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Dirk Manning Talks Tales of Mr. Rhee: Karmageddon on Kickstarter, Making Comics, and That One About the Priest, The Orphan, and the Stripper Walking Into a Bar

Written by Jude Terror on Friday, February 27 2015 and posted in Features

Dirk Manning Talks Tales of Mr. Rhee: Karmageddon on Kickstarter, Making Comics, and That One About the Priest, The Orphan, and the Stripper Walking Into a Bar

Dirk Manning is back on The Outhouse to promote his latest Kickstarter project: Tales of Mr. Rhee: Karmageddon, ending in four days!!!

Here at The Outhouse, there's a lot of things we hate, but only a few things we love. Serious, angry responses to satire. Exxxclusive articles. Dead Wolverines. And Dirk Manning. Dirk stopped by The Outhouse for this interview that we totally planned to come out with just four days left of his new Kickstarter for Tales of Mr. Rhee: Karmageddon and absolutely were not worried about missing the deadline for. Really!!!

If you're not familiar with Dirk's work, then shame on you, then watch this video and head over to Kickstarter and back it immediately.

The Kickstarter has been a tremendous success so far, tripling its funding goal and achieving "staff pick" status on the site. So Dirk doesn't need our help on this, but here he is, tarnishing his reputation by appearing on The Outhouse anyway. You gotta respect that; the man is loyal. Now go pledge money to him. Seriously, you want this hardcover on your shelves.

If you're still not convinced (seriously, what is wrong with you?!), then check out what Dirk has to say below.

You're one of the hardest working guys in comics, and I think the response to your Kickstarter, nearly tripling your goal with some time left to go, shows that it pays off. Do you ever just take step a back and say "wow, I'm wasting my life?" Imagine if you had put this much effort into being a doctor or scientist.

Well, my parents would probably have been more proud of me, and I’d have a lot more money… but then again, I can’t imagine I’d ever have associated with any of you here at The Outhouse had I gone that route… so I guess it’s a win, right?


Hey… what are you all laughing about?

For anyone not familiar with Mr. Rhee (and shame on you, readers, if you aren't), can you give a short description of the character and premise?

TALES OF MR. RHEE is a paranormal troubleshooter who lives in a world where, after The Armageddon and The Rapture, society is back to normal, and no one wants to believe that monsters are still left. Sometimes they still rear their ugly heads, though, and that’s when Mr. Rhee gets called to –

Shorter than that.

Ummm… OK. After The Armageddon and The Rapture no one wants to believe that monsters and demons are still left, but Mr. Rhee knows they’re there and –


Ugh! Mr. Rhee knows the truth! There!

Too short.

Mr. Rhee knows there are still monsters left, and he punches them a lot?


Remind me why I take the time to talk to you guys again? I could have been a doctor or a scientist, dammit!

In this new volume, Mr. Rhee is doing his best to protect a group of orphans after he fails to save their parents. Along the way, I don't want to spoil things, but not everyone makes it through alive. Mr. Rhee is not doing a great job, is he?

Mr. Rhee does his best, but, admittedly, his best is not always good enough… especially during The Rapture… and especially when trying to protect five such headstrong siblings.

Before our readers decide to pledge money, can you tell us what happens in issue #4? I liked the first three a lot, but what if you really phoned it in for the last one?

The reveal in Issue #4 is so stunning that, were I to reveal who’s in it and what happens, it would crush the souls of everyone who already pledged. I'm a fair guy, though, so TALES OF MR. RHEE: "Karmageddon" #4 comes out the day the campaign ends. I don't want to spoil anything, but I will say, though, that’s it’s a helluva ending. Heh.

I'm glad to see Devil's Due making a resurgence after their troubles. Josh Blaylock's GI Joe: Reinstated got me back into comics after a near decade hiatus. How has it been publishing with them, and do you plan to continue doing so?

Josh and Devil’s Due have been great to work with. He’s been really hands-off in regards to the horrible things I do to the characters in my books while also always being willing to lend me his expertise. Devil’s Due is really making a resurgence with a number of creator-owned books such as my own TALES OF MR. RHEE as well as MERCY SPARX, PLUME, SQUARRIORS, the upcoming 7 DAYS OF DEATH, and more. A knowledgeable publisher supporting and promoting great creator-owned comics? Everyone – including the readers who check-out the books – wins.

In addition to the Kickstarter hardcovers you're printing, which I understand are exclusive to the (at this time) 237 backers, you'll be using some of the money to print trades. How many of those are you printing, and what will you do with them?

We're going to be offering TALES OF MR. RHEE: "Karmageddon" as a TPB through comic shops throughout the country in March, so if someone missed the Kickstarter -- because, you know -- SOMEONE was so late in getting me these questions, they can still order the TPB version through their local comic shop, via Amazon, or they can even pick it up through me at a convention. I already have 20 conventions and signing appearances on the books in 2015 so far (see: for details), so I won't be too hard to find.

That aside, everyone who pledges for a Hardcover (or any pledge level that includes a Hardcover) will get the *Kickstarter Exclusive* TALES OF MR. RHEE: “Karmageddon” Hardcover, and the SIX (and counting) Stretch Goals we’ve unlocked as of this moment, including three art prints, a bonus comic, a bookplate signed by me and signed/head-sketched by series artist Seth Damoose, and even a button of Mr. Rhee's sigil. We're really going out of our way to hook-up people who pledge.

But really, people should back the Kickstarter and get the hardcover. Because they can get all sorts of cool stuff, like...?

Are you even listening? I just told you that! This is why I wanted Frank to do this interview. Where’s Frank? WHERE’S FRANK?!?

Damn it, Dirk! Stop breaking the fourth wall! The readers don't know this is an email interview! If Mr. Rhee ever met Mystery from the VH1 reality show "The Pick Up Artist," how badly would Mr. Rhee kick his ass?

VH1 shows reality shows now, too? I thought they were just the MTV for old people…

When are you planning to sell out and write superhero books for Marvel and DC?

My schedule is full of creator-owned books for at least the next year, including TALES OF MR. RHEE Volume 3, WRITE OR WRONG Volume 2, the fourth and final installment of another horror series I’m known for writing, and more… so it most likely be for at least another year.

What's next after this? More Mr. Rhee, I hope, but any other projects in the pipeline?

You really aren’t listening at all, are you?


Frank… if you’re out there reading this… call me, bro.

I don't want to embarrass you, but there's a typo right on the cover of your book, "Write or Wrong." You're gonna kick yourself when you see it.

The sad thing is that there’s going to be all kinds of people looking-up the cover of the book to try and see it… but that’s what you’re going for, right?

What's the worst con you've ever been to?

The one I didn’t sell enough books at.

You have a pretty devoted following on the internet, and you've even got your own Facebook group. At what point does it start to qualify as a cult, and as a member, will I have to have sex with you?

The “F(r)iends of Dirk Manning” Group on Facebook is an amazing group of people. Whether or not we develop cult status remains to be seen. As for the sex… you couldn’t afford me. Plus, Frank might get jealous.

It would be best if this interview went crazy viral, for both our sakes. Can you say something that, when taken out of context, will sound really horrible and lead to a social media witch hunt pointing back to this article? I'll use it in the headline. Go ahead, you'll be fine.

So, a priest, an orphan, and a stripper walk into a bar, and they’re all wearing glasses…

Oh… you heard that joke already? Nevermind, then.

Is this the best time in history to be an independent comic creator, with all the tools available to you to get your work out there?

I think so, yeah. We’re getting closer and closer to the point where readers everywhere are realizing that a book doesn’t have to come from “The Big Two” to be good, which is a great start. Of course, we won’t truly get to where we need to be until readers everywhere realize that you don’t have to write for “The Big Two” to be worth paying attention to…

Hypothetical: In thanks for your service writing all these horror comics, a demon makes you an offer. Mr. Rhee can become the most famous comic book character in history, beloved all over the world, and you'll be rich beyond your wildest dreams. But for that to happen, another comic creator of your choosing and his or her creations will be erased from existence. Would you do it, and if so, who would you get rid of?

I already made this deal, which is why you don’t remember the aforementioned creator or character. The catch (and when dealing with demons, there’s ALWAYS a catch), was that Mr. Rhee’s success wouldn’t be instant. We’re getting there, though. Thanks, Ozzycoopries!

Dirk, thanks for joining us. We should do this more often until you realize how bad it is for your career to associate with us.

Every time I do an interview with you guys, my chances of ever being featured on CBR drift a little bit farther way…

Check out the Kickstarter for Tales of Mr. Rhee: Karmageddon here. There's four days left, so don't even wait for the weekend! Back it right now!

Here's a short preview of the book:

That Kickstarter link again, in case you're too lazy to scroll back up.

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