What is your name and your current occupation?
Ralph Kidson Cartoonist/Writer/Storyboard Artist
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I worked briefly for a charity-run home for young autistic people, some of whom were VERY challenging…quite often you were just trying not to get punched in the head! Useful life skill I suppose… Ummm…jet-washing UPS vans, at night, in Winter. One time I stepped backwards to admire my handiwork and fell head-first into a massive bloody ditch, to much general amusement. Awful.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Definitely this current Wildseed project, it’s very exciting, Miles and Jesse have assembled some seriously talented bods in the animation field. We’re like the Avengers. I’d have to be the crap bloke who shoots arrows though ‘cos I’m very new to the industry. Hawkeye.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m from the giddy, exciting, dangerous world of Small-Press Comics…making my own comics and selling them in shops and comic-fairs for the last 20 years! I got into animation via Jesse Cleverley, the Wildseed Creative Director, walking into Gosh! Comics in London looking for potential talent, reading one of my comics in there and deciding that I had some of that there potential, there. If it wasn’t for him I’d still be jet washing vans, falling into ditches, and sitting on a park bench drinking Happy Shopper vodka at weekends…
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
Don’t really have one…I might be thinking up an idea whilst wandering about my village like a stunned moose, or writing a script or drawing a storyboard, like a stunned moose, or zip-lining over flaming barrels of tar. Like a stunned moose.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I love the writing part, thinking up new characters and ideas. Stuff pops into my head pretty regularly, ever since I was taken to Andromeda last year and had EVERYTHING EXPLAINED TO ME by the cosmic hive-mind. Wearing a tin-foil balaclava helps intensify reception of interstellar messaging. They still make me take it off in Wetherspoons, though, the bastards.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
The drawing side of things can be a bit of a struggle, I’m not a natural draughtsman really. Also all the blood and the killing gets you down after a while.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis, how has technology changed in the last few years in your field and how has that impacted you in your job?
I am super-lo-tech, biros, pencils, Pentel Micro-Correct…generally I have a frightened caveman attitude to all things computery, and try to avoid them as much as possible. If I can’t avoid a computer I will push grass into its slots and wave a spear angrily at it before running away.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
Can’t think of anything at all…I’ve been given the opportunity to work in a field that I actually have ability in and can enjoy, after years of slogging away in jobs I was basically crap at and hated, so YEHHHH! Thank You Wildseed!
If you could change the way the business works and is run how would you do it?
As I say, I’m completely new to the animation biz, so any opinions I hold on the state of the industry are ill-informed and not worth hearing, I would’ve thought!
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
Not really…on the comics front, which is definitely a related medium, I’m fortunate enough to know a few legends, David Lloyd (V for Vendetta), Chris Ware (Acme Novelty Library), Dave Sim (Cerebus)…
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
I’ve had an ongoing struggle with depression through my adult life, which has dragged me through some spectacular troughs of despond over the years…but fuck you depression, I’m still here! Wearing trousers and smoking a pipe.
Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
I contribute a page to the” Comix Reader” which is a cool newspaper-format comics anthology. It’s been going for 5 issues now and is getting better with every issue. If we say so ourselves…
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I can drive a counter-balance fork-lift truck.