Comic Pro Spotlight: Ron Randall
by Bill Nichols
What was your first work in comics? What do you remember about that first assignment?
Ron: My first comics work was a few short stories in the back of the old Sgt. Rock. Many, many years ago. What I most remember was the rare and priceless opportunity to work one-on-one with Joe Kubert himself as he took me through the steps of layouts, pencils and inks on these short tales. It was getting personal attention from a master. And the lessons I learned from those jobs have shaped my views on comics and storytelling to this day.
Ron: This was the early 80s. Even before there were iPhones. :)
At a guess, how much work have you produced over the years in comics, in terms of pages or book?
Ron: Wow. Let's ballpark this and say an issue a month-- about 22 pages-- for 25 years. that'd be 6600 pages.
What are you best known for?
Ron: Trekker, the book I created for Dark Horse back in the 80's that I have returned to off-and-on throughout my career, and that I am now bringing back to a website, trekkercomic.com. But I've also worked on Star Wars and Predator for Dark Horse, Justice League and Supergirl for DC and lots of other titles that different people may know me from.
What are some of your best moments in comics?
Ron: Well, getting to create Trekker and do exactly what I want to on that project has been and remains the real personal highlight. But I also loved the work on the issues of Supergirl that I got to do, and getting to draw both Star Wars and Star Trek at different times was great fun. Especially, being inked by Al Williamson on some of the Star Trek issues was unbelievable. Al was the guy I most aspired to being when I was a kid dreaming of a comics career. That and working with Joe Kubert, another of my great heroes. And lastly, on my Justice League Europe run, my first cover was inked by the great Murphy Anderson, which was just an incredible honor.
Your worst, something you have regrets about? My regrets are for times when I haven't protected myself and my own artistic standards on some projects.
Ron: Times when I was willing to work on projects that weren't that well conceived or projects that really were not a good "fit" for me.
Ron: I have always said that if Trekker were to become the project that people would most associate me with, I'd be happy.
Why do you think you aren't working in comics? Or working as much as you once did?
Ron: Still pretty dern active in the field, so guess this one doesn't apply.
What do you think of comics today?
Ron: As always, there is very good work being done, and poor work being done. People who are still interested in telling a tale, and people who are using the story as an opportunity to show off some particular drawing flash that they have cultivated. I am not much of a fan of "flash". I like a well-sequenced series of panels that draws a reader into a story and makes them lose themselves in the experience.
Is there a project, character or title you would want to re-visit to continue or re-boot?
Ron: I think I've already covered this one since I am doing that right now with Trekker. A runner-up might be the very early series that I worked on for DC with writer Gary Cohn called The Barren Earth. It was a terrific sci-fi strip that felt like Dune and Edgar Rich Burroughs rolled up together. Great fun.
More of Ron's Work
And my webcomic with Robin Ator: Arteest http://arteestcomics.com
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