6 Questions with Joel Poirier Creator of Stripped Comics
I’m not really a fan of the serious superhero web comic so at first glance I thought that’s what Stripped Comics was. When I read it I was pleased to find that it was actually a clever satire on super heroes that dissects said world. Joel also uses overlapping story arches that include various characters to tell the tale of each archetype and how they interact within the world. After the interview head over to Joel Poirier’s witty tribute to the comics we all love over at Stripped Comics.
I’ve been making comics as a hobby for a while now and I’ve always wanted to do some kind of anthology series. Have a variety of stories using classic tropes and exploit them for my own amusement. With more than one title I can cover more genres, more clichés, and I don’t get bored drawing just one character all the time.
I’ve always been fascinated by the Marvel and DC Universes and their unlimited scale. They were built this same way: one story at a time across multiple titles with multiple points of view. I’ve had my own little comic book universe for a while now and this is an opportunity for me to expand it and really flesh it out.
My inspiration goes beyond just comic books, into movies, television, cartoons, video games and really anything that makes superheroes a franchise in popular culture. And that’s my real target: pop culture. I was raised on the Simpsons and it’s in that sort of spirit that I approach things. Superheroes are how I’ve decided to wage my war on pop culture, because I make comic books, and that the superhero’s medium.
The OG: With your comic looking like a traditional comic what stories and heroes inspired you to do what you do?
I’m inspired by a lot of different things since I’m such a pop culture junkie. My favorite comic books are from the Silver Age because I like it when comics don’t take themselves too seriously. And the more over the top and unrealistic the stories, the better. Take this cover from the Silver Age Flash: http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/dciconic61.jpg – that’s everything I look for in a comic book. Everything about that cover is amazing to me. “I’ve got the strangest feeling I’m being turned into a puppet.”
The OG: You have a huge cast of characters. Did you come up with bios and back stories for each one before you started the comic or do they just come to you when needed?
For the minor characters like the Silver Slingshot or Johnny Rumble, I just came up with them as I needed, because those were characters created to service the story. All of the major players like The Pigeon King and Mer-Lad had back stories thought out well in advance. For instance, The Pigeon King was always intended to lampoon the Batman origin, using a dead pigeon in place of dead parents. I thought it would be hilarious to have him wake up in the middle of the night, screaming because he can’t get the image of his murdered bird out of his mind. He has to dress up like a pigeon and avenge the death of his pet, or he won’t ever find peace. That’s the kind of comic that is missing today, needed to be made, and so I made it.
The OG: With characters over the years being altered and changed at the hands of others would you ever one day sell your concept to anyone and watch what they do from the sidelines? Or are they too close to your heart and will they die with your desire to create?
I’m not too attached. I just do this for fun. If I could further my career as an artist and get out of the daily grind on the back of this project, I’d be all for it. I would want the goofy spirit to remain alive though, I wouldn’t want it to turn into something that took itself seriously. I don’t just make digital comics; I also like to make traditional illustrations (I’ve got a portfolio of sorts going on pinterest.com/joelpoirier/). Someday I want the life where I can just draw all day, and not have to go to some boring office job to pay my bills. If my comics can get me there, I’ll let them.
The OG: Who would win in a fight Wolverine or the Badger?
The Badger doesn’t stand a chance.