September 21, 2017

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Thought Bubble 2017 Interview - Robert Luckett

Thought Bubble is the premiere indie comic book festival in the UK. It runs annually from the thriving city of Leeds, bringing together people from all walks of life to celebrate the one thing that so many other conventions tend to forget: the comics.

Check out all of our Thought Bubble 2017 content here

Robert Luckett is a name that you might know from his extended work on BOOM! Studios' series of graphic novels based in the world of the much-loved Cartoon Network series Regular Show. His creator-owned series BUMSTORM follows the story of the young boy, Guff, in a world where weaponised farting is the norm. Quickly forming a tag-team with the competitive eater, Chu, the duo head off into this world that proves that any project that you dream is not only possible, but can be a absolute riot from start to finish. 



Mark Dickson: What have you done to make this series truly all-ages?

Robert Luckett: Working on the Regular Show graphic novels and through the fine editors at Boom!, I sort of learned what level of jokes would and wouldn’t be acceptable for an all-ages audience. Its inspirations, such as Dragon Ball and Pokémon, also straddle that space of appealing to kids and adults alike.

Kids seem to get absolutely hyped up about the superhero side of this farting adventure while parents and other adult readers seem to still, like me, find fart humour eternal.

What makes this story about a Farting Warrior deserving of your creative energies?

Luckett: It is my stupidest idea - and that is why it won’t let go of my mind! 

I’d been out of the drawing game for a very long time, but I found the resurgence in UK Small Press comics so utterly inspiring that I wanted to get back on the horse. I pushed myself to make a mini-comic to self-pub at Thought Bubble 2015 with the lowest stakes, and so it was BUMSTORM’s time to shine. 

I have a tendency to overdevelop projects and now I have enough story material noted down for Guff and Chu’s adventures that there’d be 300 issues if I only had the time! Probably going to be letting another of my comic ideas out of the cage next year so I don’t solely get known as “that fart guy”.


What have been some of the most memorable reactions to the series been?

Luckett: When I first told some of the local Leeds comic book shop owners about what I was working on, they were incredibly surprised it came out as this elaborate adventure comic and not just pages of bad fart puns.

Last year I was away from my table at Thought Bubble and my partner, Rachel Connor, was manning the stall. While I was stuck in a pitch panel that ran out of time and I didn’t even get to pitch at, upon seeing BUMSTORM a young boy unleashed the most hype that she’d ever seen a human being express for a comic book. 

I am sorry to this day I wasn’t there to meet this kid! Won’t be making that mistake twice.

How do you see the relationship between Chu and Guff evolving over time?

Luckett: Chu is Guff’s ticket to the globetrotting adventure he’s always dreamed of but at some point he’s going to have to come clean about him previously having a home at an orphanage. There’s a little moment of that in issue #3 (A Snake Amongst The Wind Farm) where he’s a bit overwhelmed over everything Chu has done for him.

In turn, Chu is hoping that being in such close proximity to the stinkiest creature on Earth is going to automatically help her over her smell sensitivity that plays havoc with her appetite. A competitor in the Hot Dog Eating World Championship is known to use dirty tricks to win, and she wants to steel herself completely against them.


Outside of the cartoons that you contribute to (i.e. Regular Show), which inspire you?

Luckett: Every week, everything that’s in Shonen Jump amazes me. What the creators in that magazine push themselves to create is awe inspiring but also a little bit terrifying? 

One Piece is the absolute gold standard of long running comics in my opinion. 20 years on and a boy with rubber limb powers story has continually spiralled out into this world of intrigue, suspense, and unparalleled creativity that goes from strength to strength. 

Right now My Hero Academia is scratching the X-Men itch for me and then some. I particularly like that its anime is on a season model, getting around the pacing issues that a weekly all-year-long cartoon has to face. 

I think what I look for most in comics and cartoons these days is their world building and continuity.  

What makes you want to bring Issue #3 to launch at Thought Bubble?

Luckett: Leeds is where I live so I am hugely proud and thankful that the UK’s greatest comic convention takes place here every year. When the comic community descends upon the city I lurk within all year round anyway, it is this electric feeling that I can’t quite describe. The hype pushes me to create and I’ll never forget the feeling I had tabling for the first time in 2015 and selling my comics directly to other people. 

If I won the lottery, luxury yachts can shove it. It’d all just go back into making cool stuff.

What else will you be offering to entice potential patrons?

Luckett: I’ve got three of these here BUMSTORM comics now, so it was well past time for a super special looking bundle pack. The BUMSTORM MEGA PACK will include issues #1, #2, & #3 as well as some original art and all wrapped up nice like. 

I wrote BUMSTORM: A Snake Amongst The Wind Farm to be more of a standalone adventure too so anyone wanting to jump on board for a one-off experience can enjoy it by itself. My partner and I, Rachel Connor, will also have some limited stock of the Regular Show graphic novels we co-wrote. 

The ol’ licensed property, original property pitch one two punch. (No actual punching involved).


Is there an upcoming combat-usage of farting that you’re most excited to show?

Luckett: Every issue has a double spread where I go out of my way to impress with one of Guff’s big new techniques. The tournament he’s seeking to enter has strict rules about no punching or kicking, so all of his techniques rely upon his wind power. There’s also a medical reason he’s able to generate such explosive farts as well that’s yet to be revealed. However, he’s going to need to meet one of the great Flatulords and study under them to upgrade all of his techniques.

Beaney, a boy who can conjure burp-beasts depending on animals he’s eaten before, is also a whole new creative avenue to explore later on in the story.

I’ve also sketched these demon like creatures that live underground with butts on their heads called Sulfurians that’ll turn up at some point.

It’s probably about time someone diagnosed me really isn’t it.

Everyone has the story of the comic that got them hooked on the medium? What’s yours?

Luckett: Sonic the Comic (UK Version). I guess in a way that primed me for the Shonen Jump format years later as every fortnight it wasn’t just the blue hedgehog’s adventures inside but Streets of Rage, Wonder Boy, Sparkster, and more. I’m a big videogame nut as well, so the faithful adaptations the comic did of the Sonic games were some truly incredible stuff. Every Saturday morning I’d pour through that comic, draw my own panels, the works.

I got into the American comics side years later just as Spider-Man was going through the Clone Saga in the UK collections, so I have a strangely special place in my heart for the Scarlet Spider and all that madness. The first X-Men comic I picked up was a UK republish of Uncanny X-Men 275. These crazy colourful cosmic adventures pencilled by Jim Lee. What a time to be alive!


Robert Luckett and his vapourific volumes can be found in the Leeds Town Hall Marquee at Table #36. Head on down and tell him your best fart stories - he's looking for inspiration for his next issues of BUMSTORM (not actually, but you should do it anyway).

If you're exhibiting at Thought Bubble 2017 and want to flail enthusiastically about it with me, drop me an email (mcdickson101@gmail.com). Even if you're just attending, let me know what you're looking forward to this year on Twitter.