6 Questions with George Ford Creator of Addanac City
Addanac City is a daily comic that I have always admired. George has hit over 1,000 strips creating 5 comics a week, which is something we could never do. If we’re lucky, we’ll get to 300. Addanac City contains a huge cast of characters that George uses to serve each strip’s purposes. In some strange way, my character even exists in their world due to a guest strip that he did for us awhile back. With this variety, George is able to make Addanac City a different comic each day or week. George’s work ethic is one to be admired and is admired by many other web cartoonists.
The OG: You’ve been drawing since you were 3 years old and eventually went on to do comics for your local newspaper. What do you like about publishing your own comics versus being published in someone else’s paper?
George: I love the creative freedom of publishing my own stuff. I don’t have anyone leaning over my shoulder making suggestions that are irrelevant, inconsequential, or just downright unnecessary to me.
I feel that I have a lot of funny things on my mind that the rest of the world could enjoy and be entertained by. I hate having to ask someone else for permission to reveal these things.
The bright side of working for a publisher is that you don’t have to be concerned with the footwork, hand-shaking, and politics that go along with having a book or comic published. You can concentrate strictly on the creative side of things and, for me, that’s the part I love most.
I used to reveal to folks that it would only take me 2 weeks to create a 24-page ADDANAC CITY comic book, but it take me an additional 6 weeks to get all of the advertisements, printing costs, paper fees, and packaging aspect complete.
If all I had to do was write and draw? Sheesh…I’d probably put a new book out every week. J
The OG: You have a lot of characters is Addanac City. Where do they come from and how do you choose who to use in each of your comics? Also who is your favorite to write?
George: Within the past couple of years, I’ve started setting up AC to be like any other city in the world, maybe even like the city or town YOU live in. AC is now filled with thousands of people, but you’ve only met maybe forty or fifty of them (at best).
I love to observe people (especially when they don’t know I’m watching), and you’d be surprised to know how much alike we all are when you break it down. We all love to point the finger at someone else’s foibles.
We all love to be right and have the last word. We all have one or two secrets that would destroy us if anyone ever found out about them.
Annnnd, no matter how much we try to play it off, we really don’t know what we’re doing in life any more than we did when we were kids. We’re just the shaving and driving version of those same lil’ tykes who thought lighting farts was cool and Jovan Musk was nifty-smelling.
Those are the people I’m inhabiting ADDANAC CITY with. Those are the people I’m creating the strip for. I want my readers to see themselves in any of the characters I showcase.
As far as how do I choose which characters to use for certain strips, depends upon what the subject of the comic is sometimes. With so many people and occupations to choose from, I’m not worried about running out of ideas like AC was merely some one-trick pony. I can come up with doctor jokes, lawyer jokes, mechanic jokes, relationship jokes, old folks jokes…..there’s always a character in AC that can match up to make a certain joke hysterical.
Right now, I’m having a huge ball writing Dr. Proctor. He’s my current favorite. He’s like the car salesman of medical practitioners. He’s a lovable sleaze ball, and no matter how much he messes up, you really can’t stay mad at him for long.
The OG: You have been doing Addanac City since 2008 and have created over 1000 comics. How do you come up with comics 5 days a week for that long without running out of ideas?
As I’ve stated previously, I’ve expanded the world of ADDANAC CITY so that I have more concepts to choose from. The hard part I’m facing now is not having enough time to use all of the ideas I’ve been coming up with.
I want to finish up Uncle Jack’s government conspiracy tale against the Voodoo lady. I have a story showing up soon where one my main AC characters gets sick to the point where…maybe you won’t see them anymore. I also have some more bombshells ready to explode as far as who’s related to who, and what kind of secret history other characters have with each other. And of course, there are lots of folks who want revenge on each other.
I’m also trying to decide between three summer mega-comic ideas to use soon. I’m leaning towards The Official Origin of Addanac City, where we finally find out why that town has the same dumb name as Hank’s family. They’re not exactly the Kennedy’s in social stature, so why the name? You’ll probably see that around May this year (unless an even better idea pops up outta my head).
The OG: With you having a lot of web comic fans out there how does your family feel about your web comic fame? Or do you pretty much keep them away from Addanac City.
George: My kids don’t seem to care one bit about my webcomic series. My stepdaughter has friends who read it faithfully, but to her, it’s just something “dad” does between crates of Budweiser and Red Bull. J/k I suppose if anything I do ever gets on TV or in the movies, then it becomes real. Or if my comic is ever responsible for Justin Beiber coming to sing at her birthday party, then I’ll get more props than I’ll ever need. J
As far as reading AC goes? I don’t mind if my kids read it. Some people think that the series is raunchy or nasty, but name one instance where it’s blatantly nasty. All of my perceived raunchiness is based upon how nasty your mind is. If you don’t have a penchant for subliminal adult humor, then you may not get the joke I’m telling that day.
I’ll read a few strips to my son and he doesn’t get all of them because the adult humor is over his head. Even my own mother, who reads AC every single day, has bypassed certain innuendoes that I was expecting her to tear my head off for.
She has no idea why I cackle loudly every time she mentions Phil McHunt’s name. That one may never become clear to her (at least, I hope not). 🙂
The OG: Before the Gentlemen gained a couple extra writers I pictured in my head ending the Gentlemen for good. I imagined and wrote the characters deaths in my head. Have you ever thought of how the end would happen for your characters ever or are they like the Goonies and they’ll never die?
George: I’ve contemplated some kind of disaster-movie ending for my series, sorta how they did Hogwarts in the last Harry Potter flick, but that’s years and years down the road. I‘ve imagined what it would be like if someone else besides Hank was the anchor-point for the series. Suppose the whole shebang starred Esteban and his zany antics?
Anything can happen around here, and is long as I’m in control making the decisions, there’s no telling what you may witness, but I’m gonna try my darnedest to make sure it’s funny.
The OG: Who would win in a fight Dennis the Menace or Wolverine?
George: Dennis, of course. He’s got that nifty slingshot and Joey as a partner. Plus, “he’s the best there is at what he does, and what he does ain’t pretty”. J