An Interview With Michael Rookard
Thank you for taking the time to chat with me! Please tell the readers about yourself and the work you do.
Michael Rookard: My name is Michael Rookard and I make the GalefireRPG line of indie gaming assets and the Galefire universe, which for now is the comic/graphic novel and an RPG world setting for 5e; perfect for players that have always wanted to be a sky pirate swashbuckling monsters. I also do freelance artwork every once in a while.
How long have you been making art? How did you get your start?
Michael Rookard: I’ve actually been drawing comics since I was a kid, so I guess this was a natural progression. I started out doing mostly art for RPG books, like Pathfinder and Shadowrun, then I jumped over into making indie game assets. I had always been writing and sketching out ideas for comics the whole time I was doing those things, so eventually I just decided to make one which ended up being the prologue for the much longer book I’m working on now.
RELATED: JoeJas Talks Hip Hop and Making Music
Galefire looks like an awesome series. How did you come up with the concept?
Michael Rookard: The current iteration of the Galefire world started as a wonderful mashup of all the things I love: airships, knights, ninjas, monsters, power armor, swords, fantasy guns, magic, etc. Now that I am making it into an actual RPG setting and the basis for an ongoing series of books I’ve been refining it quite a lot and trying to make sense of how all these pieces work in relation to each other and to make it a compelling world.
At the end of the day for the comic though, I mostly want to make my heroes fight giant monsters in a cool fantasy setting, but it’s also fun to explore other threads such as political intrigues and espionage which I plan to do in upcoming issues (and a cooking tournament).
Making comics takes a lot of time and energy. What do you do to stay productive?
Michael Rookard: Coffee number one. Specifically for the prologue, it was kind of an unplanned mess, and I learned a lot of lessons after making it! This time I have a much better approach I think to streamline my process, but I am still tweaking a few specific drawing practices to try and improve my time investment.
My process is sketchbook rough -> flow document sketch w/ words -> drawing/inking -> colors/words. I plan on trying to stream out a lot of the comic-making process, once I get started in earnest… I am still doing my flow documents right now haha. Other than that, I have a desire to create… it’s hard to shake!
Making comics is often a collaborative process between parties such as writers, artists, and publishers. How do you build relationships and approach the collaborative process?
Michael Rookard: While I do my comic alone, for the most part, I do work with a large group of creatives for my game dev assets. I do end up bouncing a lot of ideas off of my collaborators and we usually drill down on a theme and ideas together, which is very helpful for me.
Broadly speaking, I usually try to operate by the old adage of ‘you get more flies with honey than vinegar’ which is super gross, but being polite and courteous online(and off) goes a long way.
Burnout happens to the best of us. What strategies do you use to reduce stress and stay motivated?
Michael Rookard: Having a good plan and time management is probably the best, you don’t want to be crunching at the end to try and get done. Taking actual breaks to do other things is absolutely essential, not only do you recharge your batteries for your creative endeavor, but you also are adding to your own reference and source material in your head! I get inspiration from all sorts of things, and even the smallest detail of a show/game/book can send me off thinking of a story I want to tell with my own characters.
RELATED: We Talked To Em Garcia About Music And Creativity
Outside of making comics, what do you do for fun?
Michael Rookard: I like playing video games with my wife and kids, my favorite genres are action games, shooters, and RPGs. I also enjoy watching all sorts of shows, from action-heavy anime to all of Gordon Ramsey’s cooking programs, I can’t deny that Star Trek TNG is a clear source of inspiration for Slayde and his crew. I also enjoy reading books, comics, and manga like One Punch Man; and I collect art books.
What advice can you give to those who want to make their own comics?
Michael Rookard: You really just have to make it, get a plan and get started and just make it. I’ve read many times that authors get approached at cons by people saying they want to write a novel, and most often the response is ‘write a novel’. Gotta have something to show around!
Do you have any upcoming releases, events, or gigs you would like to promote?
Michael Rookard: My prologue book is free on the itch Galefire page, and should be available on the Outland Entertainment site soon as well. I’ll be at the Outland booth at Planet Comiccon in KC in August, and hopefully, some details about the new graphic novel and big RPG book will be available around that time!
Thank you for chatting with me this week. Where can the readers find you and your work?
Michael Rookard: You can check out all of my stuff on itch: https://galefirerpg.itch.io/ or follow me on Twitter: @galefire or Instagram: @michael.galefire.
Check Out Michael Rookard
A huge thank you to Michael Rookard for taking the time to chat with me this week. Make sure to check out Michael and Galefire at the following locations: