Orcs in Space talk with all the guys that AREN’T Justin Roiland!!

Today we are joined by all but one of the Orcs in Space team (we’re looking at your Justin Roiland!) Abed Gheith, Rashad Gheith, Michael Tanner, and Francios Vigneault!

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Interview scheduled by Jeffery Haas

Theme music by Ardus

Orcs in Space

Kenric: . [00:00:00] All right, guys. Welcome back to the show. My name is Kendrick Gregan. Thanks for joining us here on spoiler country.

Today is extra cool because there’s a new book coming out and you should really go to pre-brew previews, world.com and look up orcs in space. I think you’re going to have a lot of fun. It’s a double issue. D debut. I can’t wait. We got the creative team all, but one and you know what? That guy is so lazy.

He couldn’t make it. So we’re not even going to mention his name. He got to figure it out. I’ll put it in the show notes. So you know exactly who we’re talking about, but Michael Tanner, Rashad gate ABET gates and Fran stall. I mean, you know, I think I just butchered the last name Francoise. I apologize for that.

Even though we did it like three times to make sure I had it right. And then I think I did it wrong anyway. He did. Pretty good. Welcome guys. Thanks for coming on. Talking orcs in space. This is. Thanks for having us on. Yeah. It’s been a long time coming. [00:01:00] Yeah. So

Abed Gheith: pleasure. Thank you.

Kenric: Yeah. Let’s start off with the first question.

Where did this project, where was this project born? How did it come about?

Rashad Gheith: Yeah, I guess I’ll take this. So I used to play a, a popular MMO RPG back in the mid nineties called Ultima online the second age. And it was through playing this game that I encountered an ORC role playing Guild, and I fell in love with them.

These guys never broke character. They had their own orcas language and they were so funny, so silly. And I realized like that there, there was money here. There’s something amazing going on here that pop culture needs to tap into. And and I’ve always been such a fan of. Science fiction like star Trek and Farscape and so really orphan space.

It’s just a matter of putting two and two together. And I think it’s, it’s the only real Eureka moment I’ve had. It’s just, you take orcs, [00:02:00] fling them into space and, and hilarity ensues really is the only outcome of that.

Kenric: Who was this project? Was it your brother? No, it

Rashad Gheith: was Justin. I, it was soon after Justin moved to LA and I knew he was trying to break into the cartoon industry and I just threw the synopsis out there to him and.

More or less just forgot about it. You know, I, I had no means myself of making a cartoon, so I just threw it to him. And it was many, many years later that I get a call saying, Oni, press wants to turn this into a comic book, which is amazing. You know, we, we admitted, always envisioned this as a cartoon, but you know, it’s actually starting it off as a comic book.

It’s kind of brilliant.

Abed Gheith: I actually have a correction. Justin came to me first and he wanted an anthology project for one. And [00:03:00] so I wrote, I want to say three tales from the crypt style stories. Cool. And then Justin was like, oh, he doesn’t like anthology comics. We want an ongoing story. Then Justin remembered orcs in space because he wanted to make it a cartoon.

And then he went, you know, what about your brother’s idea or it’s in space? That that would be a good comic. And then I was like, I think that’s a great idea. Then the rest is history. We just all got together and started like working on it.

Kenric: So how did you bring Michael in? Because for people who don’t know, junior braise of the apocalypse is an Oni press production and Michael and his writing partner have been working on that one for what, 10 years now.

And you guys have how many volleys. We have two

Abed Gheith: volumes

Michael Tanner: out. It is comics is a long

Abed Gheith: process. Yeah,

Michael Tanner: we signed it. It has been like Greg and I signed our contracts for junior Braves back in 2010. First of all, you came out [00:04:00] at 2015 and we’re hoping volume three comes out at sometime in the next 10 years.

So, yeah, so I got asked to well, honestly I had kind of talked to one. I was like, Hey, I could use

Kenric: some work.

Michael Tanner: Like, yeah, I could use some freelance work. And James Lucas Jones that only was like, Hey, we’ve got this project with, with our bed case. And the way there was for, it was like Ahmed, you know, the namesake of the guy from community.

So wait. Oh, okay. Oh, so it was like, I’ll bet his brother Justin Rayland kinda had this idea that they were trying to work, but they need someone to like help them write it. So that’s how I got brought in it. And he always liked to tell the story that I got sent the original outline and I did not get it.

Like I understood the concept, but I did not get, like, I didn’t get it. Like I, didn’t why I was like, I don’t, I don’t, I don’t really get it, but I can take it. And I was like, I’ll, I’ll take the job. And then literally the morning of our first in-person meeting [00:05:00] back when we had in-person meetings I re-read it again.

And I finally got it. It’s, it’s three Stooges, it’s three Stooges and space as orcs. And it, like, I thought that helped me get, like, wrap my head around the idea. And then it started kicking over to France while like, I, I don’t honestly know how you guys sort of approach to brought into the project. So tell, tell us, tell us your origin story.

François Vignea: Yeah, you know, I mean, it was I had another project with Oni that came out last year called Titan and You know, I was like, I had finished Titan. I did another book here in Quebec. I live in in Quebec, in Canada and I am I do a lot of work in the French world a lot sometimes. And I was working on another book.

And then basically they, the, you know, there was kind of like a word of mouth or a chain of people asking about somebody, somebody, somebody. And so our editor, Amanda contacted me and she said, Hey, you know, like we’re looking for an artist for this book. Here’s the pH here’s the concept. And then she sent me [00:06:00] the script and I was like, okay, I’ll be happy to do it.

So like that, that was a bit, that was basically the origin story. It was like, as simple as that, you know, it was just like, Hey, do you want to try this out? Do you want to do some, you know, do some designs, do some sketches. And we’ll, the writers will see if they like what what’s happening. It seems like it worked out pretty well.

And but the crazy thing is, you know, with like COVID too, like everything has been delayed. So like all that happened a year and a half ago. And it’s, but we’d been working on the book for. For a long time. I know you guys love the brothers and also you, Michael, I’ve been working on it forever, but even for me now, it’s already been a year and a half that I’ve been involved with the boy with the book.

It’s kind of crazy.

Abed Gheith: When you think of with the Rashad, it was, it’s been eight years. And then for, for Michael, it would be what? Six? No,

Michael Tanner: not that long, but definitely like four, maybe four, I think four. Cause I think I have a, I think just recently I got a Facebook memory pop up of like going to Burbank for my first meeting for orcs.

And I think it was four years ago. [00:07:00] Oh

Abed Gheith: my God. There was like, I think, I think Rashad and me were sitting around and it must’ve been a two year period where we just go, well, what’s going to happen. Like, I haven’t heard anything. I don’t know what to do. Should we start writing? What the hell? And it just sorta just like.

It was almost like the moment when I said, you know, I’m not going, I’m going to stop thinking about it. And then we get like an email, like, all right guys.

Rashad Gheith: Yeah, it was driving. Whoa, sorry. It was driving me crazy. I mean, it was almost like a curse orcs in space. It’s like, I felt like I was sitting on top of a gold mine and nobody was doing anything about it, you know?

And I was I worked at target graveyard shift for the longest time for like 15 years. And I would just be stocking toys on the shelf and just like, like, oh my God, this, this thing in my head is so much cooler than any of the stuff, the, in this aisle. [00:08:00] And yeah, it was, it was driving me crazy, really?

Like the idea of since space was so frustrating. Cause I’ve, I’ve. Since I had that spark of an idea, I was like, this is, this has to come out. You know, just the name, the name alone. If I, you know, as a, as a geek, if I saw orcs in space on shelves. So I’m like, I’m picking that up.

Abed Gheith: Sorry, go

Kenric: ahead. Yeah. Shy.

What’s it like to have this idea in your head? Like you’re saying stocking shelves at target going, I know this is the gold to now. You’re you are releasing in, I believe July 7th. So it’s going to be in stores July 7th and you have this amazing creative team behind.

Rashad Gheith: Yeah, it’s it is literally a dream come true.

But right now, all I can think about is I hope we get an extension because I’m, I’m so happy with how the first 12 issues turned out, [00:09:00] but I keep on getting ideas for new characters that I want to introduce now, like this, I feel like we’ve w we, we just have seen it, the tip of the iceberg of this, this budding new silly universe, and I just want it to keep going.

So it’s super exciting, you know, I, I just have, I just have this dream of walking into a comic shop and seeing it on shelves and picking it up. To me. Yeah. It’s, it’s incredible. It

Abed Gheith: feels so good. Yeah. That’s

Michael Tanner: a really kind of amazing feeling to like walk into a store and like, see something that you created on the shelf and have it be like, you didn’t put it there.

Like, that’s good. They like, I give them like my local comic shop. Like if they order it, they did it, they did me a solid, but if I go into a store that I have no relationship with and I like, see it on the shelf like that, that means something, you know, it’s like, it’s, it’s a real

Kenric: thing.

Abed Gheith: Yeah. I think the funny thing is that, like, I [00:10:00] know that we started working with.

We were definitely worried when we teamed up with him. Cause we didn’t know what he would be like. So we were worried that this guy would, and us would be sort of different. It wouldn’t work out, but what’s weird is, is I was like, I must’ve been 13 or 14 and being my brother and my cousin, we would beg our parents to take us to the comic store.

And we would just like, we would spend like literally hours in there looking at everything and trying to we’d only get a certain amount of money. So we had to choose wisely. And I just remember going home, reading our comics and we all dreamed about someday seeing something we wrote or drew on the shelves.

Like that was always like, oh, wouldn’t that be amazing? And so that’s, what’s very strange about this is that like me and my brother are actually doing it. And Michael too, I think had the same thing growing up. He felt that same way. Yeah.

Kenric: Francoise. When you read the script, did you know your artwork was going to be compatible?

You’re like, oh yeah, I can do this. This is [00:11:00] right up my.

François Vignea: You know, I mean, I think the thing is, is that it’s such a different story than the kind of thing that I normally do, but at the same time, I, I really understood why it would work. Because at the baseline it’s just all this really fun stuff to draw.

And it like, so for me, it like really brings me back, like, you know, just like, a better saying, it brings me back to when I was like 10, 11, 12, 13, going into the comic shop, you know, like being really into teams and industrials until you sign you in Jimbo into all kinds of like comics that, you know, years later, like still hold up really well.

I still really liked them. And so for me, it’s just, it’s just, there’s a ton of fun in drawing. Like, you know, You know, like ax wielding barbarian or, or, you know, robotic bounty hunters and like spaceships that look like RVs or giant [00:12:00] robots, or like weird fuzzball aliens. Like it’s all just fun. There’s something that like very pure, very like almost childlike about like the vision behind it all.

It’s just like, Hey, what’s fun. Like what could we enjoy? Like what would be fun to see on the page? And so for me, it’s like, it’s, it’s pretty much just going back to like my roots of like, where I was coming from, you know, entering into the world of comics, what I wanted to do. And so, you know, like, I am always just trying to tap into that and bring that to the fore.

That’s awesome.

Kenric: So it sounds like with Rick and Morty and solar opposites, Justin is like the perfect. Person to help you guys with this project, what’s it like working with, with him? And, and what kind of input is he given on this whole thing?

Abed Gheith: Should I go first since I know Justin the best? I mean, I’ve worked with Justin since college.

We would make really bad, like dumb skits with like puppets for my garage and like do the weirdest [00:13:00] voices. Like we even did like lion the witch and the wardrobe, like a parody. Like we did a cartoon back in like 2003 where we were learning how to do this stuff together. And I have to say that like of, of anyone I work with, he’s not only the most fun to make laugh, but he makes me laugh.

Like we just have this like rapport that’s like back and forth. And when I worked on Rick and Morty with him, the same thing where it’s like the easiest job in the world is making your friends laugh. And that’s all I did. And Justin really is like, he’s kind of like the heart and soul of this beast.

And I mean, he had so many great suggestions and thoughts when we started of like really where to go with this and what it needed and like the right kind of energy. And so, I mean, it’s really like a dream team. I said this the other day that. Someone was like, oh, well, you know, there’s four writers.

That’s crazy. And I’m like, that just means it’s four times better than [00:14:00] if it’s one writer.

Rashad Gheith: He’s definitely made it better. Like initially I envisioned five orcs as cause I wanted a little tribe, you know? And he’s the one who said, no, there should be three. And that instantly clicked with you mean ABI because we’re, we grew up watching three Stooges.

Also initially the main villain was going to be a floating head in space and the ship that the orange Steele was, the heads hat, and which to me is, it’s a funny, cool idea. It’s a cool visual. But Justin came up with the idea of no, the, the, the, they should steal the ship from a parody of star fleet.

And that was the creation of Starbucks. Who, which I think are so much funnier. Like they give us so much comedic range that a floating head in space couldn’t so we’ve had like a lot of fun with them. So it’s

Abed Gheith: like, like the authority in [00:15:00] space, you think sort of like boring DMV, bureaucratic cratic, like BS, you know, filling out forms and going through regulations.

And that’s just like planets. Yeah. But like, they’re not as cool. They’re not as like adventurous, they’re all like, like sort of like, blue collar workers. And that kind of really felt like so right for this world for like them to be upset with these you know, these orcs that are just out of control and almost like that, they’re a bunch of like thugs, you know?


Kenric: Foil. Who is your target audience? Want to ask? I mean, like if someone’s watching this right now, What’s the other thing we could tell them to say, if you like this, if you like that, you’re going to love this.

Abed Gheith: I’d say like kids that like adventure time and also like, maybe like would be in my brother were like 14 years old and he was younger than me, but that eight to 14 range of like this stuff really appeals to that group.

I mean, if I was into digitals as a kid, it’s like that version of me is who I think we’re [00:16:00] writing this for

Rashad Gheith: awesome. Right. I mean, we’re not being overly gross. I I’d say, you know, eight and up, you know, I really want to create something that kids could enjoy just as much as, as people, our age or older, you know, I think it’s probably really difficult to write something.

Someone can read with their kid and both equally enjoy and have something to look forward to every month. But I, I think we’ve done it really.

Abed Gheith: You got, anyone would love this people now that they’re my age. And they grew up on digitals and their kids are reading digital. So it’s like, they’re sharing this.

So I’d imagine. Yeah, like, like a father that’s like from my generation, sharing it with his kids, you know? And like, they’re both reading it. Like, that’s really the goal here. You know, it’s like to make them bond on something that’s like not star wars,

[00:17:00] Michael Tanner: perfect for like drug addicts and people it’s like going through a rough patch, you know, like they’re feeling down at the end of their rope. Like they pick up the issue of the works in space. It’s going to really brighten their day. Not only I joke, but I do think. This book kind of, and this is where I’ll talk about it.

And we’ll kind of be at my own butt or our own butts is like visually it’s so appealing with Francoise artwork. Like, it looks so good. Like I think people are going to pick it up just because this is a good looking book. But then also, like, I think people who like fantasy are gonna like it and like, like RPT, like people who are into PG is, are gonna be into this.

Like I, cause I think we’re playing with a lot of tropes in the fantasy realm and also in scifi realm and doing these adventures where I think in some cases we do [00:18:00] kind of fear over into parody, but a lot of times we’re just kind of like twisting tropes and do it. Fun adventures. And again, there’s a lot of snotty humor sometimes too.

Yeah, there’s a lot of, we like to say snot humor now that’s their new buzzword we discovered yesterday. So it’s, it’s, I think it is, it is all age appropriate. Because over the top violence is considered all age appropriate. So yeah, I think they, I think this is a book that really would appeal to a wide range of people.

Cause it’s funny, it’s a funny adventure that plays on a lot of familiar things and does them in interesting ways and looks beautiful while it does it.

Kenric: How much of a opposite effect from Titan has this book had for you?

François Vignea: It’s a little bit different. Just a little bit. But you know,

You know, it’s like the thing is, is that it’s just really fun. Like [00:19:00] there’s not the, you know, in some ways it isn’t the same wheelhouse, you know, like Michael said, it’s like, there’s elements of parody in it, but there’s also elements of just like straightforward science fiction, adventure, star Trek, star wars, D, and D all those kinds of things, all those things that I liked.

And that in my own like personal work, like, you know, they got weirdly channeled into, I don’t know, like, class warfare in space, but for, for what, but at the same time at like the baseline level, I just love all the kind of nerdy, geeky Saifai fantasy tropes that are popping up in this book. So for me, it’s like, it’s a natural fit.

It’s kind of fun every single time, you know, like the script will come and I’ll be like, oh Kayla, what do I have to draw on this issue? I’ve got to draw steam, punk space, rat pirate, Navy guys, Otay. Like, how am I like, sure. I’m up for it. Like, I know I can figure this one out, you know, or, you know, like space robots or what, what, you know, whatever, like the new thing that the [00:20:00] guys come up with each time, I’m like, okay, like what is the way that we’re going to tackle this?

And, and, and it’s, we’re going to handle it. I mean, it’s, it’s true. It’s like, literally like no pun intended, but it’s light years away from like the kind of work that I am doing on my own. But at the same time, it’s like, well, within my wheelhouse and that’s well within like that kind of like, I dunno, fantasy dream state that you know, is somewhere deep in the back of my mind.


Kenric: Is it refreshing to be able to have somebody come to you and say, this is what we want. And you just have to, and you think, instead of thinking of the story arc, and like, I know you probably have some, some input on how the story goes based on the art that you’re providing, but at the same time arbiter a shot or Michael, or even Justin comes to you say, we want this, you know, this.

And you’re like, okay. I can just, all I have to do is think about that.

François Vignea: Right. You know, I mean, like in all honesty, like makes my job a lot easier, right? Like the hard, the hard stuff. Sometimes it’s like, you [00:21:00] have to come up like these ideas, but like, you know, the writing and all that and all those kinds of things.

And instead like, for me, like my job is kind of to like, make what they’re coming up with, like work on the page and like presented on the page in such a way that it like is getting crossed the spirit, the concept, the ideas that they have. But is also working like in kind of like the comic book world, you know, to like there too, everyone has different experiences and everyone has different expertise.

And so that’s what I’m kind of trying to bring to the table. Like from my end, you know, like my own, I think that things should be this way on a page or what have you. But

Kenric: there’s a part of me that feels like it might be a little harder at times too, because they’re explaining something and you’re putting visually what’s in their head.

And then you, they gotta be like, that’s what I w that’s what I was thinking. And then you’re like, okay, good. I’m glad I got it.

François Vignea: I hope it works like that. You know, like, like, like I can’t say if it works like that a hundred percent of the time, but I hope it does. I mean, you know, like, [00:22:00] like any collaboration, there’s a little bit of like a push and pull.

Like we discuss things and I’m like, oh, well, like, why don’t we do this this way? And they’re like, no, no, we really liked X, Y, Z about this. And this is really important for us for this reason. I’m like, okay, well, no, we’re going to work at, we’re going to work it out, you know, but it’s a, it’s a collaboration, you know, like we’re all working, we’re all like on the same team, you know, it’s like, we’re in, you know, we’re playing basketball or something like that.

You know, you have to like pass the ball, you have to like, you know, do the assist. And so that overall, like the team is gonna. Make something that’s hopefully it was like even bigger than the sum of its parts. You know what I mean?

Abed Gheith: Yeah. I guess Justin would be the Michael Jordan.

François Vignea: I always thought I was the Michael Jordan, this weird.

Huh? That’s strange.

Abed Gheith: Oh man. I feel bad because Francoise really is the Michael Jordan. He’s like getting a hundred points a game.

Kenric: I

Michael Tanner: always, this is an anecdote. I think I’ve maybe even shared on the show before is I learned a very valuable lesson really early in my comic writing career [00:23:00] back years ago when Oni did anthologies.

My first comic work was in in apology. I w I used to do roller Derby. I was a roller Derby referee for eight years and only did a anthology of stories all written by people in roller Derby and drawn by actual artists. And I had submitted a story. It got selected The script went to the artist and when the art came back, the editor literally told me like, Hey, the art doesn’t really match your story.

Can you rewrite it based on the art? Cause it’s easier to get you to rewrite something then to get the

Kenric: artist to that’s a funny way of saying it it’s cheaper.

Abed Gheith: Yeah.

Michael Tanner: Yeah. So that’s like, it was the, and I looked at it, it was like, I was like, I thought my skirt was perfectly clear. Like how could they have gotten it so wrong?

And I looked at it. Yeah. Okay. All right. I’ve got I’ve, I’ve got to make this work. And I looked at my screen, I’m like, okay, that taught me the lesson that the artist is not in my head. [00:24:00] So I either, if I want something to look at very specific way, I need to be very specific in script. And if I don’t need to look a very specific way, leave it open during artists, let them be an artist and like it and interpret it the way they want to.

And, you know, hopefully it’ll it’ll work, right? Yeah. Yeah. So that was like the lesson. My first lesson in comics was the artist is not my hat, so that, and then I try to keep that in mind, whenever, whenever writing a script,

Rashad Gheith: it was actually French was idea to turn the space rights into more British bops, which is hilarious because that adds a whole nother layer of comedy and something more that we as writers to play off of the space, rats Were initially conceived just as yes.

Steam punk rats, cause I’m a big fan of Warhammer 40 K and, or just Warhammer in general. And I love the  and I always wished that the escape and what a made it into 40 [00:25:00] K you know, I’m like, cause I don’t believe they are. And just that concept of, of space rights is amazing. But, but it’s, that’s not so funny.

It’s more cool. So I think adding that foppish twist on was, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s brilliant. That works

Abed Gheith: perfectly big. Shout out to a British comedy, like a red dwarf.

Kenric: Yeah.

Abed Gheith: Hello? Oh, my favorite. That’s my favorite Indian food.

Kenric: Yeah. That was a great show.

Abed Gheith: Well, that’s the thing, like I love red dwarf. I think I watched it obsessively years ago and then I got my brother into it and, and my mom actually, and then it had a big influence on works in space, because if you think about it, cat, LR, and river are just like the orcs. I mean, they’re, they’re complete, like they’re inadequate to be on the ship to be, to be fighting aliens and stuff.

So that is like a big inspiration. [00:26:00] It doesn’t get enough credit, you know, when it comes to like scifi comedy, like a lot of people don’t know it and

Orcs in Space Audio COMBINED: it’s

Kenric: a classic man. It was on PBS.

Abed Gheith: Yeah. I grew up hearing about it so much and I didn’t get into it till I was like 23. Oh. But what’s it like last year?

Kenric: No, I’m

Abed Gheith: way older now, but I haven’t like going it’s like they had a movie recently. Well, they have like a 10

Kenric: year gap or a 12 year gap. It was creators split up. Is that what

Abed Gheith: happened? I want to say Rob grant, the other creator just like, was like, I don’t want to do it anymore. I want to do stand up now.

And then the other guy took over, but the show to be didn’t get worse. Like it still was good. Cause it was just like you have the actors, you have the same director. It had the same field still for me, it was like season seven or eight is when they, the other guy just took and now he writes him with his son.

Kenric: Oh, that’s cool. [00:27:00] That’s cool. Yeah. I used to watch him on in the nineties on people.

Abed Gheith: Yeah. And, and like, there’s jokes in there. Like, I think there’s a clearest joke and that’s such a clever, like adult joke that like, you don’t see an anything nowadays. Like it had that show had balls. It did it, did

Kenric: they, they, there was nothing was off limits on that show.

The other one that I used to love from, from back in the like 88, 89 was the young ones. Do you ever watch it? Yeah,

Abed Gheith: that’s the same director and kind of like team. Oh, nice. It’s not the same writers, but it’s like the same producer and director like ed by. And I want to say Paul Jackson. Oh, young one was great.

Check out a bottom if you like young woods. Okay. I’ll check it out. But autumn is, is the same people from young ones, but it’s like the nineties and it’s like more of like an Abbott Castello kind of show. Yeah. Yeah. I

Kenric: have a huge, like the it crowd is one of my favorite TV shows. I was like, what. [00:28:00] That’s what I’m immediate watching that are in a trailer park.

Boys seen,

Abed Gheith: Nathan barley oh God, you got to watch that. Okay. I’ll check it. Barley’s like another hit. I gotta write this down. It’s another BBC hidden gem that it like only had one season and like the guys from mighty Boucher in it Richard IOT’s in it. It’s like a lot of the same that, that group, you know, from like

Kenric: Nathan barley,

Abed Gheith: Nathan barley, it’s, it’s actually weird.

It predicted influencers, you know? Cause the big characters, like a crappy guy that does his own videos and like, like a jackass thing. And he’s like a celebrity, but he’s a complete idiot. It’s like this is, was made in like 2004 kind of predicted what our culture has become. That’s

Kenric: hilarious. Yeah. I’m going to check that out.

Yeah, it’s great. What are your guys’ writing room? Like? Is it just hilarious? Do you have days where you guys are getting on a conference call because of, you know, Fucked up. Are you [00:29:00] guys getting on a conference call then nothing gets done because someone cracks a joke and then you guys can’t stop because I get to the point where I’m starting to giggle and then that’s it.

And it’s like, okay, this thing’s done for like a good 20 minutes.

Abed Gheith: Luckily we’re not writing like, you know, w wings of desire. So it’s like, we can be silly and it carries over into the work. So if you’re, if we’re having a good laugh, it’s productive.

Kenric: Yeah. I like it. I like it. Yeah.

Rashad Gheith: I think we, we’ve got a really good process going.

Pretty much. Each issue starts off as a, a paragraph of like, what, what’s the main story of this issue? That paragraph then later gets blown up into a full page. Like, what are the main beats? And then that full page later, it gets blown up into. Scene by scene, you know, and then that gets blown up into all right.

Let’s do the nuts and bolts, the dialogue and everything. So it’s, it’s so far it’s been working like clockwork. We mean, we’re already, I guess, way ahead of schedule, we’re [00:30:00] going to be writing the 12th issue soon. You know, the book hasn’t even printed. Yeah.

Kenric: Issue comes out July 7th and you’re already 11.

We will have written the

Michael Tanner: final issue. By next week, early

Abed Gheith: next week, he’ll just come in where it’s finished. And then the first issue comes out.

Kenric: How much longer you got?

François Vignea: Well, you know, this whole thing with COVID has put it, you know, basically the book was supposed to come out a year ago to the, to the date, you know?

And so I’m about, I think I’m a six issues done and I’m drawing the seventh issue right now. So it’s a, yeah, I’m about like, we have an initial run of 12 issues that are planned. And so we’re, we’re about halfway through that. And then that’s my, my pencils and inks and letters and whatnot. And then that goes over to our colorist, whose name is DJ Chavis and he does all the colors and then that comes back and then [00:31:00] goes, goes to print after.


Kenric: who’s guys junior lettering. Oh, you’re doing it. Guide that lettering is so important. That’s like one of the things we ended up talking, we talked to a lot of them. And, you know, we do talk to a lot of independent guys with their comp books and that’s the one thing I always harp on them about how’s your leg, because if you can’t read that book, it’s worthless.

It doesn’t

Abed Gheith: matter how, what the lettering like is it’s explosive and some words are written differently, you know? And I try to remember who, I mean, that’s always been done in Marvel comics, but I think in the nineties it was like a gorilla comics. Do you remember them? They, they, they specifically did or cliffhanger.

They did really good lettering. Yeah.

Kenric: Well, I, I, it’s just important place. Clarity understanding, you know where to read all that kind of stuff, man, the letterer dictates all of

Abed Gheith: that. Oh, I guess spawn did a good job too.

Kenric: Yes. One did a great job.

Michael Tanner: Indie comics [00:32:00] it’s it’s lettering is kind of seen as that expense that the creator hates to put money into.

So like I’ve seen a lot of creators who will just like teach themselves lettering in order to like, save that money. And then you can usually tell like, lettering is a real skill. It’s a real, like, I remember there used to be like a very like highly paid skill, like in the, in the, like the heyday of the eighties and nineties before the bust.

I remember I had San Diego, I met a guy who was like, yeah, I used to do, I used to do lettering for image and Marvel back in the nineties, like his price. And it was like, holy shit, you, you got paid. Like, it was like, I got paid. 2000 a page. And I’m like, Jesus, like at the height. Yeah. Like it was an insane about like, he’s like, yeah, can’t get that money anymore.

So I got it out of the budget.

Abed Gheith: You know, he was doing a lot of Coke too. He was like

Kenric: on the pain [00:33:00] voice. I’m like, I want him to have like a cigar and like a whiskey. I think he actually thinks

Michael Tanner: you’re were like a scout master. Like I remember like he just looked like a, like a scam, met him in the pro lounge at San Diego.

It’s a profile.

Kenric: So

Michael Tanner: it’s that room I missed when that room was for pros and not for just anybody

Abed Gheith: there. Once that was a fun room. They have the good coffee. Yeah. Oh, the lemonade. Yeah. Yeah. And

Michael Tanner: you, yeah. Anyway, lettering’s

Kenric: important lettering. Isn’t it? How has Oni press been with everything, the support. I mean, they got you Justin Royal and for God’s sakes to help you guys out.

So to help them out even

Abed Gheith: better. Yeah. He’s the one that kind of like came across that. I remember him asking me, like, do you think OT is good? Or should we go somewhere else? And I was like, thankfully, because of Scott Pilgrim, I’m [00:34:00] like, I think Odie is perfect because you’re not crowding the plate with like dark horse is good, but there’s so much stuff.

Odie seems to be like, you know what I mean? Like, it just seems like it’s in the favorable. I

Kenric: couldn’t be like Rick and Morty. I can’t see that anywhere else. Like it doesn’t, it doesn’t make sense. Maybe boom. You know, but it doesn’t make sense at image or dark hole. I mean, could you imagine marble they’d ruin it.

They’d handcuffed her.

Abed Gheith: Oh, they would like, he’d be hanging out with Spider-Man. It’d be so cool.

Kenric: Yeah. It’d be bad. And I mean, not that it’s not, you know, I love me some Spiderman. No, I’m saying

Abed Gheith: it I’m like that doesn’t sound so bad.

Kenric: Put that in.

Abed Gheith: Yeah. Yeah. That’s actually the COO I guess it’d be bad if he was with Hawk, baby.

Cause they would clash.

Kenric: Yeah. Yeah. Spiderman fits.

Abed Gheith: That’d be too bad. Your ham. Yeah. That’s good. I used to read those. Those were back in the day. Those were like really [00:35:00] easy to find. Cause nobody. Yeah.

Kenric: Peter porker man. They were all over the place.

Abed Gheith: They were like 50 cent bins. Cause like people were just like, oh, these comics are dumb and I would eat them.

Yeah. I would like go, oh, I love these man spider Ham’s awesome.

Kenric: Francois, what was your, what motivated you to become a comic book artist? It’s not an easy gig dude to actually make it and make money and be successful at it. So what, where did it come from? How did you do it?

François Vignea: Maybe I know it’s a good question.

You know, I mean, like, in some ways, just the same way that, you know, all these guys got into like wanting to tell their stories, you know, it’s like digging through the diet, the dine beans, the quarter bins, you know, reading the, the, all these weird old comics and for whatever reason, it really it really appealed to me, you know, like funnily enough though, the comic that got me into comics like that got me into the comic shop.

The first time I remember what I was trying to pick up was a [00:36:00] teenage mutant ninja turtles comic that arch. Comics did. And then, so this wasn’t like the Eastman and layered comic. It was like the comic. That was exactly like the cartoon.

Abed Gheith: And it was two. I used to get those too.

François Vignea: That was like my gateway drug and like that, that pulled me into the whole world.

And I can remember being at the comic shop, you know, and this dates me, but like I remember being at the comic shop and like the comic book guy, like in between like flirting with my older sister, he was like trying to convince me that, like, what I really wanted to buy was like dos rider, number one, like the new ghost, the new cool ghost rider that was coming out.

And I was like, no, I’m not really into it. I’d rather just be into the teenage mutant ninja turtles. I think that Rafael and Donna teller are cool. But, I mean, yeah, but not, not blase Danny

but the thing is, is that like, it was such a good time to get into comics. I mean, I guess like anytime is a good time to get into [00:37:00] comics, but I felt like I like, like my reading evolve, like super fast, you know? So it’s like I was reading, teach me and intervals the Archie comics that got me into the Eastman and layered books.

And I have like this giant compendium of the first 11 issues. I was totally obsessed with that. I looked at it all the time that got me into like, say Stan Sekai and then like very quickly, you know, I’m into all kinds of other stuff. Like, so Paul Pope and Jeff Smith was doing bone. It’s amazing. Yeah.

Well, the, one of the, I, my first Xen that I did, I did like a ezine about comics. Not like it wasn’t drawing comics, but I scene about comics and it was, I had an interview. With Stan Sekai for the second issue. And I had an interview with Paul Pope for the third issue. It was pretty, it was like a pretty fun time to be into comics and then like really fast after that.

And, you know, then it’s like, the doors totally opened up. I mean, so it’s like Dan clouds, Judy do say, you know, like French comics, like, you [00:38:00] know, vertigo, all that kind of stuff. And so it, like, I got a quick education in comics, like for it’s for me, it just was like, oh, okay. This is really exciting. It’s really interesting.

I want to do it. I want to keep working at it. But it wasn’t like a straight line, you know, like for many years, I didn’t think I was going to be making comics for a living. And that was like, totally fine. I had a nine to five job I was doing like, you know, I was always lucky. I got to do creative work in my job, but I wasn’t necessarily like living the dream that I wanted to do when I was 12, which was writing a comic for a living, which is now that’s weirdly enough, but I’m doing,

Kenric: do you know who Stephan Frank.

François Vignea: Off the top of my head. I don’t,

Kenric: we would highly recommend you look up Stephan Frank he’s from he’s out of Paris, but he lives in LA. Now he is the animation supervisor of the iron from the iron giant. Wow. And he’s done a bunch of stuff. He just got done directing and, and, and animating a bunch of the, what if cartoons for Disney plus, but he has a book.

[00:39:00] He writes comic books. And he does everything. He does the lettering, the story, the art, everything. He is fantastic. He’s, he’s an amazing individual, his book sober. It’s awesome. And it’s about a, a girl that hunts vampires, and it’s a grift in grant and Dracula’s castle. It’s like, ocean’s 11 and Dracula’s castle is what it’s like.

Oh, wow. Yeah. And then another one that he’s doing right now, he’s on his second volumes coming out soon. It’s called the Palomar. And or Palomino. And it’s about a country bar in the 1980s in LA the Palomino, which was a real place.

Abed Gheith: Yeah. Yeah.

Kenric: France. Why I highly suggest checking them out and he, the guy, I, anybody who’s an artist, I always say check out Stephan Francos.

And one of my favorites, just because storytelling, understanding our understanding how to draw and how to do all that. There’s nobody better. And he’s super nice. [00:40:00] He’s like super, super nice. He’s been on the show quite a few times. He’s like one of the first real artists that we had on that was,

Abed Gheith: I might’ve, if he goes, if he was around Burbank, maybe I ran into him.

Cause I run into all these animation, like, like big people at public shop I go to, so I’ve probably met him.

Kenric: Yeah. He’s he’s awesome. He’s at all the shows, he does all the cons

Michael Tanner: San Diego a few years ago.

Kenric: Yeah. I love that book. Well guys, man, this is awesome. I can’t believe I can’t wait for July 7th, actually.

Rashad. I have a question for you. You tell me if I’m wrong. I’m feeling like this. This is your came out of your head. This is your first real foray into producing something like to this level. What have you learned from working with your brother op-ed and Michael and Justin and Francoise that most people in your [00:41:00] position, this doesn’t happen, man.

This doesn’t happen to have a team like this to help you out on a book that’s coming out of your head first time I’ve ever heard this happening.

Rashad Gheith: Yeah. It’s like you

Kenric: ate the chocolate bar and that fucking golden ticket was like

Rashad Gheith: subdued. Yeah. It makes me almost makes me feel bad for people who have amazing ideas.

And then. I mean, I was lucky enough that, I mean, I’m brothers with Ahmed who knows Justin, you know, if you don’t have that connection, I, you know, I don’t know what you would do. You would just go crazy with this idea. But I guess the thing I learned mostly is like no matter how good you think an idea is you can’t do it alone.

Ahmed and I we’ve when we first wrote, I think four issues and turn them into owning, I was so proud of him. You know, I was so happy with it. And then they shot back with like, we, we think you need a little help with this. And [00:42:00] they offered Michael to help us out. And initially we kind of bristled at the idea.

We were like, you know, we, we, we got this, we don’t need anyone else. But adding Michael to the team really got me to realize how little we knew. I mean, we, he brings the expertise in story crafting. Just yeah. Pro that just knocked it out of the park. So it’s yeah, you can, you can’t do everything by yourself and yeah, I it’s.

It is, we are all incredibly lucky. So I, I, I, yeah, I live in a dream. Right. I love it.

Kenric: I love it. Michael, what’s your favorite thing on this project? I’m going to ask all you guys the same question. My

Michael Tanner: favorite thing on this project is still being able to be surprised with. How things come together. Like even though, like we outline everything, like we have pretty, you know, full outlines and still like find things that surprise us or like get jokes, [00:43:00] like perfect jokes.

Like when, when like a perfect joke just manifests itself in front of you. Uh it’s it’s a kind of magic that I love, like, as someone in the background with a background in comedy who actually doesn’t write that much comedy, like getting to do this, like as like Rashad said, it’s like a dream. Like my favorite thing is yeah.

Still being able to be surprised. That’s

Kenric: awesome. What has been your favorite?

Abed Gheith: Well, like, I guess there’s so many the best thing honestly, is as soon as I see what Francoise does with what we’ve written, it ends up being like, I go, oh, wow. Like it’s adding to it. More than I could ever imagine. Like it turns out to be like I did, then I’m shocked that I took part in this because like, from my brain or our brains to his like pen or pencil or stylist, it just turns into like a whole nother monster.

And it’s almost [00:44:00] like, like Rashad said, it’s like a dream come true. I can’t believe how good it looks like that to me is the most exciting part I think is the actual, just seeing it get visualized.

Kenric: Yeah. Francois what’s been your

François Vignea: favorite. You know, I think that one thing, well, two things, I’ll just say that like, what I’ve been just said about like, it like manifesting itself, like, I mean, Anyone who’s working in the creative world, like whether you’re working on your own or working with other people, we’ve all had that experience where like, you’re surprised yourself, this connects with kind of with what Michael is saying to you.

Surprise. You’re surprised by like the final product. It’s always very strange that like, something can come out of your mind or come out of like a collaboration with other people. And it usually is something that’s different than you expected when you, you started the whole thing. And I think that’s why a lot of people are in the CRE in the creative arts are in it to begin with because they like to get surprised over and over and over.

They get like that, that, that, that energy. And then the thing I think I like the most [00:45:00] is that This project is it’s really wild. Like the, you know, like a Rashad, a bed, Michael Justin, like they’re all bringing like these really fun, funky ideas to the, to the page every single time. And like in many ways, you know, like, I won’t say that there’s no rules, no holds barred at all, but it’s close.

You know, like, like basically like anything that these guys like want to envision, wants to imagine, like, we’re going to try the best to like, make it happen. And it’s like, it’s not like, you know, it’s not like strict. There’s not like a rule. Like, oh, well, like how does the gravity work on blah, blah, blah, or, you know, ha you know, like, like it, who who’s, who, you know, what’s your org eat or whatever.

Anything goes, anything can happen. And for me, it’s, it’s, it kind of connects with that idea of surprise. But for me, it’s just like pure. It’s just fun, you know? And like, like, and I think that the readers are going to get that feeling too. Just like there’s a lot of fun to be had in the thing you don’t know what’s going to happen.

And to [00:46:00] me, that goes back to like what I was first into comics, like before I got like all my, like, ideas about like science fiction and like writing something about like politics or whatever like that, you know, like I really just wanted to have fun. I wanted to be told an interesting story that was silly.

That was goofy, that had like action and fighting in it. And this has all those things. And so for me, it’s it’s fun. I’m like, I’m part of the audience for it. That’s awesome. Rashad what’s

Kenric: what do you love, man? What’s your favorite thing on this

Rashad Gheith: Wally

François Vignea: waffles.

Rashad Gheith: If you don’t know who, while you awful is is he’s our ego maniac.

Celebrity as a character, he’s a lawful, I bringing this character into existence and while he waffles this hilarious, we don’t see enough of him. And I just, and you know, I, I, last night I actually had this idea. I’m like, Wally waffles needs a a nemesis, maybe [00:47:00] Bali pancakes.

François Vignea: I w

Rashad Gheith: I almost want this to be a spinoff I’d love for some reason while he waffles.

I love him. That character just

Abed Gheith: cracks me up. That was just a dumb joke that spiraled into a thing,

Michael Tanner: a recurring bed through the entire series. I

Abed Gheith: know, I know it’s such a throwaway joke that we just kept coming back to it. So

Kenric: last real question for the series or for the, for the project who came up with the.

Works in space. And are they giant Muppet fans? I mean,

Rashad Gheith: I guess, but I guess I came up with it. It’s just the idea, you know, it was like a, kind of a no brainer really well.

Kenric: Cause I don’t know if you, did you watch the Muppets when you were growing up? Like the original Muppets? I’m sure I did.

Abed Gheith: It’s before his time.

I was definitely a bucket’s kid. Oh, there’s

Kenric: a skit in the original Muppets that was, and it was called pigs in space and it would always start off with pigs, [00:48:00] birds, and it was awesome. And it will happen. They have miss piggy. It’s one of the greatest skits of

Abed Gheith: all times

Kenric: Disney plus. Yeah, you can check it out.

Michael Tanner: I always think of

Kenric: the pigs in space. I was like, I almost did arts and I was like, no, no, no, no. Maybe that’s going to build to that

Abed Gheith: in our version. It’s more like, death metal, like


Kenric: like Sega. Well, guys, this is awesome. I’m excited for you. I can’t wait to read this first issue when I get it. I’m going to send a Michael and Michael, if you can maybe help me out and get everybody to sign it. Yeah. Because I collect comic books, but I don’t sell, I don’t spectate. You know what I mean?

So every time I get senators, they always like, you want me to make it out to you? And I’m like, yes, yes. Make it out to me because I’m never getting rid of it. And so I want it, but I want to be able to get it because I think [00:49:00] that that’s going to be a really fun thing to read and I can’t wait to see it.

I really can’t. Thank you.

Abed Gheith: I got Chris Barcelo on my, my wall, his death cover. Oh. And a Jemele Oh, nice.

Kenric: Yeah. Yeah, that was great. I’m going to try to get a Todd McFarlane’s coming on next week and I’m going to try and get him to sign some of the stuff I have of his, I don’t have 300 anymore, so

Abed Gheith: I still have all my

Kenric: spots.

Nice. Yeah, he’s got he’s coming on to talk about spawn, so we’re kind of excited. We’ll see how it goes. All right guys. Well, shoot. Thank you so much. And man, maybe when issue six, come out, maybe we can do a hump show. I’d love to do this. Just kind of go over what we’ve seen and maybe somewhere

François Vignea: well, it’s it.

It’s it. It’s in arcs, you know, there’s, there’s still going to be three arts so you can have a song two more times. It’s fine. No problem.

Kenric: Nice. Yeah. This [00:50:00] has been a lot of fun. You guys are opening up. So,

François Vignea: well, thanks for having us on Kendrick. We

Kenric: really? Yeah. Thank you. Good.

Michael Tanner: We’ll talk soon.

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