This is my first attempt in a long time of hand-drawing and hand-lettering. I need to get more proficient at it and I need to find a point where I’m comfortable considering a drawing”done”. Leaving big open spots blank when I’m not coloring something bothers me because there’s not enough depth. Crosshatching isn’t the answer because it takes too much time and stuff either comes out muddy or not developed enough.
As far as the strip goes, this idea came about while watching one of Spike’s Ustreams. (Read Templar, Arizona) She brought up a story concept she had about some free-wheelin’ hoboes and I immediately thought, “Stop digging, you’ve struck oil.” It’s a smidge inspired by the Laugh Out Loud Cats over at HOBOTOPIA. I like old 20s and 30s newspaper comics that had all this room to play. If anything, we need to go back to that. If there was an entire paper that was nothing but strips like Bringing Up Father, Lil’ Abner, Popeye, Pogo, Krazy Kat, and Buck Rogers, I’d buy the hell out of it. But no, newspapers just want space for advertising and classifieds. Comics always get the short end of the stick. They get shrunk down and rearranged. And when the money gets tight they’re the first thing to go. Why do they think this? Newspapers are battling the internet and TV for news. If they really want people to buy papers they should offer more comics not less. I know I would stop reading my local paper if it didn’t carry comics. I’m probably starting to sound like Bill Watterson but after the Village Voice Media purge of comics from 13 alt-weeklies and Diamond Comics Distribution raising the numbers of sales for indie books to be distributed, it’s looking harder and harder for a cartoonist to make money these days. At least in newspapers and comic shop distribution, apparently.