Thursday, October 23, 2008

Meet the Dibbles!...

As is usual with people of a priggish nature, I give great advice but rarely take my own. Such has been the case with a friend of mine who has faithfully been doing a weekly webcomic strip for over the past year. Oh, he seeks my advice, and graciously tells others how much he's learned from me. But in essense, he's doing what I should be. And hopefully that is going to change.

Part of my anxiety has been of a commitment nature. Picking a project and seeing it through. Not being worried as to whether or not it's "good enough," but doing it because I should. Hence I finally got off my fat butt and got that Sat-7 mini-comic to the point of now it just needs some gentle honing. But now it's on to the "Dibbles."

I read an article years ago about submitting to syndicates and the development of comic strips. One fine point made was to not do a strip based on "no one else is doing it that way," or just because there isn't a strip about a giraffe isn't reason to do a giraffe strip. Sadly and joyously, the internet allows anyone the access to put up whatever. And with the sheer amount of material available, it will be quite an adventure building an audience. Will the strip be good? Technically, I'm a fairly decent cartoonist, so on that level it will be competent. As to the writing, I'm looking at it as my own way of "throwing some rocks at the church windows."

The strip I am working on is to be called, "Pastor Dibble," and will be about the trials and tribulations of a goofy Baptist minister. I think it has some potential, at least for some interesting lampooning. Evangelicals do tend to be a bit thin skinned, so I'm sure I'll get some eventual "why do you hate us" stuff. But I am one of the "us," so who better to do it? And I'm not sure where "Bob Dibble" came from. While assuredly from my own twisted psyche, he seems to be from 2 Bobs, 1 Paul, and a Roy. And only one of them was a Baptist! It should be fun.

I showed a draft of "Dibble" in my last post, but here's a rendition of the he and his wife, Bailey...I asked my wife in the initial stages as to how the "Pastor's wife" should look, and was surprised that she thought she should be frumpy. So I went the opposite direction and thought there were more potential fireworks if she were "hot." Frumpy would've limited the appeal, and maybe been stereotypical. Certainly tv has not followed that, but had several goofy guys have attractive mates--Ralph Cranden, Fred Flintstone, George Jetson. And current shows such as "Family Guy," "World According to Jim," and "Still Standing." Even in the style guides for the "Simpson," it's stated that Marge has a sexiness to her.

My initial take on her was a bit stilted. Even the one above isn't where I want her to be. So I've gone back and done some additional study. I like the angular look to the animation style of the '50's and early '60's. Those guys did a lot with a little. One friend suggested making her more like Sarah Palin, who has certainly brought some "heat" to the current dreary election. To make it work, she needs to be busty and curvy. And why not? Where is it written that sinners get all the hot chicks? Will she be virtuous? Absolutely. Here's what I came up with tonight...I plan on starting out as a weekly. So far I have about 40 gags I like. But I still need to draw them, which is why I will be giving you all a "Leilah Tov"(Good Night!)


KeelanParham said...

These are awesome, Mike. I love the idea. Can't wait to read the strip! I really like how you go into your thought processes for designing the characters, particularly the wife.

I agree with you, who says only sinners can have the "hot" wives?!
Actually my family and I are Christians, and well, to be wife IS hot. So, I like this line of thinking!

Plus, I am with you... the juxtaposition of their looks provides a great element to their character design. Push and pull, straight versus curved, action and reaction, isn't the differences what good cartooning is all about?

Mike Worley said...

You put me in an awkward position, Keelan. If I agree that your wife is hot, does that make me a lech? If I disagree, I would be liar, and run the risk of offending you, too.

What if I said this..."Keelan Parham is an extremely fortunate man to have such a loving and lovely woman for his wife." Tactful, and maybe Barbie won't clobber me.

KeelanParham said...

I am very blessed, it is true.