Thursday, January 03, 2008

Chippy and Loopus Deluxe....I guess.

Hey everybody!!
Back in July of 2005, I was fired from Sony for reasons I can't discuss legally. I started working for Pixar in October. In that 3 month span of unemployment, I worked in the yard, planting roses and whatnot, read books, cooked. I also befreinded a syndicated comic strip artist named Brian Basset, author of the syndicated comic strips "Adam at Home" and "Red and Rover".
He stumbled on my blog purely by accident and liked the scribbly little comic strip I drew. He asked me why I hadn't tried to do it professionally. "You mean besides all the swear words?" I replied? He said the characters were strong enough that I could probably develop a feature without swearing. I was able to draw up a few samples before I got swept up in moving and Pixar. I'm still working on this. I fully intend to make this a syndicated comic strip someday. Below is the "Safe" version of the very first strip I ever did.


Jim Mortensen said...

Haha! I agree with him - it's smart enough and funny enough to work as a professional strip, and the characters are damn strong.

Are you going to continue the pursuit even while at the big P?

John S. said...

Hey Jim!!! Glad you think so.
I will continue to pursue this. I love comic strips. I've dreamed of having my own comic strip since I was 11.
The issue is, of course, whether or not there is a market for a strip like Chippy and Loopus which is modeled after a 30's or 40's humor/adventure strip.

Matt said...

Mmm... Interesting. This one's a toughie. I would love to see C&L make it big, but...I guess it's kind of like watching 'The Sopranos' on A&E. I would still enjoy it, but probably because I had seen the original version. But dude, these are great characters and it's your creation, and I would love to see you in the papers with them. Actually, I was just talking to another Pixar buddy of mine about you and this strip the other day. Strangely providential, huh?

John S. said...

Hey Matt!
I understand your concern, as I share many of the same concern, but I also think that if all there is to these characters is swearing and Bukkake jokes, then they are thin characters indeed. If you go back and read the strip starting in August or September and ending in Jan of last year, you will notice that the strip contained little if any swearing.
Pixar buddy, eh? Who? Podesta?

Matt said...

Sorry John, I just want swearing and bukkake. Bukkake Bukkake Bukkake. But seriously folks, I agree. You make a good point. Good entertainment stands without profanity of course. My buddy's name is Steve Gregory. We were just up there for New years. I would have called but it was a short trip and I wanted to keep it simple. We should be back though for Easter I hope for the Big Wheel Race.

John S. said...

This is an interesting discussion. NOw, while I would never condone the use of profanity in a family nwespaper, I do feel that newspapers are a little too conservative in what they will allow in a "family newspaper". I'm fairly sure that barring profanity, they wouldn't let me get away with 80% of my material, even though I haven't said or done anything that can't be seen or heard on prime time on any of the Networks on TV, which, in my opinion, should be the standard. I'm betting that when I submit this, they will tell me that I cannot depict or portray:
-strip clubs even though the girls are NEVER nude
-Drinking, even though Andy Capp has been hammered since the '50s to the delight of the entire world
-fighting, even though some of the greatest comic strips in history are built on fighting and regularly portray violence ie Popeye, Dick Tracy, Li'l Abner
These are the things I couldn't compromise, nor should I.
We'll see what happens when I submitt the strip. I'm curious to hear the reactions. Of course, I'll probably get nothing but form letter rejections.
That's what I got the first time I submitted a strip back in 1988.

Tim said...

Hey John!
Congrats on the Pixar gig! I know you will do well there!
Wish you the best of luck with C&L no matter what form it takes.
I remember an old cartooning book by Mort Walker where he talked about not being allowed to draw navels on women in Beetle Baily. Whenever he did, an editor sliced out the offending belly button and actually kept them all in a small jar on his desk. Then Mort drew a strip with several bikini clad girls next to a truckload of navel oranges (each with its own navel). The guy with the x-acto got the point and Mort was allowed to draw navels after that.

John S. said...

HEy Tim!!! Thanks for chiming in! I remember reading that story but had forgotten all about it. Garry Trudeau has a few stories of his own about newspaper editors freaking out over his strip. The problem is that many folks these days think of the comics as being for kids. They aren't and never really were. The comics back in the old days were as varied as movies and tv shows. You had adventure strips for teens, detective strips that appealed to adults, and humor strips that could only be understood by adults like Pogo, Barney Google, Krazy Kat. Newspaper editors fought for comics because they knew that a good comics page equalled big readership. Now? They'd rather whore out that space to Macy's or Walmart. It's sad.
Hmm. And this is the career I used to aspire to.

Lee-Roy said...

Wait a minute. 2005? Wasn't it 2006? Please let me know if my sense of time is completely skewed, but I'm pretty sure it was '06.

Floyd Norman said...

Nice, John.

Kinda has a Chris Sanders vibe.