Ricky Sprague
  • Ricky Sprague

  • Born: The United States.

  • Description: Ricky Sprague’s work has appeared in a wide range of publications including Mad, Cracked, Nickelodeon Magazine, Mystery Weekly, and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. He’s written comics for publishers such as Short Scary Tales, Moonstone Books, and Platinum Studios. His short animated films have screened at festivals worldwide, from Spike & Mike’s Sick & Twisted Festival of Animation to Sydney Underground to Dragon*Con.

    Ricky, who is actually writing this right now in the third person, has a fascination with the strange and bizarre. His work reflects a perverse obsession with complication, and his stories and books always have a "hidden" aspect. Usually this is meant to underline the overt themes and ideas of his work, but very often it provides an ironic, subverting element.

    For example: His first attempt at a novel, Whimsical Doctor Shoe (largely written in Los Angeles libraries and buses), is ostensibly about conjoined twins who are so desperate to be separated that they'll do anything to satisfy the doctor who has agreed to undertake the procedure. The humiliations that he inflicts on them (which are very funny, trust me!) are in fact part of an occult ritual based on their own horrifying and largely unknown past. Most of this you need to "read between the lines" to fully understand.

    It's funny that when you click the "See a sample biography" in Amazon's "Edit biography" window, into which I'm now typing, it takes you to Frank McCourt's Author Page. Are you kidding me? How am I supposed to compete with HIM? He wrote Angela's Ashes, and I wrote a novel about a serial killer who murders by enema (Arsole Fantüme: Gentleman Immoralist).

    My most recent publishing endeavor is a collection of comics called Shartboom. You can see that the cover features me sitting in a sort of meditative pose, making a silly "occult" hand gesture, while hovering above me is my spirit animal, dubbed the Flying Robot Tickle Poodle in the book. Flying Robot Tickle Poodle appears to be making the same hand gesture, but inverted, and between the two of us we're doing a parody of the "As Above, So Below" concept. I'm not sure why I did that, except that I thought it was really funny at the time, just like I thought the word "Shartboom" was funny. Anyway, the point is, sometimes I write and draw things and I'm not entirely sure of what the actual meaning is supposed to be, and it's not until long after I've finished and published it that I figure it out.

    If you buy and read my stuff, maybe you can help me with that!

    Above Shartboom's title is the legend, "Unlock the secrets of wholehearted intelligence!" This is in part because I've been reading a lot of Brené Brown lately. So, if you like Brené Brown and Aleister Crowley, Shartboom is the book for you!

    I think that the biggest problem that we face as a species is lack of empathy. The world seems to be engineered to build walls between people, to short circuit our ability to understand others. For now I've got kind of a bug up my ass about that, and I've decided that my work is going to reflect my desire to increase empathy instead of contributing to all the vituperation and hate that I see growing all around me, like leaf mold (that's a Shartboom reference). We'll see how long that lasts.

    I feel like if you've read this far I should thank you. I really do appreciate it. It's nice to have someone to talk to.

    Two of my biggest selling books were my Hunger Games parody The Hungry Game and my Fifty Shades of Gray parody Filthy Shames of Lame. When I was a kid, circa 5th-6th grade, my favorite book of all time was a Mad Magazine mass market paperback called Mad Clobbers the Classics. It featured prose parodies of classic literary works like Moby Dick, The Scarlet Letter, and War and Peace. I'm mentioning this book because (a) it's a big influence on why I wrote those parodies and (b) it allowed me to work Moby Dick, The Scarlet Letter, and War and Peace into my own Author's Biograp