Comic Heroes catches the Hollywood-baiting screenwriter-turned-comics-writer as he unleashes an armed and dangerous mouse on an unsuspecting public…
The Ricky Rouse scribe on why he’s written a comic about a gun-toting rodent
Go to Hollywood, they said. Become a successful screenwriter, they said. And that’s exactly what Belgianborn writer Jörg Tittel set out to do. Before Hollywood stiffed him, of course, and left him wondering how the hell to get his stories out without being completely ripped off in the process.
Having his fingers burned in the US wasn’t enough to stop the irrepressible Tittel, though. Teaming up with artist John Aggs, he created Ricky Rouse Has A Gun, a tale of survival, cultural subversion and giant cartoon mice wielding automatic weaponry. Needless to say, it’s a lot of fun... Comic Heroes: Ricky Rouse Has A Gun is based in a singularly strange setting: a Chinese theme park populated by rip-offs of popular western characters. Where did the idea come from?
Jörg Tittel: “I think the early beginnings of it must have been when I was in Los Angeles. I had just finished working for a videogames company, and I was a budding screenwriter. It turned out that a couple of projects that I had come up with – written and presented and pitched to people – had actually been ripped off by other people. It was quite interesting to see stuff that you’d fully written, conceived, pitched – even down to some of the concept artists I’d used – suddenly ending up in movies with big stars in them.”
CH: That must have been an incredibly frustrating experience…
JT: “It happens all the time, sadly. But then the cool thing is that if you are a genuinely creative person then you have ideas coming out of every orifice! Ultimately, now I’ve taken on a very Jesus-like attitude towards it, I feel kind of sorry for them! Because if you can’t come up with this kind of shit by yourself, then there’s really something wrong with you and you shouldn’t be in this business. So I don’t
We have yet to find a superhero who is relevant to the 21st century
care. We have western culture dominating the world, or at least we did for a little while, and now we have big corporations desperately clinging on to old ideas. But individual creators seem to be left out of the game.
“Ricky consciously has references, some subtle, some less so, to existing films and franchises and other things. Batman is a very old character, from a time when America played a very different role in the world, and these characters are very stuck in the 20th century. We have yet to find a superhero who is relevant to the 21st century. And I’m not saying Ricky is one, not at all, I just think that we are riding on a lot of old ideas. I hope our synergies with China and the whole world will create something new.”
CH: Why did you set the book in China?
JT: “Obviously the rise of China has been a major theme in the world for the last couple of decades at least, and I personally have been very inspired by them. They are obviously a very rich culture, but in the west we only know them as the people that manufacture iPhones and make pirated copies of our movies. All that kind of stuff served as inspiration for Ricky Rouse, not to mention all the sequels and prequels that are coming out. In a way, I don’t really see much of a difference between those and the Chinese rip-offs.”
born brussels, belgium high Becoming a comics writer... now ricky rouse more www.oiffy.com