Riley Rossmo, the artistic half of the amazing Saskatoon Team behind Shadowline's smash hit Green Wake has created a visual nightmare world that has fans and critics raving. Rossmo paused briefly from putting pencil and ink to page to answer 10 Questions for Shadowline Online.
1) How involved are you in regards to the "story" aspect of Green Wake?
I've had a lot more sway in the narrative structure of Green Wake than anything I've worked on up until this point. Aside from the normal contributions to character designs and environments. Kurtis and I go for a drink or coffee once a week or so to hash out thoughts and ideas about character arcs and story structure. We talk about symbolism a lot, too.
2) What is the strangest sketch request you've ever received from a person at a convention or online?
My favorite was a Casper the Friendly Ghost commission. I love Harvey comics but I am the last person who should be drawing them. I did a Groot in Seatle, a Robocop on a Unicorn... Oh, and an undead Smurf! I really liked doing the Smurf. I seem to get a lot of Sandman and Punisher requests.
3) How do you think you would react if you found yourself "waking up" in Green Wake?
I would go mental, I have a tenuous enough grip on reality some days, so Green Wake would send me way over the edge. A few summers ago my wife and I stayed in a small town on the Oregon coast that was totally surreal like Green Wake. Kind of a forgotten town that was bound by fog the two days we were there. It was unnerving to say the least. My imagination gets away from me pretty easy, so I'm certain Green Wake would chew me up and spit me out.
4) You're a fan of horror movies: Should zombies be fast or slow?
Well, generally I'd say slow, and the older the body the slower it should move...so I guess slow. That being said, 28 Days Later is one of my favorite horror movies. I think it seems logical the more decomposed the body gets, the more limited its muscle memory becomes. Or something like that.
5) Give us a Cryptoid that not many people know about you.
I like fishing, John Hughes movies (not ironically), I'm fairly fluent in French and I feel exposed not having socks on.
6) If you could go back in time and draw any comic book from any era, what would you choose and why?
It's a toss-up between the New Mutants "Demon Bear Saga," Sandman #1, or any issue of Alan Moore's Swamp Thing. The Demon Bear Saga is just so cool and Claremont crafts such a cool story that's even better with Sienkiewicz's art. I could the draw the hell out of the Demon Bear! Sandman just has so much swirling blacks and hatching and mood that I'd love a crack at it. If I could draw any of the Endless it would be Despair. And all the Alan Moore Swamp Thing issues are amazing. I'd like to draw the white monkey from early in the run, as I drew a lot of primates in Proof.
7) What art materials do you like to use, and do they vary from project to project?
I use all kinds of stuff, though for everyday art such as interior pages I draw on single ply bristol with a non-photo blue pencil. Then I go over that with a 4H pencil, then a layer of HB pencil, then tons of ink. I apply ink using crow quills, 00 sable brushes, a tooth brush, and technical pens. Then I draw back into it with with ink or acrylic. That's the traditional end of things. After that I scan it in and digitally add some textures and half tones. For covers anything goes! I've used toothpicks, cardboard, ink, acrylic, oil paint, tissue paper, razors, illustration board...all kinds of stuff.
8) Going back to your days of doing art for Cowboy Ninja Viking, what kind of Triplicate would you be?
Packrat, Tri-Athelete, Spetsnaz
9) Can you explain why milk comes in bags in Canada?
I don't think I've seen bagged milk in a while. Isn't everything better out of a bag, though? Bacon? Cheese? Wine? (Editor's Note: Bagged Bacon? -- Distrustful Marc)
10) As if your work on Green Wake and Proof isn't enough already, what else can we expect to see in the future?
I've done a bit of stuff at Marvel for Daken. I have a graphic novella I've been thinking about and a horror mini series that takes place in northern Canada or Alaska that I want to do when I get some time.
The all new fifth issue of Green Wake, now a regular series, will be released on Wednesday, August 3rd.