By: Nicole D’Andria
What do you get when you adventure with three kangaroos and a secret agent? Salty Roos! Learn more about this bonkers Kickstarter in this in-depth interview between myself (the editor of Salty Roos) and the entire creative team!
Salty Roos follows three anthropomorphic Kangaroos—Salty Roo, Radicool Roo and Ollie Roo—along with their friend Agent Piper as they solve mysteries and do extreme sports. Think TMNT meets Rocket Power meets Scooby-Doo. In this premiere issue, the group plan to relax in Allagash, a town in Aroostook County, Maine. But how can they relax in a town known for its UFO sightings and the alien abduction of four men? The roos find themselves on the case!
This ongoing series is created and published by Erick Anderson, who is the head of Blue Roos Comics. The story is written by Jon Parrish, drawn by Diego Toro, colored by Kóte Carvajal, and lettered by Cristian Docolomansky.
The creative team is seeking to raise $2,270 by January 11, 2020 at 12:50 PM EST. Rewards include a digital copy of the first issue ($8), a physical copy of Salty Roos #1 ($15 early bird special, $25 regularly), alternative variant covers by Diego Toro (Salty Roos, Clusterf@#k) and Marco Maccagni (Road Trip to Hell, Vampblade) ($25), a VIP package ($35), getting your comic book script edited by the Salty Roos’ comic book editor, me ($130), getting a drawing from Diego Toro ($160) and even getting original art from Salty Roos ($200)! Check out the reward tiers on their Kickstarter.
Get the full picture below in my interviews with Erick, Jon, Diego, Kóte and Cristian. Starting with the in-depth interview with creator/writer Erick Anderson.
Me: Of all the animals you could choose, why kangaroos?
Erick Anderson: At the time, the inspiration came from the rising popularity of surfing, skateboarding, and snowboarding. During the 80s, the people associated with this lifestyle were notoriously wild. Some of the surf brands along with some of the more popular surf shops had mascots. One of my favorite brands, JIMMY’Z, had an iconic t-shirt with a rat on a skateboard printed on it. I thought to myself, what kind of animal would look good on a skateboard or surfboard? A kangaroo? A blue kangaroo wearing pink shorts, white gloves and holding a yellow surfboard.
Me: If you could be one of the three roos, which would you be and why?
Anderson: Salty Roo of course. He is my main character. My creation. He is a lot of fun. He beams with confidence and has a certain swagger about him that when he enters a room he becomes the center of attention. My alter ego.
Me: How did you find your creative team for Salty Roos and why did you know they were the perfect people to write, draw and letter your creation?
Anderson: While I was perusing Kickstarter I stumbled across Clusterf@#k. It was everything I wanted for my project, intense action, humor, and perfect characterization. I knew that Jon Parrish would be perfect to write Salty Roos and that his amazing penciler/inker Diego Toro could bring life to my characters. I also wanted their amazing colorist Kóte Carvajal, whose palette of colors was remarkable. To complete my dream team the amazing letterer Cristian Docolomansky was recommended by his Chilean counterparts.
Me: Which page in issue 1 is your favorite and why?
Anderson: Page 10. It is the first time that they appear in the story “Are We There, Yeti?” Just seeing all their faces brings a smile to my face. It was a long personal journey getting them to this point in my lifetime. A personal accomplishment fulfilled.
Me: What are your future plans for Salty Roos?
Anderson: Currently we are working on Salty Roos #2. The majority of this book is pretty much done: pencils, inks and colors. The lettering should be completed soon, then off to my editor. With that being said, I have plans to get the Origin of Salty Roos out to the readers too. Followed by an art book, a collection of Salty Roos splash page art titled Kangaroo Power.
Me: What’s the number one reason people should pledge money to your project?
Anderson: I really think that they will fall in love with the Roos, especially Salty. It has kind of a Saturday morning cartoon vibe to it. Some of my best childhood memories are getting up early and watching Saturday Morning Cartoons. Everyone had their favorite Saturday morning cartoons they couldn’t do without. Salty Roos reminds me of those early shows that had me glued to the television. To some it will bring to mind cartoons like The Herculoids, Underdog, George of the Jungle, The Jetsons, Jonny Quest and Scooby-Doo.
Me: What inspirational words do you have for aspiring comic book creators?
Anderson: Don’t give up on your dream. Write it. Draw it. Do it.
(Note: Thanks to Erick Anderson for passing these next questions from my previous interviews along to his creative team!)
Me: How did you become a part of this Salty Roos project?
Jon Parrish: Erick contacted me about writing a script for the story and I said yes. Also, I’d worked with Diego and Kote on Clusterf@#k as well as Cristian on ConTroll so it was another chance to work with all of them again.
Diego Toro: It all started when Erick contacted me to make a commission of Salty and company for him. Since the experience was so positive, we did a few more and then Erick thought it was time to make a story about them. And that was a very good idea!
Kóte Carvajal: I don’t remember exactly how I began as a team with Erick and Diego, but working on Salty Roos in pinups and comic pages has been funny and a great work experience.
Cristian Docolomansky: Basically I have been working on and off with the creative team, either as a full team with Jon Parrish, Diego and Kóte or working with each artist separately. Making comics allows you to collaborate with great people in many incredible projects. On this particular project, I was kinda eager for that call. I have been aware of Diego’s involvement on Salty Roos, and I like when he and Kóte work together, they are a tight team. I was very happy when I was offered to letter and design the book.
Me: What were your initial thoughts to helping create the world of Salty Roos?
Parrish: As someone who mainly works on my own ideas, it was interesting stepping into someone else’s world and working with their characters. On one hand, the characters and the world are already there so you aren’t working from scratch, which was a nice change of pace. On the other hand, I had to make sure my own humor and style stayed true to the vision of the creator and didn’t hijack the story. It was a good challenge and I enjoyed it.
Toro: The first thing I thought and felt is that Salty, Ollie and Radicool should have unique personalities to differentiate them, both physically and in their way of being. And I appreciate that Erick has taken that a lot in mind in their universe. All three are very special to me and I wanted to add nuances in this!
Carvajal: The concept of these Kanagroos and his adventures is closer to the TV shows that I watched when I was a child, so my first thought was trying to do my part to match the art to those 90’s cartoons. Diego’s line art helped a lot with that too.
Me: What attracted you to the Salty Roos concept?
Parrish: It just seemed like a fun book with a 90s action cartoon vibe.
Toro: When I was a child, I was very a fan of characters like the Ninjas Turtles and similar ones. So for me this story is a way to honor everything I enjoyed back then. And it is also the creation of them from this era!
Docolomansky: I think it’s a strong concept, perfect for Diego’s view on storytelling. It’s like he’s the one that can bring the Roos to life. The story Jon puts together is fun and feels very natural despite the fact that we are talking about talking surfing Roos. 😉
Me: If you got stuck in the world of Salty Roos and you could only pick one of the main cast of characters to protect you, who would you pick and why?
Toro: Definitely my choice would be Salty, it would be fun to see his performance. I like to think he is a great strategist. Also, I would have many questions to ask him!
Carvajal: Rodney the Pink Roo, obviously. He looks like a bouncer or the perfect bodyguard.
Parrish: Probably Salty. He’s the leader for a reason.
Me: How would you describe Salty Roo and his friends? What about them do you think readers will find relatable?
Parrish: They’re fun-loving and watch out for each other. I think people will like their attitudes and how they deal with situations.
Toro: Some of that I mentioned in my previous answer, but I think what defines Salty is his ability to be a strategist during the battles; but it is also his great flaw as he cannot say no to a great adventure! On the other hand, Ollie is a guy with a great sense of humor and that along with the tricks up his sleeve can give you surprises. About Radicool, he is strength at its best; he will never give up, he knows he has great willpower, and besides, I want to believe that deep down, he has a big heart! Lol.
Carvajal: These three guys are great friends besides are the good guys, who can’t relate to that?
Me: If you could be one of the three Roos, which would you be and why?
Carvajal: Blue is my preferred color, so Salty is my first choice (besides, being the team leader is great). 🙂
Toro: It is difficult to answer this, I would like to be one of them, and then another, but my highest esteem is with Salty, definitely!
Me: What was your favorite page/panel of Salty Roos to color and why?
Carvajal: Page 2. Night time, the flashlights and the eye’s Yeti in the background was a really cool panel to color. Besides, this panel set the mood/mystery of the issue, in my opinion.
Me: Can you tell us more about Piper and how she fits into the Salty Roos universe?
Toro: I feel that she is the perfect complement to the team. I could not give you much detail about her past, but definitely she is the common and good sense within this great team. I don’t know why I think it, but I see her as the other leader of the team.
Me: What was your favorite page to illustrate in this issue of Salty Roos and why is it your favorite?
Toro: You may not believe it, but for me the process is very important and I cannot define a specific page, I simply adore the whole altogether. But I can tell you that I enjoy it a lot when I have to draw the expressions of the Roos!
Me: What was the process of creating the character designs like while working on Salty Roos?
Toro: The first thing was to differentiate them between their physical appearances. Although they look a lot like each other, you can see small details that are in each one.
And their physical texture should also be something different. Radicool definitely had to look something close to Hulk!
Me: What was your favorite page/panel of Salty Roos to letter and why?
Docolomansky: More than a panel, and without too many spoilers, I’d like to point out that the whole book was fun to do. But if I can point out a specific part of the gig, the villain’s origin scene and the way he speaks, his balloon design, evolved from something I considered to be a cool idea of lettering design to an incredibly tight lettering design. That’s the value of an editor such as Nicole D’Andria can provide to make the whole book look great.
Me: What is the number one reason why you think people should pledge money to this Kickstarter project?
Parrish: It’s a fun book and everyone put a lot into making it. You’ll enjoy it. Most importantly, you’ll be helping to fund a new comic.
Docolomansky: Because it’s an adventure story like the ones we used to read as kids, with twist and turns. The characters cannot be cooler than this. I have been working with the guys on several gigs before and on this one they pushed the envelope like I haven’t seen before. The story leaves you wanting for more.
Toro: Definitely is if you enjoyed watching TV in the early 90’s. This is a story that will make you enjoy that way but in 2019! I think Jon is a great screenwriter and has managed to capture that essence, and together with the team, we have put in all our efforts so that you have a very good time!
Me: What inspirational words do you have for aspiring comic book writers?
Parrish: Don’t feel like you have to start with something big. A finished four page short comic is better than an unfinished 400 page epic. Plan more for stories you can finish rather than the big ideas. It will cost less time and money as well as give you experience with much less risk than a big book.
Carvajal: Write what you want to read and focus on the feelings or life experience that you have in common with the characters that you are writing. With those things in mind: have fun! Because comics (in Chile where I live and in the rest of the world) is a really hard thing to do, so at least have fun doing it.
Me: Thanks to the entire creative team for taking the time to bring their kangaroo power to this interview! Check out the Salty Roos Kickstarter here.
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