Thursday, March 31, 2016

Emerald City Comic Con Preview: Q&A with Ryan Fisher

Hope you enjoyed the Tim Sale Q&A, and if you missed it, check it out HERE. It was quite an honor that a legend like Mr. Sale took the time for a quick chat. I'm pretty sure you'll like this next Q&A in the ECCC preview series. We had a nice little chat about Seattle artist Ryan Fisher, about his newly released graphic novel, Torchlight Lullaby. This book was more than deserving of the highly successful boost it recieved from its crowdfunding campaign. Read on and if you're at Emerald City Comic Con this year, stop by Ryan's table (M-08) and take a look. These words do it no justice.
TheSteveStrout: You have a couple cons coming up including ECCC, one of the biggest and best in North America, and the Comic Book Swap Meet, a mini con ran by ...How will your approach at the shows vary from the big to small show? Ryan Fisher: Good question. To be honest I have done many small shows in the past but my hunch is this. With ECCC it's a very hectic experience. People running to see panels, photo shoots with celebs, various artists, meet with friends etc. for someone in artist alley I tend to get those brief windows of time people have between events, so our exchanges are often shorter. Granted they get to see a ton more stuff so chances are really good they'll find something they dig, and for some folks that might be my stuff.
With a small show everyone through the door will check out everything, so there's a potential to reach out to folks who on the surface may not have been fans at say ECCC. Plus for those that are fans we can spend much longer hanging out and talking shop. Not sure what sales look like at a small show, but I look forward to spending the day talking to a lot of people that really love comics. TheSteveStrout: Is this your first time in the ECCC artist alley? Ryan Fisher: No this will be my 7th time in ECCC artist alley.
TheSteveStrout: You will be promoting Torchlight Lullaby, your self published graphic novel. Can you give readers a quick summary of Torchlight Lullaby? Ryan Fisher: Torchlight Lullaby is a story about a little girl named Ella and her stuffed mouse Winchell. Ella becomes trapped inside her dreams, where they unwittingly create an opening between the two worlds. As the darkness of her nightmares begins invading her waking world, Ella and Winchell embark on a journey to find a way out. Forced to cope with her greatest fears, Ella must face what she's been running from and close the door between the worlds forever. TheSteveStrout: What inspired this story? Ryan Fisher: Torchlight Lullaby is a story I starting working on at night to distract myself from the grief I was feeling from losing my father. It started as a coping method but evolved into a story I loved and had to tell.
So I did. smile emoticon
TheSteveStrout: How does your creative process work? Did you have a script first, or characters developed, and write based on those? Ryan Fisher: For Torchlight I started first with a basic idea of character personalties. No drawings or anything, just basic archetypes and how they'd interact. Then I outlined the story, fleshed it out with dialogue over a series of edits. Penciled the book out and the read it against the script for flow. Then I inked and colored it.
TheSteveStrout: The published collection came together with the help of a highly successful crowd funding campaign which we shared a while back at the site. Did that exceed your expectations? Ryan Fisher: Man, I still can't believe how much the Kickstarter took off. I was and am still incredibly surprised and grateful for all of the people that chose to invest in this project. Because so many people chose to back the book I was actually able to make a better product in the end. I improved the paper stock, added embossing to the hardcover, an anti-scratch coating and even a ribbon bookmark (god I've always loved those things.) Kickstarter was very kind to me and I can't wait to get people their books. TheSteveStrout: What do you hope to achieve on your convention tour? Ryan Fisher: Sell books, man. If I'm gonna be honest that's by far the end goal. I'm now sitting on a thousand of these bad boys in my tiny apartment. Aside from that though, I hope to get the book into the hands of people that will really dig it. For the people that take the time to visit with me at a show I want to do what I can to stand out as a highlight for them and let them know how much I appreciate it. Plus I get to travel to some new cities and meet a ton of new people which is always awesome.
TheSteveStrout: Tell us a bit about your art background, and any other projects you've worked on? Ryan Fisher: I've been a cartoonist for 7 years now. Torchlight Lullaby is my first graphic novel but before that I worked on two webcomic strips, Gin and Comics and Sometime After. Outside of cartooning I have a BA in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of Seattle TheSteveStrout: I mentioned the successful crowd funding campaign for Torchlight Lullaby. These campaigns have helped a lot of great creators share their art with the world. What advice would you offer to someone considering a campaign to publish, etc...? Ryan Fisher: The biggest piece of advise I would offer anyone looking to fund a comic printing through Kickstarter is to understand that people are investing in you as much as your book. Yes it needs to be good looking and yes it needs to have a good hook or plot idea, but at the end of the day, you also have to reach them. They can't hold the book, they can't flip through it. There's no reviews. So in the end if they are gonna lay down their hard earned cash they have to trust you to deliver the best book you can and that you are the kind of person they want to support. Be friendly, be appreciate and be genuine. TheSteveStrout: Thanks for the chat, Ryan. Where can one find Torchlight Lullaby if not making any upcoming shows? Is there anything else you care to add or plug? Ryan Fisher: If you can't make it out to ECCC or the Comic Swap meet held by yourself, there's two more local places you can catch me in May. For FCBD ( I think that's May 7th this year) I'll be at Subspace Comics in Lynnwood, Washington. I'll have books and prints to sell as well as doing sketches to help support Brian and Amy and their awesome shop.
There's also an event I'm super stoked for and that's the launch party of Torchlight at the Comics Dungeon on May 14th. Scott and crew have been kind enough to open up their store to me to kick this book off right. Again I'll have the book and prints as well as doing sketches, plus I'll have an exclusive launch party print that I'll be giving away for free as my thanks for showing up and saying hi.
Right now you can pre-order the book through:
And after May 14th it will be available on
Or you can come out and see me at ECCC or the Comic Book Swap Meet and get one of the first copies.
Thanks for checking out this Q&A. We're really getting amped up for Emerald City Comic Con! Be sure to swing by Ryan Fisher's table and grab one of the first copies of Torchlight Lullaby...and tell him we sent ya!! Ryan will be at table M-08 all weekend... Check back in the next few days for our Q&A with the writer of the Oni Press book, Junior Braves Of The Apocolypse, Greg Smith, and our guest post/ Sakura Con photo gallery from Haylee Troncone by clicking HERE

Steve Strout is the media mastermind behind this site, host of the Comic Book Swap Meet, nerd, terrible artist, gamer, convention goer and comic book reader who spends more time rescuing toys from thrift shops than a normal adult should. He is also known around the northwest for his promotion of live music and stand-up comedy events and is the creator/producer of the Comic Book Swap Meet mini convention, and Olympic Peninsula Comedy Competition (which will make it's big return in 2015). Follow him on Instagram at, and  He can be reached for comments at on twitter at @thestevestrout