To start off the new-year, I decided to interview Wiz Rollins of Bad Shape and Yirmumah. This is gracious of Wiz, especially when most of his time is consumed with writing comics and straight chillin’.
Rollins: Contrary to internet lore, D.J.’s a pretty easy cat to get along with. He’s straight forward and willing to try new things-so long as there’s a good reason for the newness. I mean, if I were to say “Yo, got this idea. Let’s drop Drew and Calypso from the cast and make Tappy, the Tapdancing Ass, the main character,”…well, that’s not gonna fly with him.
Fleen: Coffman has a rather loyal fan base. How have the fans reacted to the partnership between you two?
Rollins: They guy’s readers are beyond loyal. Some would not only take a bullet for him, they’d catch it in their teeth, swallow it and then bust said cap in the would-be assassin’s ass-from their ass. Ass-on-ass violence. That’s the kind of loyalty you won’t see in Dilbert fans.
So, when D.J. first contacted me about writing for Yirmumah, he laid it out like this… I really dig your stuff (meaning Bad Shape) but the fans get the final word.
Fortunately for me, Yirmumah readers are a lot like D.J., straight forward and willing to try new things-so long as there’s a good reason for the newness. I think our collaborative work has given them all the reason they need, ’cause, so far, the fan reaction has been positive.
Rollins: I like working on established characters a little more. The challenge of producing something familiar yet wholly unique-that’s where it’s at for me. That doesn’t mean I dislike working on my own stuff. In fact, I’ve discovered that one fuels the other. A couple of months ago I fell into a rut; all of my personal projects just felt kinda blah and I was losing them.
Then Yirmumah came along and I was suddenly supercharged. I’d be up all night giggling to myself and banging out the funny like back in the day. And, occasionally, I’d get an idea for a script and think…that’s a goooood one but it’s not a Yirmumah idea. That’s a Bad Shape idea. A couple more of those moments and I knew I was ready to resurrect Bad Shape. See, that’s what I mean-one type of writing to feed the other.
Fleen: Is there a definite amount of time that you plan to be with Yirmumah? Or are you playing it by ear?
Rollins: Hey, D.J. opened the door and invited me in. I plan on sticking around until he shows me the door again. And, if that happens, I’m taking the silverware and the ample booty wife with me.
Fleen: Speaking of Bad Shape, do you plan to keep it going while working at Yirmumah? Because I love me some Slim Killah.
Rollins: Oh, yeah! That shit’s coming back. Makes me smile just to think of it. With Yirmumah and some other things going on, I’ll be down-shifting Bad Shape’s updates to a Tuesday-Thursday formula. Of course, that means I’ll have to up the bitch-slap quota, but I’m prepared to do what’s necessary. Nobody said pimping was easy.
Fleen: If Slim would have sex with another shape, which one would it be and why? And also, what would shape-on-shape action be called? I would call it hot.
Rollins: If Slim were to have sex with another shape it would be Linda from Sesame Street. Ya know…the deaf shape? Not sure what it would be called anything, on account of her being deaf, but the “sign” for it would be her pointing to her ass and wincing. Can’t think of anything more ruthlessly gangsta than banging deaf chicks in the ass, and Slim is nothing if not ruthlessly gangsta.
Fleen: Do you have anything wild planned for Bad Shape? Will KITT from Knight Rider return with a vengeance?
Rollins: Well, the biggest difference won’t be too obvious, hopefully. I’ve switched the whole site over to WordPress using Tyler Martin’s beautifully crafted “ComicPress” template. Which is gonna mean that my updates will be automatic, and at long last, there will be a real archiving system in place.
Aside from site related stuff… Slim’s still got cancer and we’re gonna be taking a look at that. There are plans for Blue’s ex-common law wife, Trina, to return as well as a solo adventure for Big Quad! And guess what? Someone’s gonna get a record deeeeeal. IPod Nation, beware! Slims’s got audio!
As for KITT…we’ll have to wait and see.
Fleen: Do you still love creating Bad Shape as much as you did when you first begun? Or has the sweet siren song of new projects, such as There’s Always Porn, taken the fire away from the creative process?
Rollins: Ha! Working on projects like Yirmumah and There’s Always Porn wouldn’t even be possible without Bad Shape. I don’t see myself ever giving it up. Bad Shape is my batting cage. I’m working by myself over there and, for the uninitiated, I can’t draw a lick. So it’s ALL ABOUT the dialogue and getting it to sound right. That kinda work keeps me loose. It also seems to attract the attention of people who can draw, like D.J. Coffman and Bob Sugar. So without Bad Shape, there would be nothing else.
Nice of you to steer the conversation towards my newest-latest by the way.
Fleen: Did you like the segue? I know I did. Anyways, so let’s talk about There’s Always Porn. Besides the truthful statement in the name of the comic, what exactly is TAP about?
Rollins: There’s Always Porn is a comedy about two strangers who’ve lived on Earth for about 30 years and have very little to show for it. When the strangers, Aaron and Tobias, become housemates, they discover their true purpose in life…to serve low-budget pornography to the online masses.
We like to think of it as PvP or Penny Arcade-except with more references to titty fucking.
And no, this is NOT gonna be the kind of comic that perverts whack off to. It’s not some anime tentacle-rape shit. It’s not about getting your rocks off or anything. It’s about two guys and their disparate lives-with the world of pornography as a backdrop.
Early signs point to it being hilarious.
Fleen: And you said the artist you are working with is Bob Sugar, but wouldn’t divulge much more. Why the secrecy? Is it because secrets are sexy?
Rollins: Bob’s a secretive dude. I’m pretty sure he’s killed someone. He’s a Taurus and they tend to be stabbers.
Without defying his request for anonymity, I think I can say this about Bob…he’s no stranger to over the top storytelling. We have really nice creative vibe going on with TAP. He contributes not only to the visuals, but to the story line as well. Bob’s also a walking, talking, beer drinking Kama Sutra…he comes up with all sorts of crazy sexual positions, turns to me and says “How can we work this into the strip?”
That’s how “The Picnic Table” found it’s way into our premiere episode.
Fleen: When do you plan to launch TAP? Do you have an update schedule yet?
Rollins: If it’s Monday…well it’s launched! We’re gonna be running on a M-W-F update schedule. Bob and I are supremely committed to that.
Fleen: Personally, I love porn. What is your view on the subject?
Rollins:For me, porn is like Ramen noodles. I don’t need it everyday but when I do have a hankering for it…mmm, it hits the spot. But what’s so intriguing about porn is that it’s just one of those things that people won’t admit they enjoy. Yet, without it, the internet would be a wasteland. I mean, I’ve had this idea to do a porn-related comic for a while but at any time I mentioned it to an artist friend they said the same thing…That would be HILARIOUS dude. What? Would I be interested in working with you on that? (AIM reports that the user’s online status has suddenly shifted to “Away”)
Fleen: All porn aside, it sounds like you have your web comic plate full for 2007. What do you hope to accomplish with these three projects this year?
Rollins: My plate is hardly full. I’ve got ideas and then I’ve got IDEAS. My hope is that my writing on Bad Shape, Yirmumah, and There’s Always Porn will connect with folks and that some of those folks (the artistic kind) will want to sign on for my next adventure. I mean, I’ve got this new idea that’s set in a brothel in the Wild West. Titties and gunfights, people! Now, anyone up for THAT?!
Thanks again to Wiz Rollins for sharing his plans for this year, and for also sharing some insight into the life of web comic creator…as well as a new sex position.