Spotlight on Self-Publishing: THE POWER by Rick Lopez

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welcome to Self-published spotlight, a regular interview column where I’ll spotlight self-published comics and the creators and fine print editors who make them.


When I laid eyes on the Rick Lopez comic book artwork, The power, I was immediately amazed. My reaction was so visceral that I knew it was a book and an artist that I had to follow. I contacted 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 store and collect The power!

Monkeys Fighting Robots: Rick, first of all I know how busy you are, so thanks for taking the time to chat!

Rick Lopez: Absoutely! No problem at all, thanks for having me!

MFR: So what is the secret origin of your comics? How did you get into the business?

RL: Honestly, they were still there. I had a stack of Disney comics as a kid, but hero comics were a little harder for me to find in the midst of the speculator boom. Barnes and Noble was my LCS long before we had a legitimate store in my area.

MFR: And when did you decide to start making your own comics?

RL: For a few years I thought I would only write comics and other people would draw my books. I had someone in line to draw The Power and it just fell apart. I already did the script and thumbnails so I just started myself in early 2019 and learned a lot, Large Design Image has really been a game-changer for me.

MFR: Let’s go directly to The power. Can you give our readers a summary?

RL: The power is a limited series of four issues about a boy creating a comic book, only to discover a realm beyond time and space … in his own mind! So it’s centered on the process of creation and as we work we drift into another more ethereal plane in our minds.

MFR: Art in The power impressed me. Specifically, colors and layouts, which seem to be a major concern for you. What makes you focus so much on these two elements?

RL: Thanks, I really appreciate it! I think precisely with The power I try to represent (as best I can) these inner planes of the mind and the meta-abilities of the medium through the layouts and colors, which in itself makes them so important.

MFR: Did you have any particular influences on The Power? Which artists / books have you looked for inspiration?
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.

MFR: I love your tribute covers. You did Infinity Gauntlet # 1 for number one and classic Miller Wolverine # 1 for number two. Why did you decide to do these tribute covers and did you have others in mind? What other tribute covers can we expect if you care to tease?
RL:
Tributes are a lot of fun to make, but I also think it adds a bit of recognition to the book, even at a glance on the cover. I wanted to use as many comics as possible. I originally planned to use a New Gods cover for # 3 but opted for one The Green Lantern The Darryl Banks cover I found suited my book better. That being said, I have two Kirby covers planned for number 4 and the swap is yet to come.

MFR: What is your progress and your creative process? What’s the first thing you do when deciding to put a pencil / pen on paper? What tools do you use?
RL:
Usually I will miniature my pretty small ideas on scrap paper, scan them, blow them up / move things to Procreate, print on 11 × 17 bristol board, clean the pencils a bit, then use my light pad with it. another card stock to ink / tone the pages and scan them again on procreate for colors and clean them. I am thinking of using both [digital and analog] is the key, I know a lot of people are going digital, but I can’t give up that human look and the original art that you get from inking traditionally. There are those Pilot double brush pens that I obsess over and recommend a lot and the Uniball white signo pen is another amazing tool that I use with every piece. Then, of course, Ticonderoga and Staedtler pencils, mechanical pencil, microns, removal screentones, Ames lettering guide and procreate are also office staples.The power

MFR: Has self-publishing always been your way? Or did you have other publishing methods in mind?
RL:
I think self-publishing has always been the option, I kind of thought I would publish all of a sudden with The power and I went to great lengths with the layouts and the pencils, but ultimately I don’t think that’s the best idea.

MFR: Self-publishing, in general, is booming. Patreon, Kickstarter and now Substack. As a creator, why do you think self-publishing is growing?
RL:
I think a lot of creators are tired of giving companies their best ideas to own them. We have all of these apps at our fingertips to grow our own audience and reader base. We can build our Patreon, launch our books, and get a network big enough to live off our own ideas without compromising with a business. Image Comics showed us 30 years ago.

MFR: In addition The power, what else have you been working on? And what else do you hope to work on?
RL:
My first works had 14 pages in Large Design Image, I made a page in the Weapon ecch book and another page for the next one BMN Year What is book (which I have to finish), as well as 4 pages to come Wizard Cosmic Lion Eli Schwab # 2 later this year. Craig CK and I co-founded Tap the next panel, which is a bi-weekly strip collective from a group of artists from all over the world. my band Cosmicat, is about a smoldering feline outlaw who makes his way through the galaxy, as the past, present and future begin to unfold around him! The 17th strip is about to drop this weekend, so almost enough to be assembled into one issue. I collected the first seven in mini-comics that I handed out with the book orders.

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