Spotlight

Ruu & Walter – A Happy Birb Meets Grumpy Wizard

Lime Robertson is a comic artist and illustrator from North Carolina. He is an alumni of Savannah College of Art and Design where he studied sequential art and animation. Lime has made a lot of short form comics over the years, his current ongoing project is Ruu & Walter.

Synopsis: Ruu & Walter is a fantasy adventure story about an enthusiastic bird and a grumpy wizard who must travel the same and only path through the mountains.

Our story begins with Ruu eager to travel on his own adventure, and after receiving worrying letters from his cousin, has the perfect reason to. He meets up with Walter, a spooky character, but Ruu thinks he just needs a friend. Along the way, they find themselves falling into trouble and mystery.

Did you go to school for either art or writing? If so, what school?
I went to Savannah College of Art and Design for their Sequential Arts program and Minored in Animation. Though I have been drawing comics since before then.

What is the main genre of your comic? What appeals to you about that genre?
Fantasy Adventure! I’ve always found high fantasy to be the best form of escapism for myself. Don’t think I will ever get tired of quests, magic, & monsters

Are there any other genres that apply to your comic?
If I took out the fantasy elements I think my comic would qualify as mystery. Putting together pieces throughout to lead to something bigger.

What was your inspiration for the story?
Table Top RPGs, D&D/Pathfinder for sure

Do you have any favorite artists or writers who influenced your style?
I have always had a hard time figuring out what influenced my art style. I’m most inspired by friend groups and classmates who are easy to bounce ideas between and motivate each other. They definitely influenced my writing style as we share a lot of the same humor.
When I was starting out drawing cartoons my style was largely influenced by animated shows like Adventure Time, Pokemon, Invader Zim. I have a hard time seeing those influences now but looking back at old art I can see how it developed.

How long does it take you to complete one page?
I work in batches rather than page to page so I can never accurately answer this. And I think this bleeds over into my process question a little bit. I will thumbnail half a chapter or about 15 pages in a day. Sketching the pages I can do between 1 and three in a sitting depending on how complicated the pages are. I ink really fast and can usually ink 2-3 pages in one sitting. I color in batches as well, usually by scene so I can use one color palette all the way through depending on the length of the scene

What is your process like for creating comic pages from start to finish? What tools do you use?
The first four chapters of my comic are traditionally drawn, inked and lettered. I would switch between a dip pen and a brush for inks. The colors are added digitally with Clip Studio Paint.

In later chapters I switched to inking digitally as well for speed, but I still draw with pencil traditionally first.

Is your comic a finished work? If not, how long do you think you think it’s going to be when it’s complete? Is there a definitive ending or will you just keep going for as long as possible?
It is currently unfinished and I would equate my ability of estimating page count with that of guessing jelly beans in a jar! Which is to say I am bad at it. I honestly thought the first 3 chapters were going to be a single chapter when I was writing an outline but it worked better broken up with more breathing space.

I started this project with a rough outline and ending that I keep going back to and tweaking so yes but it is in a constant state of change as I continue to write.

How many pages do you have complete at the moment?
As of writing this there are 198 pages! Including those in my backlog/buffer that have not been posted yet.

How long did it take you to plan the comic before even beginning to physically create it?
About 3 years, I was torn over what comic I wanted to do as well so a lot of that time was just making a decision and then going for it. I did test pages and tried out different styles just to see what I could do reasonably on a weekly basis.

What was the biggest hurdle you faced during the course of making of your comic? If you could go back in time to the point where you just started making it and give yourself a pep talk, what would you say?
The biggest hurdle was when I started work at a fulltime job. I had to take many hiatuses from my comic but that’s an unavoidable issue when you’re working on a free project.

I would tell myself to not worry about consistency. It’s a long comic that is bound to change over time as you get better. I would also tell myself that it’s okay if this comic is not your masterpiece, it’s your first long for comic and it’s for fun.

What is your favorite part about working on your comic?
What I love about this comic and personal comics in general is it’s 100% my own. There are a lot of things you can’t control and a lot of creative projects that have many hands in the pot. It’s nice to have something that’s all my own in between.

What is the most difficult part about working on your comic? How do you overcome it?
Making it! Dreaming it up and writing notes down is the easy part but making it a tangible thing that other people can read takes time. Some days it’s a struggle to thumbnail and I just want to zone out and color. Other days I have a backlog of inked pages to color but just do not want to sit at my computer screen. Those days I focus on different parts, whatever I can do.

Do you have a favorite character to write for? If so, why? Tell us more about them!
Ruu is definitely my favorite character but when it comes to writing Walter has the most fun responses.
Getting into the head of an antisocial and angry man is very different and amusing. I love to write a grumpy character.

Which character gives you the most difficulty to write for?
Arze, a quiet purple dwarf. He is a newer character in the story and is not good at communication. I have a hard time purposefully writing misunderstandings in dialogue but hope it gets easier once he’s been around longer.

Do you have a favorite character to draw?
Ruu! He’s so cute I love to draw him.

Which character gives you the most difficulty to draw?
Walter and Aderyn are on equal level here. Both are my tall thin characters and I’m not sure why I struggle so much with them. Short and round is so much easier.

Where can we find you?
Im most places as @RagtimeLime but I am more active on Twitter and Instagram
My comic site: http://ruuandwaltercomic.com/
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/ragtimelime
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RagtimeLime
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ragtimelime/

Anything else you want the people to know about yourself or your comic?
I’m always open to questions about comics! Whether it’s about mine or comics process in general.