I’m finding of late, I’m loving the interviews more and more. So many artists and creators are doing impressive things and along those lines are these two multi-talented creators that I’ve had the privilege to interview. Michael J. Ruiz-Unger (editor and comic creator) and Javier Puga, also known as Tucker Tota, of the music world are the creators behind Ghost City Comics Competition.
I’m finding myself more and more passionate about creators’ stories moving forward. As I listen to them describe what they do and their experiences, I feel a connection. I connect to their work, ideas, passion and good deeds, which I’m a huge fan of. There is this great sense of community an interviewee lets you visit when they answer your questions. I’m finding the comic book industry almost symbiotic in nature at this point. So many individuals are supportive of one another.
The best part thus far are the wonderful ways so many artists are giving back to their community. From actual acts of charity to providing a place for newer creators to get their name out, there’s a pattern of beautiful work that extends beyond the creative process.
Both Mike (Michael) and Tucker were great to get a glimpse of as they’ve got this fantastic competition on the go and are quite multi talented. Mike has been editing videos, creating comics, working on a short (Space James) and developing this competition. Tucker has years of Beatlesque music with his band Bad Wave and has been working on the sci-fi noir comic, Dark Beach with Mike in addition to a large variety of other projects the two have worked on.
Without further ado let’s dive into some of the guys’ thoughts on what they’ve created and some of their feelings from the back end of the competition. Naturally, I’ll include some stills of their Dark Beach work which is gorgeous. I think by the end you’ll be diving into the same internet hole on each of them that I did.
OG: Michael- How does editing film compare to the comic book industry? Which do you prefer? How did one lead to the other?
Mike: Film editing and comic books both deal with developing stories and their characters. As an editor, I’m always looking for the right pacing and selecting the right angles and beats that help push the story or scene. Creating a comic is no different, but it does offer better opportunities in my opinion. Right now I prefer the world of comics especially since this competition started. I am in awe of what has been coming in!
OG: Tucker- Wow, you have some serious musical talent. Where does Ghost City come into play and how did you two get this started?
Tucker: Thanks! Music is my first love, but comics have grown on me more and more over the years. Ghost City is a culmination of everything I love about the world of comics.
OG: What’s the motivation behind each of your respective efforts for this contest?
Mike: Giving someone a new way to expose their story or art is the main reason we feel so strongly about this idea. Even if just one person makes a connection that furthers their career then that’s worth it for us.
OG: What do you think Ghost City brings to the table for artists? Obviously I think it’s killer awesome as I wanted to interview you but what do you see it offering from your standpoint?
Tucker: On one end, it offers a chance to get your art seen by bigger artists, publishers, and reviewers. We also hope we’re giving people a reason to form a comic team and make new comics, and providing a new reason to create.
OG: What do you get out of the Ghost City contest personally and professionally?
Mike: Interacting with people who are in the industry, both professionally and on the indie level. We’re getting a better pulse on the industry and the people working behind the scenes.
OG: I find that being involved in several areas keeps me so busy but at the same time, keeps me inspired in it’s own way. Do you find that being involved in projects in several areas helps inspire you? There’s a lot of diversity in both of your CVs (film, music, editing, competitions, comic books)
Mike: It’s great to have a hand in so many mediums, but as time goes by I feel the need to narrow it down. Sometimes one inspires me more than the other, but I’ve learned to compartmentalize- most of the time. All in all I feel grateful to be doing any of these things.
OG: What is your favorite part about the contest? Is there one thing that you enjoy above all others?
Mike: Seeing the submissions! That’s the part I enjoy the most. There are so many talented people and just the fact that they recognize our competition and take time to submit has been amazing.
OG: Do you see any changes for the competition? Growth? Do you have a goal for future years with it?
Tucker: We have a lot of ideas for Ghost City. And all the positive feedback has encouraged us to pursue them. We just launched a podcast and are planning some mini-contests for after this one is finished. Hopefully an anthology of the winners too.
Originally published on Outright Geekery