Its time for part three of my "getting to know your fan creator" series. If you missed part 1, go check out my interview with Wes Greer from Comics The Gathering. Part two was on my favorite San Antonians--Lost'n Comics. Today's instillation is on my favorite Yoopers (I don't technically know if they are in the upper peninsula but I only have so many terms to describe folks from Michigan...) Cole, Nick, and Todd better known as the collective: the Comic Burrito.
What's a Comic Burrito?
CBP--Let’s talk about that name, what’s a Comic Burrito?
CB-Our original choice was Kite Man Hell Yeah! A podcast, but we figured we would end up having issues with that down the line. After spending a lot of time thinking we went with Comic Burrito, because like a good burrito, we here at Comic Burrito also want to blend a mix of delicious things to satisfy your cravings. Comics, comic book movies, comic book shows, graphic novels, wrestling, comic book video games, comic book art, comic book merchandise, Kite-Man, and everything else you would want in a metaphorical burrito with comic ingredients.
CBP: How did the Comic Burrito roll itself up?
CB-Nick was the force that brought everyone together. Todd and Nick had worked with each other and talked comics/comic shows and movies. Cole and Nick had known each other from another passion of Disc Golf, but both realized they had the same love for comics and started talking. We came together in a group chat to talk about new comic books and to give each other ideas on what to read next. We met for a pillow fight, and the rest is magic!
CBP-Describe what the Comic Burrito experience is for the uninitiated.
CB-We all had been talking/debating comics for almost a year, and after a conversation we found out Todd had the gear to run a show, so we went head first. We are doing reviews, and discussions of comic related things, however with the quarantine, we have also added in live stream and a discord as a way to engage more with the community.
Let's Deconstruct that Burrito
CBP-Who are you as individuals, whats your daily non-comics grind?
Cole-I work in IT for a local credit union. Husband and Father. I have two cats named Batman(he had this name when we adopted him, but it may be the reason I chose him) and Cairo.
Nick: Father, husband, I sell work boots
Todd: Husband and father of 1 human child, 1 cat, and 3 dogs. No concrete day job. Half stay-at-home dad and half odd jobs for photography, web design, and other stuff.
CBP-What brought you to comics?
C-CB-While I’ve had three stages the most recent one was from a 52 in 52 book club that had Graphic Novels as a month reading choice. We read Watchmen, Blue Is the Warmest Color, Hyperbole and a Half and Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe. This sparked my love for comics again and got me looking for a local shop. To my surprise a new store was opening down the road from me (https://www.comicsignal.com/) and boom four years later I’ve been pulling about 5-10 books a week.
T-CB-Got a stash from my dad when I was young and went with him to our LCS. Been hooked ever since.
CBP-Have you ever taken a break from reading/collecting?
C-CB-Yeah the first real run of collecting as an adult, the comic shop I was going to move to the other side of the city and it just wasn’t easy to get them. I also wasn’t making a ton of money at the time, so it was probably better to not be spending it all on comics. I do go through phases of reading them regularly, as sometimes life gets in the way.
N-CB-Sometimes I take a day off yeah.
T-CB-Not really. I’ve definitely have had times I’ve went heavier and lighter into collecting, but never a total break.
CBP-You have any other passions/obsessions outside of comics (that you want us to know of)?
C-CB-I enjoy watching pro wrestling, playing video games and tabletop RPGs/board games, but in the words of my wife I have way too many hobbies or can find hobbies out of nothing.
T-CB-Very into photography and videography. Love collecting vinyl, and playing games both video and board.
Time to Talk Shop
CBP-What character/series etc. holds a special place in your heart? What character/franchise will you die on a hill defending.
C-CB-Batman is my number one guy. From the days of the animated show he’s always been my favorite. I know Saga is fairly basic answer but for series it has to be one of my #1.
N-CB-Batman? Idk.. Descender
T-CB-Green Lantern will always hold a special place in my heart. Can’t think of any franchise I would defend more.
CBP-Is there a popular book/character that you just loathe, you don’t get the hype behind them?
C-CB-I wouldn’t really call it loathe, but I try not to get books that are Deadpool related as I think he’s one of those characters that has to be done right and it seems to not really interest me. I enjoy the movies, but for the books not so much.
N-CB-Whatever Cole said for question 11
T-CB-Not that I loathe. There’s a few books I am surprised they are so widely regarded though.
CBP-What are your “grail books?”
C-CB-I mean if I could be given one book I’d take detective #27, but if we are talking about something I am serious about going for it’ll probably be Saga #1. I’d also like to fill out my The Walking Dead collection, but I think if I wait a little bit for the TV show to cool down, I may be able to find some better prices on those books.
N-CB-Action Comics #1 but seriously not sure I’m more into comics to read and enjoy than collect.
T-CB-Golden Age Green Lantern. Those will always be the books I want to ruin my financial future for to collect.
Making that Burrito Grow!
CBP-What took you from being a regular fan/collector to wanting to create a youtube channel?
CB-We were all talking about doing things, and when we found out Todd had the equipment needed we, and figured why not give it a shot? Worse case, we have fun talking to each other about comics and best case we meet a bunch of other like minded people to talk about comics with!
CBP-What was your strategy of edging your way into the marketplace of ideas?
CB-We are trying to work our way in by being genuine and just sharing with others our mutual passion for comic books.
CBP-How long did it take you to build a following? How did you start engaging folks?
CB-Once we got the idea of doing the show, we started a twitter, facebook, youtube, and gmail account. We started in February and are still trying to build. I think Twitter is where we get a lot of the engagement, but lately with staying at home, we have been meeting more similar youtube streamers which is awesome!
CBP-Knowing everything you know now about your outlet and where you are, what would you have done differently at the beginning of your grind?
CB-I mean we are still in the grind. We are still meeting people. I think the one thing we might eventually change is after quarantine is adding in live streams as it helps engage with the community.
CBP-What are your plans for the future?
CB-We try to do a live stream every week on Thursday or Friday. We release our normal content on Mondays at 8:00 AM. In the future we are going to try and have a second released episode on Fridays.
Finally, the Community (no more burrito puns...)
CBP-Who are some of your favorite folks to read/follow/etc.
CB-Lost’n Comics has been one of the first channels we started following: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJXEjtBJ-mkUVVaA5oOFNlA
Peter’s Comic Corner on Twitter has been awesome on twitter. We’ve had a lot of back and forths and he’s even hooked us up with some books: https://twitter.com/PeterSmart
Comic Jabroni has been another fun one that has been putting out a lot of good content. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzILdSm6J4kMpKimVetFDOA
And of course Comic Book Poser: https://www.comicbookposer.com/
CBP-What’s your coolest interaction with a fan/follower?
CB-We mentioned it above, but we started a discord https://discord.gg/kqYQDS and it’s cool to talk day to day both about comics, but also life in general. [Author's note] I'm part of their discord and its been a great way to pass the day! You can also join our league on Injustice 2!
CBP-What piece of advice would you give to someone trying to create their own fan/collector content online?
CB-Have fun and just enjoy what you are trying to do.
CB-Remember to keep supporting your local shops anyway you can. With companies like Scout, Black Mask, TKO and Source Point Press passing the returns on to LCBS, it’s an easy way to help if you can’t get out to the shop.
That's a Wrap
I really enjoy these three dudes. Having their livestreams and discord have added a good conversational element that have allowed me to feel a slight return to some normalcy in having folks around to shoot the shit with, that I'm not biologically responsible for. They've turned me into a Source Point Press fanatic, they are giving me DC recommendations to consume, and they are just fun down-to-earth guys who you should watch. They also believe in a spirited debate, where they just don't absolutely shit on someone else's work, they only fire shots at each other!
Until Next Time!
The journey of a 30-something father of three who's trying to break into the world of reviewing comics after a loooooong hiatus...