The Webcomic Police: Hello, ladies and gentlethugs. We here at the Webcomic Police have a special guest for you all today. He's the writer/artist of a webcomic called Atavism (atavism.comicgenesis.com), and a prominent member of the Comic Genesis community. Would you be so kind as to tell the audience a little bit about yourself?
Cope: Hmmm...okay. Well, I'm some guy with a webcomic from Brisbane. I've been part of the Comic Genesis community for a while now, and I must say I'm addicted to it. I'm also really bad at talking about myself.
WP: It's okay; just pretend the audience is naked, that's what I do. Regarding the CG community, as I understand it you were a member for awhile before you started your comic. How did you find out about Comic Genesis and become a part of the forum?
Oh, also name, age, country, and school or something would be useful.
Cope: Okay, I'll do that one first; it's easier: NAME: Richard Bidencope AGE: 22 COUNTRY: Australia
WP: Yeah, I knew you were in Australia but I figured it was worth mentioning to the strange people out there who don't know who you are and stuff.
Cope: Half the audience is probably genuinely naked anyway, being at home on their computers and everything. I know I am (wait, I probably shouldn't have said that). Anyway, I'vd known about Keenspace (as it was called then) long before I decided I was going to do a webcomic; I believe D.C. Simpson mentioned it in one of his rants back in 2002 or thereabouts. A couple of years later, I found out about the CG forums via the Keenspot's messageboard when a webcomicker called Ghastly mentioned how much more active they were in comparison to Keenspot Central. Since I was already determined to create a webcomic at this point, I decided to ignore my lurking instincts and signed up.
WP: Alright. Your art style seems to me to have a Looney Tunes kind of look. Would you count that and similar cartoons as significant influences?
Cope: Definitely, especially when it come's to Pablo Severi's often Wile E. Coyote style eyes. It's been a pretty recent influence, though. I didn't like Looney Tunes much as a kid; ironically enough, I considered them too cruel to be enjoyable.
WP: Are there any other notable influences, in any medium?
Cope: An old New Zealand comic called Footrot Flats influenced me a lot in high school, although its sway isn't as apparent as it once was. It still shows somewhat through my allegiance to black and white, I think. And as much as I hate to admit it, Dragon Ball has held sway over me also, particularly in the shape of Arthur Faust's eyes. Beyond that, I've been influenced by countless webcomics, too numerous to list here.
WP: I've heard Dutch (Australian creator of School Spirit) mention Footrot Flats a couple times. And nothing to be ashamed of being influenced by Dragon Ball.
You mentioned your "allegiance" to black and white art, which brings up the point that I've never seen you do any colored work. Have you experimented with color or are you just avoiding it altogether?
Cope: Avoiding it altogether. I have no colour sense, nor the ability to use an image editor properly. I'm not even exactly sure what most of my characters would look like in colour.
WP: Eh, fair enough. Speaking of your characters, which one do you enjoy writing the most? And drawing? Or, is it both? And, why?
Cope: I'd probably say the Shepherd is the one I have the most fun writing for. He's so melodramatic! He's kind of a pain in the arse to draw though; his character design is so weird. How do those spectacles stay on his face? Where's his nose? As for drawing...I probably enjoy drawing Severi most at the moment. He's got those huge, cartoony eyes that are fun to mess around with.
WP: Your "avatar" is some furry black thing with horns that rides on a cloud, or something. What exactly are its origins or explanations?
Cope: It's derived from my original avatar, which was cropped and altered from an engraving of a demonic summoning. Basically, the first time I wanted to participate in a comic jam I needed a virtual representation of myself, so I just developed one from that.
WP: Ooh, I've seen that picture. Didn't know what the hell it was about. That's cool, though.
This question's sort of a downer. At times, your posts seem to indicate that you're unhappy with your comic in general. Can you elaborate on that?
Cope: Oh, I know my comic has problems...disjointed dialogue, extemporaneous perspective, flat character design, crappy line-shading, backgrounds that are mostly absent that I wish I hadn't attempted when I do draw them... mostly though, I don't let that stop me; I'm still determined to make it through to the end. I just say I'm going for quantity over quality!
Do you have any plans or aspirations for Atavism?
Besides finishing it =]
Cope: Actually, no. I really do just want to finish the damn thing! I tend to see Atavism as practise for better things to come.
WP: That works =/ Who's someone, alive or dead, that you'd like to meet, and why?
Cope: I can't really think of anyone; I'm a total recluse, and socially inept to boot. I'd just make an idiot of myself.
WP: Eh, sounds like what most people would do if they met someone they really looked up to =/ So, what's something about you that someone who reads your webcomic wouldn't expect?
Or rather, suspect might be more accurate.
Cope: Well, they'd definitely peg me for a misanthropist.
WP: Yet you say you're a total recluse and social inept.
Cope: Not so much online. ;)
WP: I gotcha =/
Lastly, a message to all the extraterrestrials that might read this interview someday in the future.
Cope: If the first thing you find is the Internet, don't judge us for it.
WP: Words of wisdom!!
I'd like to thank you for doing this interview! I hope it went better than you thought it would at the beginning.
Cope: It went pretty well, I think.
WP: I'll probably do some more. They're pretty fun and easy to do.
Well, have a nice day and good luck with your ventures!
Cope: Same to you and sayonara!