6 X 2 Questions with J. Babb The Creator of JBabb Comics
JBabb comics is another web comic I recently found through Twitter and instantly fell for. Jbabb has an old school feeling to it that makes me wish I could write as well as he does. His artwork reminds me of what a comic strip should look like with his well detailed panels that he sometimes brings to life with animation. Everything I like about webcomics is right here in Jbabb Comics. I can only see more greatness to come each week to come.
The OG: In 2010 what made you want to start doing a weekly comic?
I’ve always wanted to do comics – I’ve been doodling random comics and cartoons for as long as I can remember. Despite my love for it, I was really critical about my art. I didn’t finish much of my work, and I only showed what I did do to a few good friends.
Luckily, one of those good friends met up with me in early 2010. After a few beers and pleasantries, he gave me an ultimatum: Start a webcomic in less than a month (and don’t miss an update for at least a month after that), or he’d come to my house and beat me in my sleep (and yes, he was serious).
So there you have it: the threat of physical violence helped me get over whatever artistic fears I had and actually start my comic. Violence can be a pretty good motivational tool.
The OG: Originally your main kid character wasn’t in the comic as well as the rest of the cast. What made you decide to firm up the cast with a main star?
Chester actually had been living in my sketchbook for quite some time before I decided to use him as a main character. I would draw him as a warm up, and to fill time while I was trying to figure out how to refine jokes. Chester appeared in notebook margins and sketchbook corners, doing all sorts of strange things (some of which eventually made their way to the comics). Because of all those random drawings, Chester’s personality formed. After a while, I realized having the same cast of characters was more fun for me: it’s exciting for me to see what kind of trouble Chester gets into every week, versus creating a bunch of new throwaway characters that I instantly abandon. I’ve also found it’s easier to stick to the same cast of characters. The random assortment of characters I used early on were strangers to me, and really just puppets for jokes. But Chester has managed to take on a life of his own (which sounds a bit nuts, I’m sure)… It’s easier for me to just throw him (as well as some of the other characters now) into situations and see what would happen.
The OG: Your art has evolved from great to one of my favorites in web comics. What made you decide to keep the comic black and white and who inspires you to create that way?
First, thanks for the huge compliment. Black and white comics have a special place in my heart. About ten years ago, I rediscovered comics and discovered that webcomics existed. I started reading just about everything I could get my hands on, and by some weird chance, almost all of the comics I loved at that time were done in black and white. Whether it was something dramatic (Sam Keith’s Ojo, Craig Thompson’s Goodbye Chunky Rice), something funny (Roger Langridge’s Fred the Clown, Sam Logan’s Sam & Fuzzy), or something else altogether (Andy Ristaino’s Life of a Fetus, Lee Adam Herold’s ChoppingBlock), the artists I found and loved weren’t using color. Within the last few years, I’ve been discovering other great black and white comics (the late Ricky Garduno’s 1930’s Nightmare Theater, for example) that keep me inspired to stay in the black and white range.
Now, there are a ton of amazing creators out who can add color and make their strip look amazing… I’ve learned I’m not one of those creators. I’ve tried coloring strips, and it looks…well, wrong when I do it. I guess I haven’t developed a knack for coloring yet. It’s just easier for me to look at a part of a picture and say “Should this be black, or should it be white?” When you introduce colors, I get all sorts of different bad choices I can make.
The OG: Every comic I’ve read of yours have very familiar humor that I feel is easily relatable. What inspires your stories or gag a day comics that you write?
Thanks! Honestly, I get inspiration from all over. Growing up, I watched a ton of cartoons, stand up comedy, and comedy acts (hell, I still do). Old Looney Tunes cartoons, Marx Brothers movies, and the Muppets all helped shape my sense of humor. These shows have kind of trained my brain to continually ask, “What would make this situation funny?” Potential misunderstandings, puns, and other “what ifs” are constantly running through my brain. While this has gotten me in trouble a few times (giggling during a funeral is usually frowned upon), it also leads to some pretty off-the-wall conversations with friends, which can fuel comics too.
The OG: I found your comic through word of mouth from other comic creators. How do you view the comic community that we dwell in?
The webcomics community has been, and continues to be incredibly supportive. I had some weird expectations when I first started out that creators would be snobbish or crazily secretive. Thankfully, I’ve found neither to be the case. Creators I’ve spoken with have been incredibly helpful, and some have even (when asked) given me pointers on how to improve my art, my site, and all sorts of other wonderful tips and tricks.
The OG: Who would win in a fight Wolverine or Pinocchio?
Well, I suppose that depends on whether or not Pinocchio was a real boy at the time of the fight. If Pinocchio was still a puppet, he’d win, hands-down. Between the incessant nagging of that cricket and the constant whining about wanting to be a “real boy”, I’m pretty sure Wolverine would slit his own wrists.
6 quick questions you genitally enhanced monster! Answers are to be given with a maximum of 6 words….and GO!
1. Best way to poison someone?
Fill their birthday piñata with scorpions.
2. What’s sexier, Robot or Zombie apocalypse?
Best of both worlds: zombie robots.
3. What 80s cartoon would do best in a baseball game
Dino Riders; laser dinosaurs always win.
4. Video game franchise that should be smothered with a pillow?
Resident Evil needs to permanently die.
5. What is your love doing?
Probably rolling her eyes at me.
6. Why does Batman tell everyone who he is?
Too dark to read his nametag.