Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pipe Dreams History Continues...

The reason I wanted to create a comic strip in the first place was because of my friend Pro's friend, Cullem.

He was a Architecure student at Cooper Union. He is very smart and a hard worker. He did not go to SVA, didn't hang out with us cartoonists on a daily basis. Yet, the little sneak created a well done comic strip called Planet Buffalo. It was a comic strip of bugs and what not, that lived on top of the back of a buffalo. It was well designed and had the potential to be a successful comic strip. It hit me like a sledgehammer. When all my friends were oohing and ahhing how good it was, I plotted in my head the means to usurp him with a comic strip of my own.

So I had, after a few false starts, a foundation for a comic strip. I had three main characters, loosely based on my friends. I wanted it set in an urban environment. I decide to make a mini pamphlet of comic strips to show my friends. I struggled to get them done. I had some good jokes I couldn't execute well, some jokes that died on the way to the drawing board and some long winded screeds about the war. Eventually I had enough to satisfy my need to show my friends.

So, Here were the characters I created.

Dirk- He was my lunkhead character. Kind of a musclehead. He was a composite of three of my friends. Pro, Inkboy, and Korn. All had one thing in common. They all succeeded with women I had crushes on, so I decide he was going to be the ladies man of the group. He struggled a little with his weight and was a bit on the conservative side. I decided he was going to be the straw man in my political arguments. He was to be the bartender at the local watering hole which gave him opportunities to meet with many people of different stripes.

Paco (Gritzko)- Based very loosely on my friend Miggy. I made him skinny as a contrast to Dirk. I used the closed eyes look as a short cut for casualness. He's mellow, but clumsy. I originally had him named Paco, (My name in Spanish class) but I remembered a classmate of mine having the name Gritzko. I thought the name was less offensive and certainly less cliched. I had Gritzko being a smoker but later had to drop it due to syndicate restrictions.

Skat- Based on me. As a creator of any work of fiction, one must take a bit of himself into the characters he creates. Skat is the most represented of me. He is physically similar, lots of dark hair, a cleft chin, and glasses. He's cheap, and hops from job to job. Like me. The only trait I introduced originally that's not really me, is the fact he was an alcoholic. I have been known to drink too much on occasions, but it happened only once in a while.

After working, on a few strips I came up with some other characters.

Phil- A bartender

Buck- A soon to be regular I will get into later.

Rachel- a female character that was not well developed at all.

So, I showed them to my friends a month or so before I moved to Seattle.

My plan was to move to Seattle, get a job working either as a bartender or if I'm lucky, work at a publication. On my free time, work on my strip. That story will come up later.


AlNickerson said...

I always did like Dirk. :)

Planet Buffalo was awesome! Cullum should post those old strips on the Web.

Scanman said...

Yup! I agree, he had done some new ones back in the mid 90's and they were still good! He might want to look into it.