Interviews

Slightly delayed Round 3: Rori interviews Sketch Sanchez!
skoolmunkee at 8:31AM, Feb. 7, 2009
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A bit belated due to various unimportant things, but today you get to read: Rori interviews Sketch Sanchez! This one was conducted on AIM, so you get a nice conversational tone. :]

Rori: First things first, do you currently live in a decayed urban metropolis? Please describe in all gory detail.

SketchSanchez: Well, I live in NYC which is currently decaying as I type this. See it was a crap hole like you see in the movies (70's-80's) but in the 90's ‘til now it had really cleaned up and was completely safe. Now–the city is broke, people are losing their jobs, there’s less cops around, more homeless showing up. It's a shit hole. I probably could have given a funnier answer there. haha

R: Well, it's the truth, though. Do you live in Manhattan? And have you lived there all your life?

SS: In Queens actually. I'm surprised, most people outside the city don’t know the borough names. Manhattan is the actual city part, with the skyscrapers and such and most people think that’s NYC. All of it. Haha. But yeah, been here my whole life-26 years.

R: Well, I'm a geography nerd ;D So do you think living in a fairly urban setting has directly influence your subject matter, or is it more just in the background?

SS: I think it’s a bit of both. I mean-since I live here, it's in the background, foreground, middle ground and any other ground a person can cover, haha. And when I'm out and about I study people, how they dress, body language, to incorporate in to my work–I look up at the buildings, study the sky line, y'know just to really burn in my head how a city should look.
But really, movies comics and books influence more than real life in this case, to be honest.

R: Cool. So what are your storytelling influences specifically? Are you inspired more by comic influences or other media?

SS: More by other media-for the most part. I'm big into crime fiction, but classic noir stuff-so I watch a ton of movies from the 30's, 40's and 50's and those are hugely influential on my stuff. White Heat, Johnny Apollo, The Stranger on the 3rd floor are just a few of my favorites from those eras. I love reading Raymond Chandler novels, also from the era, and I'm working my way through them all.
The biggest influences, however, are ridiculous action movies and gory slasher films.
Stuff from the golden age of slasher films, the early to mid 80's like Friday the 13th, The Prowler, The Burning, stuff like that. The number one influence on MAD City is without a doubt the original Robocop. It's pretty much, IMO, the perfect example of a city gone to shit.

R: I can definitely see that! So, I'm guessing, no Michael Bay Friday the 13th for you?

SS: Oh no, I'm totally stoked for that. See Jason, is simple stuff. The fans just want the big guy, in the woods, killing people in the worst ways possible. And that’s what this new movie looks to be. The last simple Jason movie was in 1988, when he took on Carrie after that is was Manhattan, going to hell, going to SPACE (!) and then fighting Freddy. I'm ready to go back to basics, know what I mean?

R: I do. Do you see your own work that way?

SS: Oh yeah. It's a revenge tale at the end of the day. I see it as a slasher movie in some ways–guy seemingly back from the dead out for revenge.

R: I'd say you bring that same rawness to your drawing style (it reminds me a lot of the ‘zines I used to read back in the day). Why did you choose this style, what do you like most about it, and what do you think are its limits, if any?

SS: Well its funny you say that cuz my hero is Jim Mahfood who got his break making mini comic and zines. I love his stuff, it looks deceptively simple but its totally not. In fact, I started doing this book because of him-because I remember reading a collection of his first stuff and it was just him basically drawing stories and putting them out there on his own dime, lettering it all himself, copying it all himself and it just kinda hit me that I don’t need to wait around for something good to come along. Just friggin do it.

It enables me to not get sidetracked or slack off because I draw the story first-I don’t write out a long script with panel by panel details cuz I know myself and I know I'll not finish it. This way, I'm ahead, I’ve got breathing room.

R: (To go on a tangent for a second: AWESOME. Jim Mahfood grew up near me, and I used to pick up those copied books. ha!)

SS: I envy you so much. haha

R: Well, it required growing up in the suburbs of St. Louis, so don't envy me too much.

SS: Before him, I had this thought that my stuff needed to look a certain way you know? This typical comic book style and that’s just not me at all. I'm a cartoony kinda dude and Mahfood and his success showed me that it doesn’t have to be like everyone else.

R: Excellent. So, speaking of print: there are a lot of great visual forms going on with some of your black-guttered pages that definitely wouldn’t have the same effect in print. Do you create with the specific media (web) in mind?

SS: Yeah, I totally do it with the web in mind-print isn’t even on my radar. It's hella expensive and while I'd love nothing more than to do a Mahfood and print out my own shit an leave em places, I know I cant afford it and, quite frankly, this day and age an aspiring creator doesn’t have to do that anymore. One of the best bits of advice I’ve ever heard came from Skottie Young in which he told someone looking for tips to break in and he basically said “just do it. All you need now a days is an idea and a place to host it” which is so true. So I just worry about how it’ll look on the screen, and worry about printing in the future, if ever.

R: Since you have complete control over publishing Riot and Fade-Out, do you see yourself expanding on the story and universe for a while, or do you see it as a comic with a definite end?

SS: Definitely expanding for a while. Past this original story I’m in the middle of I got more in mind. It'll deal more with the decaying of the city around them and how much it changes because of them. One of the main reasons why i started off with them is because I feel I can tell an y story with them, at any point in their lives if I wanted. I mean-the first thing I did with them was a one-shot (also on DD) set way later in their lives. And currently, I got Fade-out competing in an OC tournament, also set at some point in her future. Hell, I gave her own twitter which switches from current time to future time, to being just plain old really me depending on my mood, haha.

R: Nice! That's just good marketing right there. I know you mentioned that you don't care for drawing, do you think if you found someone to draw for future “issues” of Riot and Fade-Out that it would be a struggle giving that over to them, since it’s your creation?

SS: Oh no, I'd love for that to happen. In fact, one of the things I used to wait for was a collaborator cuz I had no confidence in my own stuff–but even now I'd totally be down for that.

R: Well, I guess now would be a good time to ask if there's anyone you’d like to work with in the future, whether on Drunk Duck or in the larger industry?

SS: hm. Well, out of “famous” established guys there’s obviously Mahfood, Skottie Young, Humburto Ramos, to name a few. Those are the dream guys. People “like” me would def include Dan Schkade, who does The Private Files of The Fowl, Roy Weatherly who does Jack p. Chill, come to mind. And, not to sound like a kiss ass (cuz I’m not, I mean this) but I liked your work a lot.

R: Awe! Thanks. (You’ve made the interviewer blush!) Okay, so back to it: I forgot to ask earlier–the violence in Riot and Fade-Out seems integral to the plot. What is your philosophy on using violence and shocking images/actions in your plotlines?

SS: The more outrageous the better I always say. Haha, that being said I believe in giving a taste of the actual violence and then giving the rest of it “off screen” for certain stuff cuz the best effect is a persons own imagination. Like the first kills in the story–showed a bit, but kept the “over kill” aspects off panel. But, y'know, being a horror guy I'm big on showing more than telling but I realize the power of suggestion.

R: This one is just for me: is Frank Kellerman a Homicide: Life on the Street reference? For everyone else: are there other hidden references we should look for? I know a lot of artists like sneaking stuff in.

SS: Ha, you're good!

R: I loved that show with a fierceness!

SS: I do give this stuff away when I introduce characters in the comic blog, so thanks for confirming that no one reads that stuff. lol jk

R: hahah! So: read the blog.

SS: but yeah, Kellerman is a mix of Frank Pembleton and Mike Kellerman. Anita Eames is Anita Van buran and Alex Eames from Law and Order (which I also love). I do stuff like that all the time, currently the location where Kellerman and Eames are talking to Fade-Out is a noodle stand off 5th and Mahfood. Oh and Homicide is one of the greatest cop shows of all times. haha.

R: Completely agreed. So do you have other projects in the works right now?

SS: well I got a straight up superhero story I wanna launch on my website, just a side project I can update infrequently-like pencil only one page strips just showing a day in the life of a young hero with phenomenal cosmic power. I'm still coloring the “cover” but with Book 2 coming to an end soon and this OC tourny I’m doing weekly, who knows when I'll get to it. Of course, that little story would be perfect for someone else to draw, haha.

R: Of course! ha! Well, this is the end, so I'll give the floor to you, anything you wanted to talk about that we didn't? Shout-outs or call-outs? Go!

SS: hm, lets see….okay, the guy who colors my flashback pages is Chad and he rules. Check him out at http://the-armagedon.deviantart.com/ he's also doing the coloring for my Tourny stuff which you can follow here http://angelcrusher.deviantart.com/ . RIOT and Fade-Out! is updated every sunday and if its not to much trouble please come to riotandfadeout.com first, I have links to the DD page and I post all my art related stuff there often. Thanks to everyone who has been reading, Legacy hero Comics, CDA, and everyone else-you guys have been great and their support has kept me chugging along. Oh and thank you for this rad interview. That’s right, I said Rad-it's making a come back.

R: If stirrup tights are, then rad definitely deserves to. Thank you for talking with me!

SS: Haha, hey bellbottoms made a come back so anything is fair game.
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:42PM
houseofmuses at 10:34AM, Feb. 7, 2009
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Super interview! One more hot series I need to check out. Thanks, Sketch and Rori!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:50PM
houseofmuses at 10:36AM, Feb. 7, 2009
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Skool! You've got Rori and Sketch's names linking back to this interview, not to their homepages. I gotta do a search to find them!!!!!!!!!!!!!

XD
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:50PM
skoolmunkee at 10:57AM, Feb. 7, 2009
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N-no I don't :neenjah:
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:42PM
houseofmuses at 12:34PM, Feb. 7, 2009
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posts: 156
joined: 4-4-2008
Must've been a glitch in my browser….hm. The Sprites are at it again…..
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:50PM
PIT_FACE at 8:24PM, Feb. 7, 2009
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ilike how this one was written! instead of just writing questions, there's actualy back and forth conversation! i wish i'd thought of that. great job guys!
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:44PM
Sketch Sanchez at 11:55PM, Feb. 7, 2009
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Rori was awesome as an interviewer, it was alot of fun. She rules.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:38PM
Rori at 12:52PM, Feb. 8, 2009
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Hey, Sketch was a good interviewee! All those great answers are in real-time :D
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:11PM
skoolmunkee at 1:53PM, Feb. 8, 2009
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some really fantastic questions in this one, well done Rori :] Sketch Sanchez has great things to share too- techniques, influences, etc
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:42PM
Armagedon at 12:52AM, Feb. 9, 2009
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joined: 9-22-2007
It was definitely a great interview :) Known sketch for a while and it was good to see him get asked some very good questions
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM

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