1) What are your own origins, Rob? Plus what path did you take in life prior to getting to where you are today? Well, thats a tough one. I've done university. I've worked as a head chef in kitchens throughout the years. And now I work as a support worker for vulnerable adults and adults who have learning disabilities. I got into comics at a late age, and having always wanted to take a stab at being a writer, thought it would be great to marry the writing medium with some beautiful art! So I took a stab at it, and low and behold! I also love lettering comics and do this freelance!
2) What inspired you to create your compendium, ‘PaperCuts and InkStains’? Funnily enough, just the idea of funny sci-fi and horror. In the UK, we had a couple of tv shows called 'The League of Gentlemen' and 'Red Dwarf', and both mixed sci-fi / horror elements with humour and worked so beautifully. I saw that this was lacking in comics and thought, "why the hell not!".
3) Can you briefly tell us what it’s about? 'Papercuts and Inkstains' is a comic about love in the time of -- Nah, only kidding. It's a fun filled horror / sci-fi fest about useless cultists, time war adjudicants, and the last arguing Yorkshire couple in the time of the zombie holocaust!
4) What song would you say best represents your stories and why? I like this question very much. I'd have to break it down though, as there's 3 stories in Papercuts. "No" by myself and Nick Gonzo, would best be represented by Aphex Twin's "Windowlicker", as it's a pretty mental song. "By eck on Earth" would best be represented by The Cure's "Love Song", as ultimately, it's about how much this man loves his wife. And finally "Profits of Doom" is best represented by the mega awesome, riff a tronic beast that is "Profits of Doom" by the almighty Clutch, because it's actually the song that inspired me to write the comic!
5) If you could get a celebrity – either living or dead – to promote your wares, who would you choose, and why would you want to choose this particular person? Nick Frost of "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz" fame. I've always loved him as an actor, he's funny, but has a wonderful serious side which not many get to see. He would be a perfect actor to promote my wares. Him or Jesus.
6) What have you learnt about yourself through this endeavour? And were their any unforeseen obstacles you had to contend with along the way? There were plenty of unforeseen obstacles. Firstly, I had no clue how to write a comic, so had to learn the process, learn what worked, what didn't work, and then how best to format it. I've learnt comic artists are the best kinds of people and work so hard to bring a vision to life. They do not get enough recognition for their work, and this book is as much theirs as it is mine.
Nick Gonzo ("No") , Kevin Pospisil ("By eck on Earth"), Mike Smith ("Profits of Doom") and Dan Butcher (Cover) have all surpassed themselves with the effort, skill and quality of work they've put into their respective stories. So I guess that was a pleasant discovery. I learn that comics are much more of a collaboration than I thought, and that artists need the freedom to make tweaks, changes, and add into a script you've written. They are not there as art slaves, but as a greater, greater, sum of the whole. Dialogue is important, but artwork is paramount in comics, and by jove did I not work with four of the most talented artists emerging today!
I also discovered I had several tentacles for legs and arms and wanted to devour the world in the name of the 18 realms of chaos, pain, and suffering. But I think that last one may have been a dream...
Everyone in the comics community has kept me in good stead too, as they're all awesome, progressive, amazing people. At least, all the ones I know anyway, and the knowledge that people actually want to read my stuff has been amazing!
8) If ‘PCAIS’ had a motto, what would it be? "We want to take your mind, put it in a blender, then take the contents and return it to sender...".