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Rocking the Cosmos the Ragnarawk Way with Mike Tener and Dave Lentz

Rocking the Cosmos the Ragnarawk Way with Mike Tener and Dave Lentz

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Earlier this month we caught up with Ragnarawk creators Mike Tener and Dave Lentz to discuss this upcoming series (debuting soon on Kickstarter) which pokes fun at heavy metal and hard rock bands as much as the Viking mythos. Because what makes more sense than a comic book series featuring a band of outcast Viking gods who are banished to Midgard because their music sucks?!

Ragnarawk Issue 1 - Main Cover
Ragnarawk Issue 1 – Main Cover

Thanks for your time today. Could you start by telling the readers who you are and what you do in the world of comics?

Dave Lentz: My name is Dave Lentz, I’m a letterer, designer and sometimes writer. I do all of these things marginally well.

Mike Tener: My name is Mike Tener. I’m a writer and also lead on indie publisher Bad Bug.

You’ve recently finished a jaunt on Kickstarter with your erotica warrior-ess story, Vanya, how did you go about writing for a completely different audience with Ragnarawk? What did you change?

Mike Tener: Vanya, conceptually, came way later than Ragnarawk, actually. It was Dave’s idea and he was looking for a writing partner on it and after several rejections from his many other writer friends, I was available. Jokes aside, we both love rock and wanted to write something that paid tribute to it.

Ragnarawk is clearly musically influenced. Which bands and music artists influenced the Ragnarawk storyline?

Dave Lentz: Just the typical rock bands honestly. You take all the tropes you’ve seen from bands over the years. Drugs, women, partying…and then just mash them into a ball and sprinkle it with some norse mythology and 80’s saturday morning cartoons and you have Ragnarawk.

Mike Tener: [snorts a big line of cocaine] Oh. Yeah… what he said.

READ NEXT ARTICLE: Liveconformdie touring with Dropout Kings and Earth Caller – this October

Ragnarawk Issue 1 - Page 1
Ragnarawk Issue 1 – Page 1
Ragnarawk Issue 1 - Page 2
Ragnarawk Issue 1 – Page 2

Obviously with ordinary comic book storylines there’s a beginning, middle and end. There’s a protagonist and an antagonist. However, this isn’t always the case with comics based on music or a band. How did you rectify this quandary?

Dave Lentz: No idea. We’re still writing the thing. Let us know if you have any good ideas. We’re fresh out.

No thanks. I’ll stick to what I’m good at. You should do the same.

Mike Tener: The villain in this story is a disease. It’s depression, basically. And it leaves behind a trace of indie folk music wherever it goes.

Where did the idea of depression being the main villain come from?

Mike Tener: You can’t be bummed out listening to rock. It’s not allowed. It’s what injects life into you. So what’s the opposite of the impact that rock has on your soul? Lifelessness.

Dave Lentz: I think the great bummer was pretty much entirely Mikes idea. We needed something for the boys to fight against and without resorting to “a big bad” this seemed like the most logical fit for the story.

Ragnarawk Issue 1 - Page 3
Ragnarawk Issue 1 – Page 3

Any music gags hidden in the pages of Ragnarawk that readers will recognise?

Dave Lentz: Mmm. There could be. Let’s just say the Easter Eggs are so well hidden that we don’t even know where they are. Any of our readers please let us know when you find them.

Mike Tener: I was in several bands for years and some gags are just statements like when Fozzy swears to Odin that the band “sounded wayyy better in practice yesterday” is totally a band thing.

I can’t imagine you in a band. What style and what did you call yourselves?

Mike Tener: Hahaha. I was in quite a few. Every Other Tuesday (pop rock) in college. Bitchshitter (metal) and Wives with Knives (punk-ish) recently.

Dave Lentz: I was in 2 bands way back when. Both metal. Seasons of the Dead and Wilford Brimley. Oddly enough for the latter band we didn’t sing about Quaker Oats or Diabetes.

Which bands are the favourites of your protagonist?

Dave Lentz: Clutch. Danzig. Mastodon. Killer Be Killed. Amon Amarth. The Sword. Grand Magus.

Mike Tener: Grunge era. Smashing Pumpkins. Stone Temple Pilots. Nirvana. Bush. Alice in Chains. Goes on and on.

Nice picks, Dave. Mike, Smashing Pumpkins and Bush are fucking horrible.
Where can supporters check out and find the Ragnarawk Kickstarter?

Mike Tener: On Kickstarter, late June.

Ragnarawk Issue 1 - Page 4
Ragnarawk Issue 1 – Page 4

READ NEXT ARTICLE: Liveconformdie touring with Dropout Kings and Earth Caller – this October

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