Our studio’s name comes from an infamous (to us, anyway) low-rent one-bedroom apartment. Home sweet home, apartment 315 on the third floor of the Casa Blanca apartment complex in Tucson, Arizona. The Casa or The White House as we called it in those days was a stucco, mission-style building, located about a mile away from The University of Arizona. Evin and I moved into The 315 in the summer of 1999 in anticipation of “attending” classes in the fall. And lets just get this straight right-off-the-bat, though The 315 had only ONE bedroom, there were in fact TWO beds. Promise.
It ceased to be a mere apartment in less than six months and became something more akin to a den, a habitat more fit for bears than human beings. Catching a glimpse of the crunchy green shag carpeting was a rare treat as it was perpetually littered with an exotic array of refuse: including beer cans, petrified chicken wings, mildewed laundry, pizza boxes, and a veritable sea of “community” porno mags. A thick layer of ash blanketed the trash and furniture alike, the result of an apocalyptic smoking habit by the tenants. Posters covered the walls: most notably an Alex Ross illustrated Superman poster placed on the inside of the front door to remind us to “make Supes proud” as we left each day because he sure as hell wasn’t proud of what went on inside. Truly, it was a place of inspiration and squalor, the likes of which can surely be found in abundance within five square miles of most American universities.
An aside: The 315 taught me the real value of bagging and boarding one’s comics. They’re the only reason I still possess the original issues of Grant Morrison’s New X-men run. Shit got spilled on my comics ALL THE TIME.
For the record, Dan never lived in The 315, but for a guy that lived 90 some odd miles away, he spent an inordinate amount of time there. He still bitches about lasting back issues that originated from sleeping on that tiny, shitty couch.
Evin and I lived in The 315 for five years, and neither of us managed to graduate in that time. With such an illustrious track record of proven success, we figured, how can we not make The 315 the namesake of our studio?
Next: The secret origins of our partnership!