Robot 6

‘How could you like any of this nonsense?': Six questions with Ethan Rilly


Thirty-six questions. Six answers. One random number generator. Welcome to Robot Roulette, where creators roll the virtual dice and answer our questions about their lives, careers, interests and more.

Joining us today is Ethan Rilly, creator of the award-winning series Pope Hats.

Now let’s get to it …


Ethan Rilly

Ethan Rilly

4. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had (comic industry or otherwise)?

Maybe not the worst but up there … I briefly did market research for this corporate conference outfit. We’d cold call random engineers in the South and pester them to describe topics they’d want to hear about. “On a scale of 1-5, how interested are you in Six Sigma?” Then we’d try to sell conferences back to them, having no industry expertise of our own. It had a distinct “boiler room” feel. Vague motivational posters lying around, not on the walls, and the company name wasn’t displayed anywhere. You could dismantle the entire office in 20 minutes.

14. What is your “guilty pleasure”–it can be a comic, a TV show, a food, etc.?

Everything I like is a guilty pleasure. If I ever have kids, once they’re old enough to think for themselves, they’ll go, “How could you like any of this nonsense?”

16. What’s the best part of being a creator?

It’s good to work hard and build something from the ground up. It’s good to feel responsible for what you’re putting out into the world.

21. Who has been the biggest help or motivator in your career?

A handful of people were really open and encouraging when I started out. It was unexpected. Among them were Peter Birkemoe and Chris Butcher of the Beguiling, Seth and Chester Brown, and of course Chris Pitzer of AdHouse.

27. What are you most proud of so far in your comics career?

Not being on Twitter? Some people find that galling.

28. Based on where you live right now, what’s the farthest you’ve ever been from home, and why did you go there?

Seoul. I met up with a bunch of friends there for a friend’s wedding. Completely disorienting and fun. We shot a mock rap video as a wedding gift in Namdaemun market and throughout the city.



Been reading this column regularly, and I’m always unimpressed. The quality of the questions is pitiful. It couldn’t be worse if you asked them what their favorite cereal is or what their shoe size is. No hard feelings! Not trying to hurt anybody. Just trying to help. I believe choosing random questions is not working. Why not simply choose the BEST questions?

Hmmm. How else could the column be better? How about interviewing folks with more name recognition? Or if you’re going to continue interviewing “award-winning” unknowns, maybe show some of their most impressive published art, or explain why the interviewee is good?

Best wishes.

Just want to say I too have been reading this column for awhile and I like it. I like that the questions aren’t the same “Tell me about your latest project” questions that you can find on every other comic website, that they let you get to know the creator. Some of the questions may be a little goofy, but the answers are usually fun.

Also, lighten up, Jake.

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