Ryan Fisher is the artist and creator of the webcomic “Sometime After”. Ryan is a Seattle based Graphic Designer who is no stranger to the webcomic community with his first comic “Gin and Comics”. He has since moved forward to a humorous cast of furry (and some not so furry) characters updated Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Today at Don’t Pick the Flowers I’m happy to feature Ryan and his fantastic comic Sometime After and go behind the scenes to see how all the magic is created.
David: Hi Ryan, thank you for being featured at Don’t Pick the Flowers. To start with, when did you become interested in becoming a cartoonist?
Ryan: It’s a pleasure David. If I had to really narrow it down I would say there are two points in my life that kinda tipped things into the direction of me being a cartoonist. The first being around 8 years old or so, when my dad gave me his collection of Peanuts books from when he was a kid. At the time I used to just flip through them and draw whatever panels caught my interest as a way to pass the time. Let’s just say I drew my fair share of Red Baron strips growing up.
The second point, and probably the point that REALLY pushed me into doing it was discovering strips like Sheldon and Penny Arcade online. That was my first introduction to webcomics and to the idea that you can actually do this without a syndicate. I know that many people say that as a kind of middle finger to said syndicates but I want to make it clear, if given the chance, I would run headlong into a deal with GoComics. I’m not sure that I would ever want to do work that is suitable for a newspaper strip, but for a chance to be in any way associated with the amazing talent over there would be a dream come true. I have nothing but admiration for those guys.
David: How did your idea for your comic come about and what are the tools you use when creating?
Ryan: Sometime After is one of those things that started as a simple gimick in my head, and rather then simply disappear after I told the joke, it kinda just hung in there and I developed a whole world around it. The original idea isn’t something I can be too elaborate about right now as it will become a pretty big plot point in the coming year’s strips, but I can say I loved the idea of twisting various fairy tale characters stories to turn them into something completely different once they grew up. This is where things like the former blind mice becoming a caffeine addict and Peter rabbit being a shopaholic came from.
As far as the tools I use goes. My first strip, Gin and Comics, was all done on a wacom tablet in Photoshop. While this is certainly an effective way to do a strip it wasn’t right for me. Like I mentioned above, I was heavily influenced by all of the newspaper strips I grew up with, along with Sheldon. There is something about a hand drawn on Bristol board comic that I found beautiful, so that’s what I wanted to do.
The comic is drawn with an HB mechanical pencil on 5.5” X 17” Bristol and then inked with Microns and a Pentel pocket brush.
David: What type of schedule do you keep (from the thought process to the finished work) with your comic and what are your inspirations?
Ryan: STA posts 3X a week (every Monday, Wednesday and Friday) I try to write in 4-8 strips segments so I know that if I have a good gag going I can carry it out for a few strips to really flush it out. As far as drawing the thing, I tend to do that whenever I get a spare moment. Between being a full-time student and a freelance graphic designer, sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day.
David: Speaking of inspirations, who are your cartooning hero’s?
Ryan: This list could be a mile long but I’ll break it like this: My cartooning Mt.Rushmore features; Charles Schulz (Peanuts), Walt Kelly (Pogo), Stephan Pastis (Pearls Before Swine) and Dave Kellett (Sheldon).
While that may be my Rushmore, there is a group of creators going now that really spark that desire in me to get better and I feel like they should get a shout out as well. They are Katie Cook, (Gronk) Vince Dorse, (Untold Legends of Bigfoot) Jeff Couturier, (Horde of Neurons) and Don Ahe (Road Apples Almanac).
Ryan: Well as I am answering this the first book collection of STA strips is sitting on my office room floor, so I am very excited by that. As far as the strip goes, the next year will be a huge year for character development, especially in the case of Rupert. It’ll explain how these fairy tale characters exist in our world and I’ll be doing a lot more with Carl and Twitch.
From a technical standpoint, I have been studying some animation manuals in order to improve my drawings and make the comics that much more dynamic, so I’m excited to see how that manifests in the strips.
David: I’m really looking forward to seeing the character development and all the the following year produces. I wish you continued success as you and Sometime After keep moving onward!
And for all the fans and new fans, click on the links below to check out and follow Ryan Fisher and Sometime After.
Sometime After Comic: www.sometimeaftercomic.com