16th Oct2019

Interview: Richard Ewell, creator of Indie Comic ‘Nerdy Laser and The Fighting Preceptors’

by Chris Cummings

I’m a big fan of horror movies, comic books and pro-wrestling, and I’m not alone. There’s a cross-over there. A friend of mine in the US also has those same loves, and he’s been busy putting his passion to work, creating a brand new comic book, working on numerous weekly podcasts and, in the past, releasing horror novellas and shorts. Richard Ewell resides in Tennessee and this independent writer and podcaster has been on a real tear of late, hosting live pro-wrestling shows, delivering top-notch podcast content on a weekly basis and releasing, along with artist Jason Wulf, Nerdy Laser & The Fighting Preceptors, a mini-comic that saw the launch of a new universe mixing pro-wrestling with 1980s cartoons. I had a chance to sit down and talk with Richard about his work, his passions in life and the future plans he has. Here it is…

nerdy-laser-cover

Hi Rich, thanks for taking the time to talk with me for Nerdly. We’ve known each other for a long time now, and I’ve been a fan of your work since first reading your debut horror novella, Fat Trapped back in 2013. It’s a slasher horror story with a difference and I thought it was a really cool concept. What could you tell us about your feelings on the book, all these years later, and do you have any intent on another horror book anytime soon?

Thank you Chris for this opportunity! Fat Trapped, where to begin, almost 10 years after I came up with the idea and put it onto the page. I still love it and it is often overlooked in my somewhat chaotic body of work. It was my love-letter to horror and more specifically Rob Zombie & the SAW franchise from the 2000s. I knew The Blankenship family (the family in the book) was something special and still today they all hang out in my mind and I wish they got more respect in the horror world than all-but being ignored and unknown. I have a prequel Christmas story involving the Blankenships that is done, edited and has an awesome cover but I have just been sitting on it. I want to put it out but I have my reservations due to Fat Trapped being overlooked. I have a sequel to Fat Trapped half completed from years ago that I always threaten to finish and an idea for the third and final entry into that story. I want this to happen so I may have to get back in that world and finish it at least for me.

I’d love to see that happen, Rich. It was a damn cool story, and was left very open to being continued. I hope more people find it and check it out at some point. Now, your love of horror doesn’t begin and end with your writing. You also co-host a horror podcast called “The Assignment: Horror Podcast”. What is the podcast all about, and how often do you put out a new episode?

The idea for “Assignment: Horror” came from my friends John & Jerry always being surprised that I had not seen a horror movie they talked about. I considered myself a horror fan but many of the classics passed me by. So John asked his friend Becca (who is now an amazing friend) to join in the fun, so they assign me a movie to watch and then we discuss it and grade it. That podcast drops every other Tuesday on Soundcloud & Apple Podcasts.

Awesome. I’m a fan of it, and it’s a simple but really cool idea for a fortnightly discussion show. Sticking with horror, what are some of your favourite horror movies?

I have so many! SAW 3, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Remake), Misery, Hostel 1 & 2, Childs Play 2, The Devil’s Rejects, The People Under The Stairs, Silence Of The Lambs, Trick R Treat, Nightmare on Elm Street Part 3, Jason X, Class of 1999 and so many more!

What a mix. Nice list. You have other podcasts too, Nerdy Laser, where you talk personally about anything from old cartoons and movies to TV shows and pro-wrestling, and PWR Spot Show, the podcast where yourself and guests discuss the past and present of wrestling. They’re both great and are on my regular playlist when new episodes drop. What do you love so much about the podcasting genre?

Thanks for listening dude! I think the thing I love most are the people I interact with and talking about the things I am most passionate about. Let’s face it, in my everyday life I don’t get to just talk about the latest WWE PPV or Ernest Scared Stupid with my co-workers but podcasting allows me to do this. It’s why I can’t give it up, no matter how hard I try sometimes.

PWR Spot Show is a great wrestling podcast. You’ve interviewed names in wrestling on there before, and you discuss all kinds of topics. How would you sell this to people on the hunt for a new podcast to listen to?

It’s tough, there are so many wrestling podcasts out there to listen to but the thing I think makes us stand out is that we actually are friends. We agree, disagree, make fun of each other, and we have a nice diverse age group where Jonathan and I are are 40-ish and Jerry is a bit older than that and we have John Morgan Neal who is a whopping 134 years young!

Wow! Now that’s a wide range of ages! It’s a great show, I really enjoy it. Is there anything you haven’t done yet in the world of podcasting that you’d love to do? Any podcast bucket-list items you want to experience one day?

For me I would like to be able to start a wrestling podcast with a true wrestling legend and do a weekly podcast, kind of like what Conrad Thompson has done with many big names out there. I have this wild idea to start a podcast with Brutus “The Barber Beefcake” Beefcake, because he is one of my all-time faves, but I’ve never attempted to make it actually happen. I think it could be a very interesting podcast because I have a different approach than most people would think.

I’d be all over that, man. Beefcake has had a long career, and your podcasting credentials are up-there in 2019. Go for it, that would be a blast. Now, along with your love of horror, I know you’re also a huge wrestling fan, as can be heard on the aforementioned PWR Spot Show and seen in your debut mini-comic, Nerdy Laser & The Fighting Preceptors. Where did your love of wrestling begin, and what keeps you watching in 2019?

It began in the 80’s with the usual suspects. Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, “Ravishing” Rick Rude, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, Earthquake, Dino Bravo and so many other characters that were unlike anything my little mind had ever seen. The pageantry and athleticism is what got me into it and what keeps me coming back. These days there is so much that it’s admittedly very tough for me to keep up, but doing a wrestling podcast definitely makes me stick with it through the tough times.

I hear you. There’s so much quality wrestling content on a weekly basis today, it’s hard to keep up. The life of a wrestling-fan. So, while we’re on the subject of podcasts, what podcasts do you listen to?

Man, So many podcasts, so little time. My must-listen-to list consists of… Fully Poseable Wrestling Podcast, IGN Gamescoop, Spooky Dudes, Something to Wrestle With Bruce Prichard, Needless Things Podcast, Nerd Bliss, Thunder Talk. Those are the ones I try to keep up with.

I’m a fan of some of those too. Nice. And with pro-wrestling, who are some of your favourite wrestlers to watch in 2019?

The Jurassic Express in AEW. Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy, and Marko Stunt. If you haven’t seen them, they are the perfect blend of entertainment and professional wrestling. And Jungle Boy’s hair is amazing… seriously… I’m jealous. It’s hard not to mention Bray Wyatt, “The Fiend”, and the Firefly Funhouse. Some of the best stuff in wrestling right now.

I’m a fan of Jurassic Express and Bray, also. Entertaining stuff right there. Moving on to the mini-comic, what inspired Nerdy Laser & The Fighting Preceptors? Where did the idea come from and how did you find Jason Wulf, who did the excellent art for the book?

The inspiration is easy, my love of “He-Man and the Masters Of The Universe” and Wrestling. I mixed them up inside my head and came up with some fun characters and story. As for how I found Jason Wulf, it all goes back to podcasting. Jason Wulf (@jasonwlf on twitter) does art for Fully Poseable and I just sent him an email asking him if it was something he would be interested in. I knew he loved wrestling and MOTU so he was a perfect fit and luckily for me he loved the idea. I have never worked with someone who could put my vision out as perfectly as him. I think out of all the art he has ever created for me I have changed only 2 minor things before the final version. Dude just knocks it out of the park every time.

That’s great. The book is terrific, in story and visuals, and it feels like a long-lost 80s comic book, which I love. Will we see further Nerdy Laser & The Fighting Preceptors comics in the future? I know that creating anything, from a novel to a comic-book, can be pretty expensive and extremely time-consuming, but is this something you intend to do eventually?

In a perfect world, two more issues would be coming out in 2019 but that is not the case. I’ve had to put it on the back burner for a few reasons, but I am going to try my best to get the next two issues out in 2020. I have a three arc story to finish and then the story can go on from there if people want it and want to support it.

Well, I hope that happens and we get to see it grow further, because it’s a fantastic idea. I hope people support it. At this point, you’ve written a number of short stories and books, you’ve created a kick-ass comic book and you host wrestling shows and a number of different podcasts. Is there anything you’d like to do that you haven’t yet?

Well, I’m too old and out of shape to wrestle but I really want to be more involved in the business that I’ve loved my entire life. I do a live podcast in the ring for a promotion called KFW and I truly love it. I guess a bucket list item would be to work as a manager for a wrestler, because I think I could help bring someones character to the next level.

Boy, I’d love to see that happen. KFW seem to put out some great stuff, and I might have to just take a trip over to your neck of the woods if you exchange the interview chair in the ring into a managers chair at ringside. Where could someone pick up a copy of Nerdy Laser & The Fighting Preceptors or your horror novella, Fat Trapped, and where can they listen to the podcasts you are part of?

Nerdylaser.com is my store and has all these items available right now! We have Facebook pages for all three podcasts by their name or you can find them on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podbean, Soundcloud and almost anywhere you listen to your podcasts.

Thanks so much for taking time to talk with me, my friend. Good luck with your writing, with the comic book and with your podcast work.

I can’t thank you enough for asking to interview me about my projects, you’ve always been a huge supporter of mine and that means a lot to me so thank-you, my friend!
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I want to thank Richard for the interview, and urge you to check out his work. Fat Trapped (which will see an upcoming review here on Nerdly soon) is a great horror novella for you readers out there, Nerdy Laser and The Fighting Preceptors is a top-notch nostalgia mini-comic with a mass appeal, and the podcasts will appeal to horror fans, wrestling fans and those into geek-culture, so check those out too. Support local, independent creators, support fan-podcasts, support writers and artists who put their all into their work. It’s important, because working at this level, and putting your all into your work, can be hard. I’ve read, seen and listened to everything we spoke about here, and I can honestly and proudly recommend each thing to you.

Check back soon, too, for a full review of Nerdy Laser and The Fighting Preceptors, the previously mentioned review of Fat Trapped, and more. Thanks for reading, folks.

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