Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Grand Life: from conception to delivery

As I mentioned in the previous post, almost all cartoon strips evolve through time and often share little with the finished printed product. My strip, “The Grand Life” lends testimony to that statement. Originally titled, “Blind Allie”, it centered around a young teen who was visually impaired. Basically, it dealt with him, his friends, Frog and Tiny and their antics.

I found the concept unique and exciting, but after awhile ideas didn’t come so easy and situations I believed to be hilarious, others found offensive. Eventually, I put “Blind Allie” away and resumed work on “Duck’n Out”.

My wife Sheri, sensing I wasn’t happy with the way things were going suggested I turn my life into a strip. We talked and it started to make sense. There is a rule in writing, “write what you know.” We had just moved from Mississippi (after Katrina) where we (Sheri, Breanna, Gizmo and myself) lived with my daughter Tracy, her two children, Connor and Alexandra, her husband, his parents and my ex-wife. What a group!

“The Grand Life” began to write itself, while some of the incidences are exaggerated, 99% are based on actual events. I think that’s what makes it so much fun to write and draw. For it to work, that what it has to be; Fun!

Above are two different cartoons each done as “Blind Allie” and later re-done as “The Grand Life”.
Next: Personalities and appearance, creating and drawing your characters

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