As some of you art, anime, manga and comics fans might have noticed. As of lately, quite a few artists have been attacked via social media just because they like fanservice, sexy/beautiful and thick ladies.
Well, since I just happen to love sexy and thick babes, art, anime, manga and comics. I just thought that it could be a good idea to do an interview with some artists in each of the previously mentioned industries.
The idea would be for us to let artists share their thoughts about censorship, PC/SJW madness, ComicsGate, cancel culture and much more.
Well, we ended up talking about everything from the “RAGS” comic, censorship, ComicsGate, SJW madness to cancel culture and much more.
So with that said, please enjoy our interview with TEAM RAGS =)
Right off the bat, thank you very much for taking your time doing this interview with us =) So with that said, please go ahead and introduce yourself to our readers.
Hey thanks for asking to interview us. The team is VERY busy trying to get issue 6 out the door and issue 5 to our Patreon Backers so it’s just gonna be me today.
I’m Brian Ball, and I’m the co-author of RAGS along with Trent Luther. Our Artist is Luigi Teruel, Capucine Drapala knocks out our Colors while Liz Finnegan generates our marketing plan and other back end things.
Do you remember how it all started for you in terms of reading, drawing and creating comics? And do you have any all-time favorite comics? If so, which would those be?
Well, I did read Spider-man and Wolverine Comics growing up, but eventually dropping that and getting heavy into Manga. Creating comics is kinda a recent one-off thing for Trent, Liz and I. Luigi’s been active drawing comics for a long time, though I think RAGS is the first hit like this.
My favorite comics of all time? Well, most of mine, funnily enough, are Antartic Press books such as JTF-3, Legends from Darkwood: The Unicorn Hunters, Assembly. Manga-wise it’s the Slayers, Berserk, Gunnm, Dragon Ball, Battle Royal, Casshern, Tekkaman / Tekkaman Blade, The Guvyer, Riot, Evangelion….Yes, I’m kind of a huge weeb.
Out of pure curiosity, at what point in time did you decide that you wanted to have your own comic studio? And how did your comics studio came to be?
Studio? I really wouldn’t call this a studio. This is more or less just two drunk guys, a ginger a Filipino artist and a French colorist just…making something and making it work.
What’s the story behind how the Rags comics went from a dream to a reality? (when, where, why and how)
It’s a long story but the TL:DR is Trent and I got drunk one-night playing video-games and came up with the basic story / plot…which was changed during multiple iterations.
When we FINALLY had a solid script going we handed over to Luigi (another long story) and he produced what is to be known as the Prologue. It was never really intended to be what it is now though.
Was the Rags comics always meant to be a lewd/erotic zombie-themed comic? Or did the comic start off as something else from the very start?
Okay, so here’s a funny thing. You see, I don’t think RAGS is erotic or lewd. Maybe I’m just desensitized to nudity. I mean if you’re just skimming through on a surface level, I suppose it DOES seem lewd, but that’s not the story we wrote. Hell, the story isn’t even zombie-themed.
They’re really kinda just there to serve as both an allegory and to move the plot along when we need it to.
The Comic though did always have the theme of ‘looking for pants’, however, we saw that the constant Action-set-piece to action-set-piece felt kinda bland. So we started adding the PTSD elements to it and we found that we were VERY happy with it.
If my memory doesn’t fail me know, the main character of the Rags comics (Regina Ragowski) is based on a real actual person right? (Liz Finnegan) And how did that go from an idea to an actual character that you would make into the star of your comics series?
Yes, that’s right. Because Regina’s face is based and modeled after Liz Finnegan. That initially was more of a hidden easter egg that we weren’t even going to let her in on until the entire thing was done.
Regina was always described in the initial scripts as being a 6’1 Former Marine with red-hair, green eyes and freckles covering her face and body. Just as a nod to my appreciation of Liz’s football tweets (they’re entertaining as fuck to me.) we threw that in as an easter egg.
Anyway right before we were gonna give up making this (we had A LOT of start-up problems.) We decided to reach out to Liz to see if it was okay. This was sort of a “hail-mary” to see if providence wanted this made. Well, she read the script, loved it and came aboard to help out with whatever we needed.
Since not everyone may be aware of your comics, could you perhaps give us a brief introduction of what the Rags comics is all about?
RAGS is the story of former Marine, Regina Ragowski as she tries to survive in the town of Paso Robles without any pants. Along the way she meets the National Guard soldier who may or may not know more about the whole situation that he’s letting on.
What would you say have been the biggest sources of inspiration for the Rags comics series? And who would you recommend the comics to? (fans of zombies, action and hot babes I would say)
Inspiration? I’d saw whatever Trent and I found funny at the time, plus lot’s of booze. I often recommend these comics to Military Veterans. They’re the demographic I’m really focused on getting the word out to and there are words, themes and situations that only they can actually connect to.
How has the response and feedback been since the release of the first “Rags comic” issue? And have you ever had any thoughts of turning your comics into a video game, movie or anime series?
Its been oddly positive, though we DO have our detractors because they don’t ‘get it’…One, in particular, thinks it’s a bland zombie story with some random twitch streamers face.
Some see Liz as just another basic white-girl. To me, again, they’re just looking at things on the surface level and haven’t really read or dug into the themes of the book.
Those that have, have been extremely hyped about us continuing the series despite that not actually being in our plans for the future. I have thought about making a video game and a movie. But we honestly don’t have the resources for all those things at this time.
I find your art style and comic visuals to be really cool-looking and impressive. So with that fresh in mind, did it take you a long time to find the art style that you were looking for in terms of the visuals for the Rags comics?
So, and Trent will confirm this, I am VERY particular on art. Like I prefer 99% of manga art to comics, but a lot of comics work to me looks like stylized vomit. I see something that looks like “Steven Universe” and I immediately pass.
One thing that caught my eye with Luigi’s artwork, was that he had the ability to create a realistic person, but could easily tweak it to…well whatever we needed and it would work naturally.
The coloring of the book is also part of our style too, and this should be noted that the major reason for that at the time, was that I didn’t have the money to fund something FULL color.
So we decided to minimal colors on Regina and whatever else was important to her and the world at the time, and then marry it to the plot. Its’ worked out well if I don’t say.
As of here and now, what are you the proudest of so far when it comes to your comics and art and why?
Well, I’d say I’m VERY proud that we did this through just selling merch, t-shirts and NOT crowdfunding it. Sure we have a Patreon but the intent there is NOT to ‘crowdfund the book’ but for people to help lighten the load as it comes to production, building the book and distribution.
I’m very proud that we’ve solved that piece of the puzzle (and have shared it openly mind you.) Will other professionals have not.
Since you got a really great taste for the female form, I just have to ask you the following question.
Why do you think that so many people and big-name companies in the comic industry are so afraid of the female form nowadays? And why is it that naked female skin and nudity is such a big deal still in the year 2019 (soon 2020)?
I think that it has a lot to do with how we, as Americans, are culturally different from the rest of the world. While I lived in Germany and Italy, nudity was shrugged at, while violence was shied away from. Here in American, Violence and gore are praised, but sex and nudity are shied away from.
Part of it maybe, like we’re cast-typed, they don’t want their work to be considered porn. There’s also this misconception that comics are for children. So there’s that to think of.
Me, honestly you’ve seen one pair of boobs and a vagina, you kind’ve seen them all. Same with penises. They’re just another part of the human body.
Since your obviously a part of the comics industry since many years back in time, what’s your opinion on comicsgate? And what’s it been like to be an indie comics artist/creator in today’s comics industry?
Well, I really wouldn’t say we’re part of the comics industry. Trent and I are blue-collar workers, Liz has her own full-time job. Luigi is probably the only person who is full-time on this.
RAGS was always this weekend project that eventually snowballed into something bigger. That being said, being an Indie Creator is tough, even with publisher backing.
You’re in charge of your own Marketing, merch…etc unless you make it big with a movie deal or whatever. So it can be rewarding if you have the time and resources to put into it.
What’s your take on censorship, cancel culture and SJW madness in general? And what do you think that we could do in terms of fighting back against it?
I’m not a big fan on censorship at all really. However, I know people reading that just rolled their eyes because our retail version is censored.
For those people, we say that there’s a reason behind the censorship there and its actually part of the story, a running-gag AND, most importantly, our method against Piracy.
Cancel Culture is funny to me, because it usually comes back and bites back those that participate in it. But seriously it’s dumb as hell.
SJWS…well they’re just morons on the internet crying about nothing most times. But there are also the Anti-SJWs who can make things just as annoying at times.
Personally, I’d wish both sides would just end each other. The way to fight back against all this is to essentially: F.I.D.O. Fuck it. Drive On. Ignore if it doesn’t affect your paycheck. And if it does, bring swift violence. People usually think twice once they’ve been punched in the face.
Now, as for my final interview question. What are your hopes, plans and expectations for the rest of the year? And is there anything else that you would like to say or have our readers know?
Well, I’m just hoping I can finish getting the rest of the RAGS issues out in a timely manner. It hasn’t gone as smoothly as I hoped this year but those things happen.
As long as I’m not a year late I feel that I’m good to go. But next year I hope to wrap of the RAGS No pants dance arc with issue 7 and then go back to my regular life shit-posting memes.
Robin “V-Act” Ek
Editor in chief
The Gaming Ground
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