Aside from inspiration from artist Phil Jimenez and Jim Lee, Paul also wanted the main characters of “Little Rainbow” to be multi-ethnic, mentioning his other main influence, “Calvin and Hobbes,” as remaining “very Anglo.”
“I guess I wanted to be more inclusive, and I remember really having to think about who they were as individuals. Because they started out very much the same voice, so as the strip got older, I really needed to have them explore different messages and pathways.”
Going back to his early dabbling out of art school, Paul flirted with the idea of exploring gay issues through superheroes, but quickly found a market saturated with it. “If you go to BentCon (an LGBT comics convention, located this year in Burbank), everything’s so hyper-sexual.”
“I have a certain interest in that stuff as well – the more adult outlet – but if you look around, everyone’s doing it. No one’s doing my type of art and writing. So I’d love to go the superhero route, but I feel I should do this a little while longer before moving on.”
For now, that means updating the Little Rainbow Comics website weekly with a new strip, promoting his first collection of strips (available online and in Los Feliz’ Skylight Books), and writing the next book to show at BentCon. He also wishes to collaborate and contribute his artwork to social causes (Trevor’s Project and the NoH8 Campaign were two cited).
As for the public exposure from the strip, reactions have been mostly positive, but personally Paul has found his creative endeavors lost on his Catholic-raised family, and especially his father.
“When I came out to him officially I was 28,” he said. “I think my mom cried a little bit. The whole thing is just hush-hush, a little bit. [My parents] know my partner, and they’ve had him over for Christmas things like that. But it’s all kind of hands-off still.”
Added Paul, “There’s a whole aspect of my life that they don’t know about, and that’s kind of sad. But if I’m on “Ellen” or something like that, I suppose I’ll have to tell them then.”
*Visit LittleRainbowComics.com for more info on Robert’s work, or contact him via LittleRainbowComics@gmail.com.