Sunday, November 23, 2008

Beginning webcomics...

How did I get started on webcomics? It's an interesting story.

Well, not really.

I had always been fascinated by comics as a child. My brother got me started on the Marvel and DC heroes at a young age, and soon afterwards, we discovered manga. As the manga industry picked up, though, I learned that the majority it had to offer seemed to be rehashes of the same wild-haired youth with super abilities or skills running through pages filled with obnoxious screen tones (at least, that's how I saw it).

On top of that that, I had an extreme love for newspaper comics. My dad didn't get the paper every day, but we usually got the Sunday paper and I would bask in the glow of Peanuts and Foxtrot as well as other comics. My favorite is and always will be Calvin and Hobbes and we had amassed a sizeable collection of Calvin and Hobbes treasury books. The Tenth Anniversary publication in general educated me about the history, process and plight of newspaper comics over the years, going from full page publications to 1/4th page prints with throw away panels. A part of me died when I learned quite later that the reason I didn't see any more C&H comics was because Watterson had retired. I've searched around quite a bit, but I have yet to find a comic as great as Calvin and Hobbes.

In the year 2000, two friends of mine introduced me to a webcomic called Mega Tokyo. Back then, it was still relatively new and rife with gaming and anime related humor. However, as the references to both seem to wain over the years, so did my friends' interest in the comic. And, after a while, so did mine. However, it inspired me enough to try and make my own webcomic.

I worked on and off for 2 years on various ideas, most of which failed horribly. Eventually, after attending SCAD's Rising Star program, I did a 5 page comic for my final that eventually became the intro to my first webcomc, Blue Zombie. After a few pages went up, I gained two partners in crime and, through some careful links exchanges and communication with other people, a pretty decent fan base.

Things went downhill after high school, as college ate up a lot of time and the comic, which already suffered from sporadic updates, became even more sporadic. After graduating from SCAD in 2007, I found myself thinking about Blue Zombie even less and, eventually, it phased out of my mind altogether. With my companions off doing other things, I couldn't really motivate myself to work on it anymore. Worse, I had fallen dangerously out of the habit of actively drawing (something I'm still trying to get back into the habit of doing on a regular basis). Working in the bookstore did not help with this, as I would often come home tired and just wanting to sleep.

Somewhere in that five year period of time of working on Blue Zombie off and on, I had an idea for a comic about a girl who reluctantly takes the thrown of a very poor nation. I wanted to pitch it as a newspaper comic, but I couldn't decide on a good way to start off the comic and, eventually, it fizzled away in the back of my mind.

Fast forward to 2008. I had just landed a my new job and started moving out of Savannah. Somewhere along the way on my 3 day drive, the idea of this girl came back into my head and I played around with it. But I still didn't have any good idea of how to start out the story. With Blue Zombie, I think I did well enough with trying to capture interest in the first five pages (of course, I'm incredibly bias with my work, so I could be wrong :P )

In August, I finally moved into an apartment and had started taking part in a car pool with some coworkers. Being all 20-something year old males, the exchanging of lewd jokes were inevitable.

Somewhere in that time spent going up and down the freeway, there was mention of a giant penis in one of our conversations. And then it clicked.

A girl who would accept the throne from a naked (and well hung) king.

I explained the premise to some friends (one of which told me I was crazy) and it was somehow agreed upon that the idea was humorous. I wrote the first dozen scripts, drew up a couple of pages and popped them on Comic Dish. After a discussion with my friend Coppelia DOG, the comic was named Lumia's Kingdom

As of writing this, there are 6 pages online and 2 more cued for the coming week.

If there's anything I've learned, it's that I can guarantee nothing when it comes to my work, though. Who's to say that I fall out of love with Lumia's Kingdom just like I did Blue Zombie?

Only time will tell, I suppose. But for now, I'm having fun.

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