Ah, Time

RSA0101Thirty-five years ago the very first issue of Ralph Snart Adventures was released. Two months before that, I had had to change the name from Ralph Snarf to Ralph Snart or risk a lawsuit from Denis Kitchen. Three months before that, I had written and drawn that first issue in a roach-infested studio apartment in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago. I was oblivious to the fact that at the time, it was one of the worst neighborhoods in Chicago a destination for Eastern European transients controlled by a Vietnamese gang whose headquarters was just a half block away.

If I got flashed by a sex worker on my shortcut to the bus stop that would take me West on Devon to Larry's comic book shop, or if I had to walk down to the Thorndale El station because the Granville stop had a dead body on the platform, I thought nothing of it. Just seemed normal to me. Or at least normal RSA0101for Edgewater. When I drunkenly threw a TV off a fire escape to explode in the alley below, no one batted an eye. Good ol' Edgewater! It was the kind of neighborhood Ralph Snart would have thrived in.

I had never done a comic book before that time. I had done plenty of comic strips, editorial cartoons for my college newspaper, and professionally cartoons for advertising, but I knew nothing about the comic book business. Before all this, I honestly had no idea that comic books were collected or had such throngs of fans or anything about comic conventions. I was totally naive and uneducated about the whole affair.

To do that first issue, I had to figure out a lot of things I knew nothing about. What size should the art be, what style should I draw it, how should I letter it, etc. I had to go out and buy some current comics to see what was being done. A lot of my decisions were wrong, but in the end what I finally handed in to the publisher was good enough for print. It would take me several years to finally put everything together, but by then it was too late; the comics industry would be shrinking and imploding.

When that first issue was printed, it was done the wrong size. A Chicago printer called Sleepeck did the printing, and for some reason had printed it approximately half size like digest size. The copies were all destroyed, but I saw one of them cute but ridiculously small. Do over! Aside; I've had a history with printers so, yeah, I wasn't too surprise my initial foray into the comic book industry started out messed up. Luckily it was redone and delivered to the distributors on schedule.

At the time I liked and respected the publisher of NOW Comics, Tony Caputo, and I still do. As long as money, privilege and favors aren't involved, he's a likable, gregarious and very smart man! The first moments, months and years of NOW were exciting and pure chaos as the Black & White Boom came and went. It was a special (and brief) time in the comic book industry, and I was lucky enough to be a part of it, which is cool. Of course, there are regrets but overall it was a magical, fun and creative adventure.

Free Just Ain't The Same

An unlikely advertising campaign on Facebook is working in which Ralph Snart berates, insults and dares people to buy the latest issue of Ralph Snart Adventures. Since I don't care whether anyone even buys an issue of the digital comic series I've been doing for several years now, the campaign actually made sense to do. What's to lose? Plus it's fun. Buy My Comic!

Why don't I care? Well, I don't need the money, and I'm producing the biannual series for my own selfish enjoyment. If I have 100 readers, whatever. If there's 5,000, who cares. If some fans get a kick out of it, all the better. Although I don't need the money, the price (a pittance) weeds out the multitude of idiots that would just download something for free and not really care.

If a person takes the time to go through the motions of paying for the item(s) and then downloading, I figure they must actually want the comic. And really, most of the books are only a buck, and the new releases are only two bucks. Cheap!

The best thing about the campaign, is the bewildered fan boys who actually got upset by Ralph scolding and disrespecting them. They were genuinely confused who was insulting them; Ralph or myself. How dare me... or him! If you don't get it, you probably don't get Ralph Snart Adventures either.

Coloring Ralph Snart

Here I am coloring a panel for Ralph Snart Adventures #11 releasing this Spring. Adobe Illustrator is the software used. This issue will be part one of the Origin Trilogy.

Latest Poop #76

My tableAlmost done with RSA #11 -- four more pages to ink and 8 more to color. Need to give my hand a break from inking everyday before the tendonitis gets too bad. Not to mention the arthritis in my spine! During this break though, I'm back to writing the next issue #12 (part two of the RSA origin) -- about half done so far. That issue will feature Ralph's infamous cousin Bert (from Volume 3 issue 23) in his fantasy otherworld. In reality, Dr. Kreegon attempts to diagnose and cure his new patient.

Still More Inking Crap

Here I am inking a panel for Ralph Snart Adventures #11 releasing this Spring. Another different angle for the camera. This issue will be part one of the Origin Trilogy.

The Origin of Ralph Snart

Just finished pencils and lettering for RSA #11 -- the first part of a trilogy about the origin of The Snart. I also wrote an article on some of the influences that helped create RSA way back when.

This starts the beginning of the new format -- horizontal so an entire page can be seen on a desktop monitor. Part two is about halfway written.

If you want a missive about how Snart changed your life to appear in the next Rubber Room Gossip, now's the time to email them to me. I never grow tired of reading about how you found your first issue of RSA on a rack in a 7-Eleven and how your teachers beat you when they discovered you reading it in class and how your mom later threw all your Ralph Snarts in the garbage after you went to college and how your dad still won't speak to you because once you said Gangway, Fathead! to him. Ah, memories.

I should be uploading a new inking video on youturd relatively soon.

35 Years Ago Today

FanGraphix #3The first comic book appearance of Ralph Snart (as Ralph Snarf) in FanGraphix #3 published by Tony Caputo Publishing in December, 1985. This issue of the anthology series mostly featured the work of Tony Caputo and Allen Curtis, but also, had the two-page origin of Ralph Snart. By the time this had released, NOW Comics was already in the works, and I was drawing the very first issue of RSA (Vol 1 #1).Detail from Ralph Snart Origin 1985Ralph contemplates his miserable life.Marc Hansen 1986Marc Hansen at the 1986 Chicago Comicon. Full of hope and promise only to bitterly crushed by the Comic Book Industrial Complex.

More Inking Crap

Here I am inking a panel for Ralph Snart Adventures #10 releasing in November. Just testing a different angle for the camera. Lighting sucks. Can you tell I haven't inked in a while? Using an old brush (from the last issue). Will be chucking this one in the trash and getting a new one. I can't talk, ink and chew gum at the same time so no sound. Lettering was done in software at the layout stage.

Buh Bye Bezos

Ralph Snart Adventures along with my other comics have been removed from ComiXology at my request. Those that made purchases already will still have access to their books. The reason for the removal was because I didn't like ComiXology's arbitrary sales, which undercut and conflicted with the prices of my own webstore. My books are already priced super cheap, so having a "sale" doesn't make any sense, and doing so without the publisher's input is just plain rude.

Almost all of my digital comics purchases are through my webstore, so no big loss. Must've been some Amazon initiative to trivially add to their billions. Besides that, all of my new stuff is exclusive to my webstore. So there, Amazon. Nerts to you!

Latest Poop

The short and the sweet: issues #s 10, 11 and half of 12 are written. Beginning to pencil #10. Should have a "coming soon" for #10 after I finish the cover.
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Marc Hansen
Marc Hansen

Cartoonist and creator of Ralph Snart Adventures, Weird Melvin and Doctor Gorpon. Hansen has done most of his work for NOW Comics, but has also done work for Marvel, Disney and Kitchen Sink Press.

Ralph Snart Adventures was published from 1986-1993 by now defunct NOW Comics, and was the longest running comic in the entire NOW catalog, selling an average of 50,000 copies a month during that nine year period. Over two million comics were published, and it was the first indy comic to receive the Comics Code.

Today, Marc Hansen publishes Ralph Snart Adventures as an ebook on a sporadic basis. Current issues are available on his website. Keep up with Ralph Snart on Twitter and Facebook.

Ralph Snart is a registered trademark. Copyright 2024 by Marc Hansen.