Happy 40th Anniversary Garfield from the Root Beer Party

DSC05521

     Welcome back True Believers, we are here to acknowledge the tributes paid to the biggest star of the comics page, Garfield.  I saw a post on facebook which mentioned that they were accepting fan submissions for the upcoming 40th anniversary book.  I forwarded it to the Root Beer Party’s Official Facebook group page and a lot of members submitted their tributes.  Most of them were accepted and are available in the book which can now be purchased here:   https://www.amazon.com/Age-Happens-Garfield-Hits-Big/dp/0345526090/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1536257547&sr=8-1&keywords=garfield+40th+anniversary

     There is no better way for us to start off then with our own Co-President Kim Belding.  A long time fan of Garfield, he draws the comic Picpak Dog in which we can see the influence of humor and style from the great Jim Davis.  But many of our members made special appearances in this volume;

DSC05520

Here we have Penny E from Pen & Ink by our good friend Dee Parsons.  He speaks of Jim Davis’ influence in our 20 questions interview with him here:   https://rootbeerparty.wordpress.com/2017/11/22/20-questions-with-comic-creators-dee-parson-of-pen-ink/

Here we have the original gang meeting their modern counterparts 40 years later.  A great piece.  Well done Dee.

DSC05519

Here we have a comic done for the book by our own good friend Laura Yang of Yin and Yangster comics.  You can read about Laura in our own interview as well here:   https://rootbeerparty.wordpress.com/2017/06/24/20-questions-with-comic-artists-laura-yang-of-yin-and-yangster/

Once again we see the progression of Garfield from his original form to the modern fat cat we all know and love today.

DSC05518

Here is a comic where our good friend David Riddick pay tribute with a little cos-play from Intelligent Life.

DSC05517

I don’t know if this is a tribute to Garfield or a tribute to himself, but our good friend Bret Koth of Diamond Lil help celebrate this special event.  Bret actually worked with Jim Davis on Garfield, so this has a special meaning to him to have his own creation appear side by side with the cat he helped make famous.

DSC05516

Here is one from our good friend Mason Mastroianni who is now the artist behind the classic comic strip BC.  from one legendary strip to another, Garfield stands among the most elite comic strips ever created.

DSC05515

Who better to call for an anniversary special than our good friend Bob Scott?  His style is a perfect match for this type of tribute, Bob works in sort of a nostalgic style of art which invokes the classic comics of old and the newspapers which once ruled the industry.

DSC05514

A tribute from another classic comic strip and our good friend John Rose of Snuffy Smith.  Snuffy knows a thing or two about turning 40, He turned 40 in 1959.  Next year will mark 100 years for Snuffy Smith and the whole gang, what could be more bodacious then that?

DSC05513

Here is one from our good friend Mike Peters, who has enough Reubens awards to open a deli.  His Mother Goose and Grimm comics came a few years after Garfield, but Grimmy has never been a stranger to poking fun at the fat cat.

As you can see, Garfield played an important role in all of our lives.  We stand upon the shoulders of giants in this industry, and it is upon Garfield’s hefty shoulders that the Root Beer Party proudly stands.  So let’s all raise a frosty mug of root beer to the great fat cat and the man behind it all Jim Davis.  Until next time True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.

20 Questions with Comic Creators: Ron Ferdinand of Dennis the Menace

25465606_1959753614345937_2022186652_n

     We are back once again True Believers, with another installment of our world renowned 20 Question interviews.  Today we sit out on the upper patio of the vast Root Beer Party Estates overlooking the fields of vanilla beans being carefully tended to by the devoted Root Beer Monks.  It is one of the many ingredients we grow here in order to brew the elixir of life itself:  Root Beer.   

     We have with us today, a legacy comic creator, Ron Ferdinand.  He is the main artist who took over the Dennis the Menace comic.  It is a huge responsibility to take on an iconic character and pop culture icon, who has not only appeared in comics, but in movies as well as television shows ranging from live action to animation.  Dennis the Menace is a cultural institution, so we are honored that Ron was able to take time off to fly out here to our vast estates in an undisclosed location in an unknown land in an undiscovered country.  You can check out the official website here:  http://dennisthemenace.com/

     Well, the melting frost on the Root Beer Mugs tell us that it is time to get on with it, let’s get to know Ron.  

DSC_0511Dennis9-14-16

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

I was hired by Hank Ketcham in 1981 to work on the DENNIS comic for Marvel. After a year, Hank put me on the Sunday page.

Question 2: Who was you greatest influence?

Hank Ketcham , Walt Disney, Chuck Jones and Mort Drucker…to name a few.

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

Actually, I love A&W sugar free Root beer. It’s my favorite drink!!!

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

To try and carry on the legacy of Hank Ketcham to the best of my ability.

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

I love music and play a little guitar and bass.

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

Thanks to Hank, my work appears in newspapers.

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

We try and keep the humor free of politics and other adult oriented subjects. After all, Dennis is five-an-a-half.

Dennis_The_Menace_hs

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

I’m pretty old school…pencils, pens, ink and paper.

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

I attended THE SCHOOL OF VISUAL ARTS in New York City for 3 years and studied animation, cartooning etc……

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

Absolutely being hired by Hank Ketcham.

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

After graduating from SVA , I floated around for a few years doing a few little freelance gigs but not enough to earn a living in art.

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

Well, I’ve seen some things on Ebay.

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

Just what I see on Facebook. Not sure of the names but there’s some great stuff out there.

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

Cartooning was always there even when I wasn’t getting paid for it. Guess I just had a one track mind.

2744_hair_large

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

We get our share of criticism but my attitude has always been ..at least they’re still talking about us.

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

There’s a deadline every week for newspaper comics so it’s instant motivation.

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

Diet Pepsi and milk with ice in it.

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

I believe I am.

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

Trying to keep the comic funny and eye-catching. Scott Ketcham and I work really well together getting these Sundays out every week.

7-23-17_dennis_the_menace_sunday_rgb-610x444

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

To keep DENNIS going and going, etc……..

So there you have it True Believers, another classic 20 questions interview with the members of the Root Beer Party.  I must give Ron a tour of the vast Root Beer Party Estates so we must leave you until next time, and until then True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your Root Beer always foamy.  

 

20 Questions with Comic Artists: Mike Wilke of Watermelon Bones

25465606_1959753614345937_2022186652_n

   Once again we are here at the vast Root Beer Party estates, overlooking the sassafras fields as the dedicated Root Beer Monks go about their duties in brewing the elixir of life that is Root Beer.  We are sitting on the upper deck of the dedicated Root Beer bar wing of the main house shaded from the sun with an ice cold mug of root beer between us.  

     Today we have with us a legend in the comics community, A man who made webcomic before there was even a web to put them on.  The esteemed Mike Wilke of Watermelon Bones.  He does countless other comics as well, each with a theme linking them all together. 

     But the True Believers have not gathered here today to hear me talk, they want to hear from the man himself, so Let us begin:

20768166_459907827729526_4381168695065963747_n

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

My editor from one of my newspapers said ” Let’s do a book of your cartoons!” That was over 30 years ago, so that’s when I created “Watermelon Bones!” Since then I’ve self published a total of 8 books.

Question 2: Who was you greatest influence?

Schulz, Hart, etc., etc., etc…!

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

A&W……..I grew up with it.
Question 4: What do you hope to accomplish with your comic?

To bring more laughter into the world amidst all the crap going on nowadays.

36927768_1783964488338084_3473116799875153920_n

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

Painting, magic and theater.

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

I get paid for what I do, so yes, professional

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

Political, sexual, profane…..all for obvious reasons.

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

Everything I do is old school, start to finish.

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

No schooling, just doing.

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

Winning several awards from newspaper contests, becoming a member of the NCS, being syndicated by “Comx Box Comics Syndicate”, my ongoing political toons for newspapers, drawing toons for an international magic magazine, being invited to ComiCons, etc.

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

Not too many low points.

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

Not to my knowledge.

38421961_655144501539190_4531579990684205056_n

(Books are available from Mike Wilke himself.  -Editor)
Question 13: Are there any other web comic artists that you really admire?

Way too many to mention.

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

I’ll always do this!

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

Trolls….stay out of my face!!!!

36869963_1782341781833688_2748946405660819456_n

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

Nope, just do it!

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

Coffee, and Chai Tea!

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

Yep!

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

Good question!

39408991_671365833250390_3976562768844161024_n

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

I’ll just keep on doing what I’m doing…..and let the chips fall!!!!

And there you have it True Believers another interview with the artists who make all your favorite comics happen.  Mike is a man of few words and just like his comics, he gets right to the point and so shall we.  So until next time True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your Root Beer always foamy.  

 

20 Questions with Comic Artists: Per Hedmen of The Far Dark Side

25465606_1959753614345937_2022186652_n

We are back once again True Believers, at the vast estates of The Root Beer Party Headquarters in an undisclosed location of a uncharted region of an undiscovered land and we bring to you another of our world famous segments 20 Questions with comic artists!

Today we have with us Per Hedman who does the comic strip The Far Dark Side.  It is a combination of the Far Side by Gary Larson and everyone’s favorite Sith Lord Darth Vader.  You can find his comic Here:  https://www.facebook.com/the.far.dark.side

So what has led to this unholy alliance between the Sith Lord and the anthropomorphic Gary Larson?  Why has he turned to the Dark Side?  Let find out.

11025760_1376790762643023_6744631784199989872_n

 

Question 1: What got you started in doing a comic series?
My friends and family who saw my little doodles and said that I should do a book, they were all crazy, but I thought I would focus on my little doodles and see how good I could get. So in 2015 I started a facebook page: facebook.com/The.Far.Dark.Side and slowly the followers started to trickle in.
Question 2: Who was you greatest influence?
There is a number of famous Swedish cartoonist that I see my drawings looking like, but since its the name of the comic I’ll say Gary Larson, and I do love Star Wars and I should mention that too…

Question 3: What is your favorite root beer and why?
What’s root beer? In Sweden that’s not a thing.  (We need to get root beer to Sweden As soon as possible, it’s an international crisis!  Call the U.N. immediately!  -Editor)
Question 4: What do you hope to accomplish with your comic?
I draw my comics for making me happy, and if other people like them fine, and if they don’t like them that’s fine by me too. Humor and art is subjective.

37161385_2068888403433252_1287089754583597056_n

Question 5: Do you have any other artistic interests outside of comics?
I’ve been mostly a consumer of art, movies, books, and tv, but I don’t produce anything in those fields.

Question 6: Do you see yourself as a professional cartoonist, or is this just something you do for yourself?
I see myself a highly productive hobby cartoonist, but mostly it’s for myself.

Question 7: What type of subject or humor do you consider out of bounds for your strips and why?
My cartoon is very clean, and I like to make fun of people in power and rarely try to make hurtful jokes.

Question 8: What kind of equipment or style of drawing do you use?
I draw in ink on A5 copy paper. Having three kinds of pens. A thin, a thick and a more brushy pen.

Question 9: what sort of training or academic program did you pursue to become a cartoonist?
I started too late in life for any training and/or academic program. Now I’m on my 10.000 hours plan.

37124589_2069028260085933_1838271235620864000_n

Question 10: What has been the highlight of your cartooning career?
When I got my first likes on twitter from THE STAR WARS PEOPLE, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, and a far second when I sold out of my first issue of The Best of The Far Dark Side, that I self-published.

Question 11: What has been the lowest point in your cartooning career?
I got a request to re-create my 1000th drawing, it took 8 hours and I was kind of happy with the result.
I showed the result to the person who ordered it, and they said that it wasn’t as good as the original and didn’t want to pay the 50 USD for the drawing.
I got caught not knowing what I’m doing and that didn’t feel good.

Question 12: Are collections of your work available beyond the web? If So where?
I have produced four collections of my favorite cartoons that I send out to my fans for the printing and shipping costs.
Since I don’t have that much time I only use Paypal and send directly to the client.

Question 13: Are there any other web comic artists that you really admire?
I admire those who really know how to draw and can do it effortless, but since I don’t have that much time I don’t really have gotten into the webcomics out there…

36750192_2060940257561400_4801547401389146112_n

Question 14: What kind of impact has cartooning had on your life and could you ever see yourself not doing it?
It relaxes me doing cartooning and it’s my way of venting, and I’ll keep doing it as long as I still find joy in doing it.

Question 15: Do you have any advice for the Trolls out there who harass content creators? (no need to keep this answer clean.)
I haven’t experienced any Trolling, but my style is naïve and humoristic, so no one takes it too seriously.

36188640_2048009315521161_3765039997497901056_n

Question 16: Do you set yourself any deadlines or other tricks to keep yourself motivated?
My deadline is that I do two strips everyday, so I need to produce, and I have a family, friends and a full-time job (in another field), so I draw my two strips every day during a dedicated 30-minute block.

Question 17: Apart from root beer, what is your favorite drink?
What’s root beer? My favorite drink is Strawberry Daiquiri.  (This poor individual, lost in an undeveloped third world country.  To never know the sweet elixir of life that is root beer is a crime against humanity.  -Editor)

Question 18: Are you already a member of the root beer party and if not, what is the matter with you?
Since I didn’t know of the Root beer party, I’ll play the ignorance card.  (Per is now a member in good standing and has been accepted into the hallowed ranks of the Root Beer Party. – Editor)

Question 19: What is the most challenging aspect of cartooning for you?
That I can’t draw. Man, I wish I could draw…

Question 20: What are your future plans involving web comics or anything else going on in your life?
This spring I have played with sequential art, I finished four of the sequential comics, hopefully I can publish these somewhere,

34274482_2027797167542376_4807475418330300416_n

So there you have it True Believers, another great interview with one of our many great members of the Root Beer Party.  Let’s get Sweden on board and get them some root beer, no one should have to live a life without the elixir of life that is root beer.  Until next time True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your Root Beer always foamy.

20 Questions with Comic Creators: Chris Bays of MythDirection

DU6-rfyVwAAoxXa (2)

It’s time once again True Believers, for everyone’s favorite segment in on the root Beer Party Page:  20 Questions with comic creators!  

We are here once again at the beautiful Root Beer Party Estates where we have flown in our special guest and one of our newest members Chris Bays.  The Root Beer Monks silently serve us a very special 2017 vintage root beer to mark this special event.  You can find Chris Bay’s comic Mythdirection here:  http://mythdirection.com/

after several hours touring the vast Root Beer Party estates, we have settled here in the Root Beer Party poolside bar, overlooking the fields of vanilla nd sassafras being carefully tended to this spring by the dedicated Root Beer Monks, but we came here today to introduce you all to Chris, so let’s get to it.  

collectibles

 Question 1: What got you started in doing a comic series?
I’d done comics here are there for years. A painful setback in writing fiction had me pick up the comics habit again. I made a promise to myself to work on it for two years and it’s almost been three now.

Question 2: Who was you greatest influence?
Professionally, Gary Larson, Bill Watterson, and Wiley Miller. Personally, it was a kid I befriended in the 6th grade that drew amazing things. Unfortunately in the 7th grade he turned bully so I got two lessons for the price of one.

Question 3: What is your favorite root beer and why?
Sadly, I’ve never liked root beer but I support everyone’s right to an ice cold IBC any time they want.

Question 4: What do you hope to accomplish with your comic?
I just want people to laugh. I think there’s enough stressful stuff happening in our lives and a laugh helps get through it.

Question 5: Do you have any other artistic interests outside of comics?
I write every now and again. I’ve also done some close-up magic and I’m a bit of a dork when it comes to that stuff.

shedwater

Question 6: Do you see yourself as a professional cartoonist, or is this just something you do for yourself?
I think right now I’m somewhere in between. I’d like to say I’m a professional but I feel like I have to keep my head down so the Fraud Police doesn’t come sniffing around.

Question 7: What type of subject or humor do you consider out of bounds for your strips and why?
I don’t put blue material in the comic. I have written some off-color ones but those are only seen on rare occasions when I share them with friends and sometime on my Patreon feed. I’ve still got two comic ideas I know I’ll never draw because they’re way too out there.

I want the comic to be accessible to most people. At most my comic is sometimes PG-13.

Question 8: What kind of equipment or style of drawing do you use?
Simple pencil and ink. I do the final work in Gimp. I hope to make the leap to digital before next year.

Question 9: what sort of training or academic program did you pursue to become a cartoonist?
None. I just drew. I had some art classes in high school so that helped.

Question 10: What has been the highlight of your cartooning career?
Having a comic go crazy on Reddit and make it to the front page. In the end, over half a million people viewed it.

groglite
Question 11: What has been the lowest point in your cartooning career?
Realizing that a comic going viral means nothing. I thought this was the moment things were going to start happening. I hit a low point after that and it took a while to recover and find my way back to just focusing on one comic at a time and building an audience. No shortcuts!

Question 12: Are collections of your work available beyond the web? If So where?
I’ve got a book out on Amazon in print and ebook (Little Known Mythical Creatures). I’m considering a second book for later this year.

(You can find that book Here:    https://www.amazon.com/dp/154315767X/   -Editor)

Question 13: Are there any other web comic artists that you really admire?
There’s not enough room to list them all. I’d have to say, in short, Brian Gordon, James Boyd (who gives crazy amounts of support to everyone), Hillary Price, John Sutton, Dave Kellett, Deya Muniz, and Chris McCoy. I’m secretly in love with Jennie Breeden but let’s keep that between us.  (Done – I won’t say a word -Editor)

Question 14: What kind of impact has cartooning had on your life and could you ever see yourself not doing it?
It’s given me the confidence to be more outgoing. I’m an introvert by nature but it’s hard to do that when you have to put yourself out there all the time both online and in person. I’ll keep doing something artistic. It might not be the comic but it will be out there.

LKMC21_Impala
Question 15: Do you have any advice for the Trolls out there who harass content creators? (no need to keep this answer clean.)
No advice for the trolls, they’re not going to listen anyway. I do have some advice for other artists regarding trolls. Don’t worry about them. They’re not your audience anyway. Trolls remind us that there are just unhappy people out there who can’t do what we do, and frankly don’t have the courage to even try.

Question 16: Do you set yourself any deadlines or other tricks to keep yourself motivated?
I am awesome at procrastinating. My only trick is I get a bunch of penciling done all at once since I can ink and letter doing other things. That reminds me that I should really get started on tomorrow’s comic.

Question 17: Apart from root beer, what is your favorite drink?
I had to give up soda recently (I loved Mr. Pibb), so it’ll have to be water with MiO added to it.

Question 18: Are you already a member of the root beer party and if not, what is the matter with you?
I am. What’s it to you buddy?

Question 19: What is the most challenging aspect of cartooning for you?
Consistency. I don’t have the luxury of using the same characters over and over again so I feel like I’m reinventing the comic all the time.

porpoises

Question 20: What are your future plans involving web comics or anything else going on in your life?
I’m moving forward on the webcomic but I’ve thought about doing other illustration work down the road. Maybe go back to school to improve my art.

So there you have it True Believers, Straight from the horse’s mouth another great interview with one of our very own root Beer Party members.   Be sure to tune in again for more insights into the minds of the world’s greatest comic creators.  Until next time True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.  

Official Root Beer Party Portrait #7 Peter Rasmussen

27540074_10155998736932381_794078797326307602_n

Once again we head into The Official Portrait Gallery of the Root Beer Party, where our resident artist and Co-President Kim Belding is unveiling his latest masterpiece.  Notice the subtle curve of the line and the use of squiggles to give texture to the clothing of the subject.  It is reminiscent of Van Goth in it’s use of brushstroke to convey movement.  The stark black and white contrast without the use of any color is invocative of the monochrome movement of the avant-garde scene in the late twentieth century.  This is truly a master work in comic art.

Peter Rasmussen is also one of the officers of the Root Beer Party as well as performing his duties as a comic artist and parental expert in Denmark, he is also the Deputy Secretary of State for The Root Beer Party and our Official Representative to the European Union.  His job is to expand the love of root beer and comics across all of Europe and he works hard at it everyday.

You can check out his comic here:   http://badlydoodled.com/

So pass the root beer and cheese and continue to explore the Official Root Beer Party Portrait Gallery, and as always True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.

 

20 Questions with Comic Creators: Brian Ponshock of Prideland and MindFrame

DU6-rfyVwAAoxXa (2)

Welcome back True Believers, we are here once again at the vast Root Beer Party Estates in an undisclosed location, in a undiscovered region of a long lost continent and we are bringing to you live a one on one interview with our esteemed Root Beer Party Member and noted, award winning, and certified master of the squared panel, Brian Ponshock!  You can find his work here: 

Mindframe comic:    http://mindframecartoons.blogspot.com/

Prideland w/ Ryan Stoker:   http://www.comicssherpa.com/site/feature?uc_comic=csaoa

csqnp140910

So let’s bring over a frosty mug of root beer and get right to it:
Question 1: What got you started in doing a comic series?
Comic strips/panels have always been a big part of my life, and it was always something I dreamt of doing, so I finally took the leap into to creating something people could get a bit of a chuckle from. That’s when ‘Mindframe’ was born… and Prideland was soon to follow!
Question 2: Who was you greatest influence?
Definitely Charles Schulz! When I was little I constantly drew Snoopy lying on top of his dog house. Oh how I wish I could have met him.
Question 3: What is your favorite root beer and why?
I still enjoy A&W. We used to have one in town (back in the day), so I guess a may be a reminiscent thing of why I enjoy it.
Question 4: What do you hope to accomplish with your comic?
As so many of us would like… syndication baby!!!
Question 5: Do you have any other artistic interests outside of comics?
I would like to try my hand at animation, but there is only so much time in a given day!
Question 6: Do you see yourself as a professional cartoonist, or is this just something you do for yourself?
I do consider myself a cartoonist. Be it professional or amateur.
Question 7: What type of subject or humor do you consider out of bounds for your strips and why?
Anything that pertains to children being abused or victims of violent crimes. I just think it would be in poor taste.
Question 8: What kind of equipment or style of drawing do you use?
I use Clip Studio Paint (formerly Manga Studio) on a Wacom Cintiq 22HD. I’ll sketch out the panels in blue and go over them with black. Everything is done on layers. So much easier for me to make corrections, but don’t get me wrong… there’s nothing that compares to pencil on paper!

prideland_692
Question 9: what sort of training or academic program did you pursue to become a cartoonist?
I am self-taught. Practice, practice, practice!
Question 10: What has been the highlight of your cartooning career?
Mindframe winning the Twain Award 2014-2015 for best single panel cartoon.
Question 11: What has been the lowest point in your cartooning career?
Waiting to be syndicated. It’s exhausting! Ha!
Question 12: Are collections of your work available beyond the web? If So where?
Not at this time, but soon.

mindframe_1387365
Question 13: Are there any other web comic artists that you really admire?
Ryan Stoker (of course I may be a bit biased on this one), Mike Wilke, Neecko Chichi, Bill Abbott, Jose Sepi, Eddie Harvey Martinez, Jordan Smith, Steve Wallet, Mark Partington, and sooooooooooo many others. Please don’t take it personally if I haven’t listed you here. Just know I’m watching you! Is that creepy? That is creepy, isn’t it?!
Question 14: What kind of impact has cartooning had on your life and could you ever see yourself not doing it?
It has given my life more meaning. I love hearing when others really enjoy what I’ve created. Cartooning is now so intertwined with my life it would be like cutting off an arm if I didn’t do it.

prideland_685
Question 15: Do you have any advice for the Trolls out there who harass content creators? (no need to keep this answer clean.)
Fuck ‘em! Their opinions are just that… opinions! Everybody has them.
Question 16: Do you set yourself any deadlines or other tricks to keep yourself motivated?
With a daily job it can be difficult, but I do try to draw every day.
Question 17: Apart from root beer, what is your favorite drink?
Oh boy… a good gin & sour or an occasional Long Island Iced Tea. Not both at the same time though. You’d be scraping me up off the floor!
Question 18: Are you already a member of the root beer party and if not, what is the matter with you?
I am, man! Stop hollering at me!!!

(SORRY, SOMETIMES THE ROOT BEER GETS ME TOO EXCITED!!!!)  -EDITOR 
Question 19: What is the most challenging aspect of cartooning for you?
I would have to say drawing action scenes. They can be difficult, and being a perfectionist, I feel I never seem to get it drawn the way I want.

prideland_696
Question 20: What are your future plans involving web comics or anything else going on in your life?
Just plan to keep on creating & hopefully make a little money at it too! After that…. world domination! Mmmmmhaaahaaaahaaaaaaaaaa!

So there you have it True Believers, another of our world famous 20 questions interviews.  We would like to thank Brian, our future benevolent overlord for taking time to visit the secret Root Beer Party Estates and sitting down with us.  So check out Prideland and Mindframe and tell your local syndicate to make with the syndication already!  Unless your local syndicate is the mafia, then don’t bother them because it would not end well, and as always True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.  

 

Official Root Beer Party Portrait #6 Bret Juliano of the Dust Bunny Mafia

26168012_10155910562162381_5722633439155834632_n

We are back once again in the new wing for the induction of our latest Official Root Beer Party Portrait.  Today we celebrate Bret Juliano of the Dust Bunny Mafia.  One of the original founding members of the Root Beer Party, in fact he was our first official member, and now thanks to the magnificent skill of out resident portrait artist Kim Belding, Bret’s portrait will hang forever in the Official Root Beer Party Portrait Gallery.  Welcome to immortality Bret.

20ish Questions with Comic Creators: Kim Belding of Picpak Dog Comics

25465606_1959753614345937_2022186652_n

Today, True Believers, we have a special treat for you.  It is an interview with our glorious Co-President Kim Belding of Picpak Dog Comics and it is being conducted by our illustrious Secretary of State James Boyd of Sunny Side Up.  It is a high profile meeting of the top brass here at the Root Beer Party.  A top secret summit meeting which we have opened up to you, the True Believers to get an inside look at the inner workings of the Root Beer Party.  So now let us turn this interview over to James Boyd, Secretary of State, Chief Ambassador and Webcomic Crossover King of 2017.  

22901324_10159523558650322_868502046_n

Q1 Welcome back Kim! Let’s start off with the Garfield 40th Anniversary Book. Tell us about it. What does it mean to you to be included in such a milestone? What has Garfield and Jim Davis meant to you?
It’s a pleasure to be back James. Garfield was having a contest to submit your artwork to be featured in their upcoming 40th Anniversary book. Needless to say, I submitted my work and made it in! To say Garfield and Jim Davis were an influence of mine would be a massive understatement. Snoopy was the first character I ever drew, and Garfield had to be second. The comic lends a lot of its humor and visual cues from the early Garfield strips. Picpak himself is really just a bigger Odie! And there’s been so many ideas I’ve had where I’ve thought “Man, this would make a much better Garfield strip”. That was actually what I had submitted in to the contest, and I got in! What a dream come true. I couldn’t believe it.
Q2 Speaking of 40 years, how long have you been doing PicPak? Calvin and Hobbes lasted 10 years, Far Side 15, Garfield is going at 40. Do you foresee a time when you will end PicPak or will it continue forever?
Believe it or not, Picpak has been around in one form or another since 1996! So about 22 years. I was only five years old at the time. I started drawing him in comics in 1999. Before that he was just drawn in a sketch or two. The very first comic was actually just him in a variety of styles, because by that time I had forgotten how to draw him!
The secret to Picpak’s longevity is that it’s such an adaptable comic. When I grow, it grows. When I was a younger I would have never thought of doing puns. Now that’s what I’m known for!
Q3 Lorenzo Music, who voiced Garfield on Garfield and Friends, did such a great job that I can’t read Garfield without hearing his voice. If PicPak became an animated cartoon who do you think should do the voice? Who does PicPak sound like in your head?
Are you familiar with the 90s Pink Panther? It got a lot of backlash because he could talk. The parrot Jules was actually an inspiration for the Parrot in my strip. But anyway, he was voiced by Matt Frewer, AKA Max Headroom. I think he has a strong, but playful and friendly quality to his voice that could work for Picpak. Or perhaps I just have an affinity for pink characters.
Q4 What is your absolute favorite PicPak strip you have done and why do you like it so much?

There are so many to choose from! The Good News (http://www.picpak.net/comic/good-news/) is one that comes to mind. But my favorite must be the very first one I ever put online (http://www.picpak.net/comicgenesis/d/20070630.html). The gag is so wacky and right away it introduces you to both Picpak and Wakky’s characters. I’m actually surprised this wasn’t made into a Way Back Wednesday comic!
Q5 One of the best and worst things about social media is interaction with fans. What’s the best comment you have ever received and why did it mean so much to you?
That’s a really good question! I’ve gotten many great comments, especially from Jon Esparza and Chris Gobbett, that always put a smile on my face. One of my favorites is Chris’ review of the first Picpak Dog collection on Amazon. In it he calls Picpak “a new classic comic in the making” and the “Garfield of the new millennium”. It’s always a pleasure to receive comments like this, and the fact that Chris took the time to write this review means a lot me.

untitled
Q6 The RootBeerParty has really grown in the last year. I’m really proud to be part of our community. As one of the founders, what are your thoughts on where we are at and how would you like us to continue to grow?
To be honest, I didn’t really expect the Root Beer Party to grow into anything! XD You can thank Chris for all that. Having a hand in such an amazing community is a great feeling. I personally invited Brett Koth, one of my biggest influences and an artist from Paws, Inc. into the group, and now he posts his comics there. How cool is that?

People just need to find out there’s a place on Facebook without all the politics and fighting where everyone is positive and shares great work. I know it’s helped me out from time to time. The best way for it to grow is simply through word of mouth!
Q7 Since our last interview with you are there new collections of your work available? Do you have any future plans to publish work?
Now there’s the question on everyone’s mind! Picpak Dog Volume 3 exists somewhere in-between Half-Life 3 and Portal 3. While there haven’t been any collections in a while, the comic does appear regularly in Zenith News (https://www.zenithcitynews.com/) in Duluth, MN. Someday I may launch a Kickstarter to produce a third book. That seems to be the thing that’s in nowadays. Someday!
Q8 Your twitter bio says “Currently working on Season 3 of LouisSaysTV and owner of QCIndieDotCom” – what are those projects and where can we find out more?

DSC05054
Louis Says is a children’s animated series I work on for a Canadian channel called APTN. It’s about a young boy named Randy who tries to help his old friend Louis, but gets mixed up and learns some Cree (a native Canadian language) along the way. There’s more info at http://www.louissaystv.com/.
QCIndie is an Internet radio station I made that airs alternative and indie music. It’s a little different from what you normally hear, and sometimes I just need to remind myself that today’s music isn’t all that bad. You can check it out at http://qcindie.com .
Q9 How do you ‘write’ a PicPak comic? Take us through your typical process? Do you write in batches or do you create a strip or two daily? How long does one strip take to create?
First I jot down the “script” in Google Keep. This is a bit handier than a notebook because I can use it on my phone, laptop, etc. There is where I perfect the timing and the wording. I write when the mood fancies me, but I always make sure I have enough ideas for the upcoming week. I create the strips a day or two before they go up, but occasionally I’ll have a buffer. I start with an initial rough sketch in Photoshop and ink over top that. The whole process for a simple, 3 panel strip is about half an hour.
Other times I like to challenge myself. Recently I did a storyline where Picpak stays in a hotel run by chickens. I had no idea of an ending for this one when I first put it up. I just made chicken jokes until I ran out!

2017-11-29-chicken-motel-4 (2)

Q10 How can fans best support you and your work?
Before this week I would have pointed you to my Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/picpak), but their announcement of their new rules (which they ended up going back on) drove everyone away. I suggest buying a t-shirt or book from the shop (http://www.picpak.net/shop/), or using Ko-fi (http://ko-fi.com/picpak).
Q11 What are your thoughts on the various collaborations, guest strips, and art challenges you are involved in? Specifically, the inflation days on twitter and the monthly patreon sketches.

cuei6avuyaapvmw
I love ‘em! The Patreon sketches are always a great way to try something new. The people I draw them for aren’t even patrons anymore. Some of them never were to begin with, I just made them for them anyway!
Picpak is such a simple strip it’s hard to sneak other characters in. But recently I included both Tiffany and Corey (http://tiffanyandcorey.blogspot.ca/) by Max West into some comics. It’s good to do little shout-outs like these from time to time, especially if they don’t feel forced.
Every time I think there can’t be another inflation joke, the Animaloons make you think again! While reinventing the same joke can sometimes be a challenge, it’s always a pleasure to do them. I especially got a kick out of this month’s Reindeerloon! Inflating an reindeer through its nose will never not be funny!
Q12 Are there any comics out there you think more people should be reading?
There’s so many great comics that you can find in the Root Beer Party every day! A few that come to mind are your strip (Sunny Side Up), Jon Esparza’s Bubble Fox, my friend Donna’s Once Upon a Donna, Dana Atnip’s Galactic Dragons, Charles Brubaker’s Fuzzy Princess and Ask a Cat, Crispin Wood’s Small Blue Yonder, PJ Day’s Flatt Bear, Peter Rasmussen’s Fatherhood Badly Doodled, Jim Horwitz’s Watson, Tim Green’s Vinnie the Vampire, Brad Perri’s Pirate Mike, George Ford’s Addanac City, Brett Koth’s Diamond Lil, Bob Scott’s Bear With Me…there are SO many! I’m sorry if I forgot you, but it’s impossible to list ‘em all!
Q13 I’ve heard you also work in animation? Are there plans for any animated projects for PicPak like the feeling groovy video? What animators do you admire? Which ones influenced you the most?
I do work in animation full-time, and while I would love to see a Picpak series come true, it would have to be under the right circumstances. No crappy soulless CGI! My favourite animators are Chuck Jones, Tom Ruegger, Hanna-Barbera, and Jay Ward (Ok, you can question if he counts as an animator or not! XD). Hanna-Barbera has a huge influence on my style. In fact, the logo on my website has Picpak modeled after a Yogi Bear pose!

Q14 Why don’t you use Scraps more in your comic?
Believe me, I think Scraps is a fascinating character and I’d create a spin-off series if I could, but he’s simply too hard to write for! Picpak is much easier to put in a situation and see how he acts out. Scraps is more particular. That and he’s like dessert – if you saw him every day you’d get sick of him! Plus, if he appeared all the time, all the magic when he does appear would be lost.

Q15 You used to like A&W root beer – why do you hate Barq’s?
I still like A&W! XD My hatred for Barq’s ended up creating one of the best comic communities on the web, so I think the ends justify the means here! To me, Barq’s just doesn’t have the “bite” like it claims. Heck, I don’t even mind it THAT much so long as it’s not watered down!
Q16 If you could revive one discontinued comic which one would it be?

11037025_10153191769872381_1752140084540193908_n
This answer surely is clichéd at this point, but I’d love to see what Bill Watterson could do with Calvin and Hobbes as a webcomic. Or anything, really! He could create something amazing with the unlimited space. The world desperately needs his talent!
Q17 I think I’m out of questions for now. Thanks once again Kim and happy holidays to you and yours!
No problem James, thanks again for the interview! Happy holidays to you as well!

10580073_10152568036702381_5999930411187012428_n

So there you have it True Believers, a meeting for the ages.  Two of the world leading comic experts meeting up to give you a behind the scenes look into how your favorite comics are made.  Sure, they can’t seem to count to twenty, but heck, Seventeen is close enough.  They can’t give away all their secrets.  

Once again we retire with a frosty mug of the elixir of life that is root beer and gaze out upon the vast acreage of The Official Root Beer Party Estates located in an undisclosed location of a unknown country in an undiscovered land.  We hope you enjoy this peek behind the curtain of the Root Beer Party and as always True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.  

20 Questions with Comic Creators: Scott A. Jenkins of Madbury

Welcome once again True Believers to the vast estates of the Root Beer Party, It is now December and the first batch of the elixir of life, Root Beer, is coming of age.  from the fall harvest the Root Beer Monks have Harvested the crops and began the brewing process for the coming year.  The smell of Vanilla, Sassafras, and Anise fill the air, the sweet scent of raw sugar being boiled out of the sugar cane heightens the senses and promises delights to come.  It is a truly amazing time here at The Official root Beer Party Compound in an undisclosed location of an unknown country in an undiscovered land.  Here we dedicate ourselves to the true calling of human life, comics and root beer.  

Today, we have with us for another of our world famous 20 questions segments is none other than Scott A. Jenkins.  A world renowned comic genius which has taken a break from the hectic life of a jet setting, playboy cartoonist to meet with us here at The Official Root Beer Party Compound for an interview.  The Official root Beer Party Bartender brings us two frosty mugs of the elixir of life, the standard ceremony of a meeting between any member of the Root Beer Party.  We trade small talk, something about the exotic life of a cartoonist in the outside world, but I put aside the common banter and proceed to get down to business.  

You can find Scott at the following sites:

Scott A. Jenkins “jynksie” on Twitter
http://www.madburycomic.com
http://www.norsetales.com
http://www.jynksiecomics.com

1

 

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

This would take us back to the year 2000! I came across webcomics.com, which was a webcomics portal for cartoonists back then and was unaffiliated with how we know it today. People displayed their works in the forums, which led me to their websites and I eventually decided to throw my hat into the ring and give this “webcomics” thing a try. I was rusty, so my work was awful, but knowing there was a platform outside of syndication intrigued me then and still does now. The first online comic I ever read was Goats by Jon Rosenberg of Scenes From A Multiverse fame. The first online comic I ever created was “Committed For Life” and it was horribly done.

Question 2: Who was you greatest influence?

The most influential, would be Charles M. Schulz. Charlie Brown was a blockhead and so was I! I may still be, but no one will say so out loud! In fact, my main character in Madbury is, in many ways, an adult version of Chuck. Hodge is a blockhead as well!
It was actually cartoons that influenced my drawing and anything Hanna Barbera had my full attention. Flintstones, Scooby Doo, Top Cat, Yogi Bear, the Jetsons etc.

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

I grew up on A&W Root Beer, it was sold in glass bottles at the Granite State Potato Chip Factory we used to go to every Saturday morning to buy fresh hot potato chips buy the bucket, ahhh childhood! It was a thick tasting root beer, I can’t think of another kind that ever came close and it still tastes the same today.

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

I simply want the ability to share my comic with whomever wants to peek over my shoulder and check it out. I’d also like to see my work, printed out in a tangible, touchable book one day! Even if it’s one copy and it’s mine!

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

I dabble in landscape photography, living in New England, there’s always a view you want to capture and keep.

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

Well, the definition of professional, I imagine, means it’s a paid gig and something you have on the ole’ resume. I’ve only made hobbyist money from my cartooning, so I don’t consider myself a professional. I don’t have a body of work that has developed enough to qualify, so, at most, I’m a professional at being an engaged hobbyist!

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

I do a slice of life comic strip, so subject matter is all inclusive. What I consider out of bounds for me, is being overtly raunchy. I prefer suggestive, you know, show a little butt cheek, so to speak!

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

I use a Miscrosoft Surface Pro Laptop w/ pen and I use photoshop elements 14 to digitally create my work.

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

I went to art school in college, but I majored in art history. My art teacher said my artistic abilities were mundane, so I never pursued drawing after that in a trained environment. I would say I am self-taught.

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

I am always humbled with any attention my creative endeavors are given. So, the highlight comes with every interaction one chooses to have with whatever I put out there in a positive way.

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

I have perfectionist issues and in the past it has hindered my ability to grow as a creator. I spent a lot of time reinventing a wheel that wasn’t broken. In the process of reinventing, I had to accept I may have damaged my original product beyond repair. I’m only recently coming out of that low point, with the reprising of my comic strip, Madbury. The original recipe didn’t need reinventing, but I needed to go through this process in order to see it. Hindsight is 20/20 and I was wearing a blindfold.

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

Everything is on the web. The digital age gives one the ability to just lay our creativity on our digital desk [website] for people to paw through at will.

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

There are a few creators who’s word I value and respect and others who’s work I simply admire beyond words. If I’m going to drop a single name, it would be Mark Stokes. Mark creates Zombie Boy, which has this visually enjoyable and playful design to it. His writing, it’s simple, yet engaging and it tickles at the inner child. To write an all ages type of comic, it requires a sort of intellect I don’t have and it’s an intellect I admire. He should be syndicated; his body of work belongs with the best of the syndicated comic strips.

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

I love to draw, I would imagine if I weren’t drawing as I do now, I’d be fiddling w/ a pencil on a napkin somewhere. It’s an outlet that is as innate in me as breathing. Until my inner child moves on, I’ll be doodling something.

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

For their opinion to matter, one has to care. Trolls don’t do a good job of masking themselves, so when one starts spewing their negativity, just remember, trolls suffer from having a small wee-wee and it’s why they must project negativity.

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

At this time, where my work doesn’t demand deadlines be met, I usually allow motivation to push the creativity out of me, so that when a low point comes, I’ve got some equity in that creative bank. I don’t do well with forced creativity, so when it wanes, it needs to wane.

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

A dirty martini, because life is messy! [grin]

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

I am not currently a member of this party. I’m going to “assume” the invitation was lost in the mail!  (You are now. Welcome to the Party! – Editor)

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

I’ve been drawing a long time, but hands… hands and perspective still allude me. How can one draw hands, day after day, after day and sit down to a brain that thinks it’s never drawn them before?
The other challenge, is the isolation of comic creation. I tend to thrive in a more collaborative environment, so making comics can be frustrating for me in this regard. I’m someone who likes feedback and I like to flush out ideas with more than just myself.

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

I’m not much of a planner, but I do like seeing a plan come together. When that day comes, I’ll have a much better sense of what my future plans have in store for me. That’s my standard answer for everything, except planning for retirement.

In the more immediate future however, I’m trying to migrate to new social media platforms for my creative projects. While Twitter has been good to me, I need to engage in a less volatile atmosphere, as it is hindering my creative flow. What you’ll see from me in 2018 is a continuation of me building a thicker archive of work, while drinking root beer and looking for that lost invitation!

2

And  there you have it True Believers, another in depth interview with the people making the comics of our age.  These are the legends of tomorrow who we will speak of in hushed whispers in the future.  The people who are making sure sequential art is still relevant in the too much information age.  These are the pioneers of new technology and the lawmen that will tame the wild lands of the new frontiers and make comics once again the premier form of communication in the new enlightened age.  we lead the charge here at The Root Beer Party and we welcome you to come along for the ride, and as always True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.