Mike Federali has worked as a convention organizer, art director, comic writer and executive producer, with a resume that includes Mystery Science Theater 3000, the upcoming Owl Girl with Craig Rousseau and Incredible Conventions, which puts on pop culture shows on the East Coast.
He’s also the co-writer of the upcoming Felix the Cat comic from Source Point Press. The publisher announced the new comic to great fan reaction in August; Federali will be joined by co-writer Bob Frantz, artist Tracy Yardley, colorist Matt Herms and letterer Dave Lentz.
I caught up with Federali on the new comic and what fans can expect from his interpretation of the wonderful, wonderful cat.
Tell me about your earliest memories of Felix the Cat — were you a fan before you started this project?
Man, I’ve been a Felix fan all of my life. And the earliest memory is probably catching reruns in the early ‘80s with my Dad. The ‘58-’60 cartoons were just the best.
Although he’s been around for almost 100 years, Felix still has a very large, passionate fan base. What do you think it is about the character that’s made him so beloved for so long?
Besides the great eye-catching character design, I think fans just love a character that is always dreaming up something new. I know that’s what draws me to him. A character that can get into (or out of) any kind of adventure. To put it plainly, Felix is just a funny guy and very relatable. And we all wish we had a bag of tricks.
Over those 100 years, Felix has gone through many different interpretations — what are some of your influences in both writing the character and in his visual look for this comic?
I just did all the homework possible. Watched and rewatched the cartoons. Read and reread all the books I could get my hands on. My local comic shop Comic Kings found me some old issues and I even found a few original comic art pages for sale that I now have in my office.
For the visual look, we stuck to what Dreamwork’s calls “Core Felix.” There was never a question of trying to change it. It’s classic for a reason.
What can fans expect from the series? Are there other characters from the cartoons we can expect to see in the comic?
Whimsy. The only goal I had writing it was making something fun, and from early responses, I believe we’ve done that. And fans can definitely expect to see some old favorites and brand new faces in the books.
Besides Felix, what else have you been working on lately?
I’ve got two new series that are making the rounds with publishers and studios right now, which I think is all I can say about that without stepping on any toes. Haha!