We are back once again True Believers with our world famous interview segment 20 Questions. (Just when you thought it was safe to go back online.) This time we bring you a new member of the Root Beer Party, Chris Grabowski from Poorly Drawn Thoughts, you can check out his site here: http://www.poorlydrawnthoughts.com/
We give a special shout out to Fellow Root Beer Party Alum James Boyd of Sunny Side Up for inviting Chris to the party. But enough about us let’s meet the man himself:
Question 1: What got you started in doing a comic series?
I was sitting in a meeting one day at my day job and doodling on my notes. A friend and coworker saw what I was doing and said “Hey, those are pretty funny. You should do a webcomic.” So, without doing any research on the subject what so ever, I started drawing comic strips. After I felt I had something I liked I started publishing them.
Question 2: Who was you greatest influence?
Probably R. Crumb. He has this really incredible mix of humor, eroticism and social commentary that I have never seen anywhere else. He’s pretty incredible.
Question 3: What is your favorite root beer and why?
I’m actually not much of a soda drinker. I mainly just stick to water and coffee. If I had to pick I would say Mug because I like the dog on the label.
Question 4: What do you hope to accomplish with your comic?
I don’t know. Maybe earn some money off of it? I’m primarily a hobbyist when it comes to comics so I never really thought about things I could accomplish by doing this.
Question 5: Do you have any other artistic interests outside of comics?
I’m actually a pretty skilled guitar/bass player. I’ve been playing for a little over fifteen years, now.
Question 6: Do you see yourself as a professional cartoonist, or is this just something you do for yourself?
This is definitely something I just do for myself.
Question 7: What type of subject or humor do you consider out of bounds for your strips and why?
I don’t care for anything that is too violent. Cartoony violence (like punching someone with your beard) is one thing, but nothing too realistic. Especially sexual violence. There’s just not anything funny or cool about that. I also don’t care for most racial humor. We’re in a position in our country where we need to take race relations seriously and I don’t feel like that sort of humor is really helping anything. Good humor to me is based on shared experiences and unfortunately a lot of experiences in regards to race are not shared between races and making jokes about these sorts of things lately seems like it’s doing more harm than good.
Question 8: What kind of equipment or style of drawing do you use?
I use an Intuos 2.0 drawpad/stylus by Wacom. Also my stuff is made using Clip Studio Paint Pro Edition. Before that I was using a Nintendo 3DS and a copy of Comic Workshop. As for style, I would say super minimalist. Also, I drew (ha, see what I did there) a lot of inspiration from old RPG style video games. I always liked there cut scenes.
Question 9: what sort of training or academic program did you pursue to become a cartoonist?
I took a couple of drawing classes in college but that is pretty much it.
Question 10: What has been the highlight of your cartooning career?
I’ve gotten to know a lot of really great people because of cartooning and lately I’ve been using my comics to help raise money for Give Kids the World (go to GKTW.org for more information about them. They are an incredible organization). So if anything has been a highlight it is definitely the new friends and the charity work.
(Here is the link: http://gktw.org/ )
Question 11: What has been the lowest point in your cartooning career?
This is a real cathartic experience for me so low points tend to be things like, ‘I don’t feel like I really got my point across with a comic,’ or if I look back at one and think ‘Wow I really could have done that better.’
Question 12: Are collections of your work available beyond the web? If So where?
Nope. I’ve been putting together a photo album of all my stuff but I haven’t really put much thought towards a book or anything.
Question 13: Are there any other web comic artists that you really admire?
James Boyd from “Sunny Side Up” has been really cool. Also Dave Rine from “Punks Against Punks” and Matthew Mewhorter from “Cancer Owl.” All three of those are all really incredible comics.
Question 14: What kind of impact has cartooning had on your life and could you ever see yourself not doing it?
It has definitely had a positive impact on me. Like I said earlier, this has been a cathartic experience and it really gives me a chance to work out those negative emotions (fear, anxiety, anger, etc.). I can definitely see myself keeping this up for the foreseeable future.
Question 15: Do you have any advice for the Trolls out there who harass content creators? (no need to keep this answer clean.)
People are just people. Sometimes people are awesome and encouraging and sometimes they’re just dicks. Just ignore them.
Question 16: Do you set yourself any deadlines or other tricks to keep yourself motivated?
I have a self-imposed deadline of two comics by every Monday. Also I tend to write down ideas I have throughout the day and that actually keeps me motivated because there is always something to draw about.
Question 17: Apart from root beer, what is your favorite drink?
Coffee. Black, dark roast coffee.
Question 18: Are you already a member of the root beer party and if not, what is the matter with you?
No. I just found out about you guys. I’m not very internet savvy and I tend to not spend a lot of time online.
Question 19: What is the most challenging aspect of cartooning for you?
Drawing things I’ve never drawn before. I’m the kind of person who really loves to be challenged, so I love to try and put things in to my comics that I just couldn’t before.
Question 20: What are your future plans involving web comics or anything else going on in your life?
I have a couple of projects I’m working on that I can’t really say much about. I don’t want to be in a position where I tell you I’m doing something and year’s later people are like ‘Whatever happened to that thing you talked about?’ And I’m like ‘Well I guess it fell through.’ Although I am drawing informative comics about animals for the kids at my son’s preschool. I keep them black and white so the kids can color them. You can find them on my Facebook (Facebook.com/PoorlyDrawnThoughts) and Twitter (Twitter.com/PoorlyDrawnGuy) pages.
And there you have it True Believers, Straight from the man himself, welcome to the party Chris. So we offer up a toast of Mug root beer (yes, the one with the dog on the label.) to chris Grabowski. Check out his web page for more great comics as well as the Give Kids the World project. And as always True Believers, until next time, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.