'How could you like any of this nonsense?': Six questions with Ethan Rilly

Thirty-six questions. Six answers. One random number generator. Welcome to Robot Roulette, where creators roll the virtual dice and answer our questions about their lives, careers, interests and more.

Joining us today is Ethan Rilly, creator of the award-winning series Pope Hats.

Now let’s get to it ...


4. What's the worst job you've ever had (comic industry or otherwise)?

Maybe not the worst but up there ... I briefly did market research for this corporate conference outfit. We’d cold call random engineers in the South and pester them to describe topics they'd want to hear about. “On a scale of 1-5, how interested are you in Six Sigma?” Then we'd try to sell conferences back to them, having no industry expertise of our own. It had a distinct “boiler room” feel. Vague motivational posters lying around, not on the walls, and the company name wasn't displayed anywhere. You could dismantle the entire office in 20 minutes.

14. What is your "guilty pleasure"--it can be a comic, a TV show, a food, etc.?

Everything I like is a guilty pleasure. If I ever have kids, once they’re old enough to think for themselves, they’ll go, “How could you like any of this nonsense?”

16. What's the best part of being a creator?

It’s good to work hard and build something from the ground up. It’s good to feel responsible for what you’re putting out into the world.

21. Who has been the biggest help or motivator in your career?

A handful of people were really open and encouraging when I started out. It was unexpected. Among them were Peter Birkemoe and Chris Butcher of the Beguiling, Seth and Chester Brown, and of course Chris Pitzer of AdHouse.

27. What are you most proud of so far in your comics career?

Not being on Twitter? Some people find that galling.

28. Based on where you live right now, what's the farthest you've ever been from home, and why did you go there?

Seoul. I met up with a bunch of friends there for a friend’s wedding. Completely disorienting and fun. We shot a mock rap video as a wedding gift in Namdaemun market and throughout the city.

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