Someone smart once said, “Part of knowing what you’re good at is knowing how many permutations you can stretch and skew yourself to and safely get away with, without too much bloodshed.” And then I put it in a journal entry and cheapened it.
It was the middle 2005, and the local scene had shriveled up and died, so no one in his right mind was doing independent comics anymore, much less looking to fund any.
Fresh out of college and taking baby steps into law school, I sought a creative outlet and found it in the local newspaper — though when I say I sought, I don’t mean I needed a challenge or something to do in my free time. Coz believe me, school plus work was tough enough; and free time was a luxury I devoted to sleep. Luckily, the summer before shit got real, I had made the right calls and talked to the right people and sent the right hookers to the right addresses, and at twenty years old I got my first regularly paying gig with my weekly serial comic strip, ALTERED EGOS.
The people at the paper had seen my previous comic stuff, and when I first spoke to my editor to pitch another, more action-oriented strip, I realized that I had gotten spoiled from working with friends on SUKOL and POPCORN for so long. I had grown accustomed to communicating my act structures and story arcs in chirps and grunts. Had I known how to whistle, it might have helped. But no, the pre-prod was a mess, and it slowly became obvious that I wouldn’t be able to pull off a series that only worked linear, at least not the way I’d want to. So I went with comedy and the gag-a-week format.
ALTERED EGOS was an exploration of the superhero lifestyle minus all the glitz and glamour. Marvel Team-up meets Seinfeld, written by Bart Simpson. And it acted like a sort of psychic anchor in a pretty lousy time in my life, which was right around the same time I discovered the bottle. These characters meant a lot to me and still do, which is why I’m sharing them here.
Incidentally (and conveniently, transition-wise), I will be starting a brand new comic strip pretty soon with my girlfriend. Drawing much inspiration from the blunt truths of XKCD and the dry humor of Butternutsquash, Jad and I have put together a… (wait for it)… relationship strip.
. . .
And THAT was the sound of the last cries of my mojo whimpering out of existence.
FOR the LOVE OF… (or FTLO) is planned to be a weekly strip, depending on our schedules, and is pretty much being stylistically inspired by Adam Warren’s approach to Empowered over at Dark Horse. Rough… but not.
It’s five in the morning, kids.
Anyway check back here for the first strip of FTLO soon, as well as updates on a few other projects I have gaining some steam. Meantime, don’t just thank it. Spank it.