We’ve had the great pleasure of featuring “Crosstown” as our Pick of the Month for June, now it’s time to dig in and find out who the minds are behind it. Allow me to introduce to you Ryan Turcotte, writer and self proclaimed Yang of Crosstown and Adam Pilkington, artist and the Yin to Ryan’s Yang of Crosstown. This duo has created a very fun and original webcomic, and I’m sure y’all are as anxious as us to find out a little bit more about them as they answer our “10 Questions for the Pick of the Month”, so with out further ado here are Ryan and Adam.
Thinking back, what is the first comic you recall reading as a child?
Ryan: It all started with Garfield. As far back as I can remember there were little, colorful, rectangular Garfield books and I had them all. From there it went to newspaper comics and I got lost in Farside and Bizarro. The first official comic I ever brought as a child was Part Three of the Spider-Man series “Revenge Of The Sinister Six.” Bought it at random in a convenience store during a road trip to Florida. Had a few bucks and saw Spider-Man in a jet-pack with wrist-mounted blasters and thought: “If I don’t buy that, I’m stupid.” That’s when I knew I was becoming a man.
Adam: I can’t remember a specific title being the first, but spent a lot of time reading Garfield, Herman, MAD magazine and just about any Marvel book I could get my hands on. Spider-Man and X-Men were my favorite titles growing up.
Who is your greatest influence(s) as an artist/creator?
Ryan: My biggest inspirations come from self-made artists. Ani Difranco started her own production company so she could make exactly the music she wanted. Ricky Gervais blasted onto the scene at an age after most people have a mid-life crisis, showing us that’s it’s never too late to be somebody. Louis Ck, aside from being the funniest man on the planet, makes the show that he wants to make and does the comedy he wants to share on his own terms and on his own timeline. These people are evidence that if you care enough about a thing you can make it work. That inspires me. Gives me hope.
Adam: Hmm, a real potpourri here: Alan Moore, Glen Keane, Yoshitaka Amano, Alan Lee, Hayao Miyazaki, George Lucas, Yoshinori Kitase, Bruce Lee and Brian McDonald have all done things that have greatly influenced me as an artist and creator.
What would you consider required drawing equipment or writing necessities?
Ryan: Required Writing necessities are a keyboard. Pen and pencil are for notes, a keyboard is for writing work. Heard a fact a while back I never researched but it said that typing with both hands on a keyboard activates both sides of the brain. Even if it’s not true, I thought it was so I used a keyboard so much – I ended up being able to type as fast as I can think a sentence. This really helps when writing conversation, as maintaining a flow of conversation is vital. All I require is a keyboard. Any keyboard, anywhere.
Adam: A ballpoint pen and 8×10 sketchbook for doodles and story notes; my laptop, a dusty old Graphire 4 and Photoshop for my digital creations.
Where did you go to school and what was your major?
Ryan: Ottawa. Algonquin College. Theatre Arts. Wonderful experience, wonderful teachers. Met some of the best people I’ve ever known.
Adam: A have a diploma in Animation and certificate in Digital Arts from Algonquin College here in Ottawa, Canada.
Three adjectives to describe yourself that has NOTHING to do with comics?
Ryan: Rad, Awesome, Modest
Adam: Pragmatic, optimistic, paradoxical
We all have favorite places, scenarios we feel more creative in. What is your favorite environment in which to create?
Ryan: That’s a very interesting question, because so long as I have a keyboard of sorts I’m ready to go no matter where I am. I never figure there are ideal conditions to write. The most important part of writing is to write exactly when you’re inspired to do so. Because of that, my environment is irrelevant. It’s all about timing.
Adam: Holed up in my computer room late at night with a podcast in my ear.
Embarrassing childhood memory you wish to reveal? (or Most exciting if you don’t want to reveal embarrassing)
Ryan: I was in an airport arcade when I was much younger and was playing Punch-Out. I had gotten farther in the game than I had ever gotten before. I had reached Bald Bull. I had to piss so bad, but the game was too awesome and I was doing too well – had gotten too far. So, I made the decision then and there to piss in my pants and face the Bull rather than walk away from the game and find a bathroom.
Adam: Nothing embarrassing comes to mind, but I do recall my first-ever roller-coaster experience being on the oldest wooden coaster in North America: Le Monstre at the Laronde theme park in Montreal, Canada. Thought that was pretty exciting. Almost crapped my pants, which I guess would’ve been pretty embarrassing.
If a movie of your life were made who would you pick to play you?
Ryan: I’d want Robert Downey Jr., the guy, to mix with Fred Flintstone, the cartoon, and I’d want them/him to play me.
Adam: Morgan Freeman, because I’m not particularly old or wise, and not particularly African American, so it’d be kind of funny.
What other information would you like share about your comic? Books? Kickstarter?
Ryan: I’d like to assure you all that I will do everything in my power to pressure the artist, Adam Pilkington, to draw you Crosstown Coloring books, Crosstown lunchboxes, Crosstown logos for Crosstown breakfast cereal, Crosstown stickers for Crosstown Flamethrowers (the kids love those ones) and get you out a design for my personal favorite, Crosstown the doll. May the balls be with you.
Adam: Nothing to announce at the moment, but working on a few things. Just gimme a follow on Twitter (@giantplaidmonk) if you’re interested in the doin’s a’ transpirin’ in my creative life.
What is the meaning of life?
Ryan: To treat yourself like a stat-sheet, playing the character of yourself like life is one big interactive role-playing game. You are to seek out experience to upgrade your statistics. You’re looking to customize the best character possible so you can most enjoy the game and most effectively play it.
Adam: To study, define and express yourself. Be sure to have fun along the way.
Well there you have it ladies and gentleman, a glimpse into the brains and lives of Ryan and Adam creators of “Crosstown”. Man, I’m looking forward to those color books…er, um I mean the Flamethrower, definitely the Flame Thrower. I hope these 10 Questions have brought you a little bit closer to the creators.
Be sure to check out our POTM Write up on “Crosstown” and head on over and check out “Crosstown” for yourself.