For every Robert Kirkman who parlays a successful comic creating career into something much larger, there are many guys out there working hard, but unfortunately not gaining that level of success. Many talented writers and artists working in comics today have other jobs to keep them going. Richard P. Clark is an immensely talented illustrator who has been going strong since 1993. Rich’s career in comics, such as having worked on Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s The Boys and other assignments for Marvel and DC is balanced with a successful illustration career in mediums other than comics. He has earned clients as diverse as Playboy, Sports Illustrated and HBO, as well as newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal. In the last few years a high profile job drawing the accompanying comic series to Stone Sour’s album House Of Gold And Bones, as well as working on a Soloman Kane story have pushed Rich’s talents further into the comic limelight where he belongs. Rich was nice enough to take time out of his very busy schedule to talk to us here at PCU.
PCU- 1. First and most important question. How are you today?
RC- Fair to midland, methinks. 🙂
PCU- 2. You are a big Pearl Jam fan. Favorite album and why?
RC- Hm. That’s a really, really tough one–equal split between No Code & Pearl Jam (avocado). Flatly impossible to say one over the other & there’re three others in close contention for that spot, too.
PCU- 3. You worked on Garth Ennis’ series The Boys. How did that come about?
RC- Never really worked w/Garth at all; I’m good friends with Darick Robertson–co-creator & co-owner of the IP–& I was available to help when Darick needed a hand.
PCU- 4. Who is your all time favorite comic character?
RC- Another tough one! Probably for sheer longevity’s sake, it’d have to be The Incredible Hulk, tho’, again, there’re at least three that’re in close contention for that top spot.
PCU-5. You are originally from Cleveland. What is up with the Browns?
RC- Dude. It all comes down to ownership–there was so little direction with the previous owner that Holmgren was hired to run the organization. That regime is personified by Brandon Weedon and Trent Richardson being drafted in the same 1st round. The sale to Haslem is best exemplified by his first regime getting a single year & then Johnny Effing Football over Teddy Bridgewater last year. The problems with the Browns is best summed up this way: fuel rebates for everyone!
PCU- 6. Last great movie you saw?
RC- Great movie, eh? Hm. With my schedule & family life, my movie-going has scaled back dramatically and yet my TV-watching (appointment TV with the Mrs.) has increased. Great movie…. I’ll have to say re-watching The Godfather I & II while working. The last really, really good movie, though, was first 5 2/3rds episodes of True Detective–actually, just that portion of the entire 8-hour movie was excellent beyond comprehension.
PCU- 7. Any comics blowing your mind right now?
RC- The X-Files Season 10, Ravine, Ballistic and Saga are all pretty durn keen. Also, Matt Smith’s October Girl deserves a much, MUCH broader audience and I can’t wait for the next volume of Ron Marz & Lee Moder’s Shinku–both are just fantastic stories.
PCU- 8. Star Wars, or Star Trek?
RC- “There Are Four Lights!”
PCU- 9. What was working with Slipknot’s Corey Taylor like?
RC- Well, I actually worked with Stone Sour’s Corey Taylor…. 🙂 Yes, it’s one and the same guy, but House of Gold and Bones is a Stone Sour record which means there’s a bit of a different flavor. Not trying to be pedantic or tiresome, but the differences in tone would’ve meant a very, very different approach to the art.
Working with Corey was absolutely fantastic. We didn’t correspond too much during the making of the book but we did get in touch quite a lot afterward. We’ve seen each other a couple of times in the greater NYC area and corresponded numerous times before and since (including a little pitch-n-presentation art that I supplied for another prospective project; fingers crossed & stay tuned).
The chief takeaway from working with & getting to know Corey is this: he’s an incredibly cool, creative, funny and above all down-to-earth guy. Getting to know him a little bit affirms my faith in humanity a bit in that one can have international success and still be grounded. There’re no airs, no bullshit–he’s just a solid dude with a really kick-ass job.
Felicia Day, by the way, appears (on very, VERY short acquaintance) to be the same exact way.
PCU- 10. Thanks for taking time out to answer our questions Rich. What can fans expect from you in 2015.
RC- It’s been my absolute pleasure, John! 2015 is a third gone already–how the hell did THAT happen?–so there’re already a few pieces out in the wild. I painted a Solomon Kane short written by Ron Marz for RE Howard’s Savage Sword #10 (everyone needs to get a copy or ten) and I wrote & painted a short story for Creepy #19. I just wrapped finishes over Darick Robertson’s breakdowns for Vertigo’s Strange Sports Stories #3–an infinitely fun project!–and am working with Darick on another thing that’s yet to be announced. (Again, stay tuned!)
I’m drawing a short story written by Joey Groah for ComixTribe’s Oxymoron #2 as well as a few other irons in indie comics fires this year; more on those as they develop.
I’ll be able to announce the single-biggest job I’ve ever done, both in number of physical pieces and prestige, this August. Can’t say too much about it specifically just now, so you’ll have to check in with @zipyrich on Twitter this summer to find out. (Not being cryptic solely to be a jerk; I just can’t say other than “Holy Smokes” and “I can talk about it this August.”) It’s a dilly.
Finally, the good folks @ Visionary Comics have tapped me for a couple of gigs this year and one of them will get announced as soon as the contract ink is dry. Suffice to say it’s a project I’ve wanted to do for the longest time & am finally getting to work on it. That, too, will show up more on Twitter in the coming weeks.
Again, thanks, John–’twas a delight!