|Show # 45 - drderanged - In Depth
||[Oct. 21st, 2008|04:11 am]
drderanged: I have returned!
penpusher: So we're back with Doc and we get to really start to understand your process and who you are.
penpusher: You are an artist!
drderanged: I consider myself a "cartoonist". What I do is an insult to actual artists.
penpusher: well, ok. I guess let's focus on the "writer/cartoonist" element you described on your billboard.
drderanged: hehe! I exaggerate for humor purposes but yes, I love to draw. Although I gave it up for quite a while at one point because I was young and dumb and listened to an art instructor that said I was crap.
penpusher: I wonder why art instructors say such things, knowing how subjective art really is?
drderanged: Indeed. I was still a teen at the time so I didn't know any better. If the same thing happened today, he probably would have been head-butted.
drderanged: His medium was sculpture though. He liked to glue rock penises onto larger rocks and call it "man". And the less said about his stone boobies, the better.
penpusher: Ok. Maybe there's an explanation in there. But, I mean really. If Hitler's art teachers kept their mouths shut, maybe there wouldn't have been a Third Reich!
drderanged: That's a very valid point. Of course, if we followed it back to its logical conclusion, it kind of defeats the purpose of saying or doing anything for fear of creating the next Hitler.
penpusher: Hindsight is always 20/20.
drderanged: Tell that to Hitler's art teacher and see how he feels. haha
penpusher: But you didn't give up. You weren't a quitter, like Hitler!
drderanged: Yeah. These days, cartooning is a challenge. I learn something new from every page and every panel I do. Which is why I don't consider myself an "Artist". I'm a work in progress.
penpusher: When did you first draw a strip?
drderanged: I did all sorts of small comics in Middle School. I'm talking about a line of inch and a half panels that you can barely tell what's going on. haha! It seemed like a good idea at the time. These days, I've been cartooning for about three years. My site just celebrated its second anniversary.
drderanged: Thanks. It's a labor of love.
penpusher: Let's plug the site here, shouldn't we?
drderanged: Since you're twisting my arm. hehe It's Deranged Comics at www.derangedcomics.com Home of "Every Day Is Halloween" and Ninja Octopus!
penpusher: What sort of pace do you work at for this? are you drawing every day?
drderanged: I try to draw some every day. Although some days it's just not possible. I still have a "real" job. Let me tell you, real life can really get in the way of a solid schedule!
penpusher: Real life has ruined more lives than I care to know. Although I'm sure it's provided a fair amount of material for the strips.
drderanged: Oh, absolutely. I've gotten strips, live journal entries, short story ideas -- just from my time spent in a corporate hellhole. Office Space is not a comedy. It's a horror film!
penpusher: That's what I've heard. So are there particular people you toss into your strips as characters? Traits of friends or enemies you use to work the panels?
drderanged: Everytime someone starts a comic, immediately your friends start hinting to be in it. haha I've been on both sides of that one. But yeah, I have a friend that's a model and she wanted me to use her likeness as one of the characters. Conversely...
drderanged: ... I borrowed the likenesses of some people I worked with that gave me an ulcer. I had one of the Every Day Is Halloween cast eat her. It was very cathartic.
penpusher: I was hoping so. Yes, I think there must be a lot of therapeutic benefits to drawing a comic.
drderanged: It's true. Iif I can amuse and horrify readers at the same time, all the better.
penpusher: Based on all of the guests who have been here and are cartoonists, it seems that you all are very mild-mannered, well spoken and slightly twisted. Is that a requisite to the job?
drderanged: I think it definitely helps to have that "slightly twisted" quality. Anytime you can portray something in a new light that most of the readers have never thought of, you'll be successful.
drderanged: Making the mundane magical is something few can do well.
penpusher: I'd settle for "tolerable" most of the time!
drderanged: If only everyone was so easy to please.
penpusher: Did you have any comic influences growing up... any strips you loved as a kid?
drderanged: Oh, I had the usual favorites as a kid. Peanuts. Garfield. But those cease being funny when you hit double digits and have seen the same joke for the 100th time. I was more influenced by Marvel & DC, as far as comics go. I've been a comic book reader since I was about 9.
penpusher: Well, Marvel and DC could have some funny business in them.
drderanged: True. Larger than life characters. Epic stories. There's no denying an influence there.
penpusher: Are there themes you often go to in your work, areas you keep coming back to explore?
drderanged: Well, "Every Day Is Halloween" is about Halloween monsters trapped in the real world. So, there is always the underlying theme of misfits trying to fit in to normal society. With varying degrees of success.
drderanged: The gang just experienced their first funeral, for instance.
penpusher: That sounds poignant.
drderanged: The tribute song they agreed to play was "I'll Never Grow Up" by Twisted Sister.
penpusher: Ha! and there it is.
drderanged: There are lots of angles to take. One that will be coming up is love and romance from the point of view of monsters that are wildly unfamiliar with the concepts.
penpusher: Have you gotten feedback from readers? What sorts of comments have you heard?
drderanged: I have. You get most of it in the beginning. Lots of "This is great! Keep up the good work!" and "Great site! Loved the strip." After you've been around a while, you start getting taken for granted. Not in a negative way, just that you're always there and there's no need to send the occasional pep talk.
penpusher: Would you like some pep talks? I'll see what we can do.
drderanged: Well, there are plenty of times when I feel like I'm working in a vacuum. And even one nice "can't wait to see what happens next" is helpful. Luckily, those moods seem to ebb and flow. Right now, I'm extremely motivated.
penpusher: It's good to be self-sustaining, but I imagine it's useful to get some feedback to help guide things.
drderanged: Right. I have a buddy that is also a cartoonist and he gets feedback right and left. Of course, the more mail you get, the greater the probability that the freak legion is one of them. But I'll be thrilled when I'm to the point that I have freaks writing me.
penpusher: We can work on getting you a freak or two in your fan club. I'll make some calls.
drderanged: Excellent. The more the merrier! Bring 'em on! Raise the flag!
penpusher: All brilliant ideas! And maybe we'll even do all that after this break! Doc continues, next.
drderanged: Or... will I? Muah-haha!
drderanged: Exactly. Raise the dramatic tension between segments.
Continue to Segment Three