(To learn the answer to this question you are going to have to visit Ray Friesen’s website (www.donteatanybugs.net)! )
PART 2 of COMIC BOOKS ROCK!
In my last post I told you why I think kids and parent should read comic books. In COMIC BOOKS ROCK part 2 you get a guest interview with comic creator RAY FRIESEN!!!!
Mr Friesen has created many funny characters and written and illustrated a bunch of comic books. For example –
A Cheese Related Mishap Yarg! Cupcakes of Doom!
Mr. Friesen was kind to answer some questions from me about comic books in the interview below –
What did you read when you were younger and when did you become interested in comics?
Probably when I was six or seven, my mom had some Calvin & Hobbes and Far Side collections, lying around the house. Also some older strip collections, of Pogo and Popeye (those books had been dropped in bathtubs too many times and were falling apart.) Those were my first exposure to the cartooning medium. Comic Strips are different from Comic Books though, you can tell longer and more complex stories. I vaguely recall being on a train, and my mom bought me some Simpsons and Star Wars comics. Then I discovered Mad Magazine, Asterix, Tintin, Uncle Scrooge… Any comic that was funny, or adventurey. I’ve never been a very big super hero person (probably Spiderman is my favorite superhero, since he’s funnier.)
How do you think comics benefit kids as far as reading and learning to read?
Extremely beneficial! I know several kids who didn’t read books at all, but got introduced to comics somehow, and were captivated. The pictures draw them in, and the stories keep them around. Hopefully they will then move onto novels and encyclopedias and things (If you’re just reading for fun, there are probably enough comics in the world to keep you going for the rest of your life!) I was in a bookshop the other day, and saw a mom and her teenage daughter. The daughter very much did not want to be in that bookstore, and cried ‘I hate books, they’re so boring!” and I felt very sad, that girl’s opinion was very obviously wrong, but she’ll probably never change it.
I know that some comics are meant for adults but there are a lot written for kids too. Your comics are great for kids (and adults). What do you think about when you make a comic to make them good for kids?
I seem to have the sort of brain that just does that naturally, my comics are intended for all ages, both old and young, I’m not trying to write comics specifically for anyone besides myself, and I’m only really secretly pretending to be an adult. I tried to write something with adult themes once (paying mortgages, driving around wearing ties, etc) and it felt very forced. As I understand my comics history, for the longest time comics were always marketed directly at kids (even the ones with lots of murderblood and ladies-with-not-enough-clothes-on) –but then in the 70’s and 80’s, comics claimed to have ‘Grown Up” and they suddenly weren’t for kids at all any more. It waffles back and forth like that, too far in one direction, then too far in the other. I like it where there are so many different types of comics, that anyone can easily find one that they really really enjoy.
I see that you draw AND write your comic books. Which is more important ? The words or the pictures?
This question’s a toughie. For comics, words and pictures really tie together. However, well written comics can be badly drawn and still work, but equally some comics don’t have much story, but the art is amazing. The pictures are what really catch your eye when you first glance at a comic, and some comics can work just fine without any words at all (although don’t be fooled, they’re still telling a story, they’re just not using words to do it.) Sometimes, a person who can only write, and a person who can only draw team up and make comics together, something neither of them would be able to do apart.
I write and draw, and they are both separate, but intermixed processes. I usually write first, I want to know the whole story before I start drawing. Sometimes when I have a really tight deadline, I HAVE to draw before I’ve written the ending, and these stories are never quite as good. Also sometimes, I’ll draw a character in such a way I realize they’re more interesting, and I go back and change the writing so they can have a bigger role in the story – so that I can draw them more. I also come up with a lot of the background gags while I’m drawing rather than writing.
If I had to pick, I’d say I’m slightly more of a writer than an artist. I’m always writing things I don’t want to draw. (“HELICOPTERS? AGAIN? I hate drawing technology! Why did I write this? SHEESH!) Also if I were collaborating with another creator, I would rather write something that they draw, rather than draw something somebody else wrote. I would start changing their script too much, and we’d get in big arguments.
This one is for just me, on #16 of your FAQs page – why no Vikings? After all, I’m named after Erik the Red
Not everything I do is supposed to make sense. I’m a cartoonist.
Also, at the time I wrote that FAQ, I had just finished Cupcakes of Doom, in which Vikings are the EvilBadGuysTM.
THANKS MR. FRIESEN!
Ray Friesen’s website is packed with lots of cool stuff. There are downloads, comics, instructions on how to draw some characters, and a lot more! You can even read some of the chapters of his books AND of course you can purchase his books there too!
Mr. Friesen’s latest book is called “Piranha Pancakes”
His next book (which I have already pre-ordered) comes out in July and it’s called “Pirate Penguin vs Ninja Chicken”
To learn more about Mr. Friesen and his comics please visit his website www.donteatanybugs.com
Categories: Comics / Graphic Novels, Other Stuff Related to Books and Reading