Welcome back to the Crypt o’ XIII, my creeps! I’m pleased as putrid punch to be joined today by none other than Mitch Hyman; the creator of BUBBA THE REDNECK WEREWOLF! As you will find out soon (or maybe you already have… I have no idea what order these things are gonna run in, and I ain’t no internet focused Kreskin), I loved the fleas right off of the ol’ sin-e-matic version of Bubba, and after seein’ it I wanted to learn all I could about the fury freak!
Famous Monsters. Welcome to my humble abode, Mitch! Just push that gut pile aside and have yourself a seat! So, how in the hairy hell did ya come up with the character of Bubba The Redneck Werewolf, and what are some of the arcane adventures he’s been up to in your frightful funny books?
Mitch Hyman. Well, I drank a lot back when I thought this up, and then there was that opium den incident in Shanghai… [laughs] Bubba actually started off as a Halloween costume. I have loved werewolves since I first saw the Lon Chaney Jr. original [WOLF MAN] as a kid, and it was also because of photos and articles in the 60s version of Famous Monsters that really did it for me. So, when I was invited as an adult to a Halloween party, I figured out how to make myself a wolf man. But the hair was so expensive and hard to work with for me at the time. I then figured out that I could get around it by putting on my 1980s trucker’s ball cap and add a pair of overalls, as the Wolfman I knew was always clothed. This allowed me to use the hair I did have for the hands and facial appliance and make it work. So the prototype for Bubba was born!
To answer the second part of your question, Bubba has had really insane adventures in the comics. I created him to be iconic, meaning that he would always be himself no matter what or where I placed him in his world. Even when he met space aliens, Louisiana vampires, and carnies looking to replace their bearded lady with Bubba (because the Bearded Lady went to a day spa and got laser hair removal); when hunting giant mutant catfish, closing down a make-up factory doing animal testing, and of course displaying his love of comic conventions as the more comedic Bubba attending to find the person exploiting him in their comics and then later being a big star at a con before a zombie outbreak occurs and Bubba and his friends are so goofy that they start killing everything because they can’t tell the cosplayers from the real ones.
One interesting thing to note is that Bubba now has three origins. The first was when I brought him out as a scarier than hell werewolf in a CFD comics anthology series BOUND IN DARKNESS #1. I was working with Michael Broom at the time, a brilliant makeup artist for Universal Studios Florida’s Halloween Horror Nights. I was the “Blood” applier for the many characters being done. Mike and I hit it off and are still good buddies today. I needed an artist who knew panel work for the comic, and Mike wanted to try to do it. He did a fantastic job! Mike has gone on to be one of the top horror and character designers for THE WALKING DEAD, STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS, X-MEN: ORIGINS, THE THING, ALIEN VS PREDATOR, THE MIST, and more. There have been some amazing artists over the years that had Bubba as their first pro break. All great folks and proud to have worked with all!
The more comedic Bubba we all know now came about when a production company wanted him for an animated series in the late 90s, and it just did not pan out. Glad it didn’t. The meeting where they thought Bubba could eat mosquitos to get blood was the day I walked off. But I then thought it would be fun to see how Bubba could be more benign. I re-vamped him and took him back to his first origin as a dog catcher, but now he was up against corporate pirates doing animal testing.
Bubba is actually noted in many places as being pop culture’s first 24/7 werewolf. My main line artists for many issues, Brian Graham and Shawn Surface, worked together and then on separate issues, while bringing in some famous guest artists as well. Today, Bubba’s comic adventures are being published by the great crew at Creature Entertainment Comics and can be found in comic shops and all over the web. Good luck getting the number one or early issues. Wish I had some! [laughs]
FM. How did the sin-ematic version of Bubba come about?
MH. It wasn’t easy. I think walking on razor blades in a pond of lemon juice would have been preferable for the ten years it took to get this nailed. But the end product was worth it! I never quit; when I get my mind set to something, I will pull it off no matter what. I want to tell everyone reading this that if you have talent and a dream, never quit! Bubba has been around for twenty years, and though it may not take that long for you, it just might.
I was going to prove that my Bubba could be something as new and innovative to film as he was to the comics industry. I went old school due to having a business background. I drew up a business plan with an accountant, attorney, and my bank, and then then presented it to investors. I got the money; I had my friend, one of the best known makeup manufacturers and FX artists, Michael Davy of Michael Davy Film and TV Make-up design, make the Devil and Bubba’s looks. Even the pigments for the colors for were custom blended by Mike himself. He sculpted the main appliance for Fred Lass (Bubba in the film), and when I saw it, I knew this was going to blow people away! Mike made Fred’s mouth appliance so well, that we only audio over dubbed one line. Every time you hear Fred speak is exactly as it went down during filming because the fang set was so perfectly made and designed!
Then I hired And You Films Inc., who had done a hilarious parody called FLASHBACK: THE MOVIE. Brendan Rogers took the director’s chair, and we were on! You should really get a hold of him and producer Will Phillips to hear their side of dealing with a rolling roving crew of lunatics terrorizing the Central Florida Countryside. There were over 300 police reports filed during filming of the movie concerning devils, werewolves, zombies, and coming apocalypses! We loved that every time someone would see me or Fred step out into public, the craziness began. I do admit that I did a few things on purpose to mess with folks ‘cause I’m a bit of a prankster at heart. Let’s just say I scared some poor lady so badly when I walked into her family grocery dressed in my devil gear that she ran out the back door yelling and I had to leave the money on the counter.
FM. Does the fright flick version of Bubba adapt any particular story line from the comics?
MH. Most of the main characters from the comic series were used in the film, and a few others were added, as is common practice in book-to-film situations. The devil that I portray was from when I did horror conventions as Satan. As a writer and guest I would team up with friend and fellow writer, Kevin Ranson, who did movie reviews online as the Grim Reaper. We came up with having a fight over who claims the souls in during the apocalypse at Spooky Empire Horror Con in Orlando, Fl. We started out with just us debating humorously and over the years we added other deities. Death always won, of course.
But again, many elements from the comic storylines as well as how the characters operated were taken directly from the comics. I was very strident about that, even during ad libbing in the film. It was vital to myself and Brendan that they be the crew that the public had enjoyed for years. Even some actors we had who had not read the comics got our vision after interacting with each other in film. It was weird but satisfying as Bubba’s creator to see them organically turn into the characters.
Add to this the film crew, the FX folks, makeup techs, actors, extras, and so many others during the actual filming who gave so generously of their time and effort to make it happen. They deserve the biggest thanks of all. Again, Brendan Rogers and Will Phillips can give you lots more cool info as to the filming!
FM. Was it surreal to be on set and see your creations walkin’ around in the flesh?
MH. There are people who say that the birth of a child is the biggest moment in their life, and that is so damn true! When Fred stepped out into Mike Davy’s studio main area, I lost it. Really. I didn’t cry, but I came damn close. I was flushed with pride and gratefulness to Mike and Fred. And then I did what any parent with a crazy kid would do when the offending offspring finally found a good job and made a life: I yelled at Fred. [laughs] Typical parental reaction. Here was Bubba, who made me sacrifice everything I ever had to get him here. Flooded with emotions, I wanted to just yell out thanks to all that made this moment happen, express the angst of dealing with those who tried to block me and those who were only out to exploit my hairy “son” over the years. If anyone out there says that they would not do the same, you either have no emotions Mr. Spock, you’re freaking lying, or you’re the next Darth Vader.
FM. Where can the cacophonous carousers in my Coffin Club keep up on your future endeavors?
MH. We have our BUBBA THE REDNECK WEREWOLF Facebook page where you can communicate with other fans and our director and producer, www.Bubbatheredneckwerewolf.com for comic and film news, and www.creatureentertainment.com for the newest issues and future ones to come for comics. Please visit and order from www.coffeeshopofhorrors for our great selling Bubba Spiced Bourbon Coffee blend and other horror-themed but delicious coffees and teas. T-shirts are to be found there, including other comic book themed coffees from Zenescope entertainment and work by people like Morgan Wilson, Mark Hadley, and other wonderful and popular artists who have done art for the bags and inspired some awesome flavors to be available. Life is coffee to most, and we are happy to be part of the culture in a genre fun way.
As the release of the Bigger Hairier Final version of the film slated come out sometime this year, keep checking these places to see where we are and why we haven’t been arrested yet for the stuff we pull off. And thanks to you, Dan, for allowing me to make a childhood dream come true by being a part of Famous Monsters of Filmland history. The five bucks and that map to where I stashed Jack Pierce’s Makeup kit that I got at a garage sale in Tampa will be in the mail. You do take third party checks from a bank in the Cayman Islands with no problem, I assume?
FM. You bet I do. I mean c’mon, every check I write appears to be made out of rubber!
Thanks so much for stopping by today Mitch, and please don’t be a stranger ’round these parts!