Find A New Hero Series: Ray Friesen

Meet Ray Friesen. He is currently bringing to life the web comic Divine Whiners that features the gods Hermes, Quetzacoati and Thor. Check out it starting with the first episode here. You will also find a super cute magical combination of Pirate Penguins vs Ninja Chickens here. Along with a cast of other family friendly characters and stories that are sure to tickle your funny bone.

Oh and let's say that his artwork is nothing to blink at. You'll agree, I promise. I find his images are softly beautiful and so fraking cute I want to jump in there and just stay in a scene for a while. Ahhh... enough about us though, let's talk with the real star: Ray Friesen. 

Where do you find inspiration for your work?
Inspiration comes in many forms, so I keep a notebook for whenever I have a good idea. The best ideas are usually while I'm slightly asleep, but when I write those ones down, and look at them at the morning, it usually just says something like 'OWLS!' and I have to figure out what I mean. One of my favorite quotes, which I've heard attributed to several different people, is 'everything you see and hear is the fertilizer from which your own ideas grow'. Mostly I just play a game of 'what if _______ happened?' and try and figure out the story from there.

What is your favorite work you have done so far?
Usually whatever is my most recent work is my favorite, because it's most fresh in my mind. In fact, when I reread older books, often jokes I've written surprize me, which is a nice bonus. I'm most proud of 'A Cheese Related Mishap' because it was my first book, and my favorite title I've come up with is 'Cupcakes of Doom!" The book I'm currently writing, 'Fairy Tales I Just Made Up' is probably the funniest thing I've ever written, so it's my current favorite. But the next book after that I'm sure will be my favorite too.

What is one thing you would like to pursue if you had additional free time?

If I had more free time, I would snorkel more. Travel and adventure is the best, and aspects of any trip I take always find their way into my writing. Also, I would wear a labcoat and goggles, and invent a kind of chocolate cake that makes you skinnier. And rocket boots of course.

What do you typically offer at your booth at SDCC? Is there typically any exclusive items? 

At the San Diego Comic Con, I sell my books, tshirts, and plush toys. I always try and have a new book. It doesn't always work out, but when people I met the previous year come up and ask what the new thing is, and I have to tell them 'nothing' it's extremely disappointing for everyone, so now I try and adapt my publishing schedule around the big show. I haven't gotten big into the exclusive items, I know those are super popular, but usually when I put the time and effort into making something, I want everybody to be able to get it. I do create exclusive free doodles, so I can draw you a picture of any bizarre thing you want, and nobody else will have that. Octopus riding a unicycle and
playing the bagpipes? You got it!

What other uses have people found for your designs? 

My Pirate Penguin character has been the mascot of a handful of clubs and school programs. A costume designer once bought a whole bunch of my shirts, and had me sign a release, so extras could wear them in the background of films. Let me know if you spot one!

What is your favorite autograph or collectable you’ve picked up at a convention?

My favorite Comic Con collectable I've picked up happened my very first year attending. I was 12 years old, and a fancomic I had draw appeared in the back of an issue of 'Futurama Comics' -- I was able to meet Matt Groening that year, and John Dimaggio, and they both signed it. That books has been in my 'box o things to treasure' ever since.
What is the best SDCC or convention moment you have had?

The best SDCC moment I ever had was when a fan showed up at my booth dressed as one of my characters, a very surreal moment! A close second would be sharing a limousine ride to the airport with most of the cast of Star Trek.

Check me out, I'm @raisegrate on Twitter, plain ol Ray Friesen on Facebook, and my website is I do free new cartoons at least every week, sometimes more. See you there!

So what have we learned? First we need to check out Ray's booth for sure at SDCC and we should be thinking of super sweet ideas for a cool sketch ahead of time. Secondly, someone get this man like ten assistants because I need chocolate cake that makes me skinny STAT! Third, once you read these web comics don't forget you can order cute stufted animals and the books too... yes there are real versions to hug and kiss at home of these cutie pies!


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