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Once Our Land Graphic Novel

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Peter Ricq is a multitalented renaissance man. Besides releasing music and playing in a band, he also is directing a feature film and putting out Once Our Land, his first graphic novel. He is a man of many talents. I was attracted to the art displayed in his graphic novel and the contradictions between the two main characters, Fritz and Ingrid. The comic is a sort of fantasy/sci-fi hybrid and has a kind of Battle Chasers flair. Peter just completed a successful Kickstarter campaign and the full graphic novel will be coming out in 2016. Until then check out this exclusive interview that he did with The GR1ND-

Describe the two main characters in your graphic novel Once out Land?

The novel focusses on two characters, one named Fritz and the other Ingrid. Fritz is a 62 year old man, a  warrior who carries a big heart. Unlike most warriors, Fritz likes being in the company of others, sadly enough, there aren’t many people left.

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Weapon of choice: A huge stick/spear.

Ingrid is an 11 year old survivor who never gives up no matter the outcome. Ingrid likes to keep to herself although everything changed once she met Fritz. She also has a big appetite, too bad portions are scarce. I based Ingrid off my mother who carries the same name.

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Weapon of choice: Slingshot.

Why did you decide to set the story in 1830s Germany?

I decided to have the story take place in Germany because I’ve always enjoyed old German tales, they are kind of creepy yet still engaging. My mother had a couple classic German books around the house like Struwwelpeter. Struwwelpeter is a children’s book that comprises several short stories with the outcome of misbehavior demonstrated in disastrous consequences in a dark exaggerated way. It was made in 1845.

I also went to see my mother’s side of the family in a town called Rothenburg aub der Taube that is situated in southern west Germany. I went there numerous times growing up and it’s such a beautiful town that I wanted to tell a story with that as it’s setting.

My parents also had a book by the artist Carl Spitzweg, a legendary German painter from the 19th century. I based a lot of things off of his paintings for things such as what people wore in that century and what people had as home appliances and decorations.

You said the monsters were inspired by HP Lovecraft and the Simpsons, care to elaborate?

The monsters are definitely inspired by HP lovecraft, I’ve always been intrigued by Lovecraft creature stories. The tentacles, the creatures, demon from another world, pure evil, it”s good stuff.

As for the Simpsons’ alien’s inspiration, it was more of a joke, I just thought they look like them but totally wasn’t intentional when designing them.

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Your kickstarter was successful describe the feeling?

It feels good when you try hard to do something right and it actually turns out being successful, that doesn’t happen often. I’m very grateful to be living in a time where it’s easier for artists to be independent thanks to the internet and crowd funding networks like Kickstarter.

How long has this graphic novel been in development?

Been a long time, the first chapter was made when I was around 19 years old while I was attending a comic book school back in Montreal in 2000. When I completed it, my brother didn’t believe that I had written it which I guess is a good thing. In 2012, I sent the comic to a french publisher and they loved it but they wanted me to add 40 more pages. The deal they offered me was very poor and they kept a lot of the rights so I decided to do it on my own. I hired my friend Sunny Shah to do most of the second chapter but I later took over because I had more free time. If it were done full time It wouldn’t have taken that long.

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What type of story line do you put Fritz and Ingrid through?

It’s an adventure, action tale. They run, hide, jump, sleigh creatures. It’s a fun story I think, I hope.

You wore a lot of hats on this project, explain?

When doing comics, you don’t need a big production team, it can be a one man job kind of thing. I like having full control and I’ve been doing comics and animation for over a decade so it’s just something I’m comfortable doing.

When is the graphic novel going to be available and where?

It will be available at OnceOurLand.com, as soon as the Kickstarter is over, you can pre-order the book through there. I’m also planning on doing a book Launch tour, in April (book will be ready by then). I’ll be hitting up Vancouver, Edmonton, Montreal and Toronto. I’m also planning on doing New York, Portland and LA. The book Launch show will also have some of the art from the art show I had on Dec 4th here in Vancouver.

Is their any significance behind the title? Please explain?

Creatures have surfaced and taken over the land that Ingrid and Fritz used to call theirs. It isn’t theirs anymore but was at one time. That’s it.

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What other work have you done and where can people find out more info about you?

I’ve co-created, art directed and directed several animated television series. That’s my main source of income. I direct music videos for my bands HUMANS, Gang Signs and Ladyfrnd. I just finished co-directing and editing a documentary feature that is called “Come Together”. We are submitting it to festivals now. I show art on a regular basis and am getting ready to shoot my first dark comedy/Horror feature film next fall.

You can find out more about me and all my work through my website Peterricq.com

I’m hoping this book does well because I would love to write a sequel to Once Our Land. I’ve gotten to know and develop the world and it’s characters deeper and there is a bigger story waiting to be shared.

If you liked this check out the profile on Comics and Bullets. 

Seth Ferranti is a writer, producer, actor and comic creator. He's created and writes Supreme Team, American Grind and Prison Stories. All forthcoming. He also writes for VICE, The Fix, SLAM, Huffington Post and Don Diva and has 8 true crime books on crack era gangsters out on Gorilla Convict.

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