21 Questions: Ralph Hagen
Who is your favorite literary character?
Sorry, I don’t read. I mean, I can read, I just choose not to. Probably read 5 books in my life, and they no doubt had lots of pictures. My sister is a voracious reader as was my Dad, but I guess I was too busy drawing as a kid. I wish I did enjoy reading, but I get two paragraphs into the book and I start thinking, I could be doing something else.
My editor, Jessica, at Creators is probably saying right now, "So THAT'S why he's so lousy at spelling and punctuation!"
If you could make a cameo appearance in a show, what show would it be?
Definitely, 'The Big Bang Theory.' I'm a nerd at heart. Always have been. I have the USS Enterprise on my desk, a meteor fragment from Russia by the computer, a 14" Dobsonian telescope in the corner and a shelf full of reference books on the cosmos. All things my wife wished she had known before she married me.
What is your greatest fear?
Recently, it’s falling from a great height. Don’t know why. I never used to be scared of heights. I got my pilots licence years ago and flying around upside down never phased me. Strangely enough, I’ve also recently began fearing ducks, weather vanes and those canned hams you open with the little key.
One thing you could eat for the rest of your life?
Lobster and Crab, but on a cartoonist’s income I’ll settle for peanut butter and jam sandwiches.
Favorite movie? Worst movie?
I have a lot of favs, but a recent one would be Star Trek. Can’t wait for the next installment. There’s something very enjoyable about sitting in a large dark room with hundreds of complete strangers, laughing at references made to the original series, that the rest of the world doesn’t understand. You will be assimilated. You will all be assimilated. Resistance is futile.
Any horror flick. Sorry, they just don’t do it for me. Even as a small child I can remember finding vampires ridiculous. I mean, who bites you in the neck? Come on!
If you could be born again into any era, which would you choose?...or if you could come back as a historical figure/anyone, who would it be?
Era: I think the 50’s. I’d love to be in the Cleaver family. Things then looked so simple and safe. Everyone sat down at the table for breakfast. Mom always wore a nice dress, with pearls and earrings. Dad always had time for a life lesson. The lawns were always cut and every day had a happy ending. Works for me.
Historical Figure: Leonardo da Vinci, because then people would call me Leo and it would be so cool.
Last text message I sent...
Brace yourselves. I don’t own a cell. I have this weird contraption on the wall that I use to communicate with the outside world. Everything we have today has been accomplished without smartphones and yet we are brainwashed into believing we need them. Pick any historical moment from the past and imagine the key figure in the picture, head down, clicking away. Neil Armstrong on the moon. Washington crossing the Delaware. Columbus hanging over the bow of the ship taking an Instagram of the new world. See what I mean?
What is your motto?
You do things your way, and I’ll do things mine. Got it?
What song do you have on repeat?
Anything by Justin Bieber! Love the Bieb!... Ha!
OK, seriously, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC get a lot of air time. Any classic Rock.
I had wanted to visit Ireland, where my ancestors came from, but then I found out Ireland doesn’t have any warm sandy beaches, so that’s out. Come to think of it, maybe that’s why they left.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
When I averted an alien invasion. It was a dark summer night and I was the only one there, but I’m telling you, it happened!
What is your favorite cartoon/comic character?
I haven’t looked at the comic page in ages. What?! Before you start sending hate mail, I just find it’s easier to do my strip if I don’t have others floating around in my head. That way if I write something I can honestly say I didn’t read it anywhere else. It came from me.
Peanuts was a huge inspiration to me as a kid. The Warner Bothers cartoons with characters like Yosemite Sam, Sylvester, Daffy, Foghorn all helped me define what true humor really was. Monty Python also had a huge influence on my work.
If you weren't drawing, what would you be doing?
Probably a cage fighter. Chicks dig cage fighters.
My biggest pet peeve is...
Sitting with a group of people who find their phone more interesting than our conversation.
Who do you admire/who is your role model?
Not one person in particular. Laughter has always been my best friend. Charles Schulz, Johnny Hart, Brant Parker, Gary Larson and Monty Python come to mind.
When was the last time you laughed really hard?
When I was recently mugged and asked to hand over all my money.
One thing you couldn’t live without?
My pride and dignity. Although, for ten million dollars in small bills, I could easily adjust to being humble and unworthy.
My whole life is a guilty pleasure. Who wants to live forever?
What is your greatest extravagance?
Pork chops and mushroom sauce on Friday nights. I’m a cartoonist, remember?
The best advice you've ever gotten?
Slow down and enjoy life. It ain’t gonna’ last, dummy.
I know it's weird but I think...
The Mother Ship left without me.