We are back once again True Believers with another installment of our world renowned interview segment 20 Questions. Today we meet the newest member of the Root Beer Party Mike McDonald of Cat and Cat Comics. You can check out his site here: http://www.myimaginarypals.com/
Mike has just begun putting his comics on line this year and has already made a huge impact in the webcomic world. the chief Ambassador of The Root Beer Party James Boyd took notice and made the call. To misquote James: “This is someone we need to watch.” So after perusing the archives of Cat and Cat comics we made the offer to Mike and his response was: To misquote Mike: “What the %#&* is a Root Beer Party?”
After our usual long discussion we finally convinced him who we were and told him about the legions of True Believers all across the globe who depend on us to introduce them to the best that webcomics have to offer. So after a few hours and a lot of root beer. Mike agreed to join us in our quest to bring together the cream of the crop of webcomic and comic creators into a one stop shopping site for all the latest news and reviews. So let us introduce Mike McDonald
Question 1: What got you started in doing a comic series?
I had been doing a comic weekly or so and decided to start posting daily doodles. One of the doodles, that I called “Cat and Cat” (For lack of a better name) did fairly well on social media. I decided to do a week’s worth to see how it was received. I have been doing it since.
Question 2: Who was you greatest influence?
I don’t have any one influence. I kind of look towards other comic artists for advice. Some comics that have helped me a lot have been Sunny Side Up, Dust Piggies, Poorly Drawn Thoughts and Pirate Mike: Maladjusted Suburbanite (to name a few).
Question 3: What is your favorite root beer and why?
My favorite root beer is probably A&W — mostly because that’s all I’ve ever really drank. I may need to start dabbling on other kinds.
Question 4: What do you hope to accomplish with your comic?
I just want to make people smile. I’m hoping that even if it’s only for a second each day, it’s something people can look at and at the least go “heh”.
Question 5: Do you have any other artistic interests outside of comics?
I love film, audio and animation. I don’t get a lot of time for the other hobbies due to my hectic schedule, but hopefully that’ll change someday.
Question 6: Do you see yourself as a professional cartoonist, or is this just something you do for yourself?
I just do it to amuse myself. If others want to come along for the ride, they are more than welcome to!
Question 7: What type of subject or humor do you consider out of bounds for your strips and why?
Vulgar humor. It’s not that I don’t like it or wouldn’t mind doing it, it’s just that my mind doesn’t work that way when it comes to writing jokes.
Question 8: What kind of equipment or style of drawing do you use?
I currently use a Wacom Intuos Pro with a combination of Manga Studio 5 and Photoshop CC. I’m in process of upgrading to a Surface Book i5.
Question 9: what sort of training or academic program did you pursue to become a cartoonist?
Does reading the funnies count? (Yes! It’s the most important field of study in comics – Editor)
Question 10: What has been the highlight of your cartooning career?
The community and meeting so many people from all parts of the globe. There’s a lot of good people who like to just forget about their days and have some fun.
Question 11: What has been the lowest point in your cartooning career?
No lows so far *knock on wood*. I’ve had people knock me on some of the sites I post but usually I just joke around with them and it works itself out. Even if people are trolling, I feel they just need an outlet to voice their frustration/anger with their everyday lives…to that I say “I’m here for you”.
Question 12: Are collections of your work available beyond the web? If So where?
Not yet, but I hope to do a 1 year collection book of my strips for Christmas release next year. I’ll keep you posted.
Question 13: Are there any other web comic artists that you really admire?
Of course the ones I listed above who really took me under their wings when I first started. Nick Seluk from the Awkward Yeti also gave me advice when I first started and what he’s accomplished with his comic is awesome.
Question 14: What kind of impact has cartooning had on your life and could you ever see yourself not doing it?
It’s a great outlet and a way to take my mind off the workday for a bit. I think I’ll probably keep with it until it stops being fun (although I don’t see that happening anytime soon).
Question 15: Do you have any advice for the Trolls out there who harass content creators? (no need to keep this answer clean.)
I should have read this before question 11. I more-so have advice for the creators. Let the trolls be trolls, they are people who are taking the time out of their day to acknowledge your comic! If you are at a point in your work where someone else’s opinion matters more than your own, you may need to reevaluate why you are doing it. For the trolls…say whatever you want to me, just please don’t be too gross or vulgar, in case there are younger readers out there.
Question 16: Do you set yourself any deadlines or other tricks to keep yourself motivated?
I do a daily comic and make sure every day to wake up at 4:30am to work on it (before my day job). I text myself ideas during the day and my motivation is seeing how far ahead I can get in my strip.
Question 17: Apart from root beer, what is your favorite drink?
This is going to be really boring…water. (Don’t knock water it is a key ingredient in Root Beer. – Editor)
Question 18: Are you already a member of the root beer party and if not, what is the matter with you?
I just joined with this questionnaire! Sunny (James Boyd – if that is his real name. -Editor) recommended I join but I was busy working on my new strip. I guess multitasking isn’t my strong suit.
Question 19: What is the most challenging aspect of cartooning for you?
Overcoming artist ADD. By that, I mean that every time I see another artist do something cool I’m instantly like “Woah! I need to get good at that!” sometimes that can derail me from practicing my own strengths and getting better at my day to day stuff. I’ve gotten better though.
Question 20: What are your future plans involving web comics or anything else going on in your life?
I’d like to get a book out there. I’d also like to start selling merchandise to donate to various animal shelters and nonprofits (I do this now but would love to help fund some of it with art). I would like to use my art to give back in a positive way.
(And now a word from our sponsor:)
And there you have it True Believers, the newest member of the Root Beer Party: Mike McDonald. You don’t need to be a published artist with a national syndicate behind you, the Root Beer Party is open to everyone, even those who just love comics and enjoy a behind the scenes peek into how they are made.
Welcome to the party Mike, pull up a chair and pour yourself a nice frosty A&W. Check back with us for more adventures in comics and with comic creators and as always True Believers, May your mug always be frosty and your root beer always foamy.