A Group Interview with the Man Behind 'The Mud Monster'...

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The brewing industry is strange in that you don't see a lot of kids saying they want to be brewers, or sales reps, or label artists when they grow up - for obvious and good reasons. It's an industry that many sort of stumble into. Pipeworks is no exception. Many of us were on track for very lucrative careers in the fine arts before winding up on our island of misfits. Beejay has a fine arts degree, Scott studied journalism, Kate "studied" creative writing, Mike Schallau and Metal Steve followed a music track, Joe honed his photography skills. In some small way, we've all incorporated elements of our early passions into the amalgamation of odd that is Pipeworks. Jim Mannion's no exception. 

Jim Mannion is the king of the walk-in cooler and event planning at Pipeworks by day, and one of our talented label artists... also by day. He kept his illustration talents a secret for his first year at Pipeworks, but these types of things aren't kept a secret forever, especially when post- shift beers are involved. Jim has gone on to illustrate the labels "Sangremancer", followed by "Long Hair Affair" and now "Mud Monster" (you can't blame him for the names).

A bunch of us all sat down with a post shift beer and Jim to get all Vice Magazine on him and learn a bit more about him. Here's the transcript... If you can finish the whole thing, we probably should owe you a beer - we don't - but we probably should. Let the experiment in public navel-gazing begin!

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JIM: Is this an intervention?
JOE: Ok. Let's get this interview started. What is your least favorite animal? Boom. I stole Steve's question. 
JIM: Uhh, I don't know. I don't like panda's particularly. I know that's an unpopular answer. But they're just not my favorite. 
MIKE D: Boxers or briefs?
JIM: Is that a serious question? Uh, Long underwear is what it is. 
JOE: This is a serious interview, gentleman. 
MIKE D: Oh, I apologize. 
KATE: Jim, when did you start drawing?
JIM: Uh, I don't know. As soon as I could hold a crayon. Or a pencil. 
KATE: What did you like to draw?
JIM: Um...
PETER: Just a whole bunch of dicks?
[we laugh and laugh and laugh] 
JIM: Um, i don't know. I drew a lot of animals when I was a kid. A lotta birds, a lotta -
KATE: No pandas?
JIM: No pandas! A lot of birds killing pandas. That's what it was. 
[we laugh and laugh and laugh] 
JIM: Um, but yeah. Audubon. Like I found a Audubon book and thought that was really cool. So I'd try to do that as much as I could. So...
KATE: Did you ever go bird watching?
JIM: No, not like formally. 
JOE: Have you ever like thought of getting a pet hawk? Or a falcon? 
JIM: Yeah, ever since I was about like 5. 
JOE: Yeah, I've been thinking about that for like the past month. 
JIM: Ha. Yeah. You miss the old guy?
JOE: Yeah. 
MIKE D: What's your favorite character from The Simpsons. 
KATE: Ooo. Good question. 
METAL STEVE: Nice. 
JIM: Lenny. 
MIKE D: Alright, why?
JIM: I just like him as sort of like uh, he's kind of a supporting character but totally vital to the show. 
MIKE D: It's true. 
JIM: And I think there's a lot of mystery to him. 
KATE: Let's unpack that - 
JOE: Yeah, like Austin Powers. 
PETER: "Please tell no one how I live". 
[We laugh and laugh and laugh]
JIM: So yeah, you can insert Lenny into a lot of - 
METAL STEVE: Didn't you have an idea for a Lenny tattoo. 
JIM: I did. It was the Lenny "Drinking Time" tattoo. 
[ We laugh and laugh and laugh] 
PETER: How do you feel about the Violent Femmes?
JIM: I'm not a fan. 
KATE: What? 
PETER: We hate the Violent Femmes together. That was one of the first things I learned about him.  
KATE: How did that come up?
[We laugh and laugh and laugh] 
JOE: They were probably watching TV and that shitty Wendy's commercial came on. But they're all live vegetarians... and you know. 
JIM: Yeah I don't remember how it came up. Sensed it?
PETER: Somebody told me, "Jim hates The Violent Femmes". 
JIM: Yeah, I think there was a high -five and a hug and some tears. 
KATE: Jim, do you remember the first Pipeworks beer you had?
JIM: I do. It was batch #1 of Ninja vs Unicorn and it was awesome.
JOE: Yeah, but what did you think when you walked into the old Pipeworks Brewery? 1675?
JIM: Uh I mean, I was happy to be there, ya know. Happy to help and happy to have something to do with it. Yeah, I loved it. But ya know, it was all new to me.
[We laugh and laugh and laugh]
MIKE D: What's your favorite word?
JIM: I don't have a favorite word. 
MIKE D: Ya got a couple of em?
JIM: ...no not really...I don't know. I'll have to give it some thought. 
JOE: Potato salad. Warm or cold?
JIM: Cold. 
JEREMY: Crest or Colgate?
JIM & METAL STEVE: Whatever's on sale. 
[We laugh and laugh and laugh] 
KATE: Scott do you have any questions?
SCOTT: Hm, lemme think about it. 
JOE: Have you ever picked up a nickel with a forklift?
JIM: Not yet. I practice - I sneak in at night. When I get it everyone is going to know about it. 
PETER: Who are some of your favorite artists?
KATE: Good question. 
METAL STEVE: That is a good question. 
JIM: The Italian Renaissance guys. So like DaVinci was one of my earliest favorite artists and Michelangelo. And then when I got older I started getting into more books and music and comics and stuff. Like Frazetta - or Boris Vallejo. Or like yeah those were like the biggest influences on me. 
JEREMY: What about doppelbocks?
JIM: All for 'em. 
JOE: Is it true you consumed 7 of them in one night?
JIM: It is. I think so. 
JEREMY: Do you like fish sticks?
JIM: They're ok. I know where that's going. 
KATE: Ok. What about 'Sangremancer' and 'Mud Monster' labels. Are those a specific style you normally draw?
JIM: I mean, probably like my default is that sort of, I don't know I guess you'd call it fantasy realism or that type of drawing. My academic art background is in character design and concept art and stuff like that. So that's the kind of stuff I tend to gravitate toward. 
METAL STEVE: What's the furthest distance you'll travel to see a band play?
JIM: uh, that's a good question. I don't know. I guess LA but I don't remember who I saw there. 
[We laugh and laugh and laugh]
KATE: How do you feel about David Bowie. 
JIM: I don't hate David Bowie, but I'm just not a big fan. I like a handful of his songs - I mean I recognize his influence. A lot of people who are in band's whose musical influence I respect like him a lot. 
PETER: Do you enjoy a shower beer? 
JIM: I do, but I usually brush my teeth before I shower so it doesn't always work out. But yeah, if I'm showering after whatever working in the yard or something. Sure. 
JEREMY: If beer didn't exists what would be your go to alcoholic beverage. 
JIM: Whiskey. I'm getting into scotch a lot more. 
SCOTT: What about Vodka?
JIM: I mean I usually drink the cheapest shit I can get my hands on. 
SCOTT: Have you ever had vodka beer?
JIM: No... I haven't. Wait. What do you mean? Like vodka mixed with beer? I've had a gin beer. 
SCOTT: No like - 
[Gerrit walks in] 
GERRIT: What are you guys like having story time in here?
KATE: No, we're interviewing Jim for a blog post. 
GERRIT:. Uhh, some of your McMaster Carr stuff is here, Joe... 
JOE: Cool. 
[Gerrit leaves] 
SCOTT: Jim, what is your least favorite monster drawing? Like did you ever finish one and just go 'Oh this- this is complete garbage' - has that ever happened?
JIM: I'd probably have to back and look at old stuff I did. I remember old characters I did I hated. 
SCOTT: Then ya just drink a lot of whiskey - 
JIM: Yeah just poured it on the paper and burned it - 
METAL STEVE: This should not go on the website. 
JOE: Now a follow-up question - what is your least favorite interview that you've ever done? 
JIM: It's probably the same as my most favorite interview - which is my only interview - this one.

Cheers.