Name: Rick Overwater
Type of Creator: Writer, Letterer
List your work:
Futility — an independent weirdo space comic
I also write fiction and recently co-edited and contributed a story to a Tall Tales of the Weird West, a weird western short story anthology.
What was the first comic you read?
Hard to recall. All my cousins and uncles had comics, so visiting them was a blur of Disney comics, Archie, and lots of Spiderman and Sgt. Rock. One of those I guess.
What inspired you to make comics? A specific story? Writer? Artist?
I had a small collection going, and my mom was a painter who encouraged me to draw. One day I was looking at Captain Canuck and decided I could maybe pull off a drawing of him. Then I made a story. Then I stapled them into book. I kept at it for a lot of years and eventually quit drawing in favour of writing, which I sucked less at.
What do you like about comics? What is it about them that interests you? Inspires you? Moves you?
I love just staring at good illustrations, and I love the power of punchy sentences — comics gives you both in one spoonful. Plus, I love that you have little in the way of limits. You can depict things that would cost a movie producer a bazillion dollars to replicate. A giant hand reaching out of a black hole and tossing the earth into the sun while an army of robot penguins eat pizza and watch the whole thing from the backs of flying horses? No problem! If your artist can draw it, you can have it.
What is the most important thing people need to know about comics?
For people who aren’t immersed in the world, you are missing out on one of the best storytelling mediums ever. For (some) people who are immersed in the world: Sometimes, step back and realize they’re just words and pictures on paper and that big controversy/crisis you’re obsessed with really isn’t such a big deal.
As a writer: pen or keyboard?
Both: Lots of times, I’ll fold a bunch of 11×17 sheets of paper into a book and thumbnail out a comic, dialogue mostly with a few crappy stickman drawings. Then I’ll type up a script working from that.
What’s the first thing you do when you sit down to work? Do you have a routine?
Pour coffee — or wine depending on time of day. I like writing in the morning best, but I often use an iPad to sneak it in during lunch breaks at the day job. Nights, I letter if I have some to do.
Do you listen to music when you work? Other background noise?
I’m also a gigging musician, so I have troubles relegating music to the background. When I write, I listen to a lot of instrumental stuff and movie soundtracks–especially spaghetti western stuff–because that music will “stay back”. When I letter a comic, that seems to free up a portion of my tiny brain and then it’s anything from Gillian Welch to Mastodon. Baroness is great for lettering!
Still working on flowing my plots and character development as well as the people I read seem to do. Still trying to get my lettering to the point that someone hits me up to do it for them; I quite enjoy that particular facet of comic making. I’m getting there, I think.
If you had to pick one comic as a favourite, what would it be?
That’s impossible. BPRD is up there. So is Savage Sword of Conan.
What is the:
Most exciting comic you’ve ever read?
Epic magazine. I lived for that when I was young, and Heavy Metal.
The Rick Veitch stories in Epic; Conquest of the Banana Planet was one of the first times I ever looked to see who actually wrote and drew the story.
The Johnny Ryan Angry Youth stuff. Things need to be fairly gross and bleak before I’ll laugh out loud, I have no idea why. Some sort of mental deficiency I guess.
Not much scares me, but the Mike Mignola universe comes close sometimes.
Maus by Art Spiegelman
Who is your favourite comic character?
What is the natural talent you’d like to be gifted with and why?
What? I already thought I visibly possessed it–why are you asking this?
What three words would you use to describe your work?
Goddamn time-suck. Ummm… Charmingly off-putting?
Future projects you are working on/would like to work on:
The next issue of Futility of course. And, I have a 45,000 word steampunk novella going into second draft right now. I’ll be doing a second weird west anthology with Coffin Hop Press in 2016, and I’m looking for an action-oriented artist to help develop a comic idea I’m quite excited about.
You are stranded on a desert island, you must have:
Which 3 comics?
Shiny Beasts — Rick Veitch
Spiderman/Superman team-up (the one with Dr. Doom and the Parasite).
Habibi by Craig Thompson
Which 3 albums?
On Your Feet or On Your Knees — Blue Oyster Cult
Death Rides a Horse (soundtrack) — Ennio Morricone
The Sun Records Years — Johnny Cash
Which 3 movies?
The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly