Tits or GTFO: The Rock Cocks Creators Brad and Leslie Brown Answer our Questions

There’s a comic that is slowly gaining traction called The Rock Cocks. It’s about a two-piece band consisting of drummer Steg and frontwoman Suria, and their quest for international fame. I was introduced to the series via Danielle Corsetto when she updated her outgoing links for this year and I’ve been entranced with this strip that manages to continue to be art, show actual sexuality and not devolve into pornography. Erotica, yes — but at no time have I even felt sleazy for reading this strip.

Brad and Leslie Brown are the creators, and this isn’t their first rodeo. They’ve been writing Blaster Nation for about five years (400 comics worth), and it’s been interesting to watch. With their fan base, they’ve been slowly expanding into a full-time enterprise. While many webcomic artists tend to keep to themselves, the Browns are fully upfront about the trials and successes of being webcomic artists (most recently, discussing what it means when the patreon comes up short). They recently took time to answer some of my questions, which I’m excited to present here as Tits or GTFO returns home to The Flounce.

The Flounce [TF]: First off, for those who have no idea what the comic is, could you give the 30 second pitch?

Brad Brown [BB]: After losing their jobs and getting booted from their apartment, Steg and Suria decided to take their sexy punk rock band on the road. What started as just a way to scrape by will soon take them on an erotically-charged, musically-themed adventure spanning across the nation.

TF: This comic feels a lot different than Blaster Nation, and for very obvious reasons. However, both comics start out with a group of people sorta stepping into the rest of their lives. Suria and Steg do this a lot differently than Matthew Palmer does. What was it that made you want to tell THIS story, about a young couple saying “screw it, let’s just go for it” and following their dreams?

BB: Well, it’s the most interesting part, right? If we set the comic a few months earlier where Matt’s fixing radios in Haiti or Suria’s stocking shelves in a supermarket, it wouldn’t be very exciting. There’s not much story there, no change in their lives, no conflict.

We also like to think of Rock Cocks as a more traditional adventure story, what with Steg and Suria leaving their homes and hitting the road. Both comics might start from a similar point, but while Blaster Nation has a bunch of characters that are just stuck in their familiar, safe lives, Rock Cocks is about two people breaking out of it and exploring something new. That applies to us, too. Blaster Nation is familiar and safe to us because it’s all nerd shit that we understand like the back of our hand, but Rock Cocks is a completely new beast to us. It’s unfamiliar material and fairly difficult to tackle, but that’s what makes it fun to make.

TF: Leslie, do you feel that your art has changed? What are the stylistic differences between Blaster Nation and Rock Cocks – and what were you excited to do with the rock cocks that you simply couldn’t do with Blaster Nation?

Leslie Brown [LB]: Yeah, I feel like I’ve at least improved. The beginning of Blaster Nation is very rough because I had never drawn comics before and had no idea what I was doing, but now I got my whole comic making process down. Two of the big differences between Blaster Nation and Rock Cocks is is how I ink and color them. With Rock Cocks, I try to experiment more with the colors, and try to do a lot of heavy black ink shading when I think it’ll look cool.

TF: Brad, as the writer of the Rock Cocks, what are you enjoying about this comic? What are you excited to do with the Rock Cocks that you couldn’t do with Blaster Nation?

BB: While I love writing Blaster Nation and taking from our own experiences with anime and video game culture, I have to admit that Rock Cocks is a breath of fresh air when it comes to the characters. None of the Rock Cocks characters are nerds. I don’t think they’d have anything in common with the Blaster Nation characters or even with Leslie and I. They’re computer illiterate, they don’t watch much TV, they haven’t really owned a game console since the Playstation 1. With Blaster Nation, I’m usually writing characters that are just completely absorbed in the internet and anime and video game culture that it’s just fun to explore characters that are a bit more “normal”, I guess. That, and Steg and Suria get into more exciting situations. Not just sexy ones! Mostly sexy ones, though.

TF:  What really attracted me to this comic is the fact that Suria is, well, awesome. She’s a woman who wants to be a rock god, and she’s going to do it. As someone who has been where she is, fronting a group, I know that it’s hard and minimizing. People assume that the guys you’re with are the ones they need to talk to. While Suria hasn’t had that experience yet, is that something you’re looking at exploring, as in, the dynamics of being female while rocking out?

BB: While I don’t think we’re ever going to tackle that particular aspect, Suria will have some interesting conflicts both being a female lead and just in general being the leader of the band. Nothing cliche, I promise.

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Like Joanie and Chachie, Mork and Mindy, Syd and Nancy, Suria and Steg set a high bar of devotion.

TF: Steg seems like a wonderfully supportive partner, and I love how Leslie captures the admiration and care that he feels for Suria in the artwork. Do you feel that this is a good read of the relationship, or are you trying to convey something else? What role do you see Steg as in all of this?

BB: It’s a good read. Steg is a good partner through-and-through. One thing we wanted to do was never have Steg and Suria outright say that they love each other. Instead, we wanted to just show it. Not just with sex, but in a bunch of more subtle ways, like with what you said.

TF: Billed as an erotic comic, there’s a lot of sex in the Rock Cocks. A LOT. And yet, the comic doesn’t read as a porn comic, because the sex isn’t the reason for the comic, it really just reads as stuff that happens during a relationship. What is the thought process behind putting the sex and sexuality in the comic?

BB: Because it’s hot, it’s fun, and it’s different. One of the most important things we wanted to do with Rock Cocks was make the sex and story compliment each other naturally. They should never feel separated. At least, that’s what we’re trying. Obviously, the plot kinda slows down when the characters are fucking, but I mean that it should feel a bit more natural when sexy times happen. But we don’t want to just make a good porn comic, we want to make a good comic in general. The characters and the adventure is just as important to us as much as the sex and nudity is.

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From The Rock Cocks

Recently, Page 65 was published and we see Suria belting out ‘Suck My Rock’ for the first time. Scrolling down underneath, we’re treated to an actual version of the song. I, and other readers, were jarred by the song being sung by a male vocalist, who is the talented Ken Ashcorp. Amongst the comments were people questioning why the song was sung by a man, when the lead singer of the Rock Cocks is a woman. Brad was kind enough to clear that up for us as well:

TF: Something that you’ve done with this most recent strip is publish an actual track of the song that Suria is singing – put together by the talented Ken Ashcorp. Is this something that you’ve planned to do all along with RC, or was it one of those serendipity things that is a one-off?

BB: Oh no, we never planned it at all. We never thought Rock Cocks would get any sort of music. Maybe some fan tributes if we just suddenly exploded in popularity some day. Ken is a friend of ours, and I messaged him to see if he could give me some lyric-writing tips, because despite not having music, we still needed some lyrics on the page. Instead, he surprised both of us by just popping out an amazing song the next day. What he did was absolutely amazing, and we can’t thank him enough for it. We plan to work together again for any other future Rock Cocks songs.

TF: I would be remiss if I didn’t ask about the fact that while Suria is the lead vocalist for the Rock Cocks, the track is sung by a man. Was this something that you thought about when you released the recording? Is it a subtle reminder of the fact that women vocalists and women fronted bands are usually pushed aside in favor of male vocalists and fronted bands? Or am I just thinking too far into it =D?

BB: You’re thinking way too far into it. It’s honestly been a little bit irritating with the amount of people that have complained that the song wasn’t song by a female vocalist. Like, I just don’t understand how it’s a detractor. The song is still amazing, and it’s still one of the few times a webcomic gets some audio to go with it. Who cares if a male or female sung it? If Ken didn’t make and sing the song, it just wouldn’t exist. We’d have nothing. If it really bothers people that much, I suggest just pretending that Steg is singing or something.

There ya have it: Nothing sinister at all. Simply an amazing fan tribute by a musician – and the perfect heady, sultry compliment to a strip that promises to be an amazing ride. Thanks to Brad and Leslie for taking time out of their crazy schedule to answer these questions. If you’d like to check out the comic in full, here’s the first page. Be warned: It’s definitely NSFW or public browsing! If you’re a fan of their work, you can support the continuation on their Patreon for as little as $1.00.

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So what do you think? Fan? Not a fan? Not satisfied with the creator’s explanation of Suck My Rock? Think those of us who point out the difference are being too sensitive? Continue the conversation below.

Al Miller
Resident nerd, glitter goth, and reluctant adult, Al has been writing about the things that make her heart sing for over a decade. She also handles the social media management for The Flounce. Need to have some questions answered or maybe discuss some PR for your upcoming indie game or geek culture project? Want to see if you're soulmates and discuss pizza toppings? Questions about pitching or contributing? email at allison@theflounce.com No dick pics, please.
http://theflounce.com
  • http://lighterthanheir.com/ nalem

    You drew on someone else’s art? That’s pretty disrespectful.

    • botenana

      While internally we didn’t see it as disrespectful but rather humor pointed at those who stated on the original comic that they couldn’t imagine Steg singing without visually seeing a microphone in front of his face, we will admit that we didn’t create the art so we’re not the ones who determine if it’s disrespectful or not.

      We reached out to Brad and Leslie with your concern, that became ours once mentioned. Brad was kind enough to explain that they did, in fact, see it as disrespectful. The image has been removed, and apologies have been made.