Friday, September 26, 2014

Magical Star Bubble Power: An Interview w/ "Lotus For Help" Creator Drew Green

My pal Steve came back from Atlanta's DragonCon raving about openly gay/artist illustrator Drew Green and showing me the drawing he commissioned. Knowing that I am a huge fan of comic illustration, Steve pretty much demanded that I go online and check out Drew's artwork. And, I am pretty thankful he did! It turned out that Drew Green is pretty darn awesome. So, I set out to learn more.

Drew is based out of Atlanta. For the last couple of years, when not tackling projects for Boom! Studios, Cartoon Network, or Pepsi, Drew has been writing a weekly LGBT webcomic series called Ross Boston. In short, Ross Boston is the story of a 23-year-old guy who gets swept up into a life of adventure after assisting a Wizard in peril. The two are joined by an 80s workout video instructor, a sassy beast, and a super-secret ex-spy, all of whom work together to protect the monster citizens of an alternate version of our very own planet Earth.

However, Drew recently decided to shelf Ross Boston in favor of his latest weekly comic creation Lotus For Help. LFH follows the weird adventures of an ex-secret agent, her wizard boss, a bubbly demonic summoner, and an invisible demon. For fans of Ross Boston, there will be much rejoicing as quite a few characters will be transitioning into the new storyline. The interview below has more detailed info on this! From what we have seen from Lotus for Help thus far, it promises to be one of the most entertaining weekly comics the internet has to offer!

Thankfully, Drew was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to do an interview with us! If you would like to spend some time getting to know even more about Drew Green, we suggest his Lotus For Help site, Tumblr, DeviantArt, and Twitter!

Q: So, as I was stalking you on the internet, I noticed on your DeviantArt page there is a section for a project called Wildflowers with a cast including a young psychic, a half-angel electrokinetic male stripper and a pyrokinetic drug addict. Why on Earth are you not working on this comic right now!??
Drew: Haha, oh "Wildflowers." I can't even remember why I named it that. I suspect the hunky half-angel character was a direct representation of my own sexual frustration. Deep! That project, like so many projects, was a product of a time and a place in my life, and I look back on it fondly. I drew some pretty cool stuff in relation to it, but never any pages. I used to have a lot of ideas for comics but never any comics! Oh to be 5 years younger and lazy. Anyway, I'd say a lot of pieces of "Wildflowers" and other personal projects ended up in "Ross Boston," "Lotus For Help," and some other projects I'm developing that I can't talk about, in addition to other things that just never even took off. It's amazing how much ends up on the cutting room floor, but I encourage other creators never to throw any ideas away. Never know when it'll be useful.

Q: In your new weekly comic “Lotus For Help,” you kill off a character in the first 7 pages. How cathartic was that?
Drew: Is anyone ever really dead in the world of comics? It's amazing how impermanent death is in that medium, and that's something I hope to play with on multiple occasions in "Lotus For Help." After all, a big part of the comic's theme has to do with demons and the underworld. Stay tuned, kids!

Q:  My Pal Steve is a huge fan of yours. He wanted me to ask you the following: "Your character designs flirt with the line between 'cute' and 'sexy', which sets you apart as an artist. Can you explain the inspiration behind your design aesthetic and your motivation in playing with that design in fun (and sometimes risqué) ways?"
Drew: After art, human sexuality has always been a really interesting topic to me. I've never made any attempts in my life to hide the fact that I wear my attractions on my sleeve, that I enjoy healthy amounts of porn, and I think it's perfectly cool to be attracted to cartoon characters as long as you don't get carried away. The human body is fascinating and it's a great source of inspiration! I tend to design characters that I would personally be attracted to, with physical traits, personalities, fashion choices, etc. that speak to my own tastes. I suppose this isn't the most versatile way to design and that's something I'm looking to fix, but for now...more sexy chubby bearded guys and smokin' hot femme fatales, I suppose.

Q: Keeping with that theme…are Chief Cattigan’s boobs getting bigger?
Drew: Haha, I like to think she perked them up in anticipation of Nicki coming over to chat. I had considered drawing her pushing them up with her hands but thought it may be a bit much. In much as I like that panel of her at the end of page 7, perhaps I could have been more courageous.

Q: Now that your LGBT comic series Ross Boston is over and Ross is moving into the world of “Lotus For Help,” are there any characters you are going to miss?
Drew: Perhaps it is a bit revealing to say this, but most of the characters in "Ross Boston" have a place in "Lotus For Help," if not immediately and if not necessarily in the same form. Just as Ross and Nicki have undergone drastic design edits and personality changes, so have these other characters. You'll see in time. I suppose to answer your question, however, there is one character I have no intention of bringing back, and that's Squll, the enchanted arcade cabinet that the Bobslist Adventure Team used as essentially their supercomputer. I had a lot of empty jokes planned for that character, but he was ultimately unnecessary and rarely did any of the jokes land. I'm not really going to miss him. I guess I didn't answer your question after all!

Q: What are your thoughts on the current state of LGBT comics?
Drew: I feel very removed from that scene, not because I'm not part of it - the work I've created and continue to create makes a clear statement - but because I don't pay close enough attention. I suppose I'm more concerned with LGBT representation in comics as a whole rather than comics geared specifically for an LGBT audience (the latter of which, admittedly, is what I'm doing with "Lotus For Help"). In that sense, there's progress but it's really, really slow. Hopefully creating endearing queer characters in my own work will do a small part in elevating the - dare I say - LGBT agenda.

Q: You illustrate a fair amount of video game related art, what are your all time favorite games? What are you currently playing?
Drew: I've always been a huge Nintendo fan, which is no secret. Many of their first party efforts are sitting a handful of feet away from me right now. I've always been very fond of the Metroid series, for its overall quality but also its incredible, untapped potential. It's not very Nintendo-like of me to say that I'd love to see a survival-horror Metroid title. I know it will never happen, but it seems like the logical evolution of the lonely, creepy vibe the games usually employ. Other favorites are Mega Man 3 (the quirkiest of Mega Man games without the hassle of charging your buster) and Wind Waker (shockingly made better in HD on the Wii U, go play it if you're not convinced). I am currently playing the Super Smash Bros. 3DS demo, as well as Azure Striker Gunvolt, also for 3DS.

Q: By the way, if it were in my power, I would give you the award for the absolute best/worst Pokemon creation in all of history. What were you doing when you suddenly stopped and said, “Hey, I am going to make a portmanteau Pokemon creation with a mustache, bow tie, and sandals, and call it Portmanteau?!”
Drew: As with so many of the great masterpieces in art, Portmanteau was born out of a conversation. My friend Chase said that he was a master of portmanteaus, to which I responded that it sounded like the name of a Pokemon. And then the idea just sort of blossomed between us. So...I drew it. Because I care.

Q: What comics/graphic novels/comic books are you currently following?
Drew: Oh man, I just do not read enough comics. I watch a lot of cartoons, though. Currently, I'm enjoying Steven Universe, Gravity Falls, and Clarence. I know I have to give you a comic, though, so I'd recommend "Battle Dog." It's a WAY cute webcomic written by Andrew Duff and illustrated by Matt Cummings and can be found at

Q: Who would win in a fight: Samus Aran or Mega Man?
Drew: Mega Man has a very large arsenal, but even if he somehow managed to defeat Samus in battle, she'd probably vengefully hunt him down later and dismantle him. Then, like...make a suit out of him or something. That seems very Samus to me. I'm sure she'd leave behind just enough parts for the space pirates to make a brand new Ridley out of him, though. Those guys could build a Ridley out of a bandaid, some gum, and a paper clip, I swear.

**Click any pic to enlarge!

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