Season 3 of Rick and Morty is the most anticipated show of 2017. Don’t take my word for it, just look at reddit, listen in on people’s conversations, or hide in air ducts. Okay, maybe not the latter, but thankfully Oni Press heard those same whispers and has been putting out some fantastic Rick and Morty comics. We got the chance to interview writer Kyle Starks who recently started a new story arc and will be writing and drawing issue #20 in November.
AiPT!: How did you get the job writing–and soon, drawing, Rick and Morty?
Kyle Starks: I believe Oni Press was just a big fan of Sexcastle and some of my other work and had reached out for me to do a fill in on Invader Zim and were pleased enough with my performance there to offer me a run on Rick and Morty. Which I was ecstatic for–because at the time, and presently, it was easily my favorite show on television.
AiPT!: I really enjoyed Sexcastle, your story about D-Man in Marvel’s Secret Wars, Too and issue 16 of Rick and Morty was hilarious (I mean that literally). I’m curious, comedy seems to come naturally to you–do you have any rituals or methods you use to write each issue?
Starks: I definitely don’t have any rituals, I mean, honestly, once you do that first goat blood sacrifice you really don’t have to keep doing it after that. But seriously, I think I’ve just always enjoyed comedy in all its forms, I try to replicate the sort of beats and styles of jokes they do on the show (which is super hard). So I tend to watch the show a lot, or run it in the background. But otherwise I try to make what would make me laugh and hope the readers think it’s funny too.
AiPT!: Was there anything you’re not allowed to use or do with the characters?
Starks: Yup! I was told I could use anyone EXCEPT Mr. Poopybutthole, because at the time he was going on a side adventure in the Lil’ Poopy Superstar series. But I was asking about one Very Beloved Character specifically to use at the time and they appear in Issue 19. I’m super excited about that. Really excited to hear reader response.
AiPT!: What sort of resources did you have or were given when you started on this title?
Starks: I wasn’t and haven’t been given anything but whenever I have a question about something specifically about the show that I can’t recall or isn’t clearly represented I always get great answers back. For example, Issue 20 has a basketball theme and I asked about whether or not Herpson High had a mascot (they do, the Herps) and got not only that response but a great gym shot that was priceless in illustrating that issue. So I wasn’t given anything directly but I did come in armed with an intense love for the material.
AiPT!: Rick is seemingly always drinking. So what’s he slinging back in your run?
Starks: I think that flask is just full of random things found in leftover bottles. Just a gross concoction of random alcohols. Like what in my little league days we called a suicide but for a hardcore alcoholic. Maybe some sort of liquid horse tranquilizer he’s stolen from Beth’s office? I think it’s nontraditional and rough in there. Sometimes maybe not even alcohol.
Check out Kyle Starks variant cover for issue #20!
AiPT!: What inspired using the game of basketball in issue #20?
Starks: Ha, honestly when I was coming up with ideas for my first five issue arc I wanted to make sure I homaged the type of show I thought Rick and Morty would and wanted to do one of my favorites–which is Teen Wolf. I was really interested in what the Rick and Morty version of Teen Wolf would be and it’s of course, super gross and messed up but also there’s some basketball.
AiPT!: Do you feel more pressure with issue #20 since you’re writing and drawing?
Starks: Some, for sure. Especially considering the caliber of artist I had to follow who have filled in around CJ Cannon like Marc Ellerby, Zac Gorman, Tom Fowler. Did you see the issue Tom Fowler drew? It’s insane. I can’t compete with that–but outside of the googley eyes I’m pretty stylistically similar to the Rick and Morty house style in a lot of ways so I was confident–I just hope it doesn’t affect the readers ability to enjoy it.
AiPT!: Is there anything from the animated series you’re worried will be difficult to depict visually in Rick and Morty #20?
Starks: Like is there something on the show that I’m worried I can’t draw so good? Naw, man. I draw so good. So very good. So very good enough. So very passably good enough.
AiPT!: If they did a live action movie of Rick and Morty who would you cast for Rick and Morty?
Starks: Uhhh, gosh. I’m not good at this stuff. Shaquille O’ Neal and Christopher Walken. In either role.
Imagine these two as Shaq and Walken. Hilarious!
AiPT!: You wrote my favorite issue of Rick and Morty and I understand you are doing five issues; is there any chance we’ll see more of your work on Rick and Morty after issue #20? If not where can we find you next?
Starks: Yeah, dude! I’m on it, at the very least, through Issue 25 and I’m so excited about it. My three issue arc in there (Issues 21-23) I think will be really mind blowing for the hardcore Rick and Morty fans. It’s BIG.