Rob Neil Gruszecki
Type of Creator:
Photo courtesy of Mark Preston
List your Work:
- Wild Rose County
- Midnight Feature – Night Fright short story
What was the first comic you read?
The earliest one I remember was a digest sized black and white X-Men where they battled Arcade. Great stuff
What inspired you to make comics?
There’s a Descendents song called ALL-O-Gistics that didn’t necessarily inspire me to begin with but is the song that I think encapsulates my attitude towards creating and I listen to it all the time to help me. I wanna make music, comics, novels, everything and ALL is the mantra these dudes adopted in their early years to say that everything they wanted to accomplish or dreamt of they would simply pursue. Now they have the Blasting Room, a punk rock legacy, a documentary, another band called ALL, Milo is a scientist, they’re all parents and they continue to strive for greatness. Create, create, create. ALL
What comic would you recommend to a first-time reader?
Fables by Bill Willingham
The easiest sell to people who want to get into the medium I think. Still have yet to lend these books to anyone who hasn’t devoured them in a weekend
As a writer, pen or keyboard?
Lots of both. I have file folders on my desk at home bursting with scribbles on post-its, scrap sheets of paper folded up and even napkins. My Google Drive is just as bonkers with endless folders for just random short stories, deleted scenes from prose or comics, ideas, character sketches, character diary entries, pitches… chaos. Ultimately everything gets written by keyboard in the end.
What’s the first thing you do when you sit down to work? Do you have a routine?
I wish. I think I’d spend a lot more time writing and less time worrying about not writing if I did.
Do you listen to music when you work? Other background noise?
I have to have music playing in the background. I find a soundtrack makes it so much easier to concentrate and be productive. Favorites that I’ve probably listened to hundreds of times now to write/read to include :
Mogwai – Happy Songs for Happy People
Dirty Three – She Has No Strings Apollo
Sigur Ros – Kveikur
Explosions in the Sky – The Earth is Not A Cold Dead Place
Oscar Peterson – Night Train
Thelonious Monk – Solo Monk
Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!
Russian Circles – Station
Lite – Phantasia
Don Caballero – Punkgasm
If you had to pick one comic as a favourite, what would it be?
All-Star Superman by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely
A love letter to the ultimate humanist superhero and to comics in general. Like a big warm blanket that I’ve lent to as many people as possible, especially those who claim they think Superman is boring. Also issue 10 “Neverending” makes me cry every single time I read it. Absolutely gorgeous, hopeful and compassionate. “You’re much stronger than you think you are. Trust me” ugh, I get goosebumps even thinking about that panel. Incredible.
What is the:
Most exciting comic you’ve ever read?
Preacher by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon
Every time I read through this series I find it almost impossible to put down. Just such a fluidly delivered story and packed with so much action keeping it bouncing off the page
Essex County by Jeff Lemire
Such a beautiful ensemble of human stories that has such a laser focus on character and heart. Every read through makes me want to create
Transmetropolitan by Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson
The kind of rage fueled, crass comedy that is both informative, interesting, thoughtful and hilarious
Nijigahara Holograph by Inio Asano
Terrifying and mesmerizing like a David Lynch nightmare
Box Office Poison by Alex Robinson
So much to connect with and feel reading this comic
Who is your favourite comic character?
What is your favourite place to go in Calgary?
Ship & Anchor pub or Alpha Comics
Future projects you are working on:
The Astounding Adventures of the Diving Belles – An all-ages comic I’m working on with Penny Cromwell. Fun, whimsical stories of two young sisters travelling to different worlds and their endless discoveries in the vein of Hayao Miyazaki and The Wizard of OZ
Sleep Well – A Sci-fi Graphic Novella with Carson Long about a man in the final moments of his consciousness pursuing his creative drive and spirit in spite of mortality
Daydream Nation – A collection of short comics about people’s dreams, hopes, wishes and endless fantasies
Drag – A novel that follows three disparate characters after a tragedy in a small town and how despite their tangential relations, they are eternally connected through the beauty of music
You are stranded on a desert island, you must have:
Which 3 comics?
The Filth by Grant Morrison & Chris Weston
The Fourth World Saga by Jack Kirby (this is cheating cuz technically it’s 59 comics but whatever, shut up, leave me alone, stop yelling at me)
Hellblazer (Another 300 issue cheat answer but I’ll just carry a big box to this island I suppose)
Which 3 albums?
Rain Dogs by Tom Waits
Brighten the Corners by Pavement
Happy Songs for Happy People by Mogwai
Which 3 movies?
Which 3 television shows?
Comedy Bang! Bang!