This week we're continuing on our series of interviews to catch up with our 2021 creators. Last week we spoke to Emre Altındag about running another Kickstarter, continuing his Fishes May Come Back further work, and his Light & Memory community project - you can read all about it here.
Today we're talking with RAMZEE, aka Ramsey Hassan, creator of the incredible LDN. Enjoy!
LDN has been a labour of love for a long time for you. How do you feel now it’s out in the world?
It was more like having this idealised vision of a comic that tackled real-life, topical social issues in a super accessible way and taking on the burden of executing it exactly how I imagined it in my head - so as much as it was a labour of love it was a consensual pain in the neck. Now it’s out of my head and out in the world it’s a mix of relief it’s done, pride that I got very close to what I envisioned and super curious to hear readers thoughts about it.
LDN was unique to us, as you had a cohort of creators working on artwork for the stories with you: Wei Li Wonka and Lizzie Houldsworth to name just two. How did it feel having other creators bring your writing to life?
Well, initially I was supposed to be drawing the whole book but I got burnt out after two stories like a total noob lol.
It was tough trying to draw in a different style for each of the stories so tabling next to Froglump - the comics collective that Lizzie is a part of - and seeing how her art reflected the style of one of the stories I’d written so well, I commissioned her to draw that story and it was the same with the other artists - trying to find artists that matched the tone and aesthetic of a particular story. It was basically editorial work. Getting their art in and seeing how they not only nailed but surpassed my expectations, was a big thrill and I could enjoy that comic as an outsider instead of when I look at my own cartooning where I’m overcritical to the point of harsh sometimes.
How have you found the reception of LDN?
I’ve not heard much except for a few friends takes on the book, to be honest. I would be curious to hear what complete strangers or reviewers think about it. It’s a very weird comic and the stories that I drew were very indie as I’m the only cartoonist in the book who wasn’t a professional, so I don’t expect flowers but I’ll be interested to hear nonetheless. Are you working on anything else at the moment? I’ve just finished writing a short comic story for an anthology and now working on a series of short comic stories to be put online for free as an experiment. Afterwards, I’ll be teaming up with artist Shane Melisse on a graphic novel that is gonna meld the real-life social landscape of LDN with a summer blockbuster. How has the last year changed your approach to creativity? It’s made me incredibly prolific! I overthought a lot of things and was too cautious and but now I’m knocking out 2 short comics a week and wrote a 60-page graphic novel in a month. I’m a beast! lol What are you most looking forward to about things going back to (sort of) normal in the future? The usual stuff people are looking forward to. Having a drink with my friends in a pub. Going to amazing gigs with band geeks. Watching an obscene amount of movies again. But all this Me Time has given me a newfound love of writing and reading that I’m definitely not gonna completely ditch being a homebody.
You can check out RAMZEE's other comics work here, and pick up a copy of his incredible LDN from the Good Comics shop here. You can follow RAMZEE on Instagram and Twitter, and see everything else he's up to on his website.