Interviewed by: Richard Vasseur - (Posted: 3/23/2008)
Richard: Did you like having your web comic made into a printed collection?
Marc: I like seeing my work in print, but I used to love it. Nowadays, print isn't as relevant as it once was because of the web. There are many pros and cons of comics in print versus being on the web. Which one is the better media is up for debate.
When I see one of my books in print, I wish that comics would evolve like movies (from theaters to tape/DVD to internet download) or music (from LP to tape/CD to internet download). One good thing about print is that the market is a lot less cluttered than the web. It takes a measure of ability, knowledge, commitment and money to put something in print. Not so for the web.
If a comic is bad on the internet, it can keep going as long as the creator wants to produce it. They can do it with very little knowledge or money. It would be nice if there was some sort of filter to weed out the crap, but that'll never happen.
Richard: How did you come up with the idea for Ralph Snart?
Marc: I can't really remember the exact moment when a light bulb went off in head, since it was about 23 years ago, but I did a two-page origin story about a guy that goes insane and lives his life in his own dreamworld. It was a good device because the dreams could be about anything - it didn't restrict me to any set story ideas.
After that two-page story, I got the go ahead to produce a monthly comic. Each comic began and ended in reality and the bulk of the issue would be Ralph in his fantasy otherworld. The reality was a continuing story line, but each month's dream was different. From a writer's perspective, it was great; you could have an on-going story but also do a unique story each issue.
Richard: How would you describe the Ralph Snart comic?
Marc: Right now, I'd describe it as a comic about a loud-mouth dumb ass that drinks beer. It's as obnoxious, silly, stupid and subversive as I can make it.
Richard: Why do you like to work on the Ralph Snart Adventures?
Marc: I like Ralph's outrage at everything. I'm a cynical bastard that can't take anything or anyone seriously, so RSA is my way to vent.
Richard: What did you work on at Marvel/Epic?
Marc: I did pencils and inks for a couple of stories for Chuck Dixon's Dangerman, which appeared in Law Dog way back when. I believe I lettered one of the stories also after some convincing. Chuck's scripts were so good, it was easy work to execute. He understands the mechanics of humor real well and was able to make that clear in his scripts. He also gave me a lot of freedom.
Richard: Who have been your major influences?
Marc: Mostly Harvey Kurtzman (Mad), John Stanley (Little Lulu, Melvin Monster) and E.C. Segar (Popeye). All of them were great cartoonists and great humorists. Each of their styles was unique. Their work is a very good teacher to any young cartoonist. But after 20+ years of doing this professionally, influences are more nostalgia than anything.
Richard: Who is Doctor Gorpon and Weird Melvin?
Marc: These were creations that harkened back to the hotrod monsters of the sixties. They were good departures for me after doing Snart for so many years. Dr. Gorpon was a three-issue mini-series for Malibu Graphics. Weird Melvin, appeared in the Comics Buyer's Guide for a couple of years and was later self-published in a five-issue mini-series.
Richard: Would you like to work at a comic book company again?
Marc: I already do! I'm CEO and Sanitary Management Director for the Marc Hansen Stuff! comic book company. Currently, we only have one title in our line-up, but we feel that is plenty.
Actually, I have no interest in working for other comic companies or on other properties. What makes the most sense for me right now is to self-publish, do my own thing, and I'm perfectly happy with doing that. To hand off RSA to another publisher would also be a step backwards.
Richard: How can someone contact you?
Marc: mh at marc hansen stuff dot com
Richard: Any final words of wisdom?
Marc: Comic books is business, it's nothing personal. Keep your day job. Don't burn any bridges. Bend like a willow but don't break. Develop a hide like a rhino because crybabies are the first to go. The mistakes you make today will haunt you for the rest of your life so don't screw up EVER. Brush your teeth after every meal.