Using this website inspired me to come up with this little comic book experiment where I would write and draw a series just see if I could figure out how to do it. This latest installation represents the last little chapter of My Hippie Family for this series. Basically, I had 7 episodes, each was a page. I released the first five, once a week until October, which was a good run. I worked on doing #inktober for the first week of October, but discovered the Creators for Creators Grant, which I qualified for, although I don’t honestly believe I have a chance, but that didn’t stop me from trying. I’ve been working on Super Fantastic Bang! Bang! Show for a couple of years now, but I’ve been a little busy running a business while getting my degree and teaching license. Probable 30+ pages are penciled, and this grant required me to ink 5 pages. I picked the pages of the story that I felt were the best representations of my storytelling and artistic progress. Inking those pages and completing the rest of the application took up the rest of October. I submitted on Halloween. Now, after a few more weeks of lollygagging, I’ve found a place to pin this little story. I’ve got lots of stories and thumbnails planned for My Hippie Family, so this isn’t the last of the characters and their stories. In fact, C.S., Skorpianne, and Dax all are going places, and I can’t wait to draw and share their story. What I’ve gotten so far will be printed into a mini comic. Stay tuned, I’ll put them up for sale somehow.
This is my first real efforts at learning the ropes for writing, drawing, and self-publishing a comic. I know it isn’t exactly great, because I read webcomics and graphic novels, and I can see that I have a lot of room to grow. Learning and playing with this medium has been so fun and rewarding. I hope you’ll forgive me, but I’m going to continue in this same vein for a while. Follow along, tell me what you think. I have no editor, therefore, no one giving me constructive criticism. Please tell me what you like, what you don’t like, etc. I’ll fix what I can and try to continue making something authentic and fun, while improving as an artist. Thanks for reading and stay cool! ~Jason
So, what is My Hippie Family, anyway? Well, it is an idea that has germinated in my head for several years. It actually started out as a website and a podcast with my family. Then, the website lay there, doing nothing while I went to college. Going to school and earning a degree while raising a family has been hard. Now that I’ve got my degree, Lee and I are working hard to move forward with our ideas about outdoor education. I’ve got very little time to work on things just for fun. But, that doesn’t stop me from trying.
Now, I’ve loved comics for as long as I can remember. I love doodling and I’ve always drawn, but I’ve never actually tried to put something tangible together. Without a decent writer, I was forced to come up with my own storyline for a comic. This is not such a good idea. I’m a bit weird, and would rather leave the writing up to someone with talent. Alas, that never manifested, so I had to figure out how to do it alone.
When I first got the idea for a comic, I wanted it to be full of superlatives, onomatopoeia, and action! The name would have to reflect that, too. This is how Super Fantastic Bang! Bang! Show was born. I wanted a strong female heroine who was kind, sensitive, and smart. Most of all, she had to be bad-ass! I also wanted her to have a sidekick: a dog with a secret past! The dog would help her out of jams, and she would be a bit of MacGyver meets Houdini. I named her Juanita, after my grandmother. The story starts in the middle of a dangerous adventure, and the rest is, well, you’ll see it when it’s all finished and printed.
Back to My Hippie Family: So, remember, there is this website that I built, and I love the name, and I want to find a way to use it. So, I came up with a comic about a punk rock kid who is constantly embarrassed by his well-intentioned, loving, left-leaning family. I could make the comics short, one page, six panel strips that would be a companion to the larger story I was telling in Super Fantastic Bang! Bang! Show (SFBBS). In fact, the two worlds merge at the end of my first SFBBS story. Currently, SFBBS is about 75% written and penciled, and will be about 36 pages long. My Hippie Family will only have a total of 36 panels, or 6 pages, when it is finished (some “panels” will count as 2 because they are double wide). When My Hippie Family is done, I will print up a limited number of copies and put them together myself as a zine. These will be sold via the website, and will be a mini-comic; one panel per page, measuring approximately 3.5 inches by 4 inches. Until then, enjoy it for free on the website.
Eventually, SFBBS will be finished, and I will print it up in a small DIY comic book zine, as well. My Hippie Family will likely fit into that comic one page at a time, here and there throughout the book. It will also go up for sale on the website. For now, I am publishing My Hippie Family online as I ink it. It is an exercise in art and creativity and has been the most fun I’ve ever had drawing. I hope you enjoy it. ~J