MegaCynics - Interview with Ash Vickers
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?:
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!
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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Jan 24 2012