Interview with Ed Bickford

Hey, everybody! Aaron here. I'm still working out how exactly this space will be utilized. I may use this blog/newsletter for some generic editorials and opinion pieces about whatever tickles my fancy, but for the time being, at the very least Ed and I will discuss Robot Pulp and what it means to us.

On that subject, I'm happy to announce that I recently did a short interview with Ed to discuss the origins of Robot Pulp. Check out the video on YouTube, if you are so inclined. Otherwise, here is a written transcript if you prefer to read.


AARON WALTHER: I don’t know if I’ve ever specifically asked you... where does the idea for Robot Pulp come from?

Ed Bickford:

“One year I had already bought my table for Planet Comicon and it was coming around January and I had nothing. I wanted to have something new for the Planet Comicon. I didn’t know if I wanted to make a short comic or something, and my friend Alex Mayday suggested, “You’ve already been drawing all these robot pictures. Why don’t you just make an art book full of robot pictures and just sell that?” And I was like, “Okay!”

So, I posted the first two and another friend of mine that used to live here, Cliff Robinson, he super imposed the Amazing Stories titling on one of them, and once I saw it I could NOT unsee it and I just ran with it.

It also triggered something in me and it made me remember how much I really don’t love comic book art the way a lot of people do. Growing up, it wasn’t the comic book art that drew me to art, it was all the painting of the covers. So, I delved into that and went to Pinterest and was in heaven because of all the pulp covers and old pulp sci-fi magazines. I just ran with it and got the idea that, if you’re going to make it look old with the title on there, may as well add the stressing and make the whole image look old, too. I also wanted to make a fake magazine title that no one had used before, so I thought and thought and thought and finally was like, “What about Robot Pulp?” It’s going to be all robots, everything about robots, and it’s all sci-fi anyway. So, Robot and then Pulp. I Googled it and no one had used that title at all, which was good because I wanted something original.”

Do you remember which was the first print that you did?

“I think it was Sledgehammer. It was ink and ink wash at first, then I take it and digitally add colors and the graphic design and then stress it.”

That was the first one that got the full process?

“Yes, and it was the first one also drawn.”

So, when you come up with these images, do you have a whole story in your head for who the characters are?

“Sometimes. When I’m drawing it, you start thinking about the character and their background and you think, “Oh, this would be a great story.” And while your inking and drawing and painting it I’m still thinking about the story and I’m like, “It’d be cool if he did this, or this would be a cool scene to have this guy in” or something like that.”

How do you feel about me coming in and writing new stories based off of your pictures and possibly distorting them beyond your original vision?

“I’m flattered that somebody else would want to write stories about the image that I just drew. You know, we’ve had a few other people ask if they could write stories, too.”

I was going to make mention of that. When you posted the redone cover of Big Game Hunter, the new version of it...

“Oh, Bob Frantz!”

Yeah, Bob Frantz commented and said, “I want to write the story for this!” and I got in there real quick and was like, “Too slow, bro!”

“Yeah, you were like, “No, it’s mine!”’

Do you have a favorite print that you’ve done or a favorite character?

“I do have one. The robot’s name is Love Machine. It’s not a porn name. I just was drawing it one day and thought that this murderous robot would have the name Love Machine. Kind of an irony thing, I guess. It just kind of stuck. He’s got the bullet head and a jaw with the eyes that pop out a little bit and on his face is painted a skull. I love drawing him. I gotta figure out the rest of his body and the mechanics about it, literally, you know the arms and the legs and the rest of the design for the body, but the head I have nailed down. I think I’d like to do some small comic short stories, like Heavy Metal-wise or something would be pretty awesome.”

You’ve put Love Machine in a few prints, right? Or were they prototype versions of him?

“Yeah, he wasn’t named Love Machine at the time. Big Trouble From Planet X is where I first drew him, and I have Return From Planet X, which is one of my favorites. I think there’s another one in there… Oh, the Cowboys and Robots one has got him and I think the Martian Mechanic also has him. This is before I named him and got the head and body style down, but they had some skull and crossbones as well. He has the Skull on his head and the crossbones on his chest.”

That's the end of the interview... for now! We hope you enjoyed it and stay tuned for more classic styled art and short stories. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on all Robot Pulp News right here, And when you subscribe, you get a free pdf download of the very first Robot Pulp short story, Big Game Hunter... again I say it's FREE! Thanks again for your time and your support. We'll see you soon!

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