We are back once again True Believers, with another installment of our world renowned 20 Question interviews. Today we sit out on the upper patio of the vast Root Beer Party Estates overlooking the fields of vanilla beans being carefully tended to by the devoted Root Beer Monks. It is one of the many ingredients we grow here in order to brew the elixir of life itself: Root Beer.
We have with us today, a legacy comic creator, Ron Ferdinand. He is the main artist who took over the Dennis the Menace comic. It is a huge responsibility to take on an iconic character and pop culture icon, who has not only appeared in comics, but in movies as well as television shows ranging from live action to animation. Dennis the Menace is a cultural institution, so we are honored that Ron was able to take time off to fly out here to our vast estates in an undisclosed location in an unknown land in an undiscovered country. You can check out the official website here: http://dennisthemenace.com/
Well, the melting frost on the Root Beer Mugs tell us that it is time to get on with it, let’s get to know Ron.
Question 1: What got you started in doing a comic series?
I was hired by Hank Ketcham in 1981 to work on the DENNIS comic for Marvel. After a year, Hank put me on the Sunday page.
Question 2: Who was you greatest influence?
Hank Ketcham , Walt Disney, Chuck Jones and Mort Drucker…to name a few.
Question 3: What is your favorite root beer and why?
Actually, I love A&W sugar free Root beer. It’s my favorite drink!!!
Question 4: What do you hope to accomplish with your comic?
To try and carry on the legacy of Hank Ketcham to the best of my ability.
Question 5: Do you have any other artistic interests outside of comics?
I love music and play a little guitar and bass.
Question 6: Do you see yourself as a professional cartoonist, or is this just something you do for yourself?
Thanks to Hank, my work appears in newspapers.
Question 7: What type of subject or humor do you consider out of bounds for your strips and why?
We try and keep the humor free of politics and other adult oriented subjects. After all, Dennis is five-an-a-half.
Question 8: What kind of equipment or style of drawing do you use?
I’m pretty old school…pencils, pens, ink and paper.
Question 9: what sort of training or academic program did you pursue to become a cartoonist?
I attended THE SCHOOL OF VISUAL ARTS in New York City for 3 years and studied animation, cartooning etc……
Question 10: What has been the highlight of your cartooning career?
Absolutely being hired by Hank Ketcham.
Question 11: What has been the lowest point in your cartooning career?
After graduating from SVA , I floated around for a few years doing a few little freelance gigs but not enough to earn a living in art.
Question 12: Are collections of your work available beyond the web? If So where?
Well, I’ve seen some things on Ebay.
Question 13: Are there any other web comic artists that you really admire?
Just what I see on Facebook. Not sure of the names but there’s some great stuff out there.
Question 14: What kind of impact has cartooning had on your life and could you ever see yourself not doing it?
Cartooning was always there even when I wasn’t getting paid for it. Guess I just had a one track mind.
Question 15: Do you have any advice for the Trolls out there who harass content creators? (no need to keep this answer clean.)
We get our share of criticism but my attitude has always been ..at least they’re still talking about us.
Question 16: Do you set yourself any deadlines or other tricks to keep yourself motivated?
There’s a deadline every week for newspaper comics so it’s instant motivation.
Question 17: Apart from root beer, what is your favorite drink?
Diet Pepsi and milk with ice in it.
Question 18: Are you already a member of the root beer party and if not, what is the matter with you?
I believe I am.
Question 19: What is the most challenging aspect of cartooning for you?
Trying to keep the comic funny and eye-catching. Scott Ketcham and I work really well together getting these Sundays out every week.
Question 20: What are your future plans involving web comics or anything else going on in your life?
To keep DENNIS going and going, etc……..
So there you have it True Believers, another classic 20 questions interview with the members of the Root Beer Party. I must give Ron a tour of the vast Root Beer Party Estates so we must leave you until next time, and until then True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your Root Beer always foamy.