We are back once again True Believers with another entry into our world famous segment 20 Questions with Comic Artists. Today we head over to Joe’s Bar to hang out with Stu & Neecko and basically just hang out drinking root beer all day. You can check out Joe’s Bar Toons at: https://www.joesbartoons.com/
So let’s crack open a few bottles and get to know the newest member of the Root Beer Party.
Question 1: What got you started in doing a comic series?
I had been drawing up little funny cartoons for about as long as I can remember. Once my kids grew up I found I had more time to devote to drawing and from there I began the process of learning and making everything digitally. It just fell into place. Almost like it was meant to be!
Question 2: Who was you greatest influence?
Like most, Charles Schulz! About a year ago I went to Santa Rosa California to the Charles M Schulz Museum and my biggest regret was to find that if I had only visited Santa Rosa 15 years earlier I could have personally met the man. I am also a big Gary Larson Far Side fan and I believe that Larson is the core reason I try to do the majority of my work within a single panel.
Question 3: What is your favorite root beer and why?
Barq’s Root Beer, (in the bottle)!
Question 4: What do you hope to accomplish with your comic?
First and foremost I just like to make people laugh and that has always been my initial goal. My second goal was just to see if I had it in me for the long haul, 4 years later it has become habit. Lastly I seek recognition. It would be great to be considered a recognized webtoonist in the e-world of many.
Question 5: Do you have any other artistic interests outside of comics?
I also like to sculpt wire objects. I sometimes like to think I am the reincarnate of Alexander Calder.
Question 6: Do you see yourself as a professional cartoonist, or is this just something you do for yourself?
I would love to be a Professional Cartoonist, and make Joe’s Bar Toon a full time project, however at this time it is just something I do for myself and the people who follow the strip.
Question 7: What type of subject or humor do you consider out of bounds for your strips and why?
The nice thing about Joe’s Bar subject manner is that it is rather open to what I can use in it. So it will range anywhere from a G to PG to an R rating, but no nudity. When my Mom calls me up to tell me she didn’t like a toon, I know I have reached the limit.
Question 8: What kind of equipment or style of drawing do you use?
I tend to doodle up most thoughts with paper and pencil, but then scan and redraw using Manga Studio and my mouse pad. I generally can create a Joe’s Bar Toon in about 45 minutes.
Question 9: what sort of training or academic program did you pursue to become a cartoonist?
Just to show you how old I am, I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Commercial Art. That’s what it was called before the PC and when everything was done by hand. Actually the year I started college was the same year that the college offered its first computer class in Dos Programming.
Question 10: What has been the highlight of your cartooning career?
Probably the biggest highlight of my Cartooning career is anytime someone established in the Art Community actually writes me and tells me how they enjoy my work.
Question 11: What has been the lowest point in your cartooning career?
No lowest point, because I can only go up from here!
Question 12: Are collections of your work available beyond the web? If So where?
I often do gallery type presentations at the local craft breweries in my area. A cartoon about a bar generally is well received in a bar! A great benefit to this is I often exchange a print for a pint or two!
Question 13: Are there any other web comic artists that you really admire?
I have so many friends now on line that do Webcomics and I admire them all. A couple in particular that I always enjoy and recommend are Pink & Black on Twitter @PinknBlackComic and Will Henry @MrWillHenry
Question 14: What kind of impact has cartooning had on your life and could you ever see yourself not doing it?
Drawing is my release and keeps me sane, so it impacts my life daily. Everyone needs something to do that they enjoy and mine happens to be drawing. I have been a doodler from Day 1, at least that is what Momma says, so I believe it is just a part of me and I probably will be drawing until the day I die.
Question 15: Do you have any advice for the Trolls out there who harass content creators? (no need to keep this answer clean.)
Any recognition is good recognition, even from a Troll,… just don’t let it eat you up! When I get the occasional Troll I just ignore them. They’re not worth my time.
Question 16: Do you set yourself any deadlines or other tricks to keep yourself motivated?
One thing I do is to review the National Day Calendar for upcoming Holidays and then create something specific for the Holiday. So as long as I am looking at upcoming Holidays I am basically on a schedule to create something. Eventually I will have a Joe’s Bar Toon for everyday of the year related to a National Holiday. I then plan on creating a Day to Day Calendar of my work to offer to the masses. Look for it around Year 2020 🙂
Question 17: Apart from root beer, what is your favorite drink?
Well that would be BEER! I especially like Stouts and Porters which I then follow up with something lighter like a Pilsner. Also if I need nourishment I start out with a loaded Spicy Bloody Mary and a Beer Chaser. Now it should be noted that I do find it amusing that many of my readers think I must be quite the drinker and also that my name is Joe. That’s the image but here’s the truth, I can’t draw a straight line with a drink in me so I drink very little. At the most I have a couple beers a week, but if you do see me out and about feel free to call me Joe.
Question 18: Are you already a member of the root beer party and if not, what is the matter with you?
Yes, I am a member of the Root Beer Party. (I think)? (Yes you are, one of the original Twitter bunch in fact.) -Editor
Question 19: What is the most challenging aspect of cartooning for you?
What I really enjoy is figuring out is how to deliver my humor in just a Single Panel. How I need to layout the characters, present the dialog and make it work. Even better is when my finished piece has several layers of humor within that single panel. I often wonder if the reader catches them all.
Question 20: What are your future plans involving web comics or anything else going on in your life?
The future’s so bright, I got to wear Shades! I am within 5 years of retirement from my real job, so I do plan on moving to some sunny shore in the near future, continue to draw my toon, and finish my days off with a cold one.
And there you have it True Believers, another entry into our world renowned 20 questions segment. Neecko has been a member of the Root Beer Party going back to 2013 or so, in fact he has even submitted a signed copy of my favorite classic comic to The Official Root Beer Party Comic Archives:
So go check out Joe’s Bar over on the corner of Google and Explorer at https://www.joesbartoons.com/ and stop in and say “hi” to Stu & the rest of the gang, even join them for a cold one, and as always True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.