World Exclusive Interview: Ryan Hamilton - Comic Art, Howard The Duck And......Dazzler?

Interview by Scott Hamilton (No relation... I promise)

Ryan Hamilton hangs his hat, literally, in the state of Texas. Softly spoken with a love for life, Ryan has time for everyone around him. You’ll often find him chatting away to audience members at his gigs, preferring to spend his time mingling with the crowd rather than hiding away backstage. Back at his home that he shares with his cosplaying wife, Ryan has a real passion for classic American comics and its art, which he was happy to chat to us about.

Scott Hamilton: Would you like to tell us a bit about yourself, Ryan?

Ryan Hamilton: Not really. Haha. My name is Ryan Hamilton. I'm a singer songwriter from Texas. 
SH: What's your particular geek love of choice and how did you get into it?

RH: I am OBSESSED with comic art. Something about the rate at which these guys & girls crank out INCREDIBLE cover art that BLOWS MY MIND. Really love the work of J. Scott Campbell, Arthur Adams, Jae Lee. Oh, man... I could go on all day. Classic stuff from Neal Adams and Jack Kirby. OK, seriously, I'm gonna stop before we end up with a novel sized, 500 page response here.

SH: What kind of things do you find yourself collecting?

RH: Comic art and figures. Anything and everything Howard the Duck. He's my favourite. Even though Dazzler is a close 2nd.

SH: Dazzler, now there's a blast from the past. Do you have a soft spot for slightly obscure things like that? For me it was the Micronauts and Rom Space Knight...

RH: I totally do! But I love ANYTIME music and comics come together. I'm such a nerd for that sort of thing. KISS appearing in the Howard the Ducks comics, the story of Rock n Roll comics from Revolutionary. Music and comics have a super interesting history. The fact that Dazzler has remained a bit obscure only makes her cooler to me. Haha. 

SH: Do you have a preference between Marvel and DC and, if so, why?

RH: I consider myself a Marvel man. For whatever reason, with the exception of Batman, pretty much all my favourite characters, books, artists, and movies are from Marvel.

SH: What's the prize of your collection?

RH: The thing I'm most proud of is the Bob Dylan portraits. Allow me to explain. A while back I started asking my favourite comic artists if they would draw portraits of Bob Dylan for me. I have a wall of them at home. Anytime music and comics come together, that's my favourite. So for some of my artists, comic heroes to draw portraits of my musical hero is the ultimate for me.
SH: Is there something you think of as your holy grail that you'd love to find?

RH: Yes! I'm also semi obsessed with comics that went into the world, but were  "recalled" because they were deemed offensive, or had mistakes. Like the Superman issue (Action Comics #869) where he's drinking a beer with his dad. They recalled it, and switched his beer to a soda. I have one of the beer copies. I love it. But my HOLY GRAIL, recalled comic is Amazing Spiderman 678. The Mary Jane Venom variant. Impossible to find. Ridiculously expensive when you do.

SH: Your wife Holly cosplays. Do you find yourself having geeky adventures together?

RH: Yeah she does! She's developed quite the following and reputation. SUPER proud of her. I love going to conventions together. But then funny thing is, once we get there, we go our separate ways! Haha. Just because we're into totally different things. I'm into comics and art, and she's into Cosplay.

SH: I know you're a bit of an artist yourself. If you had the chance to draw a comic as a guest artist what would you like to draw?

RH: That's easy. Howard the Duck.
SH: You've probably been interviewed loads, and been asked hundreds of questions over the years. But is there ONE question that you've always wanted to be asked, that nobody's ever asked you? What's that question, and what's the answer? What do you want your fans, and our readers to know about you?

RH: Not really, no. Haha. I wish I had a more exciting answer for you here. I try really hard to be an open book... and to be approachable, normal, accessible etc... I've been lucky for most folks to feel comfortable asking me whatever they want. I like that. Wouldn't have it any other way.
We’d like to thank Ryan for taking the time to answer our questions. You can find out more about what he’s up to by heading over to the Ryan Hamilton and the Traitors. If you would like more information on his country album with Tony Wright of Terrorvision you can get it from their PledgeMusic page. Also, thank Neil Vary of Neil Vary Photography for the kind use of the live photograph.

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