanks to the internet.
People have things like tumblr so they’re exposed to things like art toys, then they’re inspired to make their own. It’s so easy to google articles on resin casting, sculpting, material advice.
Thanks to online stores you can now order a DIY blank, it doesn’t matter if nobody in Brisbane stocks a certain item or type of paint. Things were pretty shit before the internet.. If Target didn’t have a Shredder figure then you were screwed. No ebay, not even email.. no nothin!
(Picture below of the sold out ‘Bad Teeth’ x ‘Swamp Fiend‘ resin figure)
Probably Slash from the original TMNT line. He was impossible to get back when the series came out, so he was a holy grail for a while there. Fossilla is probably my fav toy from the past few years though.
What was the process involved in producing and collaborating with ‘Swamp Fiend’ for your 1st art-toy, the ‘Cheese’ resin back in 2012?
Swampfiend took a turnaround drawing and sculpted Cheese digitally. We then got a 3D print shipped to us, but the plastic was so thin that we had to fill the toy with plaster before making a mold. From that point we were casting resin.
About 50% of the batch was successful due to the resin setting too quickly. We were using about a third of the figures true volume and trying to hand rotocast the toys to save money on materials.
We needed to be super quick when pouring to allow enough time to swish the resin around and cover the entire area of the mold. If it was a slightly warm night (we were casting at night towards the end of spring in an open air garage) the resin would harden and we would pull out a Cheese with half a body. We could have used a resin that had a longer work time, but we were told that we would have gotten more bubbles in the final toys without having access to a pressure pot.
All in all it was a huge learning experience and we got a stack of good toys out of it. We sold out of a run at the 2012 Supanova Comic Con in one day and then ceased production due to other commitments.
You currently have another resin figure in the works called Cheestroyer, this one in collaboration with ‘Double Haunt’…
– what is the character’s back story?
Back when Bad Teeth started, I was sticking a little Jellybean character up on pretty much every surface I could find in Brisbane. For a year or 2 you could spot a Jellybean on every corner and down every street in the CBD.
The character is an alien that floats around and doesn’t speak, but can attach itself to people and control them once it finds a suitable host. You can see 2 Jellybeans on the Cheesetroyer’s shoulders, and an evil Skullbean on his chest.
One Jellybean will turn you into a levitating drooling zombie, so when 3 of these little guys attacked Cheese he transformed into something monstrous.
(Picture below of a faded Jellybean sticker by Glenn and ‘Bad Teeth’, in the wild)
– what has it been like collaborating with ‘Double Haunt’ on the sculpt?
It’s been great! We live about 3 hours away from each other so we can’t hang out very often.
The best thing about working with Double Haunt besides his obvious sculpting skills is that it feels like a true collaboration. He has really thrown in some of his style into the original turnaround drawings that I had given him which has resulted in a really cool looking toy!
– how did you and ‘Double Haunt’ come to collaborate?
I came across their website a couple of years ago when I was researching how to make resin toys with Swampfiend. They had already been making toys for a couple of years and they were also in Queensland.
I think originally I was just asking a couple of questions about casting, and then we got talking about working together?
(Picture below of a cut-away illustration of Cheestryoer)
What are your thoughts of the toy forum scene as a way for fans and artists to communicate? Is it a real ‘community’ or just a virtual locker-room shit talk? I ask as we are both members of Skullbrain…
There’s definitely a community out there for sure.
The types of people that get into these toys are the same type of people that spend a whole night on Last.Fm trying to find cool bands that don’t get regular airplay on radio stations. So you kind of have that immediate bond when you meet somebody that recognises ‘Secret Base’ as something other than a hideout. But with anything that’s a little underground you get selfish people who don’t want to share their interests who anybody else.. for fear of it becoming mainstream.
I think that’s why you get some abrasive personalities on these forums.. Sure there’s some kooks out there, but people that takes the time to hunt down & collect these toys or better yet create their own toys are pretty cool.
What does your wife/girl/woman/family make of the whole perpetual adolescence/PeterPan/man-child aspect of toy art + toy collecting?
I’m lucky enough to have met an awesome girl that has a strong appreciation for all types of art.. She even collects some figures herself! She likes Chima Group, Gary Baseman, Burger Buns.. She’s a big Negora fan as well.
Glenn Manders Art Questions
Describe the method of making a Glenn Manders/‘Bad Teeth’ piece?
Everything is hand drawn on A4 white cardboard.. I use cardboard just for that extra half-millimetre’s worth of sharpness because ink doesn’t bleed as much as it does on photocopier paper.
After that, I’ll scan the drawings in at 300dpi and colour them in using my mouse in Photoshop. Still haven’t invested in a Wacom and haven’t learnt how to use Illustrator (apparently these are ‘essential’ tools these days) but things are working out fine without them.
I’ve started drawing bits n pieces on my iPad but really only small doodles for instagram.
Are all your works by made by yourself? If you use collaborators; whom and in what capacity?
99% is by myself. My girlfriend Sara has written a couple of comics for me and of course I collaborate on my toy projects.
Tell us a bit about the Bad Teeth Zine Factory?
(Picture below of the inside of a ‘Bad Teeth’ zine)
Zines are a big part of Bad Teeth.
I published the first one in 2005 followed by 6 more issues and a big 200 page monster.
At the start of 2013 I decided to try and print a new zine each of every month during the entire year. Each issue was going to have a completely individual theme with unpublished content. I got 5 issues done but I was kind of worn out by spending virtually all of my spare time outside of work drawing content for these books. Printing them wasn’t cheap either…
Especially issue #3 which was full colour and about 60 pages. It was a Bad Teeth ‘Guest Artist’ issue so I didn’t want to print everybody’s colour artwork in b+w.. That issue kind of broke the bank after printing and sending out contributor copies around the world to about 60 international artists! It was such a great book though so I don’t regret it at all.
Things are much better now, I can have time to relax and watch movies but I still make time to get artwork done for sure. It definitely helps to set deadlines but I think 30 pages of artwork every month while working full-time in a bookstore is a bit tough.. 5 issues in 5 months is a nice achievement though and I’m pretty proud of that!
Glenn Manders General Questions
You and I both live in ConvictTown AKA Australia – a place previous ArtTalk subject Mr. Raymond Ahn lambasted for being culturally barren. In your opinion what are…
– the best aspects of Australian culture and why?
KFC still sells fries with the special seasoning here in this country
– the worst aspects of Australian culture and why?
Dr Pepper only hit our shores about 5 years ago.. People don’t understand what a powdered donut is.. General lack of variety in food, clothing, personalities..
I should stop now before some bogan shouts “Love it or Leave it! G’Day Mate!”
Please describe what the cheeseburger means to you?
They are like Gilbert Gottfried… in moderation they are fine, but too much exposure and you’ll shit yourself.
(Picture below of a Cheeseburger themed t-shirt, released by ‘Bad Teeth’)
Any collaborations on the horizon?
There are, but of course I can’t really talk about them! Keep an eye on www.badteethcomics.com for updates when things come up!
Any major projects you want to hype man?
The next big thing will be the release of the Mini-Cheestroyer toy.. should have resins ready to go in a few weeks, with a major release at November’s Supanova Comic-Con in Brisbane.
After that we’re planning on producing a vinyl version but we haveto raise funds to pay for the production of those.. Hopefully the sales of the resins will help out a bit!