From the minds of writer Nick Doan and illustrators Jason Ponggasm and Patty Veriboa comes the introduction of brand new loveable characters in the form of rambunctious animals. Introducing Fat Rabbit Farm, a floating world where adventure happens and friendships are made. I got the chance to discuss the process behind Fat Rabbit Farm with co creator Jason Ponggasm who informed me on this brand new world and how readers can join in on the fun!
IR: Explain Fat Rabbit Farm. What is Fat Rabbit Farm and what is the process behind it? Where did the idea come from?
JP: Fat Rabbit Farm is a magical, floating kingdom inhabited by spontaneous and adventurous friends including a fluffy bunny with an appetite for sweets, a lone pirate bunny with a thirst for thrills, a quiet little turtle, and a bad tempered mushroom. The farm is full of surprises where a few places are known and most are still yet to be discovered.
The idea of Fat Rabbit Farm (FRF) all started with a real-life inspiration of a fat rabbit, named Babee. Well, she was a very small bunny when I first got her as a birthday present for my finance, Patty who is the other co-creator and illustrator of Fat Rabbit Farm. Babee was full of high energy and she had an appetite of a bear! I swear, in couple of months she grew to be HUGE as if there was like gamma radiation in her food. She was like The Hulk- only not green and cuter.
One day we drew out a character of Babee just for fun and started putting her on t-shirts and gave them to our friends as gifts. Soon enough, some weird force guided us towards creating this world for the animated character Babee and some friends to go off on fun and crazy adventures. That’s when Fat Rabbit Farm was born.
JP: Ideas just come when they come. We could be watching a movie, eating a sweet treat, or even just driving somewhere (we came up with the title of our first story book while reading a sign on the highway ). As creators sometimes we tend to create certain things depending on how we feel at the moment. But that’s not always the case for us.
IR: How have you been able to fund your projects?
JP: Since day one, back in 2006 my fiancé and I have been funding everything of our brand from our own pockets. No loans. No investors. Nothing. Just good ol’ plastic and cash. Truthfully it’s been difficult at times being creator owned and operated. We’ve had to make a lot of sacrifices in our personal lives to make Fat Rabbit Farm live on. It sometimes takes a toll you emotionally and financially but we do this because we believe in what we have created and we know that this is just the beginning for us.
JP: FRF is not 100% comic book but we certainly try to appeal to the comic and anime worlds. I personally grew up enjoying comics. I was one of those kids who were obsessed with collecting the #1 issues or “the first appearance” issues. I remember when I first started collecting comics. The comic stores also sold those “Marvel cards.” It was those awesome cards where you had to collect all the Marvel characters, battle scenes, etc. Remember the Stan Lee card? “Mr. Marvel” is what it said on it! HA! And you would go to school and hide them in your lunch bag and try to trade your duplicates with your friends. Those were great! There was something special about creating a character, putting him or her into a world and to see how they would interact with others. As simple as that sounds, it’s quite amazing, really.
JP: It’s all fun and laughs here at Fat Rabbit Farm. Life is short. Everyone deserves to laugh and smile and that is our motto. We create laughs and smiles for all. We are the kind of creators who love adding those little details in the background that you may miss the first time around. But there’s always little jokes and gags in the background in every page. We also just want our fans and audience to enjoy and relate to the characters. We have created a few characters into FRF and they all have a little bit our personalities into each of them and we hope you can relate to them in some way or form.
IR: What other projects have you been working on and what kind of stuff would you like to do in comics?
JP: Glad you asked! We just funded a Kickstarter Project for book 3, Fat Rabbit Farm: Mutated Bill’s Sweet Revenge. It will be bigger, better with more action and adventures! We’ll also be introducing a mech warrior suit for Babee (she going to need one to help save the day!). Nicholas Doan, creator of Monster Elementary is also on board as our writer for the third book (he has written book 1 & 2). We are really excited to be collaborating and sharing our brains together again! So if you can enjoy reading about a fat rabbit who likes eating ice cream and kicking butt at the same time, you don’t want to miss this book to be in your hands! We also have some cool rewards like personalized sketchs, handmade plush toys, and naming characters in the book.
Besides that we currently run and operate the Fat Rabbit Farm brand full time. We create, design, and ship our apparel, art, and accessories all over the world, produce handmade plush of Babee in different costumes (we just made a “thor babe” and a”hulk babe.”) and travel to different events and conventions to sell and promote our brand. We would love to travel to east coast one day but right now our budget only lets us stay on the west coast.
You can also find our “Babee” character on the Facebook Messenger Stickers! They are a FREE download and you send these “stickers” in place of a text message. Be sure to check that out!
IR: What are your plans for the future?
JP: Besides making people laugh and smile more, we hope one day our creations will expand into an animated series. We may be dreaming big but you have to dream first to have it come true. =) But that is our ultimate goal.
IR: When will your project be released?
JP: The rewards for our last Kickstarter Project begin to ship out next month.
JP: Our little secret is to really become that character. I am sure we all have had the moment when we read about a particular character and we just fall in love with him or her and want to become that character.
IR: What advice would you have for people who want to break into comics?
JP: Don’t be afraid to get out there and show the world what you are made of. Take your passion, work hard, work harder, believe in yourself and create- what you love.
IR: Anything else you would like to add?
JP: I really wanted to end this interview on a very happy and positive note but I may just kill that- hopefully not though. Well, our original inspiration – the real Babee Bunny passed away back in July of 2013. She had been battling cancer for a while but she finally decided to rest. Even though she wasn’t well, she still lived a very happy life with her sister, Blanket. She was a fighter and she never gave up. And that’s exactly what we will carry out for her. She has meant so much to us. She gave us the inspiration to create Fat Rabbit Farm and for others to enjoy it. She may be gone but she will continue to live in our brand forever.