Lady Geek Spotlight: ‘Little Vampires’ Creator, Rebecca Hicks
I met Rebecca at Geek Girl Con 2011 in Seattle and she is so funny and talented. Rebecca created the popular web comic, Little Vampires, about little 7-inch (or less) vampires who try to be as fierce and frightening as the big vampires. Except, they are just too darn cute. Rebecca illustrates art and creates all kinds of merchandise to sell at different conventions around the country. She talks about her project and her convention experiences below in her spotlight interview. Trust me, this woman is the person to ask when it comes to sitting at a table at convention’s exhibit halls.
DEFECTIVEGEEKS: Tell us about your web comic ‘Little Vampires’ and what inspired the concept? Why did you start this webcomic?
REBECCA HICKS: The Little Vampires webcomic is about a group of miniature monsters that try really hard to be big and fierce but fail spectacularly at it. The focus of the comic is their misadventures, but it’s also about their friendship with Wolfie (a little wolfman), Frank (a little Frankenstein’s monster), and other little monsters, none of whom sparkle. There is no sparkling. Little monsters, big fun, no sparkling. Unless they cover themselves in glitter.
The inspiration for the Little Vampires came from, of all things, my husband’s diabetes. James checks his blood sugar on his fingertips, and once commented that they looked like “they had been nibbled by little vampires.” An image of a tiny vampire popped in my head the moment he said that, and I started sketching the little guys. I kept sketching them, and thinking about what their world would be like. I bounced some ideas around with James, and realized I had a really fun concept to build on. It all came together very organically.
I initially wrote and drew and published the Little Vampires book, and sold it at conventions. An amazing fanbase built up, and I realized that they deserved more than just the occasional book. I was already a fan of webcomics, and knew lots of great people in the biz that I could talk to for advice. So I began the Little Vampires webcomic.
DG: Shing (Sawdustbear.com) and I tease you a bit about the millions of conventions you attend each year. Besides the money-making potential, what is it about conventions that you (and your husband) enjoy?
HICKS: There is so much we love about conventions! We love getting to see the fans that have supported us from the beginning, and we love meeting new fans. I love drawing sketch cards and commissions for people, because I always get the most fun requests. And we both love getting to see our creative friends (like you)! We all stay connected so well through social media, but there is no substitute for getting to hug a friend and to get to share a meal and a drink with them. James also loves having a break from his day job. :)
Because we love conventions, it’s really hard when we can’t make it out to one. I’d love to win the lottery so I could afford to go to conventions all over the place all the time!
DG: What is your favorite memory from selling art at artist alleys across the country?
HICKS: OMG, I have so many fun memories from conventions! I can’t pick a favorite, they’re all so awesome. Some of them involve fans, some involve friends, some involve celebs buying our stuff. I’ll choose one that was inspirational. Several years ago we were exhibiting at Wizard World Dallas (back when that existed). This was a pivotal show for us. We made lots of great fans and met our dear friend Neal Bailey for the first time. PvP webcartoonist Scott Kurtz was walking the floor, and noticed our booth. I’m a fan of his work, so it blew my mind when he walked over and started complimenting my art. He liked how expressive the Little Vampires were, liked the way their emotions were conveyed with their wings . . . I just stared at him. I did manage to pull it together, and he actually stayed at the table and talked shop with us. I learned so much from that talk, but was also inspired by it. He talked to me like I was a peer, which made me realize that hey, maybe I didn’t suck. And as any artist will tell you, it’s a constant battle to remind ourselves that we don’t suck. I’m always pushing myself to be a better artist and story-teller, but I have a weapon against falling into despair when doing that gets tough. I remember that Kurtz talked to me like a peer, and that I need to keep working hard to be worthy of that.
DG:Â Do you have a dream convention that you have never been to and would like to attend? Or a favorite convention that you want to recommend to everyone else?
HICKS: My dream convention is all the conventions! :D My totally impractical dream convention would be one in the British Isles. My more practical dream conventions are here in the States.Â I would really like to be able to afford to go to conventions on the east coast. Heroes Con, all the great New York shows, etc. And I wish I could afford to travel to the Midwest again! I miss being able to do shows in Chicago, since I’ve got lots of buds in that area.
The conventions that we do get to attend are a dream! I love Emerald City ComicCon and Phoenix ComicCon. Those are the big shows I recommend the most. We both dug Geek Girl Con so much!!! And despite the craziness, I do love my hometown show, San Diego Comic-Con. But that one is hard to recommend. The best I can do is recommend that people try to get a table. It can’t hurt to try. :)
DG: Besides vampires and werewolves, what else do you like to draw?
HICKS: I love to draw all kinds of geeky things! I love drawing sketch cards of my fave characters from TV and movies, like Doctor Who. But my resolution for this year is to focus more on original work, ’cause I have sooooo many ideas for art pieces. I want to get back to drawing fantasy, mythology, and folklore related art. I have this idea for companion prints of the fairy Summer Queen and Winter Queen, for example. I have got to get that on paper before my head ‘asplodes. :)
DG: Do you see yourself starting a new webcomic one day after ‘Little Vampires’?
HICKS: I’ve had an idea for another webcomic for several years now. That’s why I’m so focused on improving my art. I want to be able to draw better and faster so I can draw more! Until that day, I don’t speak of the “other webcomic” to anyone but James. I’m a firm believer in the idea that, if you talk about it, then you won’t actually do it. So no spoilers, sweetie. ;)
DG: What does it mean for you to be a ‘Lady Geek’?
HICKS: Being a Lady Geek means just being myself. I’ve always been into geeky things, and always will be. So being a Lady Geek means being myself and making no apologies for it. Word. :)
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