Friday, February 1, 2008

Interview Time!

Yet another interview, this time with Mike from Apathetic Rant! Read on!

1. Tell us why you're so apathetic. I know you say why on your site, but this is an interview, so tell us again!

I think one of the reasons that I have become apathetic is that I used to care a lot about things, or rather, things really bug me. Lack of manners, society’s decline into rudeness is a major one for me, but it’s got to the point where you just have to sigh and give up.

2. Are your characters based on you and friends, or Tom and Jerry, Bush and Cheney, Bon Jovi and Sambora?

I get inspiration from real life events, a lot of the rants are things that have happened to me, whilst the characters themselves aren’t based on anyone per se, they do share my sense of humour and typically say things that I would say, A lot of the time I get people trying to tell me jokes that I should put into the cartoon. A lot of the time they are personal jokes that just aren’t funny to anyone else, and quite often they either just aren’t funny, or they just wouldn’t suit the cartoon. As a general rule I come up with the ideas myself and from my life, things that I think about, but I don’t actively base them on anyone. I mean there’s no character development at all, I think there’s only one or two names used in the entire bunch!

3. Backgrounds. Do you just have a hard time drawing them or do you feel that they aren't needed in the context of the comic?

Occasionally, when the cartoon calls for it, I draw other stuff in the background. Like my rant about libraries wouldn’t have worked without a few books in the background, but for the most part I try to keep the art to a minimum. I guess it’s due to two things, the first being that I can’t draw, the second that I’m too lazy to draw. I can get a comic done from sketches to finished product in about half an hour, the bit that takes the time is trying to order the panels, or choose the right words to make it funny. But on average, it’s about half an hour for the drawing. Any longer than that and I probably get bored – motivation for everything is a major issue for me, being crippled with laziness puts my attention span at approximately half an hour.

4. Do you rant apathetically in your real life? Ever get slapped for it?

All the time. And, all the time.

5. Tell us the tools of your artsy trade. That's pens, pencils, etc.

I tend to sketch out ideas on my notedpad, just a regular ‘ol notepad when I’m day dreaming. If I take a bag with me, which I normally do, I tend to take a little pad with me too, and I normally at least have a scrap of paper and pen. But that’s mainly because I’m incredibly forgetful. When I was a kid I was into art in a big way, pastels, acrylics, oils, the lot. I even have an easel up in the loft somewhere. I even had a minor obsession with plasticine, I went through a phase of wanting to be a claymation animator. The thing that stopped all that really was not taking art past GSCEs at school (I stopped art in school at 16 for those not in the UK). I think it’s a shame that I didn’t take it further because I really enjoyed art, but I’m just not motivated to get up and do it n my own. Over time my ‘art’ regressed into doodles and quick cartoons, something I do when I’m bored, but not a hobby per se. For the comic I use a combination of photoshop and illustrator, and occasionally flash, depending on my mood. And all done with a mouse until I can afford to get me one of those nifty tablet thingys. I think once I get one my ‘art’ might become a bit more adventurous, drawing everything with a mouse is not only boring but makes my hand hurt. You never know, I might start doing backgrounds…

6. Do you think Chuck Norris would read your comic?


7. What do you to promote your comic and do you find it successful? What would you recommend?

Not much at all really, I dabble a bit using Project Wonderful. I wrote an application for facebook that shows the latest comics on a person’s profile. I made a few downloadable wallpapers a while ago which got a bit of traffic. For some reason my site went hugely popular with stumblers for about a month or two quite a while back, getting several thousand per day. Whilst the traffic spike was nice, it wasn’t the kind of traffic I wanted. I get a fair few visitors from google, quite often their searches have nothing to do with my site, but that’s what you get if you mention the words giant penis, pc vs mac, gay agenda etc. Whilst I like to see the comic growing in readship, I don’t as yet do much to promote it, though I have a few ideas up my sleeve for the coming months. I would say that at the moment most of the people who come to the site either found it by word of mouth or by a project wonderful ad. Hmm, that would make an interesting poll…

8. Do you have a preference between black and white and color in the comics that you read?

I tend to read full colour comics, just because it’s easier on the eyes. But if a comic is interesting or funny, or both, then I don’t mind a black and white one.

9. What webcomics do you currently find yourself going back to again and again?

I really like QC, Hijinks Ensue, Hockey Zombie, Buttersafe, XKCD, White Ninja etc. That kind of thing. I only really got into webcomics about a year ago, so I’ve a lot of catching up to do, people are always surprised when I say I haven’t read any PVP or Penny Arcade etc. I tend to enjoy comics without too much story line, and one that tend to be funny over serious, in fact QC is the only one with a real plot plot story story kinda thing. I was really enjoying Ornery Boy but I believe Michael Lalonde has gone on semi hiatus as there hasn’t been an update for a while.

10.Thanks for answering these titillating and mind bending questions. Last question: why should people check out Apathetic Rant?

Because they have nothing better to do with their lives.

Be sure to come back soon for more reviews and interviews!

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