So in the spirit of that mission statement, I'm going to take you through my latest comic strip submission to the big five US syndicates.
Every Friday I'll be posting three or four samples of that weeks work with a little write up as to what my thinking was behind the gag, the art or both.
So here we go.
Every panel or comic strip idea submitted to the big five syndicates (King Features, United Media, Universal Press, Tribune Media and Washington Post Writers Group), require---as per their submission guideline instructions--- 30 strips, a cover letter, a CV and a character page, if needed. Once that's completed I normally mail them out to the states and then post them up on here, in their entirety, as I did with Bib and Adam & Eve.
But this time I thought it would be fun for you to follow me as I create a new idea from scratch. To hear my thoughts on the process and see how, if at all, the comic changes from my initial idea through to its eventual completion. I guess what I'm trying to say is, you get an insight into not only my working practices but my though process...worrying as that may prove to be.
If time wasn't an issue and I had a clear run at it, I could probably produce all thirty strips in a week. But because I have a lot of other commitments, I'm forced to allow myself only one day a week to work them up. And only then after I have roughed out all thirty gags in my sketch book; which can take anything up to a few weeks of snatched moments here and there.
Okay, so onto the meat and bones. The first thing I do is create a synopsis for any new feature that I'm working on. This can either be about the characters, where they live, what their views are on life; are they human, animal or something else. Most strips follow the usual formula of family, kids or animals. But any subject theme can be used so long as the newspapers readers can identify with it on some level.
Then there are the off-the-wall type comics: Far Side, Herman, Bizarro and to some degree Non Sequitur; and it is into this last genre that my new idea, Tales from Toonsville falls. And below I have written my initial working synopsis for it.
Synopsis for Tales from Toonsville
If the cartoons lived in an actual, real and identifiable parallel universe, then ‘Toonsville would be its main hub. My cartoon is best described as a documentary of what daily life---past and present--- would be like if the world was run by the 'toons.
Although Tales from Toonsville takes a homologous and decidedly oddball look at this crazy paradox it has no set characters, but it does carry some regulars that can be visited and revisited, as and when the muse takes me. But nothing you can hang a name on. Some of these semi regular characters are as follows:
· Granny Apple: A delightful if not heavily put upon Grandmother who never thought retirement would ever be quite like this.· Frankenstein: These strips are based around what would happen if a variety of brains were used on the monster and how it would affect him.· 101 Uses for a Divorce Attorney: Not the most liked of people or professionals and most of us have come up against these antagonistic little reptiles at least once in our lives. My ideas are what I, and possibly a lot of other people, may wish to see being done to them.· Lilly & Jim: A married couple who not only have to deal with marriage and all of its pit falls, but have to remain optimistic and in love within a relationship that a world run by toon characters and situations throw at them.
Tales from ‘Toonsville is basically an off the wall cartoon, but one that has taken itself to the next level of off-the-wall-ish-ness.
So that said, here's four of this weeks out-put of six. Once the six week run for this feature has come to an end I will put all thirty strips up, including the ones that I didn't initially show.
I'm just too good to you.