Lonesomes Whenever you're feeling down and low, and need some sort of external stimulation, what is it that you actually do to pick yourself up? Some people read for enjoyment, whilst some others write, paint, or play a musical instrument. In the case of my good friend Ryan, though, well, he makes comic books, great comic books, about emotion and the value of life. Here Ryan, it's now over to you.

1) What are your own origins, Ryan?   I was raised in the absolute middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania, in a town that was an odd combination of rural and urban life. Like millions of other kids in the 90s I was raised on a healthy diet of amazing animated TV shows produced by both Marvel and DC, along with a steady dose of anime.

That love of superheroes and adventure translated to a passion for comics. I got my degree in Television, Radio, and Film from Syracuse University in 2013, and kept my focus on writing. I then started self publishing comics in 2014 while also starting my career of production work on shows like Daredevil and Agent Carter.

2) What inspired you to create, ‘Lonesomes’?   I spent several summers teaching at an inner city elementary school in college. It was interesting to be on the opposite side of the desk and see what we were teaching the kids. There were the usual lessons of sharing and accepting one another, but one thing I noticed was that we never really teach people how to be lonely.

We usually just say, "don't feel lonely", or, "try to reach out to people". Often in life, however, that emotion is going to happen and it isn't going to be by your choice. I wanted to make a comic that helped equip children and adults alike to face that feeling head on.

3) In your own words how would you describe this story?   Lonesomes is Pokemon in the tone of something like Joe Kelly's incredible "I Kill Giants". It tells the story of mystical creatures that only reveal themselves to lonely people.

4) What song would you say best represents this comic and why?   Cool question. I would have to say a tune by my favorite band, Foxy Shazam, called "Bye, Bye, Symphony". It's an upbeat, bombastic tune; think Queen, that's about being sad. This is a book about a negative emotion, but, much like that song, it's told with a fun, energetic style.

Robin Williams
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?   I'd have to say Robin Williams. Firstly because it means we get one of the world's greatest treasures back, and secondly, because I think the guy that played the cross dressing nanny in Mrs. Doubtfire and a shrink in Good Will Hunting would understand what I'm trying to do with this book. I think Mister Williams was a living testament to the fact that fun and emotional intensity can, in fact, be synonymous.

6) What have you learnt about yourself through this endeavour?   If you think you like comics, try making one. There's no feeling like putting together a full issue. I'm immensely proud of all my shorts, but seeing this book come together made me appreciate the craft on a whole new level.

7) During your time in this field, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead?   I've done a hefty amount of comic work now, all of which have been collaborations with individuals overseas. Almost none of them spoke English. We've grown up in areas radically separated both geographically and culturally, plus we most likely will never meet face to face.

That's what made it so amazing that each and every time I sent a script, they got the theme. It was just incredible to watch artists from half way around the world not only understand, but empathize with what I wrote. The landscape of imagination truly transcends all divides. It's the fun of building these stories together that helps get the project through production.

8) If ‘Lonesomes’ had a motto, what would it be?   Keep on keepin' on.

And on that note I'd like to thank Ryan for telling us about his comic book, Lonesomes, before directing you towards his official instagram page.  

LONESOMES - KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON LONESOMES - KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON Reviewed by David Andrews on May 27, 2016 Rating: 5

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