Where do I get the fuel for my comic writing fire? My first kindling came from the mighty comic writing Oaks of France and Belgium. I refer of course to the Asterix and Tintin books by Rene Goscinny/Albert Uderzo and Herge respectively. I also avidly read collections of (old) Garfield and New Zealand’s very own Footrot Flats. Many of these delightful strips I have memorized to this day. Up until my tween years I made my own Garfield and Footrot Flats style strips. At first I ‘borrowed’ some of their jokes but I soon managed to come up with my own stuff. It was then I saw the light – I witnessed the awesome potential there was in comics.

At High School I made small comics starring the group of friends I hung with (and still do). I drew them and myself as various caricatures and we would embark on ridiculous adventures. An annoying rival of ours would star as a villain that we would all have to defeat. Our unfortunate physical attributes would play a large part in the jokes – my friend’s large nose would often accidentally blind people. Another friend was a fish guy. He still is. I always made sure we were all equally mocked.

Nowadays my inspiration comes from a variety of sources. One of the stranger sources would be Cartoon Network, in particular a program called Adventure Time. By comparison it far outshines its fellow cartoons on the network. It is strange and doesn’t try too hard. It is laid back and not often contrived. The freshest thing to me is that it often feels unrefined or raw – like the first idea the writers came up with goes straight into the animation. This makes me super jealous of the creators Pendelton Ward and Thurop van Orman and it shows that fresh spontaneous thinking can actually infiltrate the heavily scrutinized medium of television.

Another guy I look up to is Greg Broadmore who does a lot of work for Weta Workshop. (Weta Workshop and Peter Jackson pretty much filmed the Lord of the Rings just around the corner from my house.) I’m super jealous of him because his fresh spontaneous thinking gets made by Weta then and there. He could pretty much draw on a post-it and Weta would cast it 30 metres high in bronze. I would love some day to have as much belief in my ideas.

So now to the point of this post. The three gentlemen I have previously mentioned, Broadmore, Ward and van Orman, are all inspirational fresh thinkers. However I couldn’t help but notice that each one of them possess ginger beards. Is this a theme amongst those who have my dream job? I am not ginger and I very much doubt I could grow half the beard these guys have even if I didn’t shave until I was 80. I can’t help but wonder if my ginger-beardlessness will effect my aspiring creative career. We’ll see I guess.

Lastly, here is a sneak peek at page 5 in Issue 3, Breakdown. I finished it this afternoon. (it is cut in half – there is a spoiler column of writing in the left half)