Ross Rivers and Micah Arndt are co-creators of the webcomic Superpowers. Ross is also a regular contributor on trashmutant. Chris Heath interviews both gentlemen for EWC.
Click here to read Superpowers.
Chris Heath: Hey guys. So, this is the first motion comic on essentialwebcomics, can give us a sense of Superpowers?
Ross Rivers: Superpowers is fun, simple and entertaining. It's all ages so it can be enjoyed by everyone. Plus, I just wanted to See Micah draw superheroes!
Chris Heath: So as the story goes on, who will we be introduced to? Who are the main characters?
Ross Rivers: Well, We've got John who's a big working class guy from Texas. He can fly and he's super strong and all that business. There's Lily who, so far, has not said a word. You'll see why. Crash is an ex spy, currently working freelance. He can go invisible, because he's cool. He's from New Orleans. Matt is a journalist from Texas who teams up with John on the road. No powers. Seth is a British stand up comedian known for being very political. He's a fire starter! That's the main cast to start with but of course there will be more, plenty of villains.
Chris Heath: Now from that list, it seems as if the characters all have different backgrounds, what made you come to that decision? What makes them connected?
Ross Rivers: The main plot is worldwide. There will be characters from all over the world. They're not really connected, though. Not at first. I wrote it that way to show how big everything is, to try and keep coincidences out of it. But they do link through Seth, since the story starts with him and when his powers come about, it creates a lot of mess, making others take notice.
Chris Heath: Now, as an artist, how exactly did you flesh out these characters? Was it working both ways or were you given more freedom to the designs of the characters?
Micah Arndt: Now, as an artist, how exactly did you flesh out these characters? Was it working both ways or were you given more freedom to the designs of the characters? Man we are off with great question with this. I would like to say is that Ross knows how to make charters he do's. I read allot of comics and watch allot of movies were they have a big cast and they show the characters BUT they are all dull and boring Cause all of them are all most the same. SO what i tryed to do was make sheer to go along with how cool rosses characters are that i try my best to make sheer that they look like the characters they were. LIKE seth for example. The first description of him Was to look tired and he wears a suit all the time. Funny i knew a guy name seth who was all ways tired SO i kind of tryed to draw him like that AND have his suit all mess up and look like it was not iron AND stuff so that way it would make hem look like him. All so ross do's not give me to many restrictions with the characters. he gives me allot of freedom witch i like allot. Here are what some pin ups i made for showing. These are really old SO they may look stiff BUT i feel you will injoy them noun the less
Idk wy BUT the the lilly one is not showing UP so i will try to have that one showing before the end of the interview.
Chris Heath: I see, you wanted to flesh out these characters by making them each unique than the typical story line we may have read before. With a name of a comic like "Superpowers" of course you know what we're all expecting. As an artist, did you try and portray each characters' power differently? The characters themselves have been portrayed as unique, so what about their powers? Did you make the way they use their powers unique just like the characters?
Micah Arndt: I thought we were naming it project black out. ( it seems like we keep changing the names allot lol ) Any way the first 2 issues they don't use there powers very much. its mostly a what the hell is this for them More then Look at me i can fly kind of thing. I think the 3rd issu is wan they are going to be using there powers allot So i will have to get back to you on how i deiced on how i draw there powers Cause I barley have drawn them with there powers.
Chris Heath: Now that's something interesting to go on. From what Micah just told me, the powers haven't and won't be revealed properly for a while yet, so what made you come to this decision? Are you fleshing out the characters first before even revealing they have powers?
Micah Arndt: No need to apologies. If anything i am the one getting it mixs up. We have went threw allot of names for it so its essay for one of us to get the names mix's up. It was probably me that got it mix's up. I get allot of things mixs up lol.. I would be good with super powers as well. Well wan we were trying to figure out on what kind of comic book we were going to do and what kind of comics we wanted to make What rating we wanted it to be and so on for the channels start. We were talking for idk 4 months? ( Feel free correct me one what i say ross. I could be way off ) with not progress So i said Just give me some thing man. I know you are a good writer so i trust what ever you write will be amazing. He gave me a brief character description so i could get started and then gave me the script. IF i got the script first i think the charters Would not had look as good as they were Cause i got to use more of my imagination on how i thought they would look like.
Ross Rivers: In my opinion, the powers aren't important at the start. What I wanted to do was develop the characters so that the powers have more of an effect on the audience. So he everything happens, it's a joy to see fire and ice and al that fly around, it's something you knew was coming but got exited about. But you will know what powers they have from the first few pages. They do use their powers but they each respond to them differently. For example, the manifestation of Seth's power is a little on the tragic side so he's reluctant to use them while John needs to practice before he can use his effectively. It's less about the powers, more about the heroes. But issue three is going to be a really cool action issue. I can't wait to see how Micah does it. As for the name, it's been in the update email and everything so it's cool and easy to stick to Superpowers. Oh and I think it was longer than four months, man. Technically we've been working on 2true comics for nearly a year.
Micah Arndt: O i was talking about the book. the project started nearly a year ago BUT we did not start on a comic for a few months in to it did in we?
Ross Rivers: I don't know, it might be longer than that but yeah. I think roughly four/five months.
Micah Arndt: Man allot of stuff happen Between here and there that it hard to Re call allot of stuff lol. i cant believe its ben all most a year.
Chris Heath: I see. I like the idea that the characters are always more important than the powers. Sometimes comics miss that point, and personally, I love knowing the character more than just seeing them hit things. As you've just been saying, the two of you have worked on this for almost a year including planning everything. When came the stage where you both decided that this was going to be a motion comic?
Micah Arndt: From what i re call I think that the motion comic was wy we started. I was in my bed thinking really hard On how to break into comics and how allot of other comic book people got into the Biz then i thought of that motion comic that came out spider women From marvel:
and so i thought that this would be a really good way to break in! AND so i ask ross if he would help me and he said yea. thank you Jesus for creating ross. Cause One he is a brilliant writer and Two he all so pointed out allot of things we can do Like for one we can post it as a comic and then post the motion comic latter Witch was a great idea cause the motion comic wont be ready for some time yet. He made more ideas BUT well that would take to long to say them all. AND i would like to know ross point of view as well Cause I was came into the interview Not knowing the own title Of the book i was working on lol SO i want to see Just how off i am lol.
Ross Rivers: Yeah, Micah has everything spot on there. He had the idea to make it a motion comic but, since we don't have all the man power or software, it's gonna take a while. To be honest, I just thought it was a great excuse to do a book with him.
Chris Heath: This needs an answer from you both again, preferably the longest of the issue, if you don't mind ) Now, during the creation of this comic, have you ever thought to do things differently with the knowledge of it being a motion comic, or do you just write and draw the comic as usual? Did the idea of this being a motion comic influence anything you did??
Micah Arndt: Well for me not really. I never have done anything like this before SO I just did what i knew how to do AND Worried about the rest wan i learn how to do it. So far it has not ben a problem for me. I think i probably should have Thought more of how it would work in motion BUT what i have got so far works out i believe.
Ross Rivers: I didn't think much about the motion stuff. I lack the software, know-how and visual creativity to do that sort of thing. I just wrote the scripts and sent them to him. I never saw it as a motion comic, in a way; I just saw it as a project that I wanted to work hard on. The motion thing got me excited, though. I do look forward to seeing the complete product but Micah's the genius behind the visuals. I do not envy him, though, that looks like really difficult stuff.
Chris Heath: Ah, so the idea of the motion comic didn't prioritize itself over the actual story? That's good. Now this is a hard thing to say as we're talking about a story that's not even started yet, but does this story have an ending? A closing to the book?
Ross Rivers: Yes, it does but it's a long way off. There is an ending and there is a reason for the powers. I don't like just throwing in convenient plot points that never get explained. Everything I write has a purpose. If you think you spotted something that might be important later on, you're right, it will be important!
Chris Heath: Micah, I'm going with the assumption that you know what will happen a few issues down the line. Is there any certain moments you're looking forward to drawing?
Micah Arndt: Actually that would be incorrect .I do not know what is happening Other then on what the issue i am working on at hand. The only thing i know at this point is that the 3rd issue will have allot of action and that how they got there super powers will be answered. SO i gauss I am Excited for what is to come next's.
Chris Heath: I see, your as intrigued as the rest of us then? That's good, I like that. Now, as we close the interview, do you two have anything else to add to Super-Powers? Any brief things you want to let the readers know?
Ross Rivers: (Well, we don't find out how they got their powers in the third issue but hints are dropped.) I honestly don't think there's anything else to say besides I hope everyone enjoys it.
Micah Arndt: Well i can add to what you said. If For some reason they don't like it Then at least i learn allot On how to make a better comic. I learn so much from working with ross. AND if there are any artist out there reading this Go to him. hes a gold mind. I would do all he's books If i could BUT sadly I cant cause he has so many good ideas I can only do one at a time.
Chris Heath: Now, all the way through creating this book, has anything inspired you to make certain things happen or draw some things different? Who inspired you throughout creation of the book?
Ross Rivers: Interesting question... I guess I could say that everything inspires me in a way. But a big inspiration while writing the third issue has been the Ratchet and Clank video game series. I know that sounds dumb but I can explain! I usually like to push things so when Micah said he wanted to do an all ages book I took it as a challenge to push the boundaries of all ages. But then I got into Ratchet and Clank and realised that all ages doesn't have to mean boring. I found that it's been more of a fun and interesting challenge to write something that doesn't need to "feel" all ages or grown up. It just needs to be a story that everyone can enjoy. Which means I don't need to sacrifice drama, I don't need to tone down every joke I just need to write something for all ages, literally.
Micah Arndt: Mostly Mark baglys work. He is my all time favorite comic artist. BUT he inspires me to do Allot of things i do regardless. I don't think i would of evan have ben trying to make it into the comic biz if it was not for he's amazing work. If i am ever evan half as good as he is then i will be happy. BUT other then that and as cheesy as it might sounds ross storys. I want to know what happens in the story as much as the reader BUT the only way we can find out IS if i draw it SO that inspires me in a way to keep work on the book.
Click here to read Superpowers.