Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Cheez: Panel 1

After college I spent my free time drawing comics and trying to figure out just how to get my work out to the public (and make money). The internet wasn't what it is today and I didn't have the resources to self-publish. Syndication seemed like the way to go, so I set to work developing a strip. I had no real concept for a strip or much perspective beyond what I personally found funny. I had no idea what would sell and what people would like. The only comic I'd ever done with confirmed appeal was the one featuring Moon Cheese from college.

It seemed like as good a place as any to start as any, so I began drawing up a syndication proposal. I had no idea what the strip would be about, put very little thought into the characters and was pretty much going to make it up as I went. In the end, it turned out to be about my alter ego: a slacker trying to find his place in the world, his ex-hippie parents (nothing like my parents) who enable him and a few friends. It was met with the inevitable rejection... frankly it's a wonder the proposal turned out as well as it did.

I learned that if you want to succeed, you need passion and the virtue of selfishness. You can't create for someone else and expect it to be good. It has to come from within. The Cheez was created for a nebulous public that I had no concept of and it showed. The work lacked heart and would have been doomed to fail. It did serve to teach me a great deal about the art of comics, so all was not lost. I got some great feedback and constructive criticism from would-be syndicates, instead of the usual form rejection letter.

I took that as a sign my work had potential and it motivated me to keep going. I'm glad I did. Looking back on this strip I can see the bright-spots as well as the failures and I'm proud of The Cheez, despite it's short-comings. It gives me great pleasure to see it digitally remastered now. Hopefully you all will enjoy it as well. I begin with the first panel of that syndication (from 1998 I think) and will post it in it's entirety in the coming weeks.