In the business were in, they say its bad practice to bury the lead. With that in mind, Ill get right to the point. Teflon Funk is dope!
What is Tephlon Funk? It is the anime inspired, hip-hop infused brainchild of Stephane Metayer.
With all the inherent negritude of a 79 Cadillac Sedan Deville, the Tephlon Funk digital comic book follows the exploits of a precocious New York City project teen named Inez as she tries to circumvent societys decorum and live life as best she can while searching for a way out of the infamous Queensbridge Houses.
Eventually, the stakes become elevated beyond what was intended, and thats where the book really takes off! The Shadow League recently spoke to Stephane about Tephlon Funk, whose buzz has risen to clarion call for high-quality comic book offerings with characters of color its readers can really relate to.
The Shadow League: When did you come up with the concept for Tephlon Funk?
Stephane Metayer: I came up with this in 2004 when I was 18 years old, getting ready to graduate from high school. I was literally sitting in biology class just sketching a character, a girl with cornrows. Later I saw it when I was going through my notes and redrew it, made it cleaner. And all of sudden stories started popping in my head. I didnt write it on paper, I typed it on a computer. Then I just started writing and writing. The next thing you know, I had a story.
The original first character was Inez. She was always the first character, then everything just blossomed from there. Granted, the story has changed significantly, but the basic foundation for the story has remained the same. The foundation is a young girl from the projects and her friend, and what they get themselves into.
TSL: I know this is your brainchild, but much of the day-to-day work on the production side is done by David Tako.
SM: I used to write and draw the whole thing, but now I have help from my friends. Now, most of the art is done by my friend David Tako. I still do some of the artwork, but Im a little more hands off now because I gotta do merchandise, I gotta write the thing, I gotta work the website, I did some of the animation for the teaser, I did all of that. Thats the thing I have to tell people, you cant do everything by yourself. When you need help, you have to be honest with yourself and realize that.
TSL: The idea is so original, yet obvious, when you look at how street kids from New York City have influenced the world via Hip-Hop.
SM: I just thought, “Why hasnt anyone made an anime series of black people in New York? Why wouldnt anyone make an anime series about that? I thought it would be dope. Stuff that goes on here doesnt happen anywhere else. Ive been around the world twice. Ive been to Japan five times. I thought Japan was open 24 hours. No, its not. New York is. The subways in Japan close at midnight, open at six. Tokyo is bigger than New York. Theyve got 12 million people living there. People really look up to New York. They may make jokes about New York online, but overseas they love us.
A short anime teaser D’ART Shtajio produced for Tephlon Funk. Music by the one and only fat jon 🙂 http://tephlonfunk.com
TSL: The work looks so good. The characters seem so alive. Is there an animated series in the works?
SM: That takes a lot of money. The animated teaser, I had to put up a lot of money for that. I put up my 401K for that. My advice to anyone thats trying to get their stuff done, you just gotta put up your own money. Its a manifestation of believing in yourself. Before anyone can believe in you, you have to believe in yourself. And thats where it starts. It starts with you. Fixing yourself up, taking care yourself mentally, physically and spiritually, it all starts with you. Once that happens, people are going to see you blossom and theyre going to gravitate toward you. You attract what you put out there. Its the laws of attraction.
The full Hip Hop inspired EP. Produced, mixed and arranged by none other than fat jon. Download the full EP here: http://tephlonfunk.com/product/the-free-tape-mp3/
TSL: Do you have anything else in the works?
SM: I do have a second project Im working on. Its called Part-Time Shuffle. Its not mine, its a friend of mine but Im going to be working on it. But right now Tephlon Funk is at the forefront. It has a bigger following. So, I have to get that out there.
TSL: The series has an accompanying soundtrack as well?
SM: I dont know if any anime fans are familiar with this, but Fat Jon is a well-known Hip-Hop producer. Hes my friend. You can get the digital download for free, but everyone likes the LP. You can download it off tephlonfunk.com and you can get it on Soundcloud. The first issue and the album are free.