This week’s #TalkingComics Underdog Spotlight takes aim at Evil Leprechaun Penguin Productions (known as ELPP to his friends and family) and his smorgasbord of comic projects. With such a variety of comic ideas to draw from, I was interested to see where he found the momentum to keep each project updated so regularly!
KEVIN CULLEN: I really dig your site, man! From Sci-Fi epics, to quick gags, to long-form story-driven comics, readers from lots of different fanclubs are able to find something that they like here. How did you get started working on so many different comic projects?
ELPP: I work in an environment where I do not have a lot of control over my creative freedom. I decided that with my site, I would try a myriad of different comic styles to allow myself to have some fun and test out my artistic skills. If a reader doesn’t like one comic style I do, I might still be able to keep them as a fan with another type. It’s a win-win situation!
KC: I noticed you’ve even got a Youtube channel where you post speed-drawing videos of your comic strips. I love behind-the-scenes stuff like that. Have you seen much of an impact from your Youtube work on your comic in terms of finding new readers?
ELPP: There’s definitely interest out there to check it out, but I wouldn’t say it has made a huge impact in pulling in new readers to my site. I use it more as a way to reward current readers to get that behind-the-scenes feel for what went into creating my comic. I enjoy producing them, and as long as they are being viewed, I’ll continue making them.
KC: When it comes to writing your comics, do you prefer to write the longer, story driven comics like Space Empress and ELP, or are you more a fan of the quick gags such as your Doodle comic and the Random Musings? And, as a reader, which do you prefer?
ELPP: Obviously, I like both types, but because of the time it takes to create story-driven comics, I’ll choose the quick gags. The gags are based on relevant world events or a witty (bad) pun, and when people read them, they can instantly relate. The downfall to my Doodles and Random Musings is that they can get outdated very fast if I base them off a current event, so I keep that in mind often. As a reader, I prefer gag comics so that I can have time to read numerous ones by different artists.
KC: Keeping motivation is always a tough challenge. Do you think that having a larger variety of comic ideas to draw from (today I’ll write a space epic, tomorrow I’ll do a musing, etc.) helps keep your momentum up?
ELPP: Absolutely. It keeps things from becoming monotonous, and allows me to draw whatever I’m feeling for the day. I don’t set my comic drawings to a schedule; I allow myself flexibility. This ensures my comics don’t become a burden as well.
KC: Did you design your workspace with ergonomics in mind or are you like me in that your workspace is wherever your pets leave your drawing equipment that day?
ELPP: My workspace is a menagerie of video games, comics, books, and random drawings on scratch paper. I have a desk in the corner where I do most of my creations, but it isn’t exactly organized either. There’s no rhyme or rhythm to the set up, and I prefer it that way. My wife attempted to make it more of a productive room for me, but that was a lesson in futility. I did leave the items she hung on the wall up, so I feel that was a good compromise.
KC: Picture this: You run into a very important comic book publisher in an elevator and he asks if you’re working on anything! Quick, shoot him the elevator pitch for one of your comics!
ELPP: In an alternate universe where I had the courage of a lion, I might say…. My ELPP website contains comic entertainment with a hint of sass and spice. I’ve got single panel comics for a quick (always bad) pun or a political satire, multi-panel version comics to really drive home a good joke, and even a comic featuring my very naughty penguin pal Kip. I’m revamping a sci-fi comedy adventure as we speak – it’ll be out of this world… eventually.
KC: To follow up on that question, what, in your opinion, makes a good pitch?
ELPP: Timing and good breath. Always carry Tic-Tacs, my friends, always.makingcomics.com