by otterdisaster

Confession of an Accidental Cartoonist

I don’t know what I’m doing.
I’m making it all up as I go along. 
As a father, a husband and as a cartoonist. Luckily I have a wonderful wife who helps me figure out the father and husband stuff most of the time. 
As a cartoonist?
I've basically stumbled my way up to this point. 
Brain Teaser Comics is now in its third year.  Artistically I am still exploring styles, drifting from very cartoony to more illustrative/realistic renderings, depending on my mood and the nature of a gag. Brain Teaser’s one-off format is perfect for this.
Brain Teaser was itself an accident, born as a side project to another project that I incompetently murdered before it was ever released. Like I said, I don’t know what I’m doing. 
I had a few comics projects under my belt (Major Spoilers Adventures, Spoiled!, and Discordian Quote Comix), all educational and formative experiments that didn’t really ‘count’ in my mind. 
I decided I wanted to be a ‘real’ cartoonist so I conceived and started work on a newspaper style continuity strip, intended to come out three days a week. Think Archie meets Better Off Dead, the classic 80’s John Cusack teen film. I began writing strips and building my buffer, but my digital only, full color process was slow, unwieldy and grew into something more chore than fun. I was never going to be able to release three strips a week with this workflow, I’d be lucky to get one out. 
While I was slowly strangling that project to death by over thinking it, I was also doing side sketches and drawings. I threw some captions on them and began posting those as Brain Teaser Comics, almost as a goof.  The longer I slogged away at my continuity strips, the more the very idea of that particular comic became suffocating.  I found myself stepping away and drawing the gag panels, because I was having a great deal more fun doing them, making it up as I went along.
I eventually noticed work on my ‘regular’ strip stopped completely while I worked more and more on my strange little panel comic. 
I felt like I’d failed. I felt like I’d failed for several months, all while producing a comic I really enjoyed. Again, I don’t know what I’m doing.
Because I’d focused so much on the thing I thought I should be doing (and not even working on), I was ignoring the thing I was actually doing (and really enjoying).  I had developed tunnel vision. I thought I had to do my comics in a certain way. I thought I had to do them the way others were doing them if I was to be a cartoonist. I weirdly thought there was an expectation of what my comic would be, even when I had no comic and no audience to read it. I don’t know what I’m doing.
It took a while, but I figured out that I’d been doing what I wanted to be doing for quite a while. I was drawing silly stuff, and putting it out into the world for all to see.
I’d become a cartoonist. 
I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m making it up as I go along.
by otterdisaster

Media Montage Podcast 72: Music Matters

Music is everywhere, and it shapes our lives in interesting ways. Bruce and Larry take a look at their formative years, discovering, listening to and sharing music.

We tell some tales about discovery of our favorite bands, and share the emotional impact of music at specific moments in our lives. Bruce tells a tale of a girl who shared a name with a popular song, and Larry faces down the Ace of Spades!

How do we discover our music?
Does format affect the way we consume our music?
Find out why music matters in Episode 72 of the Media Montage Podcast!

Larry's Formative Years Playlist
Bruce's Birth to Jr High Playlist
Bruce's High School and Beyond Playlist

Our Comics:
Magna Comica:
Brain Teaser Comics: