This is the first installment of 20 questions with Web Comic Creators. In these posts we ask 20 questions to all the great web comic artists out there to tell us about their web comic and the process they use to create it. it is only fitting that our first guest is Kim Belding, Co- founder of the Root Beer Party and life long cartoonist. you can read his comic here: http://www.picpak.net/
Question 1: What got you started in doing a comic series?
I’ve literally been drawing comics for as long as I remember. I started out drawing characters like Snoopy and Garfield, and naturally created my own comic from there. I was 5 when I created him, so that’s why the basic idea of the strip seems so surreal. 😀 But I like the surrealism and I try to keep it in there.
Question 2: Who was you greatest influence?
Charles Schulz. 50 years of doing a comic on his own and not a single fart joke. That deserves respect.
Question 3: What is your favorite root beer and why?
I like A&W because it’s not too creamy and not too sweet. It’s the perfect middle!
Question 4: What do you hope to accomplish with your comic?
I want a float in the St. Macy’s Day Parade. But seriously, I just want it to be well known enough that more people outside of my family and some followers on Twitter will recognize it.
Question 5: Do you have any other artistic interests outside of comics?
I run an online radio station, I doubt many webcomic artists can say that. 😛 I used to make mashups, but when Soundcloud deleted my account I sort of lost interest. ( http://qcindie.com )
Question 6: Do you see yourself as a professional cartoonist, or is this just something you do for yourself?
People continually ask me for artistic advice, so in a way it feels like I “made it”. But at the same time, I write the strip for me and solely me. If I don’t like it, who will?
Question 7: What type of subject or humor do you consider out of bounds for your strips and why?
Anything NSFW, unless it’s just subtle enough to pass my personal censors. 😛 And fart jokes. I’ll only do them in an ironic setting. Otherwise, I refuse!
Question 8: What kind of equipment or style of drawing do you use?
After years of refusing to go digital, I use a Surface Pro 2 with the Frenden brush set. I don’t think I could go back.
Question 9: what sort of training or academic program did you pursue to become a cartoonist?
I took 3 years animation college and produced my short film “Picpak Dog in: Feelin’ Groovy”. I don’t think I can ever listen to Harpers Bizarre again. XD ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXiydhSemwk )
Question 10: What has been the highlight of your cartooning career?
Getting published in a newspaper! That was a huge feat in my books. I also came in second in the YBEX Youth Business awards…what can I say, I started early. 😛
Question 11: What has been the lowest point in your cartooning career?
A lot of my early work just stole jokes from other strips. I really regret that. Be original — even if it sucks!
Question 12: Are collections of your work available beyond the web? If So where?
They’re framed at the Louvre. But seriously, a local comics magazine has published my strips. It’s something I should look more into. ( Picpak Dog Volume 1 Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Picpak-Dog-Collection-Kim-Belding/dp/1453840613/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1443218206&sr=8-1&keywords=kim+belding ) Picpak Dog Volume 2 Amazon ( http://www.amazon.com/Picpak-Dog-Collection-Kim-Belding/dp/1475264739/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1443218206&sr=8-2&keywords=kim+belding )
Question 13: Are there any other web comic artists that you really admire?
Jon Esparza is an indispensable wealth to the webcomics community. We all can’t owe him enough. Leroy Brown (no really, that’s his name) got me into the papers, so a huge thank you to him. And thanks for Frank Jordan for sending me pics of my artwork at a museum just outside San Diego Comic-Con!
Question 14: What kind of impact has cartooning had on your life and could you ever see yourself not doing it?
I’ve met some amazing people and received some amazing fan art over the years. At this point I’ve done it for so long I don’t know how to not make comics. I actually get depressed if I haven’t made one in a while!
Question 15: Do you have any advice for the Trolls out there who harass content creators? (no need to keep this answer clean.)
Critique is one thing, harassment is another. And webcomic creators have every right to ban you/report you/whatever. If the situation still continues, contact authorities. They might not even take you seriously, but at least you’re taking action.
Question 16: Do you set yourself any deadlines or other tricks to keep yourself motivated?
That comic goes up Monday, Wednesday, and Friday no matter what, except for earlier this week when it didn’t. XD I still had the comic prepared though! I just forgot to put it up!
Question 17: Apart from root beer, what is your favorite drink?
Can’t go wrong with chocolate milk.
Question 18: Are you already a member of the root beer party and if not, what is the matter with you?
Some people have *GASP* actually requested not to be part of the root beer party. It’s the world’s most pressing issue! We need to provide adequate root beer for all!
Question 19: What is the most challenging aspect of cartooning for you?
I suck at promoting the comic publically instead of online, I admit it. And I hate inking speech balloons. You gotta draw one big confident line or it just looks like a mess!
Question 20: What are your future plans involving web comics or anything else going on in your life?
Picpak Dog plans on dying his hair blonde to compete against Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump. Right now the plans are just to keep drawing for my readers/Patrons and promoting my radio station. Neither are going away any time soon! Kim Belding Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/picpak?ty=h
Thanks for the interview, Chris. I really appreciate it.
And there you have it true believers, the first post of 20 questions on the Root Beer Party Site. Truly a monumental occasion. Look forward to more interviews with web comic creators and more hijinks from the Root Beer Party. Until next time, may your mug always be frosted and your Root Beer always foamy.