20 Questions with Web Comic Artists: James Boyd of Sunny Side Up

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We are back by popular demand with another episode of 20 questions.  The people have been going wild over this segment and we here at the Root Beer Party always give the True Believers what they want.  Today we have James Boyd of Sunny Side Up.  You can check out his world renowned web series here: http://www.boydcomics.com/home.html

I first spotted Sunny Side Up on twitter a few months ago, and since then, Sunny has been a mainstay of my comic reading routine.  Can you imagine putting out a strip everyday?  That is practically unheard of in web comics today.  James keeps up this professional pace with unerring consistency and delivers his strip with the regularity of a syndicated superstar.  Be sure to check out his strip and add it to your daily favorites so you can always start your morning Sunny Side Up.

Now on with the interview:

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Question 1: What got you started in doing a comic series?
I am graduate student in Astrophysics so I keep a whiteboard on the wall in my dining room. On Easter 2015 I drew an Alien Egg hunting humans on it as a joke for my son. The next day I drew another one and started taking pictures of them. I would draw three or four a day and post them to facebook. My wife decided to make a facebook page for them and called it Sunny Side Up. I eventually figured out that I could load them into MSPaint and clean them up a bit. Now I just draw in MSPaint which is probably the worst drawing software but its free. A couple of months later I found out about tapastic and started posting the colored comics there. I decided to hold myself to a schedule of at least creating one a day and so far I’ve been able to manage that. I’m a few comics away from 365. I never would have believed I would eventually have enough to post a new comic every day for a year and I’m pretty proud to have created that many.
Question 2: Who was your greatest influence?
I am a huge fan of Get Fuzzy. I think people forget what a great strip Darby Conley has made. It’s sweet and funny and occasionally crazy. The influence of Pearls Before Swine (another favorite of mine) shows up all over the place. Sometimes I pull Pastis’ trick of breaking the fourth wall and pretending Sunny and his friends actually just work as characters in a comic and their real personalities are a bit different from what the reader sees most of the time. I just don’t want to ever fall into a rut or have Sunny be pigeon-holed into one type of comic.
Question 3: What is your favorite root beer and why?
I drink A&W but I like all root beer.
Question 4: What do you hope to accomplish with your comic?
I just want to make myself laugh. I hope to one day have the money to get quality books made but for now I am happy they are online. If someone wants to read them they can find them. Would I love to be syndicated? Yes absolutely, but I’m not sure I want everything that comes with that these days. I don’t want to sell at conventions or have to manage book sales and plushy sales. My ideal situation would be to just make comics and be able to support myself doing that.

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Question 5: Do you have any other artistic interests outside of comics?
A long time ago I sang for two different punk bands. I also have a lot of bad poetry I’ve written over the years. I’ve thought about trying to do music again. I have also considered writing again – I feel like I’m having just a long period of writer’s block but it looks like I am probably done as a writer. I am a voracious reader. I also get bored easily. When I find new interesting things I pour all my energy into them until I run out of steam and then I move onto something else. I think I may want to paint one day.
Question 6: Do you see yourself as a professional cartoonist, or is this just something you do for yourself?
I am a total amateur but I try to hold myself to certain professional standards. I make myself produce comics especially on days when I don’t feel funny. I make myself produce at least seven new comics a week that feature jokes I actually believe are funny. If I had the money I would buy the best drawing tools or use real pens and ink instead of digital tools.
Question 7: What type of subject or humor do you consider out of bounds for your strips and why?
I hate jokes where the punchline is a horrible stereotype or where the joke is just some vulgar phrase. If your punchline is ‘ha ha this character is homosexual’ I’m probably not reading your comic very often. I try not to use profanity although it is occasionally useful.

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Question 8: What kind of equipment or style of drawing do you use?
I draw in MSPaint on a Dell Laptop using the finger cursor. It is quite possibly the worst tool in the world for making comics, but it has been an advantage in that I really have to figure out how to do things in it. For example, when I draw water I really want to blend a lot of blues together to get a nice effect. Paint has a gradient button but it doesn’t blend particularly well. I sometimes look at Art books and try and figure out how they paint things and see if I can apply that in paint in some form or another. The biggest problem is time. I think I could draw so much faster with good software. I spend half my time now trying to fix shaky lines or bad effects. However, Paint is free and you can’t beat free.
Question 9: what sort of training or academic program did you pursue to become a cartoonist?
I was the art editor of my school paper in high school for a year. I also have taken a couple of art history courses through-out my education. I’ve never taken a drawing or painting class.
Question 10: What has been the highlight of your cartooning career?
Meeting so many wonderful people. I have a lot of friends I would never have had if I didn’t make my own comic.
Question 11: What has been the lowest point in your cartooning career?
The weeks where I feel like I’m unfunny and untalented. Those weeks are awful. But every time I have been really really depressed and stuck for fresh ideas has preceeded a few weeks of really great inspiration where it feels like I have more ideas than time.
Question 12: Are collections of your work available beyond the web? If So where?
I printed two hardbound copies of all my strips at Christmas. My mom got one and I have the other one. My first collection is at the printer right now. Its actually been there for a few weeks because there have been some paper issues and technical issues. I don’t know how many copies are being printed or if I will sell them. I will probably just send them to other cartoonists that request them. I wanted to have something to show people if they wanted to help me publish my work.
Question 13: Are there any other web comic artists that you really admire?
Neil Kohney who does the Other End. That comic is my favorite right now. I wish I could steal all of Joe Flander’s Ninja and Pirate ideas. Brad Perri of Pirate Mike and Dana Atnip’s Galactic Dragon’s both should be in the Sunday Paper (well Brad actually is, not sure about Dana.) There are really too many to list. Plus I love all my comic friends strips. Way too many…
Question 14: What kind of impact has cartooning had on your life and could you ever see yourself not doing it?
Cartooning has allowed me to meet and interact with people I never thought I would. I had boxers and stand-up comedians let me know that they like Sunny. One of the actresses who played a dancing slave girl on Star Trek the Next Generation commented on Sunny. That’s just really cool to me. Plus I have been able to encourage and support other comic people as a fellow creator. We all need a kind word every now and then and its nice to be able to give that sometimes.
Question 15: Do you have any advice for the Trolls out there who harass content creators? (no need to keep this answer clean.)
I’m not sure how I want to answer this question. I guess for every wonderful encouraging person out there in social media there is also someone who wants to show the world that they are a cruel and worthless ass-hat.
Question 16: Do you set yourself any deadlines or other tricks to keep yourself motivated?
I make comics everyday if possible. Once they are done they are posted and I move on. Some people like to keep a bank of comics and post on a regular schedule which is probably the way a successful and professional cartoonist would do it but I am too scared that if I had a buffer and didn’t have to make new cartoons for a week of two – I would end up never making them again out of laziness. I have to feel the pressure of the next cartoon at all times.
Question 17: Apart from root beer, what is your favorite drink?
Coffee. I drink way too much and its not even real coffee. I drink the General Mills French Vanilla instant stuff. I think I keep them in business.
Question 18: Are you already a member of the root beer party and if not, what is the matter with you?
I don’t even know what the Root Beer Party is but it sounds interesting.
Question 19: What is the most challenging aspect of cartooning for you?
I tend to imagine these really complex jokes and then realize I can’t draw that. For instance, I would love to draw Sunny as King Kong clinging to the Empire State building but then the rational part of me says ‘You can’t pull that off.’ So I have to think of some lazy or smaller scale way to show what I want to draw. Maybe I just need to become a better illustrator.
Question 20: What are your future plans involving web comics or anything else going on in your life?
Well I just finished my first year of graduate school and it was a challenge. The plan right now is make comics everyday, be the best possible dad I can be for my kid, get better at grad school. By this time next year I expect things will be unexpectedly different, hopefully in a good way.

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So there you have it True Believers, The one and only James Boyd of Sunny Side Up.  When we, here at the Root Beer Party, want to know about comics, we go right to source, to the people who make them.  Until next time True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.

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20 Questions with Comic Artists: Vince Dorse

 

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We are back once again True Believers with an exclusive interview with the people who make it all happen.  It time for another segment of our popular series of 20 questions with comic creators.  Today we have Vince Dorse with us from The Untold Tales of Bigfoot which you can see on his site here:  https://untoldtalesofbigfoot.com/

Lets start at the beginning:

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Question 1: What got you started in doing a comic series?

Some illustrator friends were making comics – both as assignments and personal projects – and it looked like a lot of fun. Reading their comics online, I stumbled onto more. And it started to seem like a viable, creative outlet I could explore. I figured doing a weekly comic would challenge me to hit deadlines, improve my drawing and storytelling chops, and give me a nice opportunity to play around with some stories I had gathering dust in my brainpan. I was right about all of that, which is rare.

Question 2: Who was you greatest influence?

I have tons of artistic influences. Literal tons of illustrators and cartoonists whose work amazes me. Too many to list. But if I had to pick my greatest influence, I’d probably have to say my dad, who wasn’t a professional artist. He was a businessman – suit, tie, long commute, the works. But he liked to draw, and he loved to tell stories. He always made art and storytelling fun for me. And I will always treasure the fact that he was cool with my decision to become an artist and not a traditional businessman. The commute would’ve killed me.

Question 3: What is your favorite root beer and why?

This is gonna’ come as a shocker….but I don’t drink root beer. But – don’t worry, I’m pulling up out of this nosedive – a friend left a six-pack of Virgil’s Micro-Brewed Root Beer in my fridge earlier this year. One hot Saturday after mowing the lawn I broke into it and thought, yeah…this is not bad at all.

Question 4: What do you hope to accomplish with your comic?

From a creator’s standpoint, I just wanna tell some stories, get people to smile or cry, maybe get their hearts beating a little faster for a while. Another goal is to get the first book (about 139-pages of story) printed. And that’s why I’m running a Kickstarter (it launched May 24th, runs until June 23rd ) But long-term, business-wise? I’ve got at least one more Untold Tales of Bigfoot book in me. And if I had unlimited time, resources and connections? I think Bigfoot and Scout would make a great animated cartoon.

Question 5: Do you have any other artistic interests outside of comics?

I think most of my interests are kind of artsy. I’m a freelance illustrator when I’m not making comics, and I like to write and play music when I’m not drawing. I’m a sucker for live theatre, too. And all that balances out nicely with my utter lack of knowledge about sports, cars, or starting a barbecue grill. So yeah, mostly art. Nothing too practical.

Question 6: Do you see yourself as a professional cartoonist, or is this just something you do for yourself?

Yeah, definitely a professional cartoonist, professional illustrator. Semi-pro afternoon napper, but I feel like I could go pro with just a little more practice.

Question 7: What type of subject or humor do you consider out of bounds for your strips and why?

Plenty of adults read and enjoy my comic, but it’s also designed to be an all-ages, family-friendly story. So I stay away from anything too risque – no nudity, no swearing. I use creative replacements for expletives the same way I do in real life. So in a tight situation you may hear Scout shouting “FUDGEPOPS!” or “CRUMBCAKES!” I say that stuff all the time and it works just as well as the four-letter alternative. So, yeah, I try to keep things pretty clean. I also don’t rely on bathroom humor. I know people get a giggle out of it, and that’s cool. It’s just not my style. Oh, but when I think of all the money I’d be rolling in if I just wrote a fart joke now and then…

Question 8: What kind of equipment or style of drawing do you use?

I sketch most things out on paper. Character studies, page layouts, dialogue – that stuff’s just more fun on paper. Then I scan it, arrange it and do the ink and colors in the computer. For process/equipment geeks….I use an old WACOM tablet, nothing fancy. The inks for Book One were done in Corel Painter, if you can believe that, and the colors in Photoshop.

Question 9: what sort of training or academic program did you pursue to become a cartoonist?

I studied art and graphic design in college but, truthfully, most of my cartooning training came from poring through art & design books, comics, magazines and cartoons. And being part of the National Cartoonists Society and Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators, I have access to some of the most talented, generous illustrators and cartoonists anywhere. Communities like that can be really instrumental in helping you challenge yourself and grow as an artist. I learn something new from people like that every day.

Question 10: What has been the highlight of your cartooning career?

A lot of great stuff has happened since I started the comic! I made a lot of new friends, learned a lot about making comics, expanded my knowledge of bigfoot… But I guess one of my favorite highlights was Untold Tales of Bigfoot being nominated for two Reubens from the NCS and winning one in 2012. And it’s not so much about the award, but just getting to meet all those people whose work I’d admired for years, and having them give me that nod of approval for my work. It’s gratifying. It’s a great feeling when the people whose work you respect also respect your work in return.

Question 11: What has been the lowest point in your cartooning career?

I’ll tell you what I thought was the low point: I had three publishing companies express interest in Untold Tales of Bigfoot. All of them said they enjoyed the story and loved the art. And for a few nail-biting months I waited for pitch meeting decisions on the edge of my seat. In the end, they all took a pass. They were all very gracious about it, but at that point, I was really disappointed in how things had turned out. But working on the print version myself, at my own pace, with no one else’s interference, turned me around on the whole experience. I’m actually okay with it now, and really excited about keeping complete control over the book and my characters. In retrospect, it almost feels wrong handing the reigns over to anyone else.

Question 12: Are collections of your work available beyond the web? If So where?

Not much at all. Untold Tales of Bigfoot was my first big step (HA!) into making sequential art. And I’m putting all of my energy into that right now. I do have some other things I’ve done online that I’m considering publishing myself. Seems like most of the comics I read lately are self-published work from Kickstarters and independent creators. So, again, it’s really starting to seem like that is a viable, creative outlet.

Question 13: Are there any other web comic artists that you really admire?

I admire anybody who’s willing to put in the time and effort to put something out there for people to enjoy. It’s incredibly generous, isn’t it? I follow hundreds of people online that make that commitment every day. And they inspire me. Every one of them. With gag cartoonists, I’m amazed at their ability to come up with something fresh everyday. I’m bound to leave someone out here – Mark Stokes, Sarah Andersen, Nick Seluk, Crispin Wood, Wayno…you know who always gets me laughing is Jeremy Kaye and LunarBaboon (does that guy have another name?), Jon Rosenberg (another Reuben winner) is unflinching with his political satire. And I admire the artistry and storytelling of the long-form webcomics. Pat Lewis inspired me to work on my own comic. Ryan Fisher, Adrian Ropp, Rich Clabaugh, —oh, Eddie Pittman knocks it out of the park, Michael Regina, Tom Dell’Aringa, Sean O’Neil…so many good stories…I enjoy the stuff Natasha Dancy’s doing, and Madeleine Holly-Rosing & Emily Hu are a great team, as are Jocelyn Gajeway and Drew Rausch. So many. Too many to remember. And every week someone tips me off to something new that just blows me away.

Question 14: What kind of impact has cartooning had on your life and could you ever see yourself not doing it?

Cartooning is the majority of what I do now, in my regular illustration jobs and in my personal projects. I think it’s just part of who I am so, yeah, even stranded on a desert island I’d probably end up drawing cartoons in the sand. And even that reference, actually, the desert island – classic panel gag setup.

Question 15: Do you have any advice for the Trolls out there who harass content creators? (no need to keep this answer clean.)

That question caught me off guard. I guess that happens, though I haven’t seen much of it myself. I don’t have “advice” for anyone. But I try to live my life in a positive way. I don’t dwell on the negative. I think, if you do, it’ll suck you right down into the pit. So, I don’t know, I guess if you want advice, that’d be it. Focus on the positive, don’t dwell on the negative. Or, better, turn a negative into a positive. That should be the goal. Not taking pot-shots at people who are just doing their best to entertain.

Question 16: Do you set yourself any deadlines or other tricks to keep yourself motivated?

Deadlines are just part of the job for me. A great trick I like to use is remembering that if I don’t make the deadline, I can’t afford dinner next week.

Question 17: Apart from root beer, what is your favorite drink?

I drink a lot of tea. Hot or cold. I know it doesn’t have the glitz and glamor of root beer, but it gets me through the day.

Question 18: Are you already a member of the root beer party and if not, what is the matter with you?

As long as the root beer party is a force for good and doesn’t oppress any other beverage-based political group, then it sounds a-ok to me. And besides, I’ve seen your Twitter banner and it features a bunch of great webcomic characters laughing and enjoying a frosty root beer. I think I can get behind something like that.

Question 19: What is the most challenging aspect of cartooning for you?

Trying to get all my ideas down on paper in the time allotted. I have a stack of ideas for horror shorts, gags, other full-length stories…but you have to squeeze those projects in between the paying illustration jobs. And it seems lately that “down time” isn’t all that common.

Question 20: What are your future plans involving web comics or anything else going on in your life?

If the Kickstarter hits its goal, I’ll have a few truckloads of work to complete in order to deliver all the rewards (many of the rewards offer sketches in the book, character commissions, backer caricatures where they’re in the woods with Bigfoot….it’s nuts!). But once I get my feet on solid ground with that stuff, I absolutely plan on posting more Bigfoot and Scout online. I may start with shorts while I work on the longer story of Book Two offline. But yeah, those two have made it a lot of fun for me, so I’m not planning on abandoning them in the woods anytime soon.

You can check out Vince’s kickstarter campaign here and help support indie comic creators as well as get all kinds of cool swag.  Think of it as if you were one of the people who helped Walt Disney get started.  One day you might get a lifetime pass to Dorse World and get to ride the Bigfoot ride without having to wait in line.  That’s the kind of swag were talking about here. 

Kickstarter URL: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/vincedorse/untold-tales-of-bigfoot-graphic-novel

So there you have it True Believers, you demand it and we deliver, another exciting interview with the men and women who create all the comics we love.  So until next time True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy. 

Comic Collection Review: There’s Corpses Everywhere by Mark Tatulli

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There’s Corpses Everywhere is a collection of the comic strip Lio by Mark Tatulli from 2010.  Lio is one of the few major comic strips still publishing book collections from the newspapers.  It came about in the last great boom of newspaper comics around 2000, when the end of Peanuts signified the end of the newspaper comic era.

Tatulli is a comic strip artist and writer with a great love of comic strips in general.  There are many references to other comic strips in his gags.  Even the cover of the book is a play on the cover from the Calvin and Hobbes collection “There’s Treasure Everywhere.”

I like to characterize Lio as sort of Dennis the Menace meets the Addams Family.  Lio has a very dark sort of innocence to him and he is a great defender of animals as well as the underdogs who are tormented by bullies.  Tatulli really enjoys playing with the concept of the forth wall and letting you know that this is a comic strip in his sort of combined universe theme of newspaper comic characters which appear in the strip.  Everyone from Calvin, to Alley Oop to Mark Trail make appearances in the strip.

There is a sort of profane justice which permeates the strip in much the same way as the old EC comics such as Tales from the Crypt always had a moral note to them.  Lio is always defending the innocent from the unjust slings and arrows of life.  He is sometimes weird and sometimes silly, but he is always funny.

You can find Lio collections available just about anywhere and even pick them up cheap from used book dealers on Amazon Here:  http://www.amazon.com/Theres-Corpses-Everywhere-Another-Collection/dp/0740797336?ie=UTF8&keywords=lio&qid=1463422305&ref_=sr_1_5&sr=8-5

Lio is one of the few strips which makes me think there may still be hope for the old newspaper comic format.  Just as the book is coming back after the e-reader drove the market for awhile, I am hoping that comic collections in book formats will also return and we can continue to enjoy comics in their original format.  Until next time True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.

 

 

Comic Collection Review: Alley Oop by V.T. Hamlin The Complete Sundays Vol. 1 (1934-1936)

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This is the first of the collections of Alley Oop Sunday strips put out by Dark Horse Comics.  This is a great oversized book published in the same size format as the original strips from the Sunday newspapers of 1934.  It can be a little hard to read since it is so large, but it is well worth the awkwardness to see the comics in all their original glory.

You can find this collection and sequel on Amazon Here: http://www.amazon.com/Alley-Oop-Complete-Sundays-1934-1936/dp/1616553359?ie=UTF8&keywords=alley%20oop&qid=1463323493&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

This volume takes place in the prehistoric land of Moo where Alley Oop and his business partner Fozzy run a shop selling everything the modern caveman needs.   They run in stocks of axes as well as lizard skins and dinosaur meat.  The character of Fozzy always speaks in rhymes, which make for an interesting play on words at times.  They are also accompanied by Dinny the Dinosaur which is a friendly Dinosaur which Alley Oop has adopted as a pet which helps them hunt and travel.

There is also a special feature to the strip called Dinny’s Family Album which features a new dinosaur every week, telling you about the latest finds as well as everything they knew about the dinosaur back in the 30’s.  Some of the information is a bit dated obviously and a few of the dinosaurs mentioned may never have actually existed, but this was cutting edge science at the time it was written and the dinosaurs are drawn in the same style as the rest of the strip.

The art and the color of the strip is reproduced beautifully and we can really see the details of V.T. Hamlin’s style.  It is indeed a rare treat to see comic art so loving presented in it’s original format.  Most comic collections shrink everything down and there were even the awful collections from the 1970’s which relied on Xeroxed copies which were nearly impossible to read.

The collection does cost almost $50.00 and runs $75.00 retail, but if you are a fan of Alley Oop and V.T. Hamlin, than it is well worth the investment.  I highly recommend this collection as it is the best collection of Alley Oop so far as quality goes.  There is a years worth of daily’s  from the Library of American Comics series which is nice as well, but those are the black and white comics and only cover the year 1939.  It is the only other really good collection out there.

There is also a Volume 2 to this collection which covers the years 1937-1939 and hopefully Dark Horse will continue publishing the rest.  So until next time True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.  Until we meet again here is a classic video of Alley Oop by the Hollywood Argyles:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz6IpmmYSXA

 

Comic Collection Review: Drabblations by Kevin Fagan

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Drabblations is a collection of the drabble comic strip from 19998-1999.  It is far from the first drabble collection, but as the market for newspaper comic strips shrinks, so does the likelihood of new collections being published.

drabble is the quintessential family strip with a twist.  The main character ralph began the strip as a professional wrestler back in 1979 before becoming a mall cop, a security agent for a retirement community and finally a TSA screener, where we find him today.

In this collection he is still the in the security for a retirement community stage.  It is interesting how the character in drabble has changed over the years.  while most comic characters fall back on the formulaic tripe which they punch out year after year until the comic becomes a parody of itself, drabble has changed it’s focus a few times over the years and kept itself fresh.

Maybe this is why drabble has always been considered one of the smaller comic strips or a mid-card performer as he would be called in wrestling circles.  drabble is one of the comics which only appears in newspapers with a larger, more inclusive comic section, which is really difficult to find these days.  You will have to search around to find Drabble in a newspaper these days.

You can find him over on G0-comics where he is published daily, so you can read him as a web comic and collect the books as a way of helping Kevin keep the lights on.  http://www.gocomics.com/drabble

drabble is a great comic and well worth the effort to find.  It is old school enough to appeal to the classic comic lover as well as current enough to engage the new comic fans haunting the web.  If given a chance, I think drabble is one of the few newspaper comics poised to make the leap from newspapers to the web and still finding success.  It hasn’t gotten the moth ball smell that most of the old zombie comics have now, where they ceased being relevant decades ago and hang around in newspapers like aging rock stars hang around classic rock stations, for those who are afraid of anything outside their comfort zone.

The decline of the newspaper comic is a topic for another time, but drabble will hopefully be around for a long time.  So check out this collection for yourself, or one of the many others.  Drabble has a 20 year history you need to catch up on so don’t be afraid to check out the archives.  Until next time True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.

Comic Collection Review: Von Herling, Vampire Hunter by Max West

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Von Herling, Vampire Hunter is a change from Max west’s usual work in Sunnyville Stories.  In this collection Max uses his stylistic artwork to bring us a gothic tale of horror in the vein of Dracula.  You can find it on Amazon Here: http://www.amazon.com/Von-Herling-Vampire-Hunter-West/dp/0989069613

Max changes up his usual style with more of a classic noir style of art, bring the shades and stark black and white panels to mirror the classic black and white style of the Universal Monster Films.  The story begins with a group of kids taking about the urban legend of the towns local haunted house, then a stranger shows up.  He is none other than Von Herling.

The plot follows the classic vampire story but you can also see the influence of manga storylines here as well.  Max is sort of tipping his hat to the entire gothic vampire genre, there are no shimmering vampire teen heartthrobs here, thank God.  the story stays true to it’s gothic roots and focuses again on the characters rather than on revamping the vampire mythos.

You may think from the similar character design that Von Herling is in the same universe as Sunnyville Stories, but according to the interviews with max on this site, they are separate, although there is a sequel to Von Herling in the works.

It would be interesting to see a crossover, as Sunnyville would be the last place a vampire would want to visit, and he could also pay homage to Sunnydale from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer mythos, but I’m not sure pop culture would be a good mix with the classic gothic style of this story.

If you like the old gothic vampire stories by Sheridan Le Fanu, F.G. Loring, Algernon Blackwood or even Bram Stoker, then you will find this a welcome addition to your collection.  Until next time True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.

Comic Collection Review: Red’s Planet by Eddie Pittman

 

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This is the first collection of Red’s Planet by Eddie Pittman, Red’s Planet started out as a web comic, which is where I first took notice of it.  The amazing artwork and imagination of the work really stood out and a few years later, Eddie had signed a publishing deal and now we have Red’s Planet as a hardbound graphic novel.

this is really the dream of any web comic artist out there, they put their work out there and it gets noticed and then along comes a publisher and the next thing you know, you are hitting the big time.  I am sure there was a lot more to it than that, but you will have to talk to Eddie to get the details.

Needless to say, Eddie has hit the big time and Red’s Planet will be the first of many great graphic novels from him.  You can get it on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Reds-Planet-Book-Eddie-Pittman/dp/1419719076/

Red’s Planet revolves around the main character, an orphan who hates being called Red who runs away from her foster parents home, only to be picked up by the police (again!) and that is where the fun starts.  The police come across an alien spaceship which steals their car with Red inside.

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She is shuttled away to an intergalactic flea market where the car is to be sold, but the collector’s ship comes under attack.  It crashes on a distant remote planet and Red makes the most of a bad situation and begins to make the planet her home.

There are literally dozens of imaginative characters in this story which Red must deal with, as well as the weird encounters on the planet itself.  from the flower plants that walk and talk to a grizzled old caretaker who looks after the planet as a nature reserve.  There are a million ways in which Eddie can take this story, he sets up a great premise in this first volume.  There are several storylines put into motion here.  This is a series that will indeed be epic in scale.

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I highly recommend this volume for anyone looking for something different in the graphic novel market.  Red’s Planet could be the next Bone in popularity, so grab your copy now and begin enjoying the adventure before all the people grab them up like Harry Potter. I rated red’s Planet one of the best web comics out there several years ago and now it is one of the best graphic novels on the market, so check it out.

And as always True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.

#SaveTheEgg Part 4

The action is getting out of hand over at Bubblefox http://bubblefox.thecomicseries.com/comics/

Those weasels don’t stand much of a chance when the whole crazy crew gets together.  They seem to be holding their own against the army of weasels set on eating the egg.  In case you haven’t been following the #SaveTheEgg hashtag on twitter, Galactic Dragons added some fan art to the mix:

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You can check out the Galactic Dragons comic here: http://galacticdragons.com/

Lest we forget, our own Mr. Blob has been hard at work defending the egg himself, even alluding to being in the egg.  (SPOILER ALERT!!!!)  (No, not really) but Mr. Blob tries and just wants to make the world a happy place:

It was at this point that Jon told Mr. Blob that he would not be in the strip at all:

Mr. Blob was really upset, but Jon did say that coming soon, Mr. Blob will appear in a Bubblefox crossover series!!!!!

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Bubblefox: Civil War!  Go Team Mr. Blob!!!!

No, it will be something much better and more funny, updates will soon follow to let you know when you can see Mr. Blob make his webcomic debut.

We also have to call out a birthday for the Co-President of the Root Beer Party:  Jon Esparza

Mr. Blob and the Root Beer Party were first in line to extend our congratulations.

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And Finally, we can’t let it go unsaid:  Picpak Dog comics turned 15 years old this month.  http://www.picpak.net/

The Root Beer Party and especially Mr. Blob would like to say congratulations to Kim Belding on keeping the dream alive and bringing Picpak dog comics to the world.  Where would we be without you?  We wouldn’t have Mr. Blob for one, and what kind of world would that be?  So here’s some ideas for you Kim and we hope to see many more of the Picpak characters in the future (hint! hint!)

Until next time True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.

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Fan art for Zorphbert & Fred, one more web comic to retire too soon.

Root Beer Review: Pennsylvania Dutch Birch Beer

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DCF 1.0

This is a classic Root Beer, sorry, Birch Beer from the Mod-Atlantic region.  Growing up this one was ubiquitous, on the shelf at every store but now you have to search for it a little bit.  It is not as common as it once was and is not affiliated with the big soda distributors like Pepsi, Coke or Canada Dry.  It is relegated to the independent racks down at the bottom of the shelves, but it is well worth the search.

I think it more out of nostalgia that I really like this one.  Like I said, we always had it as kids, so it is what I remember most, but as far as root beers go, it is not really the best.  It has sort of an heavy artificial flavor and the essential oils linger way to long on the palette.  It is a passible root beer, but it will not win any Root Beer Party awards for best root beer, but if your like me and you remember this from your childhood, it comes packed with those intangible memories which elevate it to a whole other class.

I can only recommend this for the sake of novelty as a root beer, for those of you who really like trying out different root beers, this one will be a good addition to your collection and for those of you on the Mid-Atlantic, maybe it will bring back the great memories of summer days and ice cold Pennsylvania Dutch Birch Beer.  Until next time True Believers, may r mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.