What was your first con experience like? Would you do anything differently?
As a guest? It was nice. I met people I’d admired. The con itself was REALLY dead (Valentine’s weekend and on the cusp of a blizzard). In retrospect, I’d probably have prepared more, brought promotional material, and held out for the con helping me get there (I shouldered the total cost) if only a little. But I was the smallest name on the guest list and that’s how it goes. I’ve no complaints about the experience.
For the comic: I draw the comics in photocopy blue pencil (Prismacolor cerulean blue works amazingly well, too) and ink them in Sakura graphic 1.0mm markers. Characters are outlined in Sharpie markers to make them stand out from the background.
For watercolors: I use a mechanical #2 pencil to lay down base lines. Then I ink those lines with my Sakura graphic 1.0mm markers because the ink, once it dries (about 10 seconds) doesn’t run when I paint over them. I paint with Windsor and Van Gogh watercolors. I also use ink wash on occasion with watercolors. My favorite thing used to be to get calligraphy pen refill sets and use the inks because you could get weird and interesting shades.
I should point out that Sakura Graphic Markers are NOT the same thing as Sakura Pygma pens. They look the same on design, but the Pygma pens only go up to 0.8mm and are considered pens. Since the Graphics are 1.0mm through 3.0mm, they are considered markers (makes a difference if you’re trying to order them online as to where you’ll find them listed).
What webcomics do you read? Are you friends with any other webcomic artists (besides Danielle Corsetto and Aerie, I mean)? What comics have your characters made cameos in? I saw the Something Positive reference in Girl Genius, back at the beginning of the Mechanicsburg arc - that was neat.
Read list: QC, Diesel Sweeties, Oglaf, PVP, Templar, Shortpacked!, @Tavicat, and a lot more. I try to keep my webcomic reading to once a week and I catch up on one strip in bulk.
I get along with a lot of webcartoonists. Jeph Jacques and Dave Willis have special places in my heart (an aorta each). I hang out with J. Grant and Mel Hynes of Two Lumps when possible. I’ve shared tables with Spike and Joel Watson on many occasions and expect I will again. Pete Abrams of Sluggy Freelance? Amazingly nice guy.
Yeah, you still have two other comics that you started and then left hanging: New Gold Dream and Super Stupor. lol
NGD just stopped because, again, mostly got complaints about it even though it NEVER interfered with S*P’s update schedule. Super Stupor - I never said that was going to have a regular update schedule so I don’t know what you’re talking about. In fact, I’ve said quite often it updates whenever I want - it’s candy for me.
I have it scripted and need to finish it. Honestly, I got sick and tired of hate mail from Penny and Aggie readers. I love T. He is a wonderful person - but P&A Readers? Some are nice, but a hell of a lot of the ones I dealt with just douchebags and I got fed up.
Regarding comics ideas and not affording to pay artists, you could also just partner with an artist to create a webcomic where you share the proceeds from advertising and dead-tree sales. Or is there a reason why this is not feasible, if an artist could be found?
I’m hesitant for that because I’ve heard of it going very, VERY poorly in the past. Also, I have trouble just “partnering” with a person I have no working history with. I’d rather be able to pay the person a fair rate so I didn’t feel bad about red-lining their work or, worse yet, firing them if there were a lot of problems.
Will we ever find out what caused Mike to spiral back into proto-Mike (pre-Davan Mike? Mike Beta? I don't know)? I have a nagging feeling that you've already covered it in an earlier strip, but... it's like seeing someone you know lapse back to that pack-a-day habit or that sugar binge... or warhammer. You're (at the very least) interested in some sort of explanation, y'know?
Do you ever do smaller meet-and-greets outside of cons? I can't really afford to go to cons at the moment, but I understand you might have too many fans to make such things feasible...
I’ve done a few, not many - but I don’t do them when I go to cons. If I’m at a con and I’m a guest, the con has me there to draw people in and it’s an insult to them to bypass that. If I’m there as a vendor, I have to make my investment and a profit. I can’t really bring all my merch to a reader gathering.
I’ve done reader gatherings in Boston, Dallas, and LA. It’s hard for me to do them, though, in towns I don’t live in because I usually don’t know the area well.
Do characters in S*P age normally? Or do they age in Comic Book/Soap Opera time?
Also, I was actually starting to feel some sympathy for Mike in recent years. After this arc, will he go back to acting like a human being?
First part: They age normally. When the strip, Davan and PeeJee were in their mid twenties, Aubrey was in her early twenties, and Jason was in his late twenties. They’re now in their mid, early, and late thirties respectively. If the comic continues another ten years, they’ll be in their forties - and PamJee will be a tween and Rory a teenager.
And that’s a spoiler, sorry. I can only tell you this - Mike will never be exactly like he used to be. Ever.
Randy, do you ever feel that you have too many characters in S*P?
Not really. I have a core cast that I can focus on and then I have supporting cast. I Didn’t want my comic to only have three people who only ever interact with each other. That seems silly to me. But not every character can be the focus, either.
I like to think of it as any other group of friends. You have people who are always there. Then you have the people who come and go and those who are merely passing through.