What's the context around the original drawn girl comic? What lead up to you making it?
Believe it or not, 4chan was the start of it. So… that probably won’t help the underlying thread discussing the comic as a misogynist woman hating patriarchal piece of filth. I digress. For those following me who never saw it, here’s the comic in question.
And here’s the original comic that most people hadn’t seen!
That little strip was drawn in under ten minutes, for a /co/ thread that has long LONG since died. I recall that the thread in question challenged visitors to make a comic in MSpaint really quickly. And I thought, hey that sounds like fun. But I didn’t have an idea just that minute, and I needed to take a shower anyway. While showering, I kinda got this idea of a pretty sad lonely figure drawing an adoring cartoon character, “Thanks dad!” So I had my punchline, all I needed was the build up. The most natural build up appeared to resemble the changes a character takes when you start designing them. And in the fictional reality, it looks like a character growing up. All those ideas came together and then I whipped up the MSPaint comic in a few minutes while my hair was still drying.
It kinda neatly ties up some ideas I’d been thinking about at the time. The meta narrative is very interesting to people now, you’ll find people are just as interested in the production side of things as they are in the final product. You find that especially true in the gossipy parts of 4chan’s comics and cartoon board. It kinda helps that many of them have toyed around with making their own comics too. So there’s a lot of people there who inherently understand what it is to try and create something and the joy it is to see something flourish. Yet it can be a sad story if the only person seeing these creations are yourself.
Surprisingly, years after I’d drawn it, people were still posting this little thing. And I’d thought, hey maybe I struck a chord with that one. And maybe I got a little full of myself but I started to see why it worked. I then thought about how I might update it. I could very well “draw it better.” So one night, I spent some time considering the layout and the panels. I wanted a couple more in there to showcase progression and to show the artist pencil coming into play. I took a little bit of time, finessing the “moral” a bit to become more ambiguous. Originally it was just a sad figure. Now I thought it might be good if his expression could be read as surprised? Scared? Sad? I also knew I wanted to render him differently, to give the impression that he existed in the “real” world. I didn’t want to use a photo or anything, because one I didn’t have a person on hand I would’ve wanted to use their photograph. And two, it would probably distract more and be much more inherently creepy than another drawing would be.
I did it in a few late night hours to the best of my ability at the time, and then posted it to plus4chan. I was actually asked about the comic and it’s legacy by the webcomics beacon, and you can find the answers to my e-mail interview right here. It’s a lengthy one but if you guys have grown a taste for my long winded answers, you can find more of them right here.