Eisner nominated writer/illustrator Kyle Starks has written and drawn several hilarious graphic novels and a boat load of mini comics in just the last few years. He has a strong presence on the con scene and is still taking commission. You can (and should) get a great crosses section of his creative output by clicking over to kylestarks.com. As writer and sometime artist, he is currently helming the ship that is Oni’s monthly Rick and Morty.
MH: How do you manage you process when you are writing and illustrating a book?
KS: When I'm writing for someone else I do a full script with occasional layouts and reference stuff – normal comic writing stuff.
When I'm doing both the writing and the illustrating I don't do any script. I spend a lot of time before one of my projects thinking about how the story is going to go and what it is, so when it comes time to my story it's just the way I want it. I will do a page by page outline per book but otherwise everything is “written” on the page. This keeps it fresh and fun for me and saves a step that for me as both writer and artist I don't think is really necessary. Which isn't to say I never write anything – rarely, but sometimes I have to work out dialogue exchanges – but I don't have a single scripts for Rock Candy Mountain, Kill Them All or Sexcastle.
MH: What is the editorial process for Rick and Morty?
KS: I'm not super certain on the editorial side, per se, but I can certainly share the gist of how a Rick and Morty book is made.
Basically, it goes like this: I have a story idea, I tell my editor, she tells Cartoon Network and Justin Roiland, they always approve it, then I write or draw it, then at the end it goes to Cartoon Network and Roiland. Cartoon Network very rarely has any changes – mostly things to keep in line with their all ages intent, Roiland I'm told only just laughs and laughs. Then it goes through the steps of getting a comic made and back to Roiland and Cartoon Network again. Mostly we just make the book within the Oni Team – Cartoon Network and the creators almost never actually say anything, so it's rarely a part of the process.
MH: Do you have any tips for people tabling at Artist Ally?
KS: This is a tough one. Make sure you have change (I probably jinxed myself by saying that), have more than one item, get a table cloth, be friendly. For me the most important thing not only tabling but day to day is that I want as many people as possible to see me work and very few things sell themselves. Also, try to have enough change.
MH: How did Chris Schweitzer get involved in Rock Candy Mountain?
Chris recently moved within an hour of me - maybe a year or two ago - so as the only professional comic creators in the area we quickly became fast friends. Chris, as you probably know, is an incredible, next level cartoonist and not a colorist but while I was going through test pages with prospective colorists it wasn't quite working like I wanted and I showed them to Chris to get his advice. He decided he loved the book so much he would color it and I'm forever thankful. He really brings life to the book that couldn't exist without him.
MH: What advice would you give someone wanting to launch a comic on Kickstarter?
KS: Start small, be prepared, do you math, don't over do it. And, personally, have the book done before you start. In my opinion, when someone buys something they don't want to wait a year to get it.
MH: Are there other exhibitors you are looking forward to hanging out with a Staple?
KS: I've been wanting to do Staple for awhile specifically because of the number of creators in the area who regularly attend the show that I absolutely adore. Andy Hirsch I consider one of my best friends and in the discussion, in my opinion, for the most underrated cartoonist in America. Robert Wilson IV is someone who's friendship I legitimately prize who I've done a ton of shows with and am always happy to see, Fabian Rangel Jr is the best dude and a real, impressive talent. Alexis Ziritt is as nice as he is talented, Gavin Guidry is a solid dude who's starting to make a name for himself. It's a great show and I'm looking forward to meeting a bunch of new folks and hanging, for sure.
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