Delta Graphic Novel If you've ever watched the original Ghostbusters film, the one thing you will take away from it, is if ever anyone asks you, 'Are you a man or are you a God?', you must reply, 'I am a God'. If you don't, then you'd most probably end up covered in roasted marshmallow. Better yet, something seen in the following comic book created by my mate Ryan. Ryan, it's now over to you.

1) What are your own origins, Ryan?   A great man once said, “Let me tell you what my father told me…”. Words to live by. Words that Ryan Nichols has lived by his entire life. Growing up as an Army brat, Ryan moved around quite a bit. This made it difficult for him to find a steady job as a child. Turning to the wisdom of the ancients for a solution, the man cub read shelves of books, stacks of comics, some popsicle sticks, and a few Bazooka Joe wrappers. Still, he was not satisfied. Delving deeper into his search, Ryan watched the eye-opening documentaries of Rankin/Bass, Don Bluth, Walt Disney, Hayao Miyazaki, and many others. Wishing to alert the world of the seemingly unaddressed threat of dragons, witches, and space aliens, the young, out-of-work elementary school student enlisted the help of his siblings and cousins to craft their own documentaries. These were shown to large audiences, sometimes reaching into the double digits.

Delta Graphic NovelTime passed and the Nichols family continued to bounce around the country. As the transportation budget for Ryan’s movies was an expired coupon for Showbiz Pizza, he was forced to replace many of the actors with action figures. Each move landed him into another training program. By the time he was done with training programs “K” through “12”, Ryan found himself settling in northern Virginia. Upon wandering into the large library across the street from his local comic shop, he was surprised to learn it was called, “George Mason University”. After spending a few years there, he finally realized the answer to his career search quandary; he would disguise himself as a writer while staying vigilant for threats to Hugh Manatee (poor sea cow can’t defend himself).

2) What inspired you to create the ‘Delta’ graphic novel?   Looking through the book, I'm sure multiple influences are apparent, but I'd say the biggest inspiration is the work of Robert E. Howard. Though he's probably best known as the creator of Conan the Barbarian, his work spans genres and fictional millennia. That, coupled with my own thoughts on characters like Duncan MacLeod, Solomon the Wise, and Gandalf the Grey, raised questions for me. I began to wonder what a character would do with unnaturally long life? How would they shape the world and how would the world shape them? With this in mind, I knew I would need to address the concept of magic.

Magic is typically something that is presented with a sense of hope and purity, if not a product of study and contemplation. With my system of magic, I sought to corrupt that. I believe I found a way to turn that on its head. While I haven't completely revealed the answer in this volume, the seeds are planted and clues are present.

Delta Graphic Novel3) In your own words how would you describe this story?   Imagine you had the chance to choose who God is. Pick someone you know. Someone who you would trust to have absolute power and give them the responsibility to manage it all. Then, you get to (have to) watch to see whether or not they succeed. That is what Pagan goes through. Unfortunately for him (and the world), he ends up feeling as though he made the wrong choice. Delta Volume 1 provides snapshots of why this world is a failure.

4) What song would you say best represents this comic and why?   "Who Wants to Live Forever" by Queen. To me, this song shows Pagan's emotion as failure sets in. If you live long enough, any victory can turn into a disaster. In order to enact his plan, Pagan betrayed his world as well as the one he loved. By the end of the book, his regret and cynicism have reached monumental heights.

For me, this haunting song connects me to those feelings every time. I tend to listen to music while I write, so this question was especially fun. There are three full playlists on my computer relating to Pagan, so parsing it down to one song was an incredible exercise.

 Robert E. Howard
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?   This was the hardest question for me to answer. On my first pass, I started a list. There are so, so many I'd love to have the opportunity to show this project to. Ultimately, I settled on my primary inspiration. Robert E. Howard was a world-builder in the truest sense of the term. His feedback alone would be worth moving mountains. So if he endorsed my work in any way, I'd feel accomplished in that alone.

6) What have you learnt about yourself through this endeavour?   This process has given me more confidence in my work. While I knew how much I enjoy these stories and characters, I was humbled and surprised how strong the response was on Kickstarter. The success of the campaign has become a springboard I plan to use to the fullest.

7) During your time in this field, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead?   Respect. Respecting the time and work of those I've been fortunate enough to collaborate with. Respecting the process. Respecting the medium. Taking the time to let people know you value their input and appreciate their effort will make the experience infinitely better for everyone. This book has gifted me with some of my best friends. Another thing that has been appealing for artists I work with is my encouragement to push themselves. Frequently, I've asked artists to step outside of their comfort zone or to 'color outside the lines', so-to-speak. Artists love the chance to experiment and paid gigs don't often provide that. Be open, be responsive, be on time, and be respectful. That's my advice.

8) If ‘Delta’ had a motto, what would it be?   "Eat or be eaten".

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And on that note, I'd like to thank Ryan for telling us about his graphic novel, Delta, before directing you towards his facebook and twitter pages.


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