MegaCynics - Interview with Ash Vickers

MegaCynics - Interview with Ash Vickers

 


Interview by: Chrisscreama
I had the privilege to interview Canadian Geek Girl and Artist Ash Vickers of MegaCynics, Facebook to Facebook, in some hypothetically comfy chairs. She gave great details on how she became a web comic artist, her experiences as a web comic artist, her influences and other fun facts about her! Hope you enjoy reading what she has to say as much as I did!

What inspired you to want to make a web comic? What steps did you take to get yourself up and going online? Did you have a lot of support from friends/family?:

Well I've actually attempted twice before to put out a web comic and both have died because I simply didn't have the time to write/draw one even once a week it seemed. I hadn't done very much with my art until a year and a half ago when my brother (Steve) sent me to school to learn graphic arts, than I dove back into drawing once again. About a year ago, Steve asked what I wanted to do as a career, and I told him my dream job was to be a comic book artist, but I was no where good enough and needed to practice. He put forward the idea of doing a comic about the two of us and that he'd fund it for the first while at least so I could focus on moving my art career forward... And I said "yeah, okay". It was easily the most generous thing anyone's ever done for me, and I was in shock for days.

As for family support, My mom enjoys the comic as do my other brothers and their families (at least I'm pretty sure... I've never heard other wise). Most of my friends seem to like it and they've been amazingly kind and supportive about it. They even go out of their way to promote it for me sometimes on their own webspace, which is awesome

How does it feel to co write a comic with your brother? What are the pros and cons? What is one of your fondest memories work on this series with him? How do you guys settle a disagreement?:

Writing the comic with Steve is awesome. We both work very well when we can bounce ideas off one another. Almost all the comics are written by both of us in one way or another, sometimes one of us will just change a couple words, and sometimes we'll be playing email tag all day changing and re-writing the dialogue.

The Pros of having the two of us write it would be... well we both thrive at group brainstorming, being siblings we can be more straightforward with each other about how we like certain ideas, and it's also good for me because I have someone to answer to so it keeps me motivated and on track.

The cons would be... Uh, well sometimes we just can't seem to get ahold of one another (Steve is a busy man and we're separated by 3 time zones so it gets silly sometimes) and I can't go ahead with an idea until I know what I am drawing.... but that's only happened like 2 times... I don't know, there isn't much of a down side, this is a pretty awesome job. We bicker at each other over some comics and what kind of content I've thrown in to the art but it's nothing that I'd call a con, it's the same at any job. I won't get it perfect every time and Steve tells me when I don't.

Fondest memory is easy, PORTAL TRIP. Followed closely by the recent Trip to Seattle for the Childs Play Charity dinner, and that's followed VERY closely by him showing up at Desert Bus 5. I won't bother going into detail about all those things. The portal Trip you can read about on the MegaCynics blog if you go back to May/April-ish, The Childs Play Charity is put on by www.penny-arcade.com so you can find out about it there or just google it, and Desert Bus is put on by www.loadingreadyrun.com found at www.desertbus.org.

How do we settle disagreements? Well we both have our own ways of waiting the other one out. If I'm wrong, Steve will let me figure it out on my own and along the way kinda tell me "This isn't working, and this is why it isn't working" so I don't end up making the same mistake again (if that makes sense). If Steve is ever wrong, chances are it's only because he's too hyper or has been drinking too much to be told differently. I just wait till he's had a good night's sleep and he usually changes his mind. He's much smarter than me, y'see.

What influenced your web comic name, 'MegaCynics'?:

It was Steve who came up with the name. He's very good at these kinds of things... I seem to recall he came up about 12 different names before I had one good one and we both just really liked MegaCynics.... Also the domain wasn't in use so that was a huge plus

How would you describe your web comic series to someone hearing about it for the first time?:

I actually have difficulty describing the comic to people because it doesn't fit in to any specific genre. We touch on a bunch of different nerdy subjects (like video games and comics and movies ect..) but there's also a lot of situational comedy that is based off of true events. Throw in some hockey and ninjas and a cynical, easily angered girl and her "Canadian Lex Luther-like" brother and I suppose MegaCynics is what you get. It's also nice that there isn't a set story line, so chances are if you just stumble across the comic you can enjoy (almost) any post individually without having to read through the whole thing.

What would you recommend to someone interested in making their own web comic series?:

Anyone starting their own web comic, well I tip my hat to you. It's difficult if you don't have funding or anyone else helping out with the writing or giving you deadlines to keep you on track. I know, I've tried before. If you wanna start a comic just make sure it's something you REALLY want to do and don't let it discourage you if it's not and instant hit, these things take time and we've had a several major advantages that most comics don't get (like Steve). Also, don't make comics that are only funny to you and your friends. If the reader doesn't get it, then they won't continue reading. KEEP UPDATING. I've never missed an update (knock wood) but I've heard from other web comic artists that it's very damaging to the the sites popularity if you miss updates. if you can't commit to updating even once a week then don't advertise that it's updated once a week, or people will be disappointed and lose interest. I learned this the hard way in the past.

Does creating the comics get super stressful? If so, how do you cope with this stress?:

It hasn't been *super* stressful yet. (knock wood again) Luckily I've got lots of friends that I can source material from and if that fails I can always just pester Steve to come up with an idea that usually gets the ball rolling. Sometimes if we have an event planned then I fall behind with my back log and I return home to a few days of being chained to my computer catching up, but really it's hard to be stressed when you get to do what you love for a living.

What are some of your favorite comic books to read? Do these inspire your web comic series in anyway?:

I read Penny Arcade (penny-arcade.co) regularly and I have a few other comics that I catch up on every few weeks (Roy's Boys, Sam and Fuzzy, Real Life Comics, PvP). I used to read a lot of comic books and graphic novels but I find I do't have much time to keep up to date on those things anymore. If I'm not actually drawing a comic, then I'm usually watching a movie or catching up on chores while writing a comic in my head.

I can say for certain that Penny Arcade inspired me to want to write my own webcomic, but I'll bet that 99% of the webcomic artists out there will say the same thing. What do you feel you have accomplished so far with your series and what would you like to accomplish in the future?

Accomplishments so far... well I KNOW I've become a better artist. That's painfully clear just reading through the first year. I think both Steve and I have become WAY better at writing and translating raw material into a comic. I think we're ahead when it comes to how many readers we expected to get by the first year so that's really cool. Other sites have started recognizing us as a kind of a "new comic to watch out for" and we've been featured on some people's sites in their top 10 favorites... so that's awesome. I mean we didn't even put our names forward for that so it's always overwhelming when someone links us to a good review of MegaCynics.

Steve was also quite generous with his time and funds a this year's Desert Bus and Child's Play dinner which got us a bunch of new followers and a name for us in the industry so that was quite the step forward as well (thank you, Steve!).

What is your favorite web comic strip you have written so far? Why is it important to you?:

I couldn't really nail down a favorite strip so far. Usually which ever strip Im currently working on is my new "favorite" and that's only because the art and writing is always *slightly* better than before.

Do you consider yourself a geek, if so, how long did you know you were a geek?:

I do consider myself a geek. I think I'm first and foremost a movie geek, that's been my obsession for as long as I can remember. There's not much else I like better than watching a good movie with friends. I suppose I could also fall into the categories of video game and comic book geek but my glory days with those mediums was really 18-24. I haven't had time to play many games or read comics in ages, but I'm okay with that. They're there waiting for me when I do have the time

Steve on the other hand, he's a huge geek and he's been keeping it that way since before I was born. I don't know where he finds the time but he plays way more games than I do and he's freaking good at them too. Steve puts my geekdom to shame.

What is your favorite character to draw? How long have you been drawing that character? What attracts you to drawing this character?:

My current favorite character to draw is my dog Buster. He's only been in the comic for a couple months and I've only put him in 4 comics (one of which hasn't gone up yet) but he's always goofy looking, I really look forward to drawing him into the comic where ever I can.

Who is your favorite famous geek girl in the media?:

I suppose my favorite geek girl in the media would be Teal Sherer (best known as Venom from "The Guild") even though thats' being incredibly biased.... but who cares? I know her personally, Steve is good friends with her and she's super-awesome. She's also very supportive of MegaCynics which we're very grateful for.

Who is your favorite female comic book character? Why?:

My favorite Female comic book character... hmmm... well I am always entertained my Harley Quinn but I gotta say, I've always had a soft spot for Rogue (post-Ms.Marvel power transfer) from the Xmen. She just always seemed like she could take care of her self and beat the snot out of any one who crossed her, but she was emotionally vulnerable at the same time. It made her a way more interesting character in my opinion and much easier for a young girl to identify with and look up to.

If you could be any Super Hero, who would you be?:

Do super villains count? Because I'd be the Riddler. If not, then Nightcrawler. I think the teleporting power is bad ass and I like the blue-demon thing he has going.

What was your favorite T.V show as a kid?:

My favorite show as a kid was Samurai Pizza Cats. It was just the thing to watch for a brief period in time, and it was perfect for me. It had fights, robots, swords, pizzas, lasers, bright colours, and kitties. What more could a little girl ask for?

Which do you prefer, Star Trek or Star Wars?:

I have to admit, I'm not a huge fan of either, although I do enjoy watching both series when the mood strikes me. I suppose it's Star Wars over all, I've definitely seen the original 3 more times than I've seen any Trek anything... but I am very excited to see what's next from the new movie cast and and crew of Star Trek.

Ash Vickers Interview

Ash Vickers Interview

Ash Vickers Interview

Ash Vickers Interview

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Jan 24 2012

























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