Thursday, May 2, 2013

My Life in Funnies: A Creative Obsession

So recently I discovered how to make comics. Not only do I enjoy it, I thoroughly let the world know that I love it, as many of you on Facebook have found out in the past week or so. To be honest, I had NO idea that 1. I would love it so much and 2. that others would have found it to be as equally amusing as I do. Well maybe not as equally as I do seeing that I'm up at almost 1 in the morning plotting out my next comic as we speak. Needless to say, Mark Zuckerberg has really started something by allowing an app from Bitstrip to become apart of my Facebook everyday life.


The most interesting thing about making these comics are the responses that I've received. Most like them, with the exception of a certain cheeky fellow living in Faburn, Georgia, who shall remain nameless and if he is reading this and doesn't know what the word cheeky means, then he should Google it without haste...thanks. Fortunately for me, he's the exception to the rule, lol. Many have become interested in my comics and want to know more about what seems to have become my burgeoning obsession.

Did You Always Want To Be a Comic Writer?

Not exactly. When I was a wee-little lad in the second grade, I had grand designs of becoming a scientist. That gave way about a year or two later to a lawyer that in turn gave way to a desire to become a zoologist. I kind of rode the scientist kick for another two years till I discovered my talent for writing. Not only a talent, but an actual love for it. So, for many years, including the present, my delusions of grandeur (which will come true I assure you) consisted of me becoming a very successful writer. Somewhere along the line, less say the second time I went to college (long story for another blog post), that vision expanded to becoming a videographer. I had a hot affair with the video camera and it was good! Then, somewhere between my lust for everything video to my lust for everything still photography, my writing interests expanded to that realm of comics. You can blame that on everyone from Superman to The X-Men, to Archie and his gang.

Were You An Avid Reader of Comic Books Growing Up?

Ummm, no. And I know this sounds really weird right, given the fact that I enjoy making comics today and since I sighted some pretty big heavyweights in the comic industry. Let me explain. As a kid, I read mostly novels or books. For a long time, if it wasn't Huck Finn or Treasure Island, it wasn't in like Flynn in my camp. I first fell in love with the X Men, from the animated series back in the late eighties or early nineties;  for Superman, of course, I had the benefit of movies and the animated series The Super Friends including those ratchet Wonder Twins. I did for a long time, however, read the various Archie comics and spin offs, the first V comic, the first edition which I still have around here somewhere, and some of the Transformers comics. Of course, there were the newspaper comics such as Andy Capp, Doonesbury, Garfield, Peanuts, and many others. Marvel and much of the real DC story lines eluded me, until I got a little older. I really caught the bug after the series of blockbuster films surrounding the Marvel and DC Universes.

What's Behind The Stories of Your Recent Comics?

To be honest, my friends, family, and life. Most of the comics I've made so far closely resemble my friends, family, and people that I have a close association with in my life. A lot of the stories are hilarious to them because they're full of "inside" jokes or an exaggeration of something that they would either do or say or how we interact with one another. It's a fun thing to do to not only make yourself laugh but to have the people you base the comics off to get a kick out of them, too. It's icing on the cake when others find the comics just as hilarious, even though they may not know really the inside-outs of what I'm talking about and why. For instance, the extreme giant in most of my stories is that of a good friend of mine who happens to be about 6'6". When he saw the first comic depicting him, he was quick to say that he was only about an inch or two taller than me when he finally caught his breath from laughing. Another frequent character is a friend of mine from Brookyn with a blow-out fro that always uses the famous New York slang "son" after every sentence. I recently put a flip perm on his character because he once had that hairstyle. Please don't ask me why, but it's a very long and it's as equally funny of a story as what I put in the comic, I assure you. Another character is a dude in orange and blue that's always gasping and looking terrified, based on a friend of mine in Florida who's an avid fan of the Florida Gators and sometimes gets a little startled. I draw upon these things and, of course, exaggerate them in the comics to make them more interesting.

Do You Just Use Funny Things about Your Friends In The Comics?

I have to say, I have no problem with poking fun at myself along with everyone else in my comics. I have a very quirky and sometimes eclectic sense of humor and NO ONE is safe. In saying that, I do not go out my way to be offensive and absolutely do not depict sensitive situations. I want my comics to be enjoyed by everyone and to be mostly light and funny. Alas, this does not always protect me. My quirky sense of humor sometimes get me into trouble because there are many who are more sensitive than others. So if I get an irate character, I either drop them from the story line or just use their characters as space fillers. Fortunately, I have not had such a problem so far...

What Are Your Plans for Comic Writing In the Future?

My plan is to ball till I fall. Using Bitstrip has definitely opened my eyes in several ways. For a long time, I've been hedging about making comics because I could not draw and thought I would have to hook up with the right illustrator or graphic artist to get things popping. Call me me slow, but I just realized that I can really design my own comics and write for them using a program like this one online. I have a universe of characters running around in my head that have been dying to get down on paper and into the real world, so to speak. Bitstrip has definitely opened my eyes to what opportunities as well as possibilities are out there, literally, at my finger tips.


VAUGHNE SMITH
Male Media Mind