Have you ever picked up a comic, watched a TV show, or seen a movie, and thought, "People just don't talk like that. They don't behave like that." Yeah? me too. It gets rather frustrating at times. At the other end of the spectrum, there are those instances where you come across characters so real, that you think "I swear, I've MET them."
As a teenager, I had already decided that I was going to make comics. It was pretty much set in stone from an early age. Many a forty ounce of fine malt liquor was consumed as my friends and I bullshitted about the kinds of comics i would make when I actually "made it." I was of the school of thought that X-Men, Spider-Man, or Batman was really the only route to take. And I was perfectly fine with that. sometimes, we would joke that I should make a comic based on us. Our group of friends. For so many years i dismissed that idea, as a bunch of alcohol and dirt weed filled teenager just talking nonsense. Nobody would read a comic about that. Or would they?
Fast forward about 11 years. I'm in my late 20's, and i have my first real paying comic gig. It was a fun, superhero sci-fi adventure. I kept telling myself that I loved doing it, which in many ways I did. There was still something lacking though. I didn't know any kid when I was ten that got an alien super suit and defended the planet. I didn't write the book myself either, so there was already a disconnect for me. I yearned to create something that was a little more real, a little more personal.
One night, at the bar with those very same friends I used to drink with underage in undisclosed locations, the idea came up again. "Colbs, you still need to make a comic about us."
That night, Townies was born. The idea for it anyway. I had no idea of a story, of how I was going to include my vast network of friends and experiences into an entertaining read. A few years later, I came across a book titled "Off Road" By Sean Murphy. A black and white graphic novel. No capes, no tights, no super powers. Real characters, and realistic events. Good dialogue. Funny. To top it all off, Sean Murphy's skills with a brush are out of this world. He successfully created a world that was believable, but wasn't "realism" by any means. For the first time, I thought, "I can do this."
But I didn't have anything to base it on. Nothing interesting anyway. Fast forward another few years. I had gone through a couple jobs, a couple girlfriends, and MANY life experiences crammed into a short time period. During a late night session of inspired writing, (and most likely a few drinks) the first chapter of Townies was born.
Trying to create realistic characters and a story that people will be entertained by has been an incredible experience. The verdict is still out on whether or not it will resonate with you, the reader, but I suppose that part isn't up to me.