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