Hall H Show host Aaron Nabus talks to the multi-talented illustrator and comic book creator, Robert Roach about this trade paperback for, The Roach: At War With The Cause. This episode is also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Deezer, Amazon Music, and Spotify. The Hall H Show is hosted by Aaron Nabus and Alex Benedicto and is the “Voice of Independent Creators.”
Hello fellow nerds, geeks and supporters of indie pop culture creators! Aaron Nabus here and thanks for tuning into this episode of the Hall H Show!
My next guest is the multi-talented illustrator and comic book creator, Robert Roach.
Robert has been a Los Angeles based illustrator, comic artist & publisher since the mid-90s, picking up a Glyph Award for his creator owned comic book, “The Roach” in 2009, teaching storyboarding at L.A.’s Otis College of Art & Design’s “Continuing Education”, designing action figures, working on projects for Ford and jetBlue Airlines, living in Japan and Osaka for a few years, and earning rave reviews for another one of his comic books, called “Menthu” which features a present day story based on Egyptian mythology and set in Los Angeles.
It’s always great seeing Robert at events like San Diego Comic-Con and Black Comix Day. Speaking of which, I was fortunate to moderate a panel at Black Comix Day 2019 that featured him and a few other creators where they talked about entrepreneurship, indie comics, building a community and representation.
On this episode we’ll be talking about the trade paperback for The Roach “At War With The Cause,” which is currently on Kickstarter until Saturday, August 7th, 2021.
About The Roach:
From the Kickstarter page:
When this comic arc was initially released, well-renowned writer & co-creator of DC’s popular character “Black Lightning,” TONY ISABELLA, wrote:
“Robert Roach’s THE ROACH combines pulp-fiction action with racial & societal issues, & does this so well I don’t hesitate to call it one of the smartest adventure titles being published today. Its title hero is a white man come to the south side of Chicago to fight the criminals who prey on the exploited folks – ‘brown, white, Asian, whatever’ – who live there.”
After the story’s final/double-sized chapter & the entire arc was completed, renowned comics critic & blogger, MICHAEL HAMERSKY, wrote:
“There have been other creators that have explored this era [Chicago’s Prohibition Era], both in comics & pulps, but I found Robert’s mini-series to be the best series I have read in this genre. And no, I didn’t mean to just say the ‘best independent comics series.’ This body of work is darn good & worthy of more exposure to the reading public!”
The last sentence above succinctly states this campaign’s goal: present The Roach to more of the reading public.
Opening Round Questions:
- Since this is your first time on the show, can you tell us about your origin story?
- Where did you grow up?
- What kind of books, TV shows, and movies were you into as a teenager?
- When did you realize you were artistic and when did you decide that you were going to make that career? 3 years old, didn’t want to learn how to read in 1st grade. Was close to his dad…dad asked what he wants to do for the rest of his life.
- Can please tell about your creative journey from Indiana to Los Angeles?
- Where did your fascination with Japan come from?
- Why is creating comic books important to you?
- How have you been able to stay creative during the pandemic?
- What’s a typical day like for you? How do you balance your creative projects, teaching, requests from clients, life in general?
- Can you give us some insight on how you generally come up with ideas for stories? Do you have a process for brainstorming initial concepts? How do you keep track of everything? What is your research process like?
The Roach: “At War With The Cause” Questions:
- For anyone new to The Roach universe, would you mind briefly talking about him, his purpose, and why you created him in the first place? He’s not named after you…right?
- As a black creator, why did you feel it was important for the main character to be white?
- Can you describe how you felt when you won a Glyph Award?
- “Unvarnished, but not gratuitous” is how you’ve described your approach to creating The Roach. Can you please elaborate a bit more on that?
- Why should someone back the Kickstarter for the trade paperback? And why is backing it like buying something from Nordstroms?
- Any details about the Kickstarter that you’d like to highlight?
- Are you planning on attending any in-person comic conventions to promote your new book and your other work this year? On a scale from 1-10, 10 being the highest level of concern, how concerned are you about attending public events amid the pandemic?
Thunder Round Questions:
- What’s something that you hated as a kid but love now as an adult?
- You’re at a comic book shop and thumbing through the back issue bins. What kind of comics would you be looking for?
- If a movie was made about your life, what kind of music would be on the soundtrack?
- What’s something your fans would be surprised to know about you?
- Do you have a daily routine to help you get in the right mindset to create?
- If you could have a meal with anyone in history, who would it be with, where would you eat, and what’s one thing you would ask them?
- What’s one of your favorite words? And why is it one of your favorite words?
- If you were President of the United States, what kind of artwork would you hang up in the Oval Office?
- As someone that has found success in both the commercial art and indie art worlds, can you describe how you were able to put yourself in that position?
- What’s one thing on your bucket list that you have already accomplished and one thing still unchecked?
- What’s something new that you learned recently?
- If I gave you a million dollars, what would you do with it?
- What do you think a Robert Roach, in another universe, is doing right now?
What kind of advice, can you give to someone that is struggling trying to reconcile the creative and business sides of being an independent artist?
Follow Robert Roach:
Thank YOU for listening to the Hall H Show podcast! I’m happy and humbled when I find out people support a project or start to follow one of our guests because of one of our episodes. So thank you so much for your continued support.
And, thanks to my guest, Robert Roach. Please give him a follow and consider supporting his Trade Paperback, The Roach “At War With The Cause,” which is available to back on Kickstarter until Saturday, August 7th, 2021. If you love noir, detective stories or just well a told story, please check it out!
We love putting the spotlight on independent pop culture creatives, like Robert. If you have a suggestion for a potential guest, please let us know!
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Peace, cheers, stay safe out there and if you have a story you’ve been itching to tell, consider creating a movie with your smartphone!
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