Ladies and gentlemen, ComixCentral is proud to present an Interview with the incomparable Ricky Lima!
You heard me right. The one and only. The creator of Comics like, Black Hole Hunter’s Club, Deep Sea, Happily Ever Aftr and Co-host of Stadium Comic’s Unboxing Wednesday.
Yes. We got him! So sit back, get yourself a cold drink, a crunchy snack and read all about a young chap from Brampton Ontario, making a big splash in the indie comics world. And those who want to learn some stuff, get out your notepad. Ricky’s bringing the advice.
Hi Ricky! To start, tell us a little bit about how you first got started making comics.
RICKY: In highschool I would draw little stupid comics for people. Like real crappy stick figure stuff haha. Most of the stories revolved around how awesome I was because I guess I was a crazy narcissistic kid? But I didn’t really start making actual comics until about 2010. I started writing a comic about a circus and I had no idea what I was doing. I was writing it more like a play and figured the artist would be the one to turn it into panels and stuff. That project never really got off the ground, mainly because I had no idea what I was doing. By the end of 2012 I met David Bishop and that’s when I really started making comics. He had self-published some comics previously so he knew what he was doing, which was good for me. We released Deep Sea in October of that year and from there I just kept meeting artists and writing and working on new comics with people I met.
So what exactly made you take the plunge? Why did you decide to become a writer?
RICKY: I’ve always been telling stories no matter what I was doing. I just love storytelling!! So in high school, I took a creative writing class and had a blast with it. It was probably the first time I’ve ever enjoyed school work haha. So by the time I went to University I I was like “I’M A WRITER!!” and I walk around thinking I was cool and full of powerful insights. I wrote pretentious poetry and short stories in a small cafe on campus that had a portrait of Jackie Chan (and I think Jeff Goldbloom) on the wall. I never bought anything so the staff probably hated me! So that was me until I graduated. When you’re no longer in an environment of learning you realize real quickly that no one really cares about in-depth analysis and literary themes etc. and I started not caring about that stuff too. Eventually, I just wanted to tell bomb ass stories regardless of literary merit.
Also, eventually I realized I wasn’t very good at prose writing. I wanted to focus more on dialogue, but also didn’t want to write screenplays cause everyone was doing that. I had recently gotten back into comics around this time and I didn’t really think about it. I just started making comics!
What kind of comics do you write?
RICKY: Good comics. And weird comics… and hopefully diverse comics… and funny books.
What keeps you moving forward in your career as a creator? What keeps you from throwing the proverbial towel and do you have any advice to help others stay on track?
RICKY: I’m not sure if I do have a solid strategy for this. I think everyday I want to throw in the towel and just not do anything. But if I didn’t do anything what would I do? You know? I’m not sure I’m capable of not doing anything for an extended period of time. Maybe it’s because I’m a millennial but I need the side hustle to keep my life going. It’s kinda crappy to answer this question with a broad statement about a generation I was born into but I think as the world changes our ways of living change too. I’ve grown up with ideas that anything is possible with work, with ideas that you should do what you’re passionate about etc. It’s the only life I know I guess. So what’s stopping me from throwing in the towel? The fact that there is no towel to throw in. It’s this or nothing.
BUT it is important to refresh yourself. So take a break, chill out, don’t think about it for a bit and then come back to your work with fire… hopefully.
What advice do you wish someone gave you when you were starting out?
RICKY: I wish someone told me to take it slow. The first story I did with the circus was like this 12 issues maxi-series with a huge cast and major overarching themes and junk. It was huge! No artist wants to work on a story that so huge with a writer who doesn’t know what’s going on. Every established pro’s probably have a hard time getting artists to commit to huge series. So yeah, take it slow and build things organically. That’ll save some stress for sure.
Where do you get your ideas and inspiration from?
RICKY: I get a lot of my inspiration from really garbage entertainment. Like I’m not talking about bad B-Movies. I’m talking about things that were earnestly made but just didn’t work. That kind of stuff is pure gold because there’s always an interesting idea nugget in there but for whatever reason it’s not coming through. Maybe bad writing, bad acting/ illustrations, time restraints or whatever. So when I watch that kind of stuff I think about how I would do it and then usually ideas begin to form.
Most of the time the ideas become something vastly different than what I’m watching or reading, but it’s still there. I also like to take inspiration from things that are vastly different than what I’m making. So taking elements of theatre and seeing how they would fit into a comic. Like for instance, theatre acting has a certain cadence to it that is unique. So I try to think about that while writing out dialogue for comics. I probably sound like a crazy person, and maybe it’s not even a thing. But that’s the kind of stuff I think about. That thought exercise usually results in really cool things.
What’s the one thing (tool, process, etc) that you absolutely could not live without during the creative process?
RICKY: Google Drive. That thing is wicked. I can store all my ideas, pictures etc and have it anywhere I go. It also saves me from buying a word processor haha.
Would you rather be attacked by one horse sized duck or 50 duck sized horses?
RICKY: I saw Alex Jones answer this question once and he said he’d fight the horse sized duck because he didn’t want to get surrounded or something like that. Alex Jones is a damn fool! 50 duck sized horses would be a breeze to stomp! Their legs are so fragile! Also I’m probably a globalist baby killer, so I don’t think Alex Jones and I see eye to eye on most things.
What does your workspace look like? We love to be invasive!
RICKY: I work at a Second Cup near my house. Houses are for living, other places are for working! But if I could have a tiny office it’d have a ton of art in it. I’ve been collecting art ever since I started comics in hopes of one day owning my own space to put them up.
One thing we love about you is your sense of humor. Is there an interesting or funny story you could share with us about your creation experience?
RICKY:I was at a con once and Jeff Lemire was there. This was just as Sweet Tooth came out so he wasn’t the mega comic star he is now. I was a huge fan of Sweet Tooth so I wanted to meet him and shake his hand and get the book signed. I came up to his table, his back was turned to me, and I stuck out my hand. He turned around and was totally startled by me haha. He was like “Oh, ah… um” and I was like “Uh, hi… can I shake your hand?” He’s a great dude and a real pro so things weren’t weird, and he signed my book and thanked me for the support but to this day my friends won’t stop bringing up the story. Over the years it’s kind of evolved into this incredibly traumatic event in Lemire’s life. The time a fan assaulted him at a con.
If you could body snatch one person for one day.. who would it be and what would you do?
RICKY: I’d body snatch you, and just do terrible, terrible things and see how you deal with the aftermath. Muahahaha.
What is your ultimate goal in comics?
RICKY:Ultimate comic goal is to be able to support myself with comics haha. Sounds lame but it’s true! If I’m able to live a life where I don’t have to worry about money and just make comics then I’m totally happy. So whether that’s on my own or with a bigger company then whatever! That being said I think doing things on my own terms as an independent creator is the most delicious way to make a living just so you don’t have to put up with other people’s crap.
If you had a dollar for every comic you have started but not yet finished.. How many dollars would you have?
RICKY: I’d probably have like 10 bucks. Get myself a nice coffee or something. Haha the number isn’t super high because I try to finish things I start, but sometimes factors beyond my control don’t let that happen.
How about some parting advice for all the up-and-comers out there?
RICKY: Have an online presence people!! And don’t be lame online either! I see a lot of dudes and dudettes who don’t have anything online and they’re like “why is nobody buying my stuff!?” Cause no one even knows you exist! You really need to engage people online in order for them to care. Con’s aren’t enough. And in regards to not being lame just be real. The most frustrating thing to see is someone posting a super well-crafted and articulate tweet or Facebook that took them all day to write. I’m not saying don’t be clever, don’t be witty or speak well. I’m just saying be honest. If you’re a smart person who uses the word “indubitably” on the reg. then that’s fine.
People can tell when you’re dishonest and people HATE dishonesty.
Well this has been a blast! As usual Ricky tickles the ol’ funny bone, but also doles out some great and wise advice for anyone creating comics!
We’d like to thank Ricky for taking the time out of his busy day and shooting the breeze with us! If you’d like to learn more about Ricky’s projects, buy some of his comics or just connect, you can find all his links below.
Now get off your butt and go make some comics!
Connect with Ricky!