Welcome to Self-Published Spotlight, a regular interview column where I will be highlighting self-published comics and the creators and small print publishers who make them.
When I laid eyes on the artwork of Rick Lopez’s comic, The Power, I was immediately blown away. My reaction was so visceral I knew it was a book and artist I had to follow. I reached out to Rick and we started communicating about comics, his work, and art in general. It was only a matter of time before I featured Rick in this column. So check out our chat and definitely head over to Rick’s online shop and pick up The Power!
RL: Grant Morrison is a huge inspiration to me in general, I would definitely say Morrison’s run on Animal Man and the Flex Mentallo mini-series are inherent influences on The Power.
RL: The homages are a lot of fun to do but I also think it adds a bit of recognition to the book even just at a cover glance. I wanted to use as much from comics as I could really. Initially had planned on using a New Gods cover for #3 but opted for a Green Lantern Darryl Banks cover that I felt lent itself better for my book. That being said I have two Kirby covers planned four-issue 4 and the trade is still to come.
RL: Usually I’ll thumbnail my ideas pretty small on scratch paper, scan those in, blown them up/move things around on Procreate, print onto 11×17 Bristol board, clean the pencils up a bit then I’ll use my light pad with another bristol to ink/tone the pages and scan them back onto procreate for colors and clean up. I think using both [digital and analog] is the key, I know a lot of people are going full digital but I can’t give up that human look and the original art that you get from inking traditionally. There are these Pilot double brush pens that I’m obsessed with and recommend a lot and the Uniball white signo pen is another amazing tool I use with every piece. Then of course Ticonderoga and Staedtler pencils, mechanical pencil, microns, deleter screentones, Ames lettering guide and procreate are all staples at the desk as well.
RL: I think self-publishing was always the option, I kind of thought I would release everything all at once with The Power and got really far with layouts and pencils but ultimately I don’t think that was the best idea.
RL: I think a lot of creators are tired of giving away their best ideas to companies for them to own. We have all these apps at our fingertips to grow our own audience and reader base. We can make our Patreon, Kickstart our books and get the net big enough to live off of our own ideas without compromising to a corporation. Image Comics showed us this 30 years ago.
RL: My first works were 14 pages in Image Grand Design, I did a page in the Weapon Ecch book and another page for the upcoming BMN Year Wha book (that I need to finish), as well as 4 pages coming up in Wizerd #2 from Cosmic Lion Eli Schwab later this year. Craig CK and myself co-founded Next Panel Press, which is a bi-weekly collective of strips from a group of artists across the globe. My strip Cosmicat, is about a joint smoking feline outlaw making his way across the galaxy, as past, present, and future all begin to unfold around him! The 17th strip is about to drop this weekend so nearly enough to collect into a single issue. I collected the first seven into mini-comics I’ve been giving out with book orders though.
You can find me the following ways:
Rick Lopez Cartoonist on Facebook
@Nextpanelpress on Instagram
Next Panel Press on Facebook and Webtoon.
And grab my books at www.bigcartel/doomdazed.