RICK AND MORTY fans are in sweet, sweet anguish waiting for season three, especially after the Aprils Fools day premiere. For all the fans torturing themselves looking for content, there is a simple solution! All the RICK AND MORTY comics published by Oni Press! There’s an ongoing RICK AND MORTY series and even a LIL’ POOPY SUPERSTAR mini-series (yes, it’s about Mr. Poopybutthole from the episode “Total Rickall”). And now, there’s RICK AND MORTY: POCKET LIKE YOU STOLE IT! The new series, available July 5th 2017, features RICK AND MORTY comic regulars Marc Ellerby, Katy Farina, and another talented Oni Press creator and writer Tini Howard.

With great gratitude, ComicsVerse got to talk to this team about creating a spin-off comic already based off a spin-off (the Pocket Mortys mobile game). Here’s how they worked their genius to make it all come together in the uniquely engaging story of RICK AND MORTY: POCKET LIKE YOU STOLE IT. 

READ: The premiere of RICK AND MORTY was no joke!

RICK AND MORTY: POCKET
Image courtesy of Oni Press.

Building A Magnificent Team

ComicsVerse: How did Pocket Mortys get a spin-off comic? What was that process like and then how did everyone get involved?

Tini Howard (writer): Well, I reached out to Ari because I’d developed an obsession with the show and the comics and really wanted to be a part of it. She let me know that there was a Pocket Mortys spinoff comic and it needed a writer. I leapt over my own ass to say “Yes, yes, I volunteer as tribute!” Marc and Katy were RICK AND MORTY comic veterans, though!

Marc Ellerby (artist): Yeah as Tini says, I’ve been on the title since the beginning, so coming up to three years now. I’ve been doing drawing/writing/coloring back-ups and drawing fill-ins, so I guess getting my own series to draw was a natural step. I basically say yes to whatever our editor Ari says.

Katy Farina (colorist): I’m newer to the series than Marc, but I’ve been on the RICK AND MORTY series coming up on a year. It freaking rules to work on; I love it, and Ari knows it!

READ: Another RICK AND MORTY interview for LIL’ POOPY SUPERSTAR mini-series!

How Pocket Mortys Is Going To Be Adapted

CV: The game itself is fairly simple. You play as Rick battling various characters and finally the Council of Ricks to become the ultimate Morty master. Was there a lot of ideas that inspired you to branch off this story? If so, how did you refine or settle on the final storyline?

Tini: Well, the first thought I had was that Pokémon, as an idea, is pretty messed up, and I’m not the first person to point that out. It’s basically adorable cockfighting. So I wanted to start with Rick’s depraved nature and that, but also link us to a lead Morty, and his perspective, since the game is pretty much about being Rick.

CV: Can we expect a more Morty-centric storyline or Rick-centric one? How would you describe the universe of RICK AND MORTY: POCKET LIKE YOU STOLE IT?

Tini: We follow a Morty, a plain ol’ Morty (who is often confused for Evil Morty) through the story, and his discovery of various Ricks and Mortys and a few other Pocket Pals. The universe is basically the flexible world of Pocket Mortys.

RICK AND MORTY: POCKET
Image courtesy of Oni Press.

Creating All The Mortys

CV: Does RICK AND MORTY: POCKET LIKE YOU STOLE IT just use the Morty variants from the game? Or did you explore and create your own? What was that like for everyone? How fun is it to be making all these crazy fan-art versions of Morty?

Tini: We made a bunch of fan Mortys, and I think Marc is the champ of them. Even my Morty ideas are completely elevated by his and Katy’s work on the art, and every shot is full of hilarious background Mortys. Getting Marc’s pages is always a hilarious “Where’s Waldo” (Or Where’s Wally if you’re Marc) of finding all the jokes on the page.

Marc: Oh for sure that was the most fun. Filling those pages up with hundreds of Mortys in the background was a little wrist-damaging, but it looks great. I came up with some Mortys, my favourite is probably French Stereotype Morty or Emo Morty (or Emorty as no one is calling him) but as the game designers came up some already brilliant Mortys, there was enough for me to rely on the pre-existing characters. It’s the Pocket Jerrys I’m most proud of though. Oh boy, just you all wait.

Katy: The Pocket Jerrys… Y’all have no idea… The game already had some really killer Mortys in it, but using color to sorta elevate their personalities and weirdness has been an absolute joy. I feel like Marc and Tini are giving me a gift with these pages.

READ: ComicsVerse interviewed the creators of the original RICK AND MORTY comic!

The Challenges of RICK AND MORTY: POCKET LIKE YOU STOLE IT

CV: What was the biggest challenge for this series? Since the premise is already a spin-off of a spin-off, was there less pressure to get the characters exactly right, especially regarding the multiverse and creative property merger? Did this factor into feeling having more or less freedom with the characters?

Tini: It’s so hard to write RICK AND MORTY because the impulse is to go ass-wild, but honestly the room for nailing the tone is pretty narrow!

Marc: I’ve had the least network push-back and the most freedom with this particular license than I have with any other licensed work I’ve done. I think there’s a trust between the network and the publisher that we’ll do a good job, we know what we’re doing. Ari doesn’t put a bad team together, y’know. In terms of getting the characters right, yeah there’s an element of stress to that, but it’s not really a challenge, my style of drawing is already similar to the Rick and Morty house style, so it feels like I’m drawing “normally” y’know?

Katy: There hasn’t been any feedback on the color work as far as I know; they’re really giving us a lot of freedom, which is awesome. With the main comic series, I’m putting more focus on imitating the show in how it’s colored and shaded. With RICK AND MORTY: POCKET LIKE YOU STOLE IT, I’m leaning more into the colors of the game references or pushing the atmospheric tone that Tini and Marc have captured. I went for something more cinematic with the colors, but it definitely doesn’t lose it’s RICK AND MORTY charm!

RICK AND MORTY: POCKET
Image courtesy of Oni Press.

Eager and Excited Creators

CV: Was there any reluctance taking this on? Or did you find the material allows itself to go in these wacky directions?

Marc: Zero reluctance, this is the best job I’ve ever had. I was a massive fan of the show before I got the job offer so I can’t think of a property I’d rather be working on, and Oni is the best in the biz. I pretty much bit their hand off when it was offered to me.

Katy: I literally could not type “yes” fast enough. I think I answered Ari within 20 seconds? Something like that. Both the show and the game allow for so much flexibility that I think we all knew we’d have fun working on this before we even got the details.

Tini: I asked Ari over breakfast during a completely unrelated meeting. I was desperate to get my mean little hands on those sweet, juicy Mortys.

WATCH: ComicsVerse interviewed Tini Howard at Tidewater Comicon 2017!

The Artwork

CV: How did you guys approach the drawing and coloring?  Was there any unique method you took for RICK AND MORTY: POCKET LIKE YOU STOLE IT, as opposed to others you worked on?

Marc: There are small tweaks with the drawings, sure, but not anything particularly off-putting. I draw in a very modern cartoony style, the only thing I’ve had to adjust to is the squiggly pupils. This style comes very naturally to me. I’ve done lots of drawing work on DOCTOR WHO in the past, which if you look at my style it’s not the first property that comes to mind but Titan Comics specifically asked me to draw in my style, so I just Ellerby’d up the Doctor. I’ve been fortunate to work on projects that actually suit my art style or with publishers that support it.

Katy: With the colors I keep thinking, “how can I make this feel really emotional?” So there are some scenes that use color to tug on nostalgia’s heartstrings and panels of really sweeping scenery to contrast how bad things are about to get. This series, in particular, allows for me to push my colors much further and get real weird with texturing. It’s so much fun!

RICK AND MORTY: POCKET
Image courtesy of Oni Press.

Fan Preparation

CV: What can fans expect from this series? What can they be surprised or excited about?

Tini: A solid Dance Moms joke, lots of Jerry jokes, and your VERY OWN POCKET MORTY TRADING CARDS.

Marc: Pocket Jerrys, man! Everyone is going to lose their flipping minds over them. Other than that, there are some gnarly fight scenes and some real solid butt jokes, which tick both boxes of Things I Want In Modern Comics.

Katy: If you don’t already have a favorite Pocket Morty, you will soon. Think you already have a favorite? Think again. Maybe we even figured out a way to bring these Pocket Mortys into your IRL, who knows? Who knows…

Please find out more about the creators of RICK AND MORTY: POCKET LIKE YOU STOLE IT on their social media: Tini Howard, Marc Ellerby, and Katy Farina!

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