Thursday, January 7, 2010

Exhibitor: Ray Tomczak

Ray Tomczak is a misplaced Northwestern Pennsylvanian. We're not sure why he's here but he showed up in Columbus sometime in the early 90's. Ray has been self publishing comics since he got here. Originally he published an adventure series entitled Dr.Bob and Irving about a scientist and his bodyguard. More recently he's published something closer to reality, the series "Wasted Potential". WP has been published mostly as collections entitled “Wasted Paper” of Ray's webcomic. Ray has been involved helping out with SPACE by being a correspondent for Cosmo's Corner and as a contributor to this blog. Ray is also the only other guy (besides me) who has participated in every one of the annual SPACE Flyer Blitz's at OSU campus since we started in 2001. Ray's been there rain or shine.
Ray hosting the on-line comics panel at SPACE '07
1) Tell us a little about yourself.
Don't know what I can say that you didn't cover in your introductory paragraph. When I'm rich and famous, I'll have to hire you to ghost write my autobiography. (Don't hold your breath.)
2) Tell us about your comics.
Wasted Potential is a strip loosely based on my own life. It's about an amateur cartoonist named Norm Burns who pays the bills by working in fast food, and his friends and family.
3) How long have you been self-publishing?
My first self published books were two collections of my college strip "Norm's Dorm" that I made as Christmas presents for my family in 1988. My first "serious" self publishing effort came in 1994, and I started doing Dr. Bob and Irving in 1996.
4) Why did you decide to start self-publishing your comics?
Seemed like a good idea at the time.
5) Who are your main artistic influences--both in and out of comics?
In comics, I'd have to say Berkely Breathed; Garry Trudeau; Charles Schulz; Archie Comics, and perhaps Harvey Pekar and Grant Morrison as well...Outside of comics, I suppose my main "influence" would be Norman Rockwell, who had a comics artist's gift for telling a story in pictures. In fact, some of his paintings, like the one with people on the telephone, are comic strips. If he were alive today, he'd be Alex Ross.
6) What comics do you read?
The only currently published comics I'm reading regularly are Doom Patrol and Casper and the Spectrals. My favorite comics are the super-hero books of the Silver and Bronze Ages. Oh, and I am planning on getting the whole Complete Bloom County collection so that I can swipe even more ideas from Breathed.
7) What are some of your favorite books? (the kind without pictures)
My favorite writers are John Irving, Armistead Maupin, Sarah Vowell and Hunter S. Thompson.
8) Are you really Norm?
Actually, I'm really Mike Binkley.
9) Is the Bob Newhart Show available on DVD?
Yes, and it makes the perfect gift for fans of Bill Daly.
10) Will you have anything new for SPACE? Or are you working on anything new?
I plan to have a third "Wasted Paper" collection with all the Wasted Potential strips from 2009, which everyone reading this interview now has to buy if they want to know what the heck we were talking about in the last question. (At least what you were talking about...though if they ask me, I'd be happy to explain my obscure pop culture reference.)
11) What do you get when you cross a chicken with Norm? (everybody gets a chicken question)
A neurotic chicken. Though chickens are pretty neurotic as is, so you might not notice any difference.


No comments:

Post a Comment