An Atomic Moo Comic Book Review
With Creator Q&A!
Recently we were introduced to a new comic with a great “underground” vibe. Check out Vreckless Vrestlers by Polish comic creator Łukasz Kowalczuk. The series is about fighters being pulled from their perspective universes to compete in a massive wrestling tournament (the 59th championship) organized by the Manager. Though light on dialogue (“Vrestlers fight, not chat”) the comic series really reminds me of the underground comics of the 1970’s, and there is definitely a punk vibe to it all. Right now, Vreckless Vrestlers can be purchased for only $0.99 an issue on Comixology. I’ve posted a few sample pages below (hit the jump) along with an interview by creator Łukasz Kowalczuk, but hit the comixology link to see more about the comic and available issues.
When did you first get interested in writing a comic book, and why?
We didn’t have much choice in 80s and 90s here, but comics were always present in our house.
My father and my older brother were buying them, then i started. Did my first comics in age of 5 or 6, can’t remember exactly.
It was typical kid’s stuff, don’t know if it counts 🙂 I get interested in writing comics, seriously, around 2010, while i was doing research for my master’s dissertation (it’s about publisher of american comics in 90s, it was upgraded later and published as regular book).
Did 24h comics twice, some shorts, then i tried with my own zine (Nienawidzę Ludzi – I Hate People, 5 issues), then started to do Vreckless Vrestlers… It won’t be original at all – i am doing comics because i love comics. Simple as that. It’s more than hobby for sure, i hope that in future i will be able to pay my bills thanks to comic books.
What is one of the best lessons you have learned about making comics since first starting?
I have strong punk rock background and i am DIY worshipper. Most of comic book stuff i did, i did myself without sponsors, kickstarters etc.
It’s good for beginning, it’s best for learning, however you can’t do everything on some stage.
You can’t be reviewer, writer, artist, publisher, blogger and god-knows-who-else (specially when you have regular work – i am graphic designer).
Vrestlers aren’t my only comic book project, so i need to focus on writing and drawing, which.
What/who are your influences?
Pop culture of 80s and 90s (run a blog called Szlam /Slime/ – it’s still here: www.tzzad.wordpress.com), punk rock
and work of so many creators that i could write separate article about them. From classics like Kirby and Crumb, via polish classics like Christa and Baranowski, to Johnny Ryan and Tom Scioli.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in making a comic?
Still have problems with basics (anatomy, perspective), which aren’t most important for kind of comics i do but i still need to improve my skill.
So, main challenge is to draw stuff i wrote in the way that will please me.
What is your creative process for making Vreckless Vrestlers?
Idea – research (that’s the best one because it’s simply reading comics, watching cartoons, movies, wrestling etc.) – plan of fight – raw sketches – pencil – ink – scan – preparing of print and digital version – shitload of e-mails 🙂
In the comic: The Manager has a machine that allows him to collect wrestlers from any dimension. How did he get this machine?
Can’t write about it, it’s good material for prequel/origin story, don’t want to spoil the fun 🙂
Other than being featured on the udderly awesome Atomic Moo; How are you promoting your comic?
That’s second biggest challenge.
It’s not so hard here in Poland, because comics scene isn’t big and we know each other quite well (specially if you are attending few conventions in the year). It’s a lot harder to promote my work abroad. Can’t afford to go to foreign conventions and meet people in person.
So i am writing a lot of e-mails and messages to reviewers, blogs, pod-casts, publishers. Posting informations on facebook groups. Sometimes i am sending paper edition of my comic book. Number of answers is very low, but when someone is answering, feedback is mostly positive (http://vrecklessvrestlers.tumblr.com/press)
I am trying to be patient, think it helps a lot. Trade paper back edition of VV will be published in Poland and France, so publishers will carry on promotion in this areas. Third challenge is finding next publishers, especially in USA.
What does the Flatwood Monster smell like?
I think it’s something like rotten egg, but a cosmic one, so it’s thousand times stronger.