Keeping with our new feature in the Underdog Facebook Group, we held another Self Promo Sunday last weekend allowing folks to share their url with the community. Yet again, it was a huge success! The idea behind this is to give everyone the chance to plug their link in an fun yet organized manner. On the first Sunday of each month a special thread is opened up in the Facebook group where people can post their link, but in order to do so they have to answer 3 questions. The thread is then taken down after 24 hours so it doesn’t keep getting bumped up in the group. We then copy the content into a blog post so nothing is lost.
If you would like to participate in next month’s Self Promo Sunday, simply join the Underdog Facebook group!
Who is another creator that inspires you? You may name more than one if you’d like.
Whether you’re a writer or an artist (or both), roughly how long does it take you to complete a page?
What question would you like to see asked during next month’s Self Promo Sunday?
1: My sources of inspiration vary depending on what style I’m working in. When I’m working in digital paint, I often refer to the works of Brad Rigney, Xia Taptara, or Pete Mohrbacher. All excellent painters. When working in a more traditional comic style (line art with color) I’m heavily influenced by the greats – David Finch, Richard Friend, Richard Corben, Ian Gibson, Dave Sim & Gerhard, and more.
2: If I’m really focused I can sometimes whip out a page in about 1 day. But usually it takes more like 2 days, and sometimes more for heavily detailed painted art.
3: Since I came up with the questions above I’m gonna cheat and not technically answer this one 🙂
1: So many, including several uncerdogs do, but today I’ll go with Jean van Hamme, creator of Thorgal. I’ve taken a huge amount of inspiration from his writing from before I started the comic.
2: 6-10 hours from start to finish, depending on the complexity of the page, or how many sketches i angrily hurl into my waste bin.
3: What specificly convinced you that you wanted to start work on your own comic?
1: Right now I’d say I have a writing man crush on Aes Kot.
2: Complete is a tricky word because I rewrite but I go through a draft of a page in about 30min.
3: What is/was your most successful promotion technique?
1. Artists who inspire me are Keith Thompson, Redjuice, just to name a few.
2. It usually takes me 7-11 days to finish a page unless there’s some stuff that I need to do on it that may take longer.
3. What made you decide to go into comics?
1. My biggest influences are J Scott Campbell and pretty much any 90s art from Capcom primarily Street Fighter and Darkstalkers
2. I’m all the above. I write, draw, etc. I’ll guesstimate and say around 12-16 hours a page.
3. Long form Story or strip? Which do you prefer?
1: I have a hard time identifying my influences. Gravity Falls is a strong influence on the type of story I’m telling, so I’ll go with that.
2: It takes me 8-10 hours over two days to draw and color a page on average.
3: If your comic was made into a movie, who would play the main character?
1: My biggest influence is Berkeley Breathed, creator of Bloom County. His work really made me want to be a cartoonist when I was younger and more than a few people have told me that you can see his influences in my work.
2: It usually takes me less than an hour to do a typical strip, depending on how much detail I put into it.
3: I’d love to hear people’s thoughts on collecting their webcomics into a book and also, their experiences if they’ve done it.
1: Hiroki Endo is quite the inspiration. He is writing a Mixed Martial Arts manga named ‘All Rounder Meguru’ and it is just awesome. To take a sports theme, make it emotional and deliver on the fighting front is incredible.
2: I don’t really have a set answer for this as a writer. I write full script so I put a lot of detail in to each page, and I tidy everything up with multiple drafts.
3: I guess it would be interesting to talk about the the unpopular art: marketing. I’m spending a bit of time currently researching effective ways to reach people including the best days, time and more. Hard work, but it’s compulsory.
1. Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely are my favourite comic creators, especially when working together. I also admire J.H Williams, particularly his versatility.
2. Usually about two hours or under. Fully painted or traditionally done art pages take longer.
3. Are you on your first webcomic?
1: You may name more than one if you’d like.Too many artists to name that tackle storytelling and art. Justin Copeland. Nesskain. Juanjo Guarnido, Becky Cloonan, Jeff Wamester… the list goes on.
2: I personally handle the pencils/inks. From thumb to inks it takes roughly 6-8 hours. My co-creator handles the colors and her hours vary.
3: Is this a labor of love or your job? Both?
1. All my webcomic friends. Right now Skinny Mister
2. For my journal comics I usually script 4-6 a month then sit to pencil and ink for 5 hours for 6 pages. I like to do at least 6 in one sitting.
3. How do you approach pitching your comic in diferent ways? IE to people who come by your table vs. friends vs. a place you want to get hired.
1: My biggest inspirations are probably Dresden Codak and The Perry Bible Fellowship. PBF is exactly the kind of humour I like and aspire to. I also used to like a Webcomic called Truck Bearing Kibble that has disappointingly vanished, which had similar humour, but more obscure.
2: I write and draw but have never specifically time myself. I take around a week to do a page but the number of hours I take is anyone’s guess. I’m still learning so I’m not especially quick
3: Do you have a plan for where your comic will be at in a couple of years or is it just a week by week thing?
1. Two comics I look forward to on Tapastic are “Big Jo” by Jungle Julia and “The Disappearance of Melody Dean” by Alexis Sugden.
2. Pages take about 16 hours because I can’t help but try more complex things as my skills improve.
3. Question, “If you could swapped genres for your current comic, what would you pick? E.g. go from rom-com to sci-fi horror.”
1: I really love Katie Rice and her comic Camp Wedontwantcha (campcomic.com)
2: Honestly I have no clue how long it takes me to finsish a comic becase I work on the in small increments.
1: I couldn’t do that without mentioning Marilyn Manson. To me, he’s the epitome of what an artist should be. Thought-provoking, intelligent, creative, weird, but still commercial enough to be likeable by the main stream, and willing to evolve and change over time. He knows how to take inspiration from other artists and turn it into something new, rather than just ripping them off. It’s always HIS, even if it’s a cover or an homage. He knows how to push buttons, but not in a way that feels like it’s trying too hard to be shocking — I like South Park, but they have this problem sometimes.
It may not be quite as shocking as it was then, any more than Psycho (my favorite film) is as scary to a modern audience as it was when it came out; but both still hold up because they’re still just as smart as they were then. The things he said in those songs are timeless because they speak about things that will always be part of human nature. Hatred, violence, anger, sex, fame, drugs, etc. These things will always be part of our culture in one way or another and thus will never become dated; even if the aesthetics are in some ways.
My favorite author is Chuck Palaniuk (for a lot of the same reasons). My favorite director is Alfred Hitchcock. My favorite animator is Richard Williams. Though I love Milt Kahl and Eric Goldberg as well.
As far as comics, I love Jonas McCluggage a lot. Doug TenNapel and Jeff Smith are also great. Old Frank Miller is good (before he went insane) and Neal Adams’ 70s Batman is a lot of fun. Bill Watterson of course is a huge influence. I love Walt Kelly’s art, but his writing never made me laugh too much. George Herriman’s Krazy Kat I also like for the surreality. I’m not a big superhero guy. I respect people like Jim Lee, but I can’t say I ever really tried to emulate him.
2: The answer to that is kind of complicated. I can write a full script in a week or draw a page in a day if I know what I’m doing; but then sometimes it takes me months of working on something before I’m happy with it. Not that I’m actually working on it all that time, but I just leave it undone until I go back into it and figure out what I want from it. So really, I have no way to answer that question because it’s never the same thing twice.
3: You can ask about the writing process, or how to create a character. Or why we chose comics in particular. I don’t know, surprise me.
1: I really like Paranatural and FowlLangauge. My inspiration is Jeff Smith and Osama Tezuka
2: I am both the writer an creator of my comic.
1. My favorite cartoonists are Quino, Watterson, Larson and happy that Berkeley Breathed has revived Bloom County grin emoticon.
2. I can take from a day to a week depending on how much time I have available.
3. How about questions about character development.
1: My biggest original influences were mostly syndicated strip artists, so the likes of Frank Cho, Stephan Pastis and Bill Watterson.
2: I do most of my work traditionally, so a page for me depends on how much detail is being put into the backgrounds. For a standard character-focused page it’s about 3 hours from pencils/inks to digital color, while a more detailed one can take up to 6.
3: What is your preference for comic layouts: The new “webcomic” vertical standard, or the classic 2:3 (6″ x 9″) printed comic layout?
1: I was heavily influenced and inspired by Akira Toriyama though my style is a bit more like an American anime.
2: I do all of our illustration and because I have another full time job I am unfortunately only able to get one page done a week.
3: I would be curious to find out how many people in this group do promotion at comic cons and how they do commissions.
1: I’m inspired most by Azuma Kiyohiko of Azumanga Daioh and Yotsubato! I love the way he tells simple slice-of-life stories with memorable characters.
2: I wear both writer and artist hats. From start to finish, a page takes me roughly 2 hours.
3: How do you stay motivated?
1: Another creator who inspires me is whoever does Gone Into Rapture. That’s a great comic. and ubertool. He does a lot with almost no ability.
2: It takes me about 5 minutes to finish a page. Writing Rules!
3: I’d like to know everyone’s shoe size. 10.5 E, ladies.
1: My current obsession is Jeph Jacques/Questionable Content (I know I’m not the only one)
2: It takes me between 45 min and 4 hours, depending on how I’m feeling about it
3: A quick overview of people’s process, from inspiration to technical execution
1: A very obscure cartoonist named Richard Guindon was one of my inspirations. His work is always beautifully drawn, and his humour is so very, very weird. Well worth looking for.
2: Anywhere from an hour to three hours. The latest series is taking freaking forever because of all the Waxom work…
3: Have you ever gone out of your “safe genre”? If so, how and to what?
2: Not counting the time to write a full chapter (around 1 to 3 weeks) I spend a couple of hours discussing the page with the artist. Then I’ll spend an hour doing a rough sketch. My artist will then procrastinate and have a penciled page during the week.
I will give her hell and she will have a corrected page in another day. Then another day and she will produce a colored page. Then I start cracking the whip to start a new cycle.
3: How do you create and design the universe your story is set in?
1: Jen Lee Quick, who is currently publishing at Sparkler Monthly. Her passion for comics is indescribable, and I love how she plays with tropes without turning her work into piles of tropes.
2: Hard to say. I don’t work page by page. I prefer to thumbnail a bunch, ink a bunch and color a bunch.
3: What were the most memorable comments you’ve gotten on your comic?
1: My main inspiration was Charles Schultz ever since a autobiography he wrote in the 70s showed how he did his strips. Since then the list is endless from Michelangelo to Miyzaki.
2: Assuming my Muse is doing her job and it’s a basic level of detail four hours.
3: How much details about your cast and setting do you know but will never share with your audience?
1: Danny Choo. He’s an otaku who’s made a life out of pursuing the things he loves and cares about (Japan, anime, dollfies) and along the way he’s discussed how he’s gotten there. He has his big post on his site that talks about how learning Japanese changed his life and how he got to living there. It’s great inspiration for me to read how he built his life. I like his knowledge dump blog posts too, like the ones on building the prototype smart dolls that he now manufactures and sells worldwide. I like that he also is willing to put in the effort to learn how to do things — 3D modeling, web design, making toys, robotics, anime, tv show video editing/production, etc. He also contines to connect with otaku around the world too.
Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata and Studio Ghibli. If you ever want some insight into how Ghibli was built, read Starting Point which is a series of interviews that Miyazaki gave over the first 20 years of the anime house and what he did beforehand (He was at Toei animation). It gives me hope that he and Takahata started Ghibli when he was 41 years old, because to me that says, you don’t just burn out after 30, which is kinda the Silicon Valley mentality. I don’t know what it’s like to work at Ghibli, but in its heyday it did seem like a pretty nice and close-knit place to work. A buddy and myself want to start a game studio, and we actually look to Ghibli for inspiration. It doesn’t feel like a souless megacorporation. If we could build our own studio where we could work on our passion projects and turn enough coin to keep the lights on and to keep making our things our way, then I would say that was a great success.
2: I’d say the average is about 15 hours per page. Doing the high contrast is time consuming, but I’ve learned a lot of techniques along the way to work faster.
If you want to read more about how I make my webcomic, check this out:http://www.mortalcoilcomic.com/made/
3: My question: If you were to do a retrospective on your entire body of work right now, what one thing did you like about your work and what one thing do you think needs improvement?
1: I’m inspired by Jeph Jacques (Questionable Content) for the sheer volume of work he produces every day. Also: Tony Breed (Muddlers Beat) for his perfect punch line cadence and Gibson Twist (Pictures of You), who writes so well it kills me.
2: I complete one full color page a week. I have a full-time day job and they like me to stay focused.
3: My question: Do you ever suffer from burnout and how do you get past it?
1: Jimmy Johnson creator of ARLO AND JANIS. He was the first cartoonist I ever got to meet and talk to in person and I love his strip.
2: I write and draw and hand letter and ink my strips. roughly 30 minutes to pencil and letter and around 30 minutes to ink. Average is an hour with sometimes maybe an hour and a half. I work on 11 x 17 and use the whole page minus a half inch border. The writing process I’ve never timed. If the idea hits me then just a couple of minutes per strip.
3: a question I would fancy would be , Who still hand letters their strip?
1: Too many to name, but I was especially impressed with Marius Hjelseth this week for the massive heartbreaking swerve in October 20th.
2: From planning to layouts to digital “inking” to colors to lettering to other formatting, I’d say three hours total per black and white page, sometimes four.
3: How do you practice drawing when you’re not just doing your comic pages?
1: I get inspired by Akira Toriyama, Jacob Chabot and John Kleckner.
2: I usually take a day for page, about 6-7 hours from thumbnail to finish, but depends on how much my “real job” let’s me.
3: What makes you keep going?
1: I have to tip my hat to Aaron Diaz (Dresden Codak) whose work got me into both reading and writing webcomics in the first place. I also interact with him quite a bit and he is truly a cinnamon roll — it’s nice when people who make awesome things are also awesome people.
2: Hoo boy, tough question. Considering I can spend an entire day painting a single panel, I’ll have to estimate that I spend every bit of 20 hours working on a page as a low estimate. It’s probably more. Add life into the mix, and it takes me about a month to release a page.
3: Perhaps “If funds weren’t a concern, what would your dream webcoming-making setup consist of?” if something similar hasn’t been asked already.
1: The creator of Shotgun Shuffle, Chris Rusche, hugely inspired me when I discovered his comic last year. It completely redefined for me what a comedy based webcomic could be. Prior to it I thought funny comics = 3-4 static panels. But everything about SS is unconventional, from the layout to the writing to the character development.
2: 2 hours for an “easy” comic, up to 6 hours for an “intensive” one.
3: Does anybody do some sort of hand exercises to prevent arthritis/carpal tunnel? Especially those who do a LOT of comics. How do you treat your aching hands?
1: Alison Bechdel, Garry Trudeau, Berke Breathed, Lynn Johnston, Neil Gaiman.
2: Anywhere from several days to a week, depending.
3: “Who are your dream audience? Who would you most love to reach and touch with your work?”
1: Oh man. So many people inspire me, but I’ll take this opportunity to throw out the name of Dan Hess, creator of Angel Moxie (http://www.venisproductions.com/ang…/archives/0/0/001.html), a comic I drew many, many ideas from when I was doing research for my own comic. When it comes to art, I’m quite fond of Anne Marie Bone’s (http://www.annmariebone.com/) paintings and how she uses a full palate of color to create dreamscape-like scenes. I could list dozens more on top of those two, honestly. I get ideas and inspiration from everywhere.
2: I depends of the page, really. Full color pages with detailed backgrounds can take several hours spaced over a week to finish, since I try not to do it all in one sitting–I get burnt out if I do that. For greyscale or monochromatic pages, I’d say it can take anywhere between 2 and 5 hours depending on the complexity, how much background there is, and how much I dawdle.
3: “Share one of your biggest Eureka Moments in making your comic(s).” That could make for some fun stories.
1: Scott Adams’ Dilbert and Jim Davis’ Garfield. I treat my strip like an animated show, so I will include Jhonen Vasquez’ Invader Zim, for which The Bluenecks could not exist had it not been for Invader Zim.
2: The completion of a single strip varies depending on the format, on average 10 hours a strip, but I usually work on 8 comics at a time, 2 if I’m using the Surface Pro.
3: A question I would like to see asked: what chain of events led you to create a specific character? Ex: Midna was created for Twilight Princess because looking at Wolf Link for the back seemed too boring