Drawing Comix!

This weekend I’ve been busy writing a new comic book series that we’ve been planning. Neither Mike or myself have drawn comic books in well over a decade. But over the years, we’ve both often said, “Hey, let’s do another comic!” Somehow, we just never got around to it… until now.

I’ve also been prepping the first of several future volumes of our old Zaptoons comics from the 1990’s. I plan to begin republishing them in a series of collections starting early next year.

The trick is in preparing all the old artwork for press, which means scanning hundreds of comic book pages by hand. No easy feat, and quite tedious, but it’s still a lot of fun.

To the left is a page from a 1992 issue of Zaptoon Tales, featuring a character called Charlie Hippo. Charlie was a comic series we began drawing back in the late 1980’s while still in art school. The adventure stories we wrote and drew starring Charlie are some of my favorite creations.

Of course these weren’t the greatest comics ever, but we had a blast drawing them. Mainly, we did them to amuse ourselves. Best of all, the challenge of drawing our own comic book series taught us a lot. Our goal was just to learn as much as we could about the art of storytelling. Drawing comic strips is actually a very good way to hone one’s skills as a storyteller. The comic page forces an author to tell a story in as efficient a way possible, as one can’t use endless panels to get the point across.

As with most undertakings, one never knows where may end up. What started as a simple lesson to learn more about telling stories, ended up with us landing a gig writing and drawing comic books for 20th Century Fox for the first issues of Simpsons comics. We could never have taken that gig on without the knowledge and experience we’d gathered creating our own comic books.

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