G’Day Crusaders and Flipsiders,
Dodgy in the mix, The Focus in Episode 2 of Flipside Focus is Mask by Richard Smith. Prior to the episode being aired, Richard was kind enough to catch up with yours truly.
D: What inspired you to write the story?
It took me a long time to settle on a Roman-style setting. Initially I wanted to do a european medieval fantasy setting, but it was a bit obvious, and I played around drawing characters in Victorian style as well as other eras. In the end I like the Roman style due to the influence of masks in Greco-Roman theatre relating to masks in the graphic novel.
D: How long did it take you to write Mask?
D: What got you into comics & what do you like reading?
RS: When I was a kid, there was a Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon on TV that I loved (Satam it’s known as nowadays), and I saw in the local newsagent that they were selling the Archie Sonic comics, and that’s how I started into comics. Despite being a gigantic Transformers nerd, the Marvel Transformers never felt right to me tonally, but the Batman Animated Series got me into Batman graphic novels hard. From there, I just kept seeing new things to read – European works like TInTin and Asterix, the rise of Manga in the West. Basically my love of the medium just kept growing.
D: If given the chance to write for a big 2 (Marvel/DC) book, what would you write?
RS: It seems a little obvious, but I would love to do a Batman or Superman reboot. I think the mark I’d be aiming to make would be to maintain a balance between the heavier themes of those mythos and the inherent absurdity and campiness of the superhero genre. As a Transformers geek, doing some Transformers comics would be a dream too.
D: What is next for Richard Smith?
RS: I’m working on a new graphic novel – an Ancient Egyptian Western called ‘Rootin’-Tootin’ Khamen”. I’m also experimenting with a few ideas to have series I can be releasing more regularly.
D: Where can fans grab this book?