"We Won’t Grow Without Trying and Failing a Few Times." – An Interview with ALAIRE & TOBEN RACICOT

With Crown & Anchor: Book Two: Castaway of Demons headed to Kickstarter on October 12th, Alaire and Toben Racicot ventured inside the Yeti Cave with Jimmy Gaspero to discuss their influences, process, working relationship, other comics projects, and too many other fun and exciting topics to list here.

 

COMIC BOOK YETI: Hello, Alaire and Toben, thank you so much for joining me here in the Yeti Cave. It’s been a difficult 18 months or so now during the pandemic, how have the two of you been doing?


Crown & Anchor: Book One, cover, Racicot/Racicot

ALAIRE RACICOT: Jimmmmyyyyyyy! Thanks for having us! I like the Yeti Cave. It’s cozy, there’s blankets, and there’s free cheese in here! At least… I think that’s cheese. Smells like cheese. Speaking of things having the appearance of cheese, I’ve been trying to get into better shape – so far, I am still a circle because I love snacks too much.


TOBEN RACICOT: It’s a pleasure to chat, Jimmy. I’ve been fantastic. I’m exercising again, so that’s great. I’ve recently gotten back into audiobooks and am working through Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive series. It’s really hard for me to get into reading fiction and audiobooks allow me to take in the story while I work out, do dishes, or ride the bus! Happy times.


CBY: For anyone not familiar with you or your work, your website has a very fun “About Us” section that I encourage everyone to check out, but I wanted to know how the two of you met and your comics origin story. Were you comic book readers since you were kids or did you come to it later? Do you have similar tastes in the comics you like to read?


TR: I’ll let Alaire tell the story of how I chased her across campus and instead talk about how I came to read comics. It started with Archie comics as a child, manga as a teen and then Marvel as a young adult. Nowadays it’s mostly all Image, still manga from time to time. My favorite is Eyeshield 21, and earlier this year I finished all of Fullmetal Alchemist – incredible. We have mostly similar tastes in comics. Mostly because Alaire forces me to read what she likes and I do the same to her.


AR: I’ll let Toben tell the story of how he chased me across campus when we first met, and instead talk about how I loved to read chapter books and comics as a kid. Any time we went to the grocery store, I’d read Playstation Magazine, Nintendo Power, and Shounen Jump. Video games and manga got me through much of my childhood. I remember falling in love with Hikaru No Go and Naruto’s art, even though I never really read them outside of Shounen Jump. Of course, I grew up playing Spyro, Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, and a whole shwack of games. I absolutely made my own comics and characters up until high school, when I thought I was gonna go work for Square Enix and started using real sketchbooks instead of lined notebooks to draw. I’d use white out to paint symbols on the covers of them, and I’d cycle through colors. I had my own thang.

Crown & Anchor: Book Two, Issue 7, p. 1, Racicot/Racicot

I grew up reading manga like King of Bandits Jing, Death Note, Eyeshield 21, Claymore, and Fullmetal Alchemist. I dipped into a lot of series during my Barnes & Noble trips with my dad, but could never afford a ton of them, so I never really finished or collected any particular series to completion other than the ones I own now. Toben makes me read his dumb Image comics like East of West and then I end up loving them.


CBY: I read all of East of West myself recently and very much enjoyed it. What do the two of you do when not making comics?


AR: Playing with and reading to our son most of the day, video games, going outside for walks and parks, trying new things of the foody variety, freaking out about all the toys we can buy for our kid and trying really hard not to, being Toben’s guinea pig when it comes to new recipes… and when I’m not working on comics? I’m working on other comics.


TR: Cook, bake, exercise, school, video games, daydream about D&D, daydream about doughnuts, clean the house. I’ve recently overcome my fear of deep-frying, so I think up recipes and what I can deep fry. We’ve eaten a lot of fried chicken the last few months. One of the reasons we joined the gym. Speaking of gyms, replaying Pokemon SoulSilver, Shield, and Alpha Sapphire.


"I want to tell stories that make you stop in awe every once in a while, and make you genuinely love the characters, and also break your heart a little. If a story can make you feel something in your heart somehow, get some solid laughs out, it’s a good one!" – Alaire Racicot

CBY: There is nothing I love more in this world (except my children) than fried chicken. Going off your special abilities from your website, Alaire, what is the best craft quesadilla you make?


AR: It all started with me not having BBQ sauce to make quesadillas with. Going through my parent’s fridge, I tried to conjure some ingredients that would equate to BBQ sauce. Know what I picked? Teriyaki sauce, brown sugar, and sriracha. That absolutely does not even come close to BBQ sauce. And y’know what, that mixture tasted incredible. It fed my roommates, won me friends, it got me a husband, and someday it’ll bring world peace.


Crown & Anchor: Book Two, Issue 7, p. 2, Racicot/Racicot

TR: It was that quesadilla recipe that won me over. When in university, we would have Friday date night, which most often consisted of those quesadillas. And then Saturday I’d go to her place to do laundry, play Final Fantasy IX, and then we’d end up eating those quesadillas.


CBY: Toben, your special ability is drafting song parodies. I’ve been a big Weird Al fan since I was 9 and bought “Even Worse” in 1988. Are you a Weird Al fan and, if so, what’s your favorite Weird Al parody song? Do you have a favorite all-time parody song by any artist or group?


AR: I bet he’s gonna say ‘Trapped in the Drive-Thru.’ That one basically sums up our relationship.


TR: ‘Trapped in the Drive-Thru’ is amazing and I wish it was the song that we danced to at our wedding because it does indeed sum up our relationship. We did a cross country drive and listened to that and ‘Albuquerque’ over and over! I wouldn’t say I’m a Weird Al fan, I don’t think I’ve ever listened to him of my own volition. But I appreciate his genius. I do like ‘Another One Rides the Bus,’ which is such an original Weird Al. That’s what I’d recommend to everyone, I think it’s so clever.


CBY: For both of you, what are the types of stories you want to tell and why do you believe the medium of comic books is the right format to tell those stories?


AR: I want to tell stories that are really pretty and really cool. So I guess, pretty cool stories. I was so spoiled with Final Fantasy, and so I wanted to someday capture my own version somehow, if not through video games, then through drawing. I honestly thought I had given up comics for good until I met Toben that fateful evening when he chased me across campus. (But he already told you that story, right? Okay, I’ll move on then.) After I started drawing comics again, everything just clicked even better than before, and I really ended up enjoying drawing comics for realsies. I want to tell stories that make you stop in awe every once in a while, and make you genuinely love the characters, and also break your heart a little. If a story can make you feel something in your heart somehow, get some solid laughs out, it’s a good one!

Crown & Anchor: Book Two, Issue 7, p. 3, Racicot/Racicot

Comics are great because they bridge the gap between stillness and animation. It’s cinema on paper. It’s storyboarding. You have those emotional frames and compositions. You have those dramatic expositions. You see so many details between the lines; when you see the page, your brain can imagine the entire scene and attitudes of the characters and the before and after actions whilst looking at the current action in progress, if that makes any sense. It’s a fascinating thing. I feel comics are my best way to communicate and explore the beauty that I want in my stories, so that’s where I’m going to weigh anchor.

TR: That’s the hardest question you’ve asked. I love comics because of how much control it gives me over pacing and the reader interacting with scenes. The fact that I can organize a story where turning the page actually matters is awesome. In Transmute, there’s a short story where I write about how my high school band wrote music. In it, Alaire depicts how I view creation, lining up Tetris blocks into lines. I’m very focused on structure, The Hero’s Journey, and I really like genre-mashing. Pilgrim’s Dirge starts very sci-fi, but will soon collide into the fantasy realm, Crown & Anchor straddles the line between the two, and Emulator is very sci-fi while also being very grounded in reality and drama. Overall, if a story keeps me awake at night, or doesn’t leave me alone, I take it as a good sign and develop it.


CBY: I can’t think of many comic book creators that are married and have worked together on projects. Off the top of my head, I can think of 4 other couples. Are you able to draw a distinction between your personal lives and working lives or is it all lumped together? How would you describe your professional, working relationship?


AR: There is no distinction. I would describe our working relationship as gladiatorial combat – stinky with a lot of shouting.

Crown & Anchor: Book Two, Issue 7, p. 4, Racicot/Racicot

TR: We’re creative people. We like narratives. We like interactive experiences. Even when we want to take a break, we just keep working because we can’t really stop. As for our professional relationship, I wouldn’t go as far as gladiatorial combat. Like all my collaborators, I understand that all the effort I could ever do will not equate to their greatness. I give Alaire the script and get out of the way. Once in a while make a note about a layout or a panel composition. But I dislike giving notes because I dislike getting notes. If I didn’t trust my artists to do their best, I wouldn’t have chosen them, especially Alaire. I just sit in awe as the pages roll in and then cover up all their hard work with my lettering.


CBY: Alaire, as an artist, if you have a story you want to tell, how do you select writers to work with you; and, Toben, what criteria do you use to find an artist to collaborate with if Alaire is unavailable?


AR: If I have a story to tell, I tell Toben to write it for me. But right now, I’ve got lots of Crown & Anchor to draw before that happens! I’ve never called on a writer before, otherwise.


TR: Style and storytelling above all. The artists I found for Emulator, Emiliana Pinna, and Pilgrim’s Dirge, Matteo Leoni, immediately caught my eye for two reasons. Emiliana is a great character artist. The body language she conveys is exactly what I needed for the family drama in Emulator. And Matteo is a rockstar who draws amazing mechs, aliens, which is exactly what’s called for in Pilgrim’s Dirge. There are a lot of artists I want to work with, it’s hard being patient when making comics. I mean, Alaire has 4-5 other stories of mine on hold to draw after Crown & Anchor. Some are hinted at in Transmute. Others, most actually, came during the pandemic. I made a goal to write every day in 2020 and wrote 1469 pages of comics. So there’s a lot to get to. I haven’t been so diligent this year, but there is a 22-issue story I’m still outlining. We’ll get there.


CBY: Toben, you recently successfully kickstarted Pilgrim’s Dirge #1. You wrote and lettered it. It’s essentially the story of a man trying to get back to his family and this is a man that has made mistakes and is maybe past the point he believes he can ever atone for those mistakes. It’s also about the burdens of responsibility and, perhaps, destiny. Was this a story you were working on for a while, and how much of this story was influenced, if at all, by being a parent yourself?


Crown & Anchor: Book Two, Issue 7, p. 5, Racicot/Racicot

TR: So much of Pilgrim’s Dirge is running away from responsibility and guilt. What better way to avoid blame than to not be around anyone who can cast blame at you? Sources of responsibility have been common in my life, but nothing hits so hard as having another human being relying on you to keep them alive. I think some of that definitely came into the scripts while, as a new father, I prepared the scripts for Matteo. The first issue is set on a frozen Earth which is a physical representation of the isolation that Orin feels due to his past mistakes. His world is cold and lonely because that’s how he feels inside. It’s what he feels he deserves for what happened. His journey is one of healing and finding the strength to forgive yourself, which is always the hardest step. I like to say that in Pilgrim’s Dirge, Orin needs to learn something about Orin.


CBY: Toben, what’s your writing process like if you had to describe it? Do you outline your stories first, do you listen to anything while you write, or do you need to be holed up in a bunker somewhere? Have you ever had to deal with “writer’s block” and, if so, how do you manage it?


TR: Great question. I’m a huge advocate of outlining and pre-writing. I take a piece of lined paper and write 1-24 down the side. Each line is a page and I break down each page and issue. Lately, especially with Crown & Anchor and another longer story I’m working on, I moved to Google Sheets and use each cell to break down a page, although I still did the page thing for Crown & Anchor. Having all that thought out, I take it and script the pages. Most of the dialogue is placeholder, and I update that when I get the art back and am lettering. Much of Emulator dialogue changed after seeing Emiliana’s art. 95% of the inner monologues changed after getting Matteo’s art back. And mostly I add in jokes after getting Alaire’s art back. She’ll send the page. I’ll letter it, put in a joke, send it back, and if she laughs I know I did a good job. If she doesn’t, I’ll try again.


"Pilgrim’s Dirge starts very sci-fi, but will soon collide into the fantasy realm, Crown & Anchor straddles the line between the two, and Emulator is very sci-fi while also being very grounded in reality and drama. Overall, if a story keeps me awake at night, or doesn’t leave me alone, I take it as a good sign and develop it." – Toben Racicot

CBY: Alaire, is there “art block” as well that you have ever had to contend with? If so, what do you do to get through that?


AR: First, I complain a lot. Then I feel better! Nah, I used to draw all the time in my sketchbook, constantly creating new things, but after having a kid and having so much comic work to do, I just can’t really do that anymore, and I feel like I’m not as creative as I used to be. The ideas don’t flow so much in a sketchbook anymore. But then I remember I funnel all my energy into comics. So comics are actually the root of my art block. Seriously though, it really helps to just take care of myself. Drink water, intake protein, take breaks or naps or all of the above. My brain then has some time to recoup and problem-solve a lot better when it comes to creating after that.


Crown & Anchor: Book Two, Issue 8, p. 13, Racicot/Racicot

TR: Most often I end up buying her a box of chicken nuggets and then we watch baking shows.


CBY: Alaire, for a project like Pilgrim’s Dirge, where you may not be listed on the credit’s page, are you involved with the development of the story or running the Kickstarter, or do you each have your own totally separate projects that you work on?


AR: I’m in the shadows giving Toben opinions and ideas that he immediately says are not very good, and then he does his own thing anyway. Sometimes I trick him into thinking my ideas are good though. Sucker.


TR: She’s involved in everything because she’s the first person I pitch all my ideas to. She and I built the Pilgrim’s Dirge universe. A lot of what the world is came from conversations we had years ago. When I worked on the credit page we went back and forth on aesthetics. She’s a great critic who offers meaningful critiques and my comic work wouldn’t be the same without her <3.


CBY: Let’s talk about Crown & Anchor. I read Book One: Legends No More. First, wow! Second, double wow!! There is so much jammed into this story about mythology, Christianity, found family, morality, overcoming one’s past, finding something worth fighting for, and it’s funny. What is the origin for Crown & Anchor? How did you develop this?


TR: A lot of ingredients went into the smoothie that is Crown & Anchor. Designing a world with a polytheistic religion is the first thing that interested me. I read The Odyssey in university and we discussed what makes an “epic” and one of the pieces is invoking the goddess, which is why Mact is praying in the opening pages. Outside of literature, a major influence is actually Fire Emblem. Telling a story that progresses with “boss battles” was interesting. That’s where the idea of the Pirate Lords came from. That also helped establish the character tropes as the party fills out more in later books and we put together our “fellowship.” Because I played so many video games, I understand narrative more through video game structures than literature.


Development was in two parts. One version that was awful. I think Alaire did around 10 pages. Then I scrapped it and restructured the narrative to be more dense to really give the reader substance – it’s one of the reasons we release the book in trades rather than single issues. As I became more comfortable with structure, The Hero’s Journey, I could see where the characters were headed and I have all 40 issues written. I also designed a D&D campaign that takes place after the events of Crown & Anchor. Understanding future Aventus, the setting, helped me world-build better and even go back in time, which you’ll see more in Book Two.


Artwork by Alaire Racicot

CBY: What do you hope readers take away from reading Book One?


AR: That there’s a lot more to come – more story, more gods, more characters, more fun lies ahead! I also hope that readers will take away patience; patience with our characters, with each other, and ourselves. Growing up is hard, especially when life is hard. But it isn’t forever – things always get better, it just may take time, some kind of change, and effort to get there. Our characters are growing up, just like we all are. We are growing up so much and in such different ways, we’ll never be the same person we used to be. There’s a lot of mistakes we make along the way when we’re growing. Without mistakes here and there, we don’t really learn anything. We won’t grow without trying and failing a few times. Or several times.

AR: Also to stay tuned for disaster. Not in your life, I mean! I meant in the books! The books!!


TR: The desire to read Book Two. And then Book Three. Really what Alaire said.


CBY: The pacing of the story is incredible. Alaire, how do you approach the pacing of the story when it comes to the action scenes and panel layouts because you have to manage making sure both the punches and punchlines land?


AR: Thank you so much! I don’t really think about it, and so I’m not sure if I can explain it properly, but I think a lot of it comes from reading manga when I was younger, and just seeing how other folks work, especially those who specialize in black & white art. Sometimes I feel a page will need an extra panel or a change in emotion from the script to really nail the pacing or drama. Sometimes the thing that works the best is finding the right perspective or camera angle to make things interesting. Toben typically urges me to stick to the grid during less dramatic scenes, but as soon as the knives come out, I get to make the pages more haphazard to match the chaos of the fight. I honestly just hope it all works out in the end. CBY: Are there elements of yourselves in any of the characters or have there been any situations, maybe not actual events as I’m fairly confident you aren’t bounty hunters, but perhaps the emotion of any real-life events that have made their way into Crown & Anchor?


AR: All these characters are kind of just finding their place and trying to become something greater, and they don’t really realize it. Changing yourself is one of the hardest things we do as humans, but it’s always done a little step at a time, and we may hardly even notice sometimes. Our agency and freedom of choice is an incredible power we possess, and honestly, we just get to see how these characters ultimately choose their unique and equally important paths.


"Toben typically urges me to stick to the grid during less dramatic scenes, but as soon as the knives come out, I get to make the pages more haphazard to match the chaos of the fight. I honestly just hope it all works out in the end." – Alaire Racicot

TR: Almost every character is a fish out of water. They don’t know where they belong or where their place is. That’s where a lot of my influence comes in. I’m the youngest of seven kids so finding my place at home was tricky and often unsuccessful. A lot of that spills into my stories. And again, what Alaire said is totally true: mistakes are part of life, change is hard and takes time and is uncomfortable. But it has to happen.


CBY: You are crowdfunding Crown & Anchor: Book Two: Castaway of Demons and the Kickstarter campaign goes live October 12, 2021. Book One is available to read for free on Webtoons/Tapas, but it is also available for purchase on ComiXology. Will Book Two be similarly available to read on Webtoons/Tapas if successfully funded? How much of Book Two has been completed? I admittedly have not really dipped my toe in the Webtoons/Tapas waters yet, have you found a benefit to have Crown & Anchor available on those platforms and also available to purchase?


AR: Oh yes, we upload it all onto Webtoons, Tapas, and ComicFury for free. One page a week every Friday. Right now everyone can read up to the middle of issue 8 in Book Two! We decided back when we wanted to Kickstart the first book that the best way folks will know if they want this book is if they get to read a little bit first. We were doing comic updates for a year before we Kickstarted, and it was a success! I think we had just finished issue 4 when we started the campaign, so no one had seen the last issue yet until they had the books. That’s the beauty of webcomics: it’s one update a week or month, usually, and the book gets done quicker than it’s uploaded online.

Having an issue or two for free is something I feel creators just need to do – something they can show people, so readers know exactly what they’re investing in. As creators, it’s our way of investing in readers, in hopes they will likewise invest in us too. Don’t keep your stories secret. Show the world what you’ve got – if they love it they’ll buy it regardless of whether they already read it for free. I think folks are more likely to back a comic they know is good, 'cause they already know for themselves! It’s why we make preview pages! As they say, the more (comic pages), the merrier.

Artwork by Alaire Racicot

CBY: What can CBY readers expect from Crown & Anchor: Book Two: Castaway of Demons?


AR: Mainly our crew getting their butts handed to them, spoopy backstories and worldbuilding, and 200% more demons. There’s also a character we’re spotlighting as the plot takes a turn, and I am so excited for readers to meet them!


TR: First, completely revamped art. Alaire killed the Photoshopped Balrog and leveled up, unlocking screen tones. This is how the book was meant to look.

Second, we spend much more time on the villain than in book one. This is to show how deep the divine token mythos goes. Third, the king’s daughters. They are very pretty and we’ll see them more in future books. And fourth, demons, monsters, and beautifully gross creatures.


CBY: You both have been involved in several successful Kickstarter campaigns. For anyone that is contemplating their first Kickstarter campaign, what have you learned about crowdfunding and what advice do you have about running a Kickstarter campaign?


AR: Include as much content as you can – either in the campaign story or as you promote it. Have content to show off! I know a lot of Kickstarters have a few preview pages and that’s it, but it really helps to have extras here and there. You can totally do some major incentivizing that way. You want readers to know what they’re investing in.

Personally, have some decent graphics on your page – it shows you put in a little time and effort to make things look nice and professional! People love visuals – you can put everything under the sun in writing, but what will make people stop and look are images. You can list your rewards via text, but people may not stop to look at it unless they’re images of your rewards. Humans like shiny things, so make shiny things to draw them in!


TR: My top three pieces of advice are:

  1. Include a video. Aim for less than a minute, show off the art, and be yourself.

  2. Get the word out early, take advantage of your landing page! Build up those followers before you launch! And...

  3. Lie about your deliverables! If we estimate that we’ll ship books in April, I’ll say they won’t arrive until June. Backers are happy to get it early and it makes you look good.


CBY: I can’t let you go without discussing Sidequest. Alaire, you provided the line artwork and, Toben, you handled letters and design. I finally read issues #1 and #2 in preparation for this (I backed issue #3 on Kickstarter). I was absolutely blown away by every element of this story. How did the two of you become involved in Sidequest? Are there elements of the story that speak to you? The character designs are all exceptional, how were they developed?


AR: Grant and I go aaaaall the way back to Reddit, circa 2016 on ComicBookCollabs. Grant had me draw God Says Hi and then he told me to get lost and then he came crawling back to me, begging that I draw Sidequest for him. I felt bad for him and said sure. I’m totally kidding, Grant had me do work for him here and there over the years and I was thrilled to draw Sidequest when he presented it! I mean…D&D and fantasy BS? Yes, please!

Sidequest, Issue #3, p. 3, Stoye/Racicot/Bonanni/Racicot

I love drawing fantasy, so it was a no-brainer that I’d enjoy not only reading Sidequest, but also drawing it. The fact I accidentally relate to D’arik was totally an accident. I’m now a parent, and Sidequest’s protagonist is also a parent. I am an escape artist, and D’arik is likewise an escape artist…sometimes to a fault. However, my favorite character is Grachen, the dragon wizard. He’s hilarious. As far as character creation, honestly, Grant said, “Hey, here’s how I picture them” and sent me photos and references, and I took it from there until he said “good enough.” I absolutely wanted them to look unique and detailed and still be willing to draw them over and over from…mostly memory. When I take breaks in between issues, sometimes I forget things and gotta open up the ol’ reference sheet again.


TR: Well, he promised me a PS5...


CBY: Is there something fundamentally broken inside Grant Stoye, the writer of Sidequest, that he refuses to acknowledge that pineapple on pizza is objectively delicious?


AR: I’m pretty sure he was dropped on his head several hundred times as a small child. Or maybe his parents were brutally lacerated by pineapples? I can’t remember which he said it was. It’s a tragic story, since pineapple on pizza is so delicious.


TR: The story goes that when Grant was a kid he stumbled upon a witch living in a hollow tree in the forests of Michigan. He was learning to yoyo, but he couldn’t walk the dog. The witch offered to help, but asked for some fruit because she was a little backed up. Grant chuckled to himself and went home to find some fruit. At home, Grant checked the fridge, no apples or oranges were inside. No bananas on the counter. He scoured the cabinets and cupboards, finally discovering a can of pineapple tidbits. He was sure it wasn’t what she had in mind, but it was fruit, and off he went. The witch was pleased to see Grant return. He took out the can and proffered it to the witch. She took up, unsure what it was, she had never seen any fruit that was metal before. She tried to bite the can, causing a loose tooth to plop out onto the forest’s dirt floor. Shrieking in pain, she threw the can at Grant. It klonked him on the head. He took off running, tears in his eyes, the witch behind him shrieking curses. She hexed him to abhor the taste of pineapple in any form. And he still can’t walk the dog with his yoyo.

AR: Oh, right. That’s how it went! I forgot about the pineapple witch.


CBY: Which comic creators working today inspire you?


AR: Kamome Shirahama, Bayleigh Underwood, Dan Mora, Will Tempest, Daeyoung Park, Greg Smallwood, and Souroush Barazesh. Sometimes I just gawk at their work and think about how unfairly skilled they all are, and I can’t stop wanting to see more of it. I really gotta step up my game if I wanna even come close to how crazy great they are. They, uh, obviously study and work super hard while I’m here blowin’ bubbles out my butt.


TR: Writers: Kieron Gillen, Jonathan Hickman, John Layman, Skottie Young.


Letterers: Rus Wooton, Nate Piekos, and Clayton Cowles.


Artists: Daniel Warren Johnson, Nick Dragotta, James Harren, Jorge Jimenez, Afu Chan.


Artwork by Alaire Racicot

CBY: Do you both have a long-term comics goal? Is it the same goal?


AR: Have a couple more kids, have them learn to flat and color so we can make some real comics together. Y’know, a couple more nuggets to complete our McRacicot Happy Meal Combo. Then crossing my fingers someday it’ll become an anime on Netflix or somewhere, 'cause if that doesn’t happen, then why am I even doing this? Why, Jimmy? I need Jamie Bell to be Hebb and Matt McKenzie to be Aetrius.


In all seriousness, I just want to see Crown & Anchor complete.


TR: Finish Crown & Anchor, sell it to Netflix, it gets made into an anime. Eat lots of pizza.


But seriously, there are a good handful of stories that I really want to get made. And luckily I’m married to one of the most skilled illustrators in the business, so there isn’t a rush!


CBY: If you were the curators for a comics museum, which 3 books do each of you want to make absolutely sure are included?


TR: 1) DIE by Kieron Gillen, Stephanie Hans, and Clayton Cowles. 2) East of West by Jonathan Hickman, Nick Dragotta, Frank Martin, and Rus Wooton. 3) Crown & Anchor, duh!


AR: I mean, Witch Hat Atelier, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Outer Darkness. Or The Dam Keeper.

CBY: Are you currently working on any other projects CBY readers should check out?


AR: Savage Wizard may still be boppin’ around on Kickstarter, go check that out! I had been eyeing that one for months and I had the pleasure of drawing the cover! Dreams do come true. I’m also part of an unofficial Dungeons & Dragons module called Uncaged Goddesses, with D&D deities reimagined, with playable modules all interacting with said goddesses in some fashion. I feel I got the best one. It’s super cool. There are incredible writers and artists and cartographers on this thing like you wouldn’t believe! That will be out for sure by early 2022. Please also check out my Psychonauts 2 fan art. I’m really happy with them.


TR: A plethora! Savage Wizard, Space Princess, Beastlands, Sidequest, Discordia, many others. Pilgrim’s Dirge and Emulator return to Kickstarter next year!


CBY: You have a website, newsletter, and are on Twitter. Anywhere else you can be found online?


AR: You can find me anywhere @shiningcapella! Even Twitch, of all places. Please sign up for our newsletter cause that’s where we show off the real cool secret stuff.


TR: Twitter @TobenRacicot is the place.


CBY: Thank you so much, Alaire and Toben!


AR: Thank you Jimmy! This was really fun! Can I get this Yeti Cave Cheese(?)™ to go?


TR: This was amazing. Let’s get a Hawaiian pizza for dinner!



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