Real Interviews: Jarrett Williams

Greetings of Jarrett Williams of the webcomic Lunar Boy and Oni Press’s Super Pro K.O. How is it going?
I’m good man. Just taking back a Black & Tan and watching Raw
How is the drink?
Always perfect
Haha. Now you recently released Super Pro K.O. Vol 2. What is that about?
It’s a mix of things. It’s all about paying your dues but not wanting to wait in line at the same time. Joe Somiano’s this up and coming wrestler that’s full of heart. But it’s not enough for him to move up in the ranks in Super Pro K.O.!, a pretty awesome wrestling league. In vol. 2, he’s jealous of this new guy that’s just entered the company called Romeo Colossus, an ex-baseball player. And Joe isn’t having it!
Now one of the things I love about the book is that it’s got this sort of manga action style the pages and layouts. What was the inspiration for it?
A lot of artist have inspired me. I love Jack Kirby, Carl Barks, Dan De Carlo, and alot of other American comic book legends. On the manga side, I’m a huge Toriyama and Rumiko Takahashi nut. I pull inspiration from a lot of places. The coolest part of being a part of this generation of cartoonists is that we all grew up seeing a bit of everything.
What comics are you into now that inspire you?
Oh man! I love Tiny Titans by Baltazar and Franco. Mermin by Joey Weisner is an awesome mini comic series. Remake, by Lamar Abrams is hilarious! I also like Prison Pit by Johnny Ryan, it’s insane. The Sixth Gun by Cullen Brian and Brian Hurtt is just a fun comic and is something I would’ve been even more obsessed with as a kid. But you know, I’m reading alot of older comics latelylike Usagi Yojimbo by Stan Sakai. And the Wolfman + Perez run on Teen Titans. My tastes are all over the place. It’s weird seeing it in writing.
Now one thing I’ve seen a lot of references to in Vol 2 is Scott Pilgrim.
Hahaha. Hell yeah! Brian (Lee O’Malley)’s awesome. It’s funny because he gave me a cool blurb on the back of volume one of Super Pro KO so I wanted to throw a little something back his way
And then there’s also a lot of references to the Oni Press staff.
The Oni Mafia. Yes. Charlie Chu’s the one on the cell phone. He’s my editor. They’re a cool click of people. I’ve learned a lot from them in different ways. Hahaha. “Clique”. Whatever. I think I make Keith Wood’s life the most hell. He’s the art director. And I pretty messy so as you can imagine, he has to deal with my crap. But I’m working on it. I’m a work in progress.
Life is a work in progress. Now were there any other hidden things in the comic that I missed?
The Groovy “619” nightclub is a blatant shout out to Rey Mysterio.
Ah, I am surprisingly not a wrestling fan, but I still love the series.
A lot of the feedback I get is usually from non wrestling fans. I’m glad the comic is accessible in that way.
It’s a lot more enjoyable than wrestling ever is for me – more fast paced and punchy if you know what I mean.
I have a different platform to show off this bunch of wrestlers than any of the live feds. The comic medium works to my advantage. I get to showcase a lot in the book. You get to see the crowd, the wrestlers, the behind the scenes stuff, and the matches. I get to really get people into the heads of these characters.
Yeah the book is great that way.
It’s fun man. I think it was good for me to just draw a comic about something I’m really into. I had no idea it would resonate with others the way it has.
Now you also did Lunar Boy which I recently read through. What was the original production schedule for that?
I originally updated it twice a week. I did that for 3 years. But I also was working on little minicomics and books outside of the webcomic. It was a lot of work but way unorganized. I’m surprised how long I was able to work that way. I’ve been taking my time while working on my next Lunar Boy comic. I want it to be great and I’m not putting any of it online until I feel it’s in a good place. I think that’s important. I got into a zone where I was allowing the schedule to rule the comic. The story took a backseat which is why it pretty much unraveled. Now I’m just working on pages and being more careful about what I’m doing. Even more so, I’m looking at why I’m making the choices I’m making on each page. It’s been a lot less stressful
Well, is there anything else you want to plug before you go? is up and that’s where I’m posting updates on SPKO 3: Gold for Glory since that’s what I’m working on right now. You can also find links to SPKO 2: Chaos in the Cage! from there. There’s so much I want to do with this universe of wrestlers. Keep spreading the word about it. And the feedback I’ve gotten so far is really inspiring. Whenever I’m stuck on something minute or just giving myself a hard time I definitely look at the mail from readers. It’s pumped me up a couple of times. I appreciate the support from everyone.
Awesome. Well thanks for doing the interview Jarrett.
Anytime man!

Luke Herr

Luke is a writer and an aspiring professional comic writer who is also the editor in chief of Nerdcenaries. He currently is working on a graphic novel called Prison Spaceship.