Today, Bear Nerd is delighted to bring you our interview with Drew Green,
creator of “The Super-Gay Adventures of Ross Boston“. Enjoy!
BN – Hello, Drew. First of all, thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Can you start by telling us a bit about your background? Where you’re from, how old are you, how long have you been into drawing?
Thank you for contacting me, and for your interest in my work! My name is Drew Green, I’m 22-years-old, I’m from Atlanta, Georgia in the United States, and I have been drawing pretty much all of my life. My dad tells me I started around the age of 3.
BN – What are your artistic influences? Your work seems very heavily influenced by the Genndy Tartakovsky style of cartooning, is that a correct assumption?
That is a correct assumption, yes. It’s a comparison I hear a lot and it’s reasonable and fair. My style isn’t exactly like that of Tartakovsky’s, but his work has influenced me greatly, especially on Sym-Bionic Titan (R.I.P.) and Samurai Jack. Craig McCracken’s work has also been highly inspirational. The Powerpuff Girls is one of my favorite cartoons of all time, and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends still stands as one of the funniest shows ever created (well…for about 3 or 4 seasons, then they sort of lost the spark).
It’s funny that, despite being a comic artist, I get much of my inspiration from animation. I actually read very few comics.
BN – Is Ross Boston your first comic? How did it came about?
“The Super-Gay Adventures of Ross Boston” is the first of my projects ever to be published in any meaningful way. I have had other ideas for comics that just sort of fell through, often right before I was about to do major work on them. I feel that one day I can revive those other projects, refine them, and do interesting things with them that maybe I was not capable of doing back when I was working on them.
This comic was born out of a clear absence of rounded, unique, and varied gay characters that act as more than comic relief. I wanted a story that focused on gay characters, and whose sexuality may actually occasionally drive the plot as much as it does not. Not every character in “The Super-Gay Adventures of Ross Boston” is gay, but those that are all serve different purposes and functions. There is the comic relief in the form of the sassy gay alien Sassquatch Lavender, but you also have our main character Ross Boston, his icky boyfriend Brian Bomber (something of a minor villain), and the super-secret ex-spy Nicki Noelle, who also happens to be the first lesbian character I’ve ever written or drawn and also manages to be one of my favorite characters of this cast. There are actually a few more gay characters that are just as wildly different, but I will reveal them at a later time.
BN – Besides the actual drawings, which are awesome, Ross Boston has a very fluid, agile narrative, how do you approach that? Does a lot of planning go into layouts and page design, or is it a more spontaneous process?
Thank you! The process for the comic is surprisingly spontaneous. I have an outline for the first episode which is a few pages of writing, sloppily penned in a cheap notebook I keep on me at all times. From there, I usually write a more refined breakdown of each major scene, so I have a better idea of how to approach it at the thumbnail stage. I then draw the thumbnails (VERY sloppy) and at that point, I also write the dialogue. I think it’s important to write at the thumbnail stage so that your images and your words can work together. One should not necessarily overpower the other. After that, I’ll sketch a page, ink it, color it, letter it, then it’s all finished!
What makes it spontaneous, however, is that I jumped into this comic without a buffer, which is essentially to say, I am working on it each week to update as I do not have any pages already finished beforehand in case of an emergency. As you can imagine, it is a real challenge and it drives me insane. But it keeps me sharp!
BN – Ross Boston looks very much like a cub, is that intentional? Do you see yourself as a cub/bear? How much, if at all, does that influence the stories and characters you create?
I think it’s fair to call Ross a cub, and I suppose that’s what I wanted when I designed him. It was important to me that readers be able to cheer for a different kind of gay character as their hero. Ross does not have amazing abs and incredible biceps, or a chiseled face or even a super-huge package. He’s just a cute, sort of pudgy guy. I wanted him to be fun for me to draw on a continuous basis because he is the kind of guy that I would be attracted to, and I’m glad to say that I am not bored of drawing him!
Do I consider myself a cub? I have been called a cub. I have also been called an otter. But really, I don’t care what animal they call me. As long as I feel good about the way I look, and largely I do.
BN – Ross Boston has just started as a serial web comic, what has the feedback on it been like? What are your plans for the strip? Do you plan to publish it in print, in the future?
Many webcomics end the same day they start. The creator is dismayed to find that there is no audience for their brand-new webcomic, and they often realize that it’s hard to do so much work in what is essentially a vacuum. I’m so fortunate to essentially have had a built-in audience when I started the comic, however, and it doesn’t hurt that I made a lot of noise about it before it started. I really couldn’t have asked for a better response, and I hope people will stick around for more!
The story is broken up into episodes so I plan on having printed volumes of each episode through a print-on-demand service (probably Ka-Blam). Each time an episode ends, I can offer it in print format with a few extras thrown in for those who are awesome enough to support me and the comic in that way. What those extras will be, of course, remains to be seen at this point. It’ll be a little while before Episode 1 goes on sale, but I will certainly let everyone know when that happens!
BN – We see from the character gallery that Ross has a boyfriend, and that he’s not a nice person. How heavily will he feature into the series?
Brian Bomber is Ross Boston’s boyfriend, yes. He’s an extraordinarily unpleasant video store assistant manager, and he’s absolutely terrible to Ross. Brian’s treatment of Ross really informs a lot about Ross’s character and why he is sort of spineless and self-defeating. I think you will find, however, that as Ross begins to grow some self-confidence and as his job with the Bobslist Adventure Team gets more interesting, Brian will start to be more than just an unpleasant boyfriend.
BN – Finally, the floor is yours – Tell us anything you’d like to share!
I just want everyone to know that the comic is still very early on, some of the most colorful characters and situations haven’t even been introduced yet, and for that I am blessed and thankful that people have still stuck around. Give it just a little more time and I think you will understand its heart, its soul, and its humor. Also, because this seems like a great place to shamelessly plug things, you can follow the comic on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/rossboston as well as on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/sasslavender and if you are interested in seeing more of my work, I’m on tumblr: http://drew-green.tumblr.com/
Thanks again for having me!
And here, a few images from the strip: