Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Heavy Metal Mechas

This is my first actually published works that appeared in Seven Days, a kind of crunchy Vermont newspaper that is written in Burlington. They have many other comics printed, James Kolchalka's being the most popular. Mine only got printed twice, and in the music section because I used to work with the music editor, Dan Bolles, and he needed to fill up some space fast.

This is the fist strip printed. It's a great little four panel gag strip, but it didn't elicit much of a response from any of the readers. I did another comic strip when I was in college titled Monkey Fandango, it was about a second grader, Jill, who had a pet monkey named Taylor. She could talk to the monkey and they had secret adventures. It was a huge rip off of Calvin and Hobbes. My main problem with Monkey Fandango was that I actually knew that people would be reading it. I wanted to make it easy to read, and enjoyable for everybody. I found out later that if I want my comics to be what they should be than I need to make the comics that I want to make, not the comics that I think everybody would want to read. It wasn't like I was printed in the Sunday funnies alongside Dilbert and Zits, where everything has to be funny, yet politically correct.

I suffered from the same kind of feelings when I was offered to do a strip for Seven Days. Dan told me it could be anything, but it had to be about music. I struggled for awhile because I don't really know too much about music. Not enough to make a weekly comic strip out of anyways. Finally I decided that this comic, like all my other comics, should be character driven. I wanted robot girls to be in a heavy metal band, and my strip was set.

These strips though, are very subdued. I wrote them as if a seven-year-old kid would read them. The humor doesn't flow naturally like it does for some of my more adult themed comics. I'd almost even call these a bit contrived. Here's a look at the second strip...

I like this one, I think it's funy and you can start to get a sense of what kind of girls these robots are. On the fence I drew a picture of Charlie Brown, from one of Schultz's early strips. The ugly kid in it is part of a group of kids called the Leather Bros, who were the antagonists to my character Shovel Boy, which I drew probably six years ago. I like the shape of his head, and he looks a bit like Yoda. I drew this character in my book titled Sloth, also.

The whole Seven Days printing thing left me with kind of a bad taste in my mouth. It taught me pretty much that you can get your work printed depending on who you know, not especially depending on the strength of your work. I'm sure there are some exceptions out there. But it's hard to muscle in on a paper who already has their comics section full. If their not looking for something new, and are spending all their time doing layouts and writing shit, they're not going to have time to look at your work.

I guess I need somebody who will go into the printing place, interrupt meetings, shove my work in the editor's face and say, "READ THIS. PRINT THIS!" I guess I need an agent.

1 comment:

Viagra said...

I remember when I was a teen and had my garage band. It was so cool when we all pretended to be playing in front of a huge audience, but still when some came in we just stopped playing (as if they didn't hear the noise from outside) Just like this little mechas... *sigh* the good old days.