Comic-Con is in the air and, if you're like San Diegan Rebecca Hicks, it's time to let your geek-flag fly.
“I'm a writer and an artist, but before that, I was a geek,” Hicks says. “I've been a geek since the day I was born. I love all things pop culture—science fiction, fantasy, comic books. I've loved all that stuff since I was a kid. I think Star Wars is to blame. So, the ‘Geektopus' is just a piece kind of reflecting all those aspects of geek culture I love so much.”
“Geektopus,” the eight-legged octopus proudly exhibiting his geek-meets-hipster sensibilities on the cover of CityBeat this week, is one of Hicks' fun one-off character drawings. She sells prints of those sort of things at comic conventions alongside shwag from her bread-and-butter, Little Vampires, a web comic that was boat Comic-Con five years ago.
“It was just a side project,” Hicks says of the cutesy, pint-sized vampires with a penchant for blood oranges.
Little Vampires started as a hand-bound book at the Con. She was pushing a different comic-book project at the time, but people kept commenting on the darling little bloodsuckers instead.
“People were like, ‘More, more, more,'” she says.
So Hicks developed the characters and made more books, magnets and other Little Vampires bobbles and doodads. People dug it, so, by 2009, she decided to make it a web comic, and she's steadily been working the comic convention circuit and growing her fan base more every year.
The initial idea for the loveable Dracula juniors was inspired by her husband, James, whom she calls “the wind beneath my geeky wings.” James has type II diabetes and, because of the disease, has tiny pricks at the tips of his fingers from constantly checking his blood-sugar levels. One day, the two were joking about the little holes in his fingers saying he looked like he'd been attacked by miniature vampires. The image wouldn't leave Hicks' head.
“So, that's how it got started,” Hicks says. “Because of a random comment about my husband's chronic disease.”
Rebecca Hicks will be at Booth 1435 in the web-comic section at Comic-Con.