Riley Rossmo has been almost everywhere lately. From covers for Valiant, Image, IDW and a short story in DC Comic’s Adventures of Superman with Justin Jordan, this up and coming artist has been almost non-stop busy. Hailing from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Rossmo has put together some awesome “indy” series in his short career that include Green Wake, Cowboy Ninja Viking, Rebel Blood, Proof, Debris and of course Bedlam. He has come a long way in a short time and now with his new series DrumHellar, with Alex Link, on the way from Image Comics’ Shadowline we can only expect more great things from his twisted mind.
All-Comic: Thank you for taking the time out of your hectic schedule to do this interview with us. You’re officially the first interview for All-Comic.com!
Riley Rossmo: No Problem, glad to do it.
All-Comic: Alright, Mr. Rossmo, let’s get down to business shall we? Let’s talk about this new series we’ve been seeing teasers for called DrumHellar. What can you tell us about it?
Riley Rossmo: DrumHellar is explores the world of the paranormal in a Rural setting. It addresses the non-corporal, psychedelics and psychic phenomenon from a inquisitive point of view as opposed to a fear based pint of view (most of the time).
All-Comic: Who is Drum?
Riley Rossmo: Drum is a botanist that has lost his job and seems to get by just helping people out around town. Drum’s a bit dreamy, he doesn’t accept any norms in his work, or in his personal life.
All-Comic: Is it true you, essentially, locked yourself away in a rented house in Drumheller, Alberta to work on this project and get away from the craziness of Calgary?
Riley Rossmo: I feel like I make a fair amount of books (which I love to do) I don’t feel like I always get enough time to research what I’m doing. The themes and settings in DrumHellar had been brewing for a while. I wanted to spend more time in a rural community before I set a book in one. So I rented a place in a rural community (Drumheller) and spent my time interviewing locals, taking photos, reading, and drawing. A little later in the summer I did something similar in Montana.
All-Comic: What was what experience like? Would you do it again?
Riley Rossmo: Most definitely it was a little tricky to get locals to warm up to me but after they did they where great. I ended up trading drawings for ghost stories at the local bar. Later in the week the neighbor at the place I rented took me on a tour of the valley. In Montana I spent some time up at my wife’s parents cabin. We visited a bunch of small communities. I think going somewhere new inspires me to make more interesting work and being in those places adds a layer of richness to work of art.
All-Comic: This was originally title Strangeways, can you shed any light on the name change? Was it a creative choice or something similar to (Vertigo’s) Collider being forced to change its name?
Riley Rossmo: We mostly changed it to keep from stepping on another creator’s toes. It’s a pain but the right thing to do.
All-Comic: As it stands, is this still planned as a 4-issue mini-series, similar to the recent Rebel Blood mini that you did?
Riley Rossmo: No, I have plans for more the first arc is 5 issues I have plans for another 10-15 issues after that.
All-Comic: What else have you been working on? Your name seems to being popping up a lot lately from DC’s Adventures of Superman, with writer Justin Jordan, to covers for Burn the Orphanage and G.I. Joe.
Riley Rossmo: I love Justin he is a sweet guy working on Superman with him was pretty fun. Its been fun doing covers for IDW; I was a big G.I. Joe fan as a kid and I’ve also been doing covers for Valiant.
All-Comic: For my own selfish reasons, when can we expect more Cowboy Ninja Viking? That was an awesome series. Also, has Disney gotten anywhere with a show/movie based on the series? Rumour was they purchased the rights.
Riley Rossmo: They have the rights, keep your fingers crossed.
All-Comic: Who would you say are your top three influences? Who made you want to become an artist?
Riley Rossmo: I have tons of influenes three is hard to name. Mike Mignola, Bill Sienkiewicz, Egon Schiele, John Buscema, and Gene Colan. This is kinda weird, but drawing is one of the only things I can do for 6-10 hours a day and not feel cagey. Art is a compulsion for me. It chose me, as cheesy as that sounds.
All-Comic: When are you going to buy that beer you owe me?
Riley Rossmo: After the red and white show?
All-Comic: In all seriousness, thanks for doing this interview with us Riley. Look forward Drumhellar and huge congrats on your success. Your hard work really shows.
Make sure you pick of DrumHellar in November from Shadowline (Image Comics) and don’t forget to follow Mr. Rossmo on Twitter to stay connected and up to the minute with news about, well, all things Riley Rossmo. This is a series that he’s clearly poured his heart and soul into. Talk to your shops and get your preorders going. With a talent like this, you won’t be disappointed.