Do you have to look far for inspiration for your Showdowns?
"No way! My movie inspiration rolodex is enormous. I have been building it since I was a small child. I used to watch movies 30 to 40 times when I was young, but now I usually watch them one time. Perhaps two times. I find inspiration in talking about films with my friends and hearing what everyone has to say about them and picking them apart.
"So much of my art and style stems from the films I have seen throughout my life. I feel that the things I say and do are somewhat inspired by them. I can't help it. It's hard to escape movies really. So I am constantly finding inspiration from them. And for the showdown movie moments in particular, sometimes they are obvious to me, while other times I really need to look hard to see them."
The possibilities for Great Showdowns must be endless. How do you choose which ones to do?
"I try to choose films that have some sort of cultural relevance or cult followings. Films that have slipped into too much obscurity don't make as much sense to me, but there always seems to be someone who knows them. But I also don't want to do movies that are big and dumb, unless they are amusing to me in some way.
"I try to choose moments that are graphically interesting. Westerns and war movies are hard because everyone looks the same and there are no discerning elements, unless I can think of some object or weird accessory that makes them recognisable. My favourite are the ones where I get to put a smiling face on an inanimate object. Mostly I like to do movies that I like!"
When did you first start capturing famous showdowns?
"There is an annual group exhibition at Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles called Crazy 4 Cult. The first show was back in 2008, I think. I did the first 10 showdowns for that exhibit. It was really the first time I painted films and I wasn't even sure I wanted to do it, but it turned out to be super fun.
"Going back to these old movies, choosing ten moments of tension and looking at them side-by-side was incredibly satisfying to me. I think the first ten included two of the most iconic showdowns to my eyes, Fistful of Dollars and Raiders of the Lost Ark - the scene where Indy shoots the dude holding the sword. I think those gave me the idea for the whole project."
Is this a project with a foreseeable end, or do you think you will always have more iconic conflicts to paint?
"I can't see an end just yet, but I know there will be. What a sad thought that is. But there will always be new movies, and some movies have 10 to 20 great showdowns in them. So really the possibilities are endless. It will just be a case of, 'Will [my] hand want to keep making them?' Right now, I am still totally enjoying making them."
Some of your pictures can be quite obscure. Do you deliberately try to confuse and challenge your viewers?
"I don't want to get too obscure, I guess. I have to feel that someone has seen it. But that is part of the fun for people. I like to lay just enough clues out for people to piece together themselves and feel great about it. Not only the awesome feeling of figuring out the puzzle, but if it is an obscure film that they love, they can rally behind it and hold it up for everyone and say, 'Yes! See? This is my favourite movie! I told you guys to check this movie out!'"
What do you think it is about your Showdowns that has captured people's imaginations?
"I am not the only one whose life has been affected and shaped by films. Growing up, sometimes people gravitate to certain movies as a part of building their identity and meeting other like-minded people. Really good movies affect you ands stick with you and other times, you have completely forgotten about a movie, but if you see a showdown of it, all of those feelings and nostalgia could flood back and maybe you want to go check it out again.
"I feel like certain movies are a timeline for my life. I often find myself slipping back to the areas of my life in which I first saw them. And people like games. It's a fun game you can play with your friends, or by yourself at home."
Which is your favourite showdown?
"I always go back to Ghost. Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze versus the little clay dude on the pottery wheel. That is such a funny scene that is also really racy. Giving that clay a personality, you feel like it's a little dude that was just so happy to be involved with Demi and Patrick's sexy times."
What other projects do you have coming up?
"I just finished illustrating a children's picture book that Bob Dylan wrote! It is about dogs running around free. And soon I will start working on a new picture book that I'm writing and illustrating.
"I also have a couple of books coming out early next year that collect my webcomic called Double Fine Action Comics. I make video games on the side, and I've been doing some freelance concept work for Double Fine's new adventure game that is as yet unnamed. And keep making Great Showdowns. People can send me ideas for films if they want. I have a big list that I keep adding to."
The Great Showdowns is available from Titan Books from October 19 for £9.99.