We are back once again True Believers with the induction of yet another new member of the Root Beer Party. Yes, it’s Anthony Hunter of Silent Sillies. Wow, what a big announcement this is. One of the best web comics on the planet has stopped by the chat with us over root beer.
It has been a long time since we have seen a great pantomime strip. Not since Jon Esparza retired Mike & Mindy in fact. In the tradition of Henry or Spy vs. Spy the pantomime strip is a classic medium in comics and one of the hardest to do consistently. It demands amazing ability from the artist to convey in image rather than words the content of the strip.
It relies heavily on the use of slapstick comedy which is very difficult to draw without great ability on the part of the artist who must have a great knowledge of anatomy in order to exaggerate the illusion of movement in a strip.
Silent Sillies, which an be found here: http://www.silentsillies.com/ is drawn in the classic style of the cartoons of the silent era, right up to the advent of sound in Steamboat Willy by Walt Disney.
But let’s hear from the man himself and meet the genius behind one of the hottest comics on the web today:
Thank you so much for this amazing opportunity! I’m truly honored to be asked for an interview by Root Beer party. Learning you consist of so many wonderful web comic artists makes me so excited for this interview.
Question 1: What got you started in doing a comic series?
I use to work night audit and so I had a lot of free time to work on comic ideas.
Question 2: Who was your greatest influence?
With Silent Sillies being a classic cartoon comic I look to early animation for a lot of influence. I really love Ub Iwerks and Chuck Jones, but I also find influence in modern cartoons, comics, webcomics, and newspaper comics. I really found a lot of influence from Garfield strips for art, and for stories I love the early Mickey Mouse newspaper comics by Floyd Gottfredson and the Muppets comic strip by Guy Gilchrist.
Question 3: What is your favorite root beer and why?
I use to love Mug back in the 90’s, but now I live near an A&W and I really love that.
Question 4: What do you hope to accomplish with your comic?
Daily syndication has been a big dream of mine. I suppose a larger goal might be if Silent Sillies could become a profitable franchise with a daily comic strip, books and animations. That would awesome. I’m not sure if I have the following for those kind of dreams yet, but it would be awesome to see happen.
Question 5: Do you have any other artistic interests outside of comics?
Animation. I have a bachelor’s degree in animation, and I watch A LOT of cartoons. I think now is the time to try and animate Silent Sillies.
Question 6: Do you see yourself as a professional cartoonist, or is this just something you do for yourself?
I think being a professional means more than 50% of your income comes from art, so if that’s the case I’m not a professional. But I’m building my resume, and I’m finding more art jobs lately, so hopefully my answer will change soon..
Question 7: What type of subject or humor do you consider out of bounds for your strips and why?
I like to keep Silent Sillies fun for all ages, so I stick to slapstick comedy mostly.
Question 8: What kind of equipment or style of drawing do you use?
I use google docs to write down my ideas and scripts and see what my best friend and Editor thinks. Then I use Adobe Illustrator to clean up my sketches. I also love how with Illustrator you can copy and paste existing art. This is especially useful since all the characters have the same type of arms and hands.
Question 9: What sort of training or academic program did you pursue to become a cartoonist?
I have a bachelor’s degree in animation but I’m self taught with Illustrator and making comics.
Question 10: What has been the highlight of your cartooning career?
Honestly just knowing I’m helping to bring a laugh to someone is very rewarding. Watching people laugh when they see my art, and reading comments when I post a new comic is an amazing feeling. Also working on Lamebrains a comic book produced by a local comic book company was very exciting!
Question 11: What has been the lowest point in your cartooning career?
I get pretty down that I don’t get to work on this stuff daily and when my computer crashed a few weeks ago I felt it was over, but I began finding some back ups here and there which helped me to continue. Also after I posted a video clip for an animated Silent Sillies and I saw how many people liked seeing that I knew I needed to finish it.
Question 12: Are collections of your work available beyond the web? If so where?
I have some of my prints and comic books available on etsy. https://www.etsy.com/shop/SilentSilliesShophttps://www.etsy.com/shop/SilentSilliesShop
Question 13: Are there any other web comic artists that you really admire?
There are many, but a few of them include;
Jimmy Steen creator of Drawn Closer. http://www.drawncloser.comhttp://www.drawncloser.com
Brad Perri creator of Pirate Mike. https://piratemikecomics.comhttps://piratemikecomics.com
David Reddick with Intelligent Life. http://intelligentlifecomics.comhttp://intelligentlifecomics.com
Andrew Morrice and his MANY comics! http://granitoons.deviantart.comhttp://granitoons.deviantart.com
Question 14: What kind of impact has cartooning had on your life and could you ever see yourself not doing it?
Honestly cartoons make more sense to me than the real world. I can’t imagine myself without watching and making cartoons.
Question 15: Do you have any advice for the Trolls out there who harass content creators? (No need to keep this answer clean.)
The mean spirited fanboys are really baffling to me. I still try to live by the golden rule so I just try to be a positive influence and help support others and share some silly where I can.
Question 16: Do you set yourself any deadlines or other tricks to keep yourself motivated?
I try to stay a couple of months ahead with my comic, and seeing other cartoons and comics keeps me motivated. Positive feedback from others helps to keep me going too.
Question 17: Apart from root beer, what is your favorite drink?
Pepsi, and Surge with the recent revival of that. But honestly I’m trying to cut out pop, so it’s mostly Coffee and water for me.
Question 18: Are you already a member of the root beer party and if not, what is the matter with you?
Is that an invitation? (Of Course) – Editor
Question 19: What is the most challenging aspect of cartooning for you?
Life. Continuing to create after spending most of my day staring at numbers can be hard. Surprisingly the day job is also the biggest drive to work harder on art too.
Question 20: What are your future plans involving web comics or anything else going on in your life?
I’m really thinking I need to animate the Silent Sillies characters. I dream of syndication, but for now I’ll be collecting each year as a comic book and creating new prints for sale.
So there you have it True Believers, the newest member of the Root Beer Party, the incomparable Anthony “Antwon” Hunter, so raise a mug of your favorite frothy blend to “Antwon” and welcome him to the party, and as always True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.