“But… Why?”

I knew exactly, at the moment of finishing my first complete read-through of “Darwin Carmichael Is Going To Hell”, what was missing from Hipster Picnic and it was pages and sequences like the one from today’s post.

Wait… Let me back up.

When I had started Hipster Picnic, way back in the summer of 2010, I originally wanted to create a snarky hipster satire that light-heartedly poked fun at the budding/ridiculous culture that I was seeing while living in North Park, San Diego. Due to mental and physical health issues I really hadn’t been creating comics since I was in high school. The first couple of pages of Hipster Picnic were aimless. They wandered.

That summer I went to a summer cartooning workshop. In the week I had to create a four page short story and that was where Hawk and Steve were born. Over the years you can see that I have gone through a catalog of styles, approaches, and techniques for the comic. In reality, Hipster Picnic was always my stepping stone towards learning how to make comics, it was never a story I was passionate about telling.

Until last year. After Gocomics approached me to run the old catalog of work, and a litany of people asked me about the series, I became inspired to revisit the project. I started studying Calvin & Hobbes and played with the idea of bringing the series back as a gag strip.

Something about the motions of a gag strip were off-putting though. I couldn’t put my finger on why I wasn’t as enamored with the form until I received a copy of “Darwin Carmichael Is Going To Hell” by Jenn Jordan & Sophie Goldstein. Somehow, in DC, Goldstein and Jordan had blurred the lines between gag strip and dramatic story over the tenure of their book allowing them to accomplish more emotionally raw sequences. As soon as I read it I knew I had to have it for Hipster Picnic.

I wanted to do sequences that ended in jokes. I also wanted to do sequences that moved from humor into more complex emotions. Gag strips require repetition, setups, and punchlines in each strip. They hold a power in their humor, but they also hold limitations. A really great gag comic is short, sweet, and insanely digestible. This is not particularly conducive to the rhythms needed for more complex emotional scenes.

Deeply emotional scenes need to alter angles in which the viewer is looking at the character.  Today’s sequence does that in a way that I have been yearning for in my comic art for many years. I am really pleased with this new direction for Hipster Picnic.

Don’t worry though, there are more jokes coming.


Song Of The Day:

“Tell Me Why” by Neil Young
Listen to to the full Hipster Picnic Soundtrack!