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Aspiring illustrator-turned-label boss teams up with Parisian DJ phenom



Illustrator and part-time DJ Franki Chan moved to Los Angeles to pursue dreams of creating comics. His comic love eventually evolved into iheartcomix, an all-encompassing brand, record label and lifestyle company that promotes music, fashion, art and comic culture everywhere.

Chan and acclaimed Parisian DJ The Toxic Avenger will spin discs 8 p.m. tonight at Electro Lounge. Chan will offer exclusive first glimpses of tracks from friends of iheartcomix, while The Toxic Avenger will unleash original songs and remixes flush with frantic buzzes and jittery beats " a signature mania that have garnered him critical praise from Rolling Stone magazine, which named him one of the five most influential electronic musicians of 2007.

Mixed sampler CDs, merchandise and albums from other iheartcomix musicians will be on hand for perusal, cross-promoting other creative company entities.

"The main focus of iheartcomix as a business, is to find new artists of any type " new musicians, graphic artists, fashion designers " and expose them to the world, help make them cool," he said. "We'll be bringing along a bunch of comics and stuff to pass out. Basically, we are just creating a really fun dance party."

Chan sees this type of multi-outlet offering as the future of the music industry since MP3s and digital downloads have minimized the earning power of album sales. He hopes the music will attract customers willing to buy a shirt or a comic book and pull in patrons eager for exposure to other artists.

The company wasn't a predesigned concept, but rather a way for Chan to indulge in his varied interests.

"A lot of iheartcomix came from what I do in my life. I like to draw comics. I like to go to shows," he said. "For the last decade, everything has developed naturally about how to monetize the things that I like to do anyway. I get bored if I'm just focusing on one thing."

Chan hasn't stepped away from the drawing table. He illustrates promotional material and album artwork, designs flyers and has drawn a few one-off issues for Dark Horse Comics. He said he has a large illustration project steadily reaching completion.

"My individual goal is to one day finally finish this graphic novel I've been working on. I'd like iheartcomix to get to the point where we are putting out comic books," he said. "It started with my individual love for comics, but the underlying mission of doing these fun parties, tours, DJing, blogging and putting out records is to help expose the medium and upcoming artists." "Charles Martin

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