We are back once again True Believers to bring you another entry into our ever popular segment 20 Questions with Comic Artists. Today we are going all the way to Denmark to bring you a glimpse of fatherhood, badly doodled.
That’s right the Root Beer Party is a global phenomenon with members all over the world, the one thing the world has in common is root beer and comics and we are here to unite the world by our celebration of both.
You can check out Peter Rasmussen’s comic website here: http://badlydoodled.com/olympic-special-badminton-day-2768/
Now let’s meet Peter, the newest member of the Root Beer Party:
Question 1: What got you started in doing a comic series?
It was a bit of a coincidence really. When my son, Oskar, was about three years old I started writing down the funny or cute little things he would come out with. However, I wasn’t sure what to do with all of these funny moments and I was afraid that someday I would get bored of noting them down or forget about it entirely – and then what was the point. Around the same timse I started getting fed up with not having a hobby and since I have always been a fairly creative person it really annoyed me that I wasn’t doing anything in my spare time. One day I was playing around on Paint with one of my son’s quotes and although it was ugly as hell I thought it had potential to be quite good fun. My comic was born. The only problem was that I hadn’t been drawing for what seemed like centuries so I would have to learn how to do that. A hobby was born! I was not very good at drawing when I started out so it has been a great creative journey for me. One where I have improved my drawing skills, refined my style and being able to see how I improve my work regularly which gives a huge sense of achievement. But best of all has been the journey I have had with my son. A journey that has made me more aware of what he says, his ideas and dreams and nutty observations. So, no Oskar, no comic. Luckily he finds them quite funny too.
Question 2: Who was you greatest influence?
With regards to content it’s my son. I would never have started making comics if it hadn’t been for him. In terms of style I don’t have a specific influence, but I have been reading comics my whole life and grew up with things like Calvin & Hobbes, Asterix, Spirou, Tintin, Mutts and so on. I also enjoy looking at black and white comics and graphic novels for inspiration.
Question 3: What is your favorite root beer and why?
I have a confession. Before I found out about The Root Beer Party I didn’t even know this drink existed. After a bit of research I’ve found that it’s very difficult to track down here in the UK, so I haven’t tasted the stuff yet. Also, I don’t think they do non-alcoholic drinks in England.
(We need to fix this, to paraphrase his own son “But why can’t everyone be friends? Just sit down with a mug of root beer and talk about it?” ) -Editor
Question 4: What do you hope to accomplish with your comic?
Mainly that people find it funny and relatable, but also that it is something my son will enjoy looking at when he’s older. Of course it would be great to make a teeny bit of money one day, but at the moment I don’t have the brainpower and/or time to think about things like that.
Question 5: Do you have any other artistic interests outside of comics?
I used to do a lot of photography but it’s all about the comics now. I also like baking bread but not sure that is artistic.
Question 6: Do you see yourself as a professional cartoonist, or is this just something you do for yourself?
I do it for myself. As mentioned earlier, it would be great one day to make a bit of money on this but it’s not my end goal. On a very basic level it’s all about documenting my time with my son and to have something we can look back and laugh at further down the line. We do that already and I love it when the comic makes him laugh.
Question 7: What type of subject or humor do you consider out of bounds for your strips and why?
All the conversations in my comic are real chats we’ve had, but I would never draw anything that would make my son sad or embarrassed.
Question 8: What kind of equipment or style of drawing do you use?
This has changed a bit over the years as I have learned more and more about what’s out there. I started out with pencils, a rubber and cartridge paper. Now I draw on Bristol board using non-photo blue pencil for my outlines and a variety of fine-liners for the final drawing. I do this on an A3 clipboard while I watch Netflix with my wife. If we watch a boring show I can finish a comic in one evening, but if we watch something like The Walking Dead it could take between 2-5 evenings. Finally, I correct my many mistakes in Photoshop and add the dialogue using my own font.
Question 9: What sort of training or academic program did you pursue to become a cartoonist?
I haven’t had any training and I was always fairly mediocre at drawing. Starting this comic has been a great journey in learning and improving my drawing skills. I get a real sense of achievement when I look at my old work compared to now.
Question 10: What has been the highlight of your cartooning career?
“Meeting” so many supportive, nice and funny comic creators online. I didn’t know what a webcomic was when I started out and certainly had no idea how many there were out there. I think the entire webcomic community online is amazing and it has blown me away how many talented creators there are and how generous everyone seem to be.
Question 11: What has been the lowest point in your cartooning career?
I haven’t really had one yet but I am sure it will come. There are those days when all the drawings don’t look the way you want them to, but I wouldn’t class those as low points. More like “shouting in to the pillow”-points.
Question 12: Are collections of your work available beyond the web? If So where?
Not yet, but I hope to start work on something in the near future. I have said that for a year now but life gets in the way. A lot.
Question 13: Are there any other web comic artists that you really admire?
There are so many and it would be unfair to single out anyone because it means that many others will be left out. However, since you’re twisting my arm….Zombie Boy, Jay Unplugged, Ninja & Pirate, Julie Rau, Dogs, Ducks & Aliens, Sunny Side Up, Jon Esparza, Tut & Groan, Fat Bassist, Small Blue Yonder and DazzWorld (and sorry to all you talented people I haven’t mentioned!).
Question 14: What kind of impact has cartooning had on your life and could you ever see yourself not doing it?
I dread the day I run out of material but luckily my son doesn’t seem to be running out of funny comments. I also have a huge backlog of notes so I can probably keep doing this till he’s 30. So no, I can’t see myself not doing this. It is the thing that keeps me sane after a long day in the office. It gives me a huge sense of achievement and it makes me feel closer to my son.
Question 15: Do you have any advice for the Trolls out there who harass content creators? (no need to keep this answer clean.)
I haven’t been exposed to any yet but I don’t get them. I really don’t understand what they get out of harassing people online. They should just get a life and spend the energy on something more worthwhile. Like move to a desert island.
Question 16: Do you set yourself any deadlines or other tricks to keep yourself motivated?
I have enough deadlines at work so I don’t want any of that business when I do the fun stuff (i.e. comics). I try and draw at least two comics a week and keep a buffer of at least 3 comics but other than that I don’t have deadlines.
Question 17: Apart from root beer, what is your favorite drink?
I love coffee. I also like beer so if any of you are ever in London I’d love to buy you a drink
Question 18: Are you already a member of the root beer party and if not, what is the matter with you?
I am now. I think? Sorry.
Question 19: What is the most challenging aspect of cartooning for you?
To get what’s in my head down on paper. I’m still not able to make my characters look the same from panel to panel. I’d be great to do that one day but it’s not the end of the world.. I also wish I had more time to read all my favorite webcomics and interact with all the great creators.
Question 20: What are your future plans involving web comics or anything else going on in your life?
I’d love to put a book together one day. That would be fun. I also thought I’d be fun to start an Etsy account and make greeting cards. Finally, the children’s charity I work for has started to ask me for illustrations, which is great. So hopefully I will do more of that soon. However, most importantly I hope I can keep improving my illustrations and keep having fun while I do it. That’s all that really matters.
And there you have it True Believers, what really divides us as a world? Not enough root beer. If everyone would sit down over a mug of root beer and talk it out, all the world’s problems would be solved. I guess we’ll have to wait until Peter’s son becomes a world leader to sort it all out, but until then just be happy you can take time out of the day for a nice cold root beer.
We welcome peter into the Root Beer Party and raise our frosted mugs in his honor, may the UK finally realize what they are missing and begin brewing their own root beer for all to enjoy. Until next time True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.