Hi John, thanks for asking all these great questions...
How did you get involved with Flight?
Well, I ran into Kazu for like 10 seconds at the San Diego Con in 2003, a month later he emailed me to say hello...then, that November, I found his Flight site and I talked to him some more; I asked him what the chances were of me doing a story for Flight 2, to my surprise I didn’t have to pass a rigorous physical or anything, all he said was “Sure…you’re in,” BAM! That was it ...It isn’t that easy to get in anymore, so I was pretty lucky I got in to Flight when it was still undiscovered.
Tell us about your story and what inspired it?
My story is about a young Cuban baseball player, Francisco Sanchez, looking back at his time spent with his old neighbor and mentor, Armando Gonzalez…This is really the first story I have created and written on my own, I was afraid I wouldn’t have anything to say, no stories to tell...then while I was lying in bed one night I thought “Hey, I like baseball! I should do a story about baseball…and I’m part Cuban, I should do a story about a Cuban baseball player…”
Francisco’s life story developed in my mind very quickly, but deciding on exactly which slice of his life to tell took me months to develop, then I decided I could do a short story about his mentor Armando Gonzalez…I have been lucky enough to have a slew of mentors in my life…my grandfather, Armando, was a strong influence and memory, as were my Uncle’s Armando II and Paco…my cousin Ramon,...but the more direct influences for this character came from my old neighbor Lloyd “Dan” Daniels, a WWII vet…he used to sit me down and tell me stories about his youth and of the war…teach me about life and how to live it. I never asked for these lessons, he would just say “Richard, damn it, get off my lawn…come over here, I wanna tell you a story…” I loved his stories. The last influence comes from my Uncle ‘Naldo, he used to play pro baseball in Cuba in the 1940’s and 50’s, heck, the man still plays on softball teams today, and he is in his 80’s, I just love talking baseball with him every time he comes in from Miami…
One of strongest things the Flight anthology has going for it is its sense of community in drawing so many creative people from different walks of life all under one banner. How has this implication of convergence influenced you or affected your work?
Being a part of this project has definitely opened my eyes to new art styles and new ways to tell story…One of the things that struck me the hardest about a lot of the Flight artists is how personal their stories are, they don’t even try to hide, seeing that has helped me become a better storyteller. Being a part of Flight really let me appreciate how many great, unknown artists there are in this crazy world...I love being exposed to new artists and art, especially ones as talented as this crew.
How do you feel your piece contributes to the overall quality and diversity of this book? [And just so you know – you all have something very distinct about your styles and your stories that make you perfect for being involved with Flight.]
Well, my story has more words in it than most of the others…I guess that will force people to stop and read the book a bit more…other than that, I don’t know, it has baseball in it…and you can never go wrong with baseball.
What’s next for you following Flight? [Note-use this Q to pimp yourself to your hearts content – be sure to mention any websites or forthcoming projects you’d like to promote]
Next, I will be trying to finish up a story called “Hector Spectre,” it’s a comic I published with my friend and writer Joshua Pruett, I think we have a great, fun story to tell, I can’t wait to get started on it, I will update my site with a preview of the book,…I am also working with some of my other best friends, www.thethoseguys.com
, on some comic collaborations, a few of the ideas we have shot around are really getting my blood flowin’…Oh and I also will be doing a story with writer Mark Smith (Amazing Joy Buzzards), it’s a samurai story, should be fun to do! Check out www.richardpose.com
, I should be updating the site more regularly, I hope.
I notice you like to use bold lines and elongated anatomy in your art, and were possibly influenced by Dungeons and Dragons at some point, maybe even a little bit of a Mark Andrews influence, who are some of your artistic inspirations?
I feel like a ham, but I don’t think I know Mark Andrews work, got a link?! If its D&D related, I bet I’ve seen it, I used to play when I was a teen, but I really just played so I could read the Monster Manual and Legends and Lore book, I loved reading the descriptions and looking at the art…
I think the bold lines look comes from a few places, one is every time I feather something, my friends say “Dik, stop feathering, just do solid lines.” That’s cool, but I like the old school inkers…I want to ink like those guys someday…I also went to school and studied animation, so I became influenced by the animation style as well....As far as elongated anatomy, it probably started from the same place as the bold lines, I used to draw really squat, stocky figures, people kept pointing it out to me and so I tried going the other way...
But my influences in art have really come from all over…I love looking at NC Wyeth, John Singer Sargent, Norman Rockwell, Al Hirschfeld, Michelangelo, JC Lyendecker, Dean Cornwell, Monet, JC Coll, Frank Frazetta, John Buscema, Jack Kirby,….its all good, I love good art.
What are some of your favoured experiences in the world of art? I see you’ve done everything from storyboards to comics, to face painting and caricatures.
This project has definitely been a great experience, being able to tell my own story was really refreshing and fulfilling because I think ultimately, I just like telling stories, whether its spoken, written, or draw…
I think face painting for kids was great too…I remember not wanting to do it, but once I got started, the kids really energized me… that was the day that I realized that kids really don’t care what your drawings look like, they don’t have to be perfect, they just have to have energy in them, they need to be fun…that’s it…that day was a fence post in my life in art…one can learn something in every job they do…
Could you tell us about your project Smoke?
Sure, Smoke was a story I co-created with my buddy and writer Josh Pruett (yep, I already mentioned him as the writer of “Hecter Spectre”)…Smoke is a world in which dragons exist, and they live amogst us, but since their bellies are constantly aflame, they need a disguise, they hide as smokers…at least this is what our hero, Simon, believes…he sees himself as a modern day St. George, he “knows” the dragons are there, but no one else sees them, its very well possible that he is completely delusional…oh, and he has influenced a whole slew of children to follow his dangerous crusade…
Josh and I will definitely be revisiting this world, we have a story we need to get out of our system…I like having some closure with the stories I start, and “Smoke” left a wide gaping hole in me…
John, Sorry if I wrote too much, but if you need more, just ask.