Yesterday, an idea struck me that I just had to find a way to render. After a couple hours of work, this is my result:
Sure, it’s silly, and not a totally new idea (while searching for reference pictures, I found a much simpler version of the same concept), but hey, I drew it, I uploaded it, and… I can’t think of anything else to say about that specifically.
Anyway, I hope you like my first entry into the new wave of mashup culture that has taken the Internet by storm.
Oh, and also, be warned: the fact that I have shown up to this party of mashup-centric media means that the mashup craze is over. I had the same effect on Doge.
The only thing that is missing from my picture is some sort of Disney princess reference. I know that weirding out over the new “Disney princess + anything” trend is nothing new, either, but it is pretty freaking weird. It also seems like if I tried to parody this by making my own princess mashup, then I will only be contributing to it. (Or ending it, if my meme-participation theory holds true.)
Anyway, getting on to more relevant topics…
My brain is currently the central battleground in a personal debate on the feasibility of writing and illustrating a webcomic. In fact, this site’s initial inception a year ago was to find a structure for posting just such a comic. I decided to devote it, for the time being, to just a personal blog, but the idea is still there.
I am not a particularly skilled artist, and I am not particularly witty. Just like anyone, I have my moments, but they come and go in an unreliable enough fashion to make me nervous about trying to lock said wittiness down to a schedule. Writing a webcomic would mean committing to a set posting schedule, because if I do it, I want to do it right. That schedule might be easy at first, such as once a week, but whatever I choose, it must be consistent.
Again, let me reiterate: I am not an artist, as such, but as demonstrated above, I can create at least a facsimile of art. Other popular webcomics began with creators that were learning to draw. Take a look at Penny Arcade’s first strip. While certainly not an atrocity, it is not really… appealing? Over time, though, both the writer and the artist developed their skills and now their work is extremely distinctive and, often, kind of beautiful.
Lacking the artsy gene, I doubt I’ll ever get to be as good as those chaps, but I might get good enough. I might even be good enough right now. With a webcomic, it seems that artistic prowess is not as important as understanding how to communicate. If I can at least create a comic that is bearable to look at as well as communicates what I am trying to say, that is enough to call it a success.
Now, the question comes down to: Do I want this comic enough?
Some part of me says that I should pursue the comic idea because it will expand my potential readership, and while that is a factor I might consider as a professional writer, I do not want that to be my sole objective. I do not even want that near the top of the list.
I think the comic could be a fun way to tell a story, a different way on the side that would help me scratch the creative itch from a different angle.
Somewhere I read that if you want a successful webcomic, you must prepare to devote your entire life to it. (Paraphrasing, but that is basically what it comes down to: webcomic is your life if you want it to go anywhere.) Elsewhere, though, I hear from people like the venerable Howard Taylor of the Writing Excuses podcast and Schlock Mercenary. On one episode of the podcast, he mentioned that his first attempt to run a Schlock-related product line was a disaster, mostly because he thought that a good comic tended to sell merchandise so why not his?
I don’t want to put the cart before the horse, as it were. I might not even want a ‘successful’ comic. But if I don’t want it to be successful, then is there any point in starting something up at all?