Real Interviews: Kyle Starks

This week Nerdcenaries sat down with Kyle Starks to talk about Ricky Thunder, the comic he is Kickstarting.

Nerdcenaries: How would you explain Ricky Thunder to someone who doesn’t like wrestling?
Kyle Starks: If someone told me they didn’t like wrestling and why should they buy the book, I would say because it’s not about wrestling. The main character is a wrestler, yes, but it isn’t a wrestling STORY. You don’t need to be a wrestling fan to appreciate a story of someone never giving up and being faced with ridiculous odds and the whole thing being, I believe, pretty humorous along the way.
Nerdcenaries: So it is an underdog story in a lot of ways?
Kyle Starks: I wouldn’t say that – I think we’re all faced with emotional hurdles and roadblocks. With Ricky it’s just a disbelief in reality and a loss of confidence as a huge undertaking falls (comically) into his lap.
Nerdcenaries: What was the inspiration for the comic?
Kyle Starks: For the story or for making the comic?
Nerdcenaries: For telling this story and telling it in comic form.
Kyle Starks: Well, I had reached a place in my life where I had become increasingly aware of the passage of time and my own mortality – my first daughter had just turned 2, my second daughter was about to be born. Making a full length comic was always something I wanted to do and it felt like now or never. In terms of why THIS story, well, I wanted to tell something that would keep me interested during the creative process. I like wrestling and ridiculousness. And it’s a theme I can really get behind.
Nerdcenaries: Are you going to refer to Ricky Thunder as a child so you can say “Ricky Thunder keeps his room clean. Why can you be more like him?”
Kyle Starks: Say again? I’m just going to answer that with “probably not.”
Nerdcenaries: Haha. Ok. That was a bit too weird.
Kyle Starks: Rhough I guess it’s interesting that the interview has suddenly segued into surrealist comedy.
Nerdcenaries: The last one I did was for another site and I had to be serious and adult there.
Kyle Starks: Okie dokie.
Nerdcenaries: Why go to crowdsourcing to produce the book?
Kyle Starks: it was the only viable means that I’m aware of. I have a decent job, but I also have a family, a mortgage, a car payment. In fact, if I didn’t feel the need or want to start participating in the convention community – as an escalation of my current involvement in the comic community, I would probably have been happy to have it live on the internet. But you have to have something to sell – and I have had something that has gotten really strong feedback. It seemed like a perfect solution to the issue.
Nerdcenaries: Do you think more professional comic companies might turn to crowdsourcing to test out the sustainability of new comics?
Kyle Starks: I think there might be a venue that could be made available for something like that – I think if you are able to do something already, asking for money to gauge interest is really just glamified pre-ordering, right? With Diamond books being 4 months in advance, I would think they’re already getting that sort of information. BUT, ultimately, I feel these sites (kickstarter, indiegogo) are really meant for and work best for people like me who want to make a project happen but can’t without real people support.
Nerdcenaries: What is the next big comic that you are going to work on?
Kyle Starks: My next comic is going to be another homage to 80s action films. Ostensibly, it’s if Shane was written/directed by the people that made Road House.
Nerdcenaries: Awesome. Besides your Kickstarter is there anything you’d like to give press to?
Kyle Starks: Right now all my energy is being directed at promoting and maintaining the Kickstarter. But pretty much everything I’ve ever done is on my website ( or linked to from there (like Wild Dog or Frankenstein). Dudes can follow me on twitter @starr226.
OH! Hold on! If people are interested, for sure my con schedule includes: FLUKE in Athens, GA and Appleseed in Ft. Wayne, IN. I should most definitely also be at HeroesCon in Charlotte and DerbyCity in Louisville. And there’s a very good chance I will be at SPX. If you’re not on the east and near any of those shows this is going to be your only chance to get your hand on Ricky or any of the fun goodies that are also a part of the Kickstarter. “not on the east coast”
Nerdcenaries: Thanks Kyle

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.