The webcomic is a genre which has become increasingly prevalent in the last decade, it’s a natural progression from the famous newspaper funnies which produce pithy, satirical and occasionally wiry page fillers for popular printed newspaper and magazines.
But it’s an incredibly skillful ability to be able to tell a story in as little as one or possibly three panels, building a sense of character and introducing the satirical element or finishing with a strong humorous or thematic punchline. When done correctly these strips can be as equally memorable as any epic battle portrayed in a graphic novel or numerous issues of a comic series bringing a story to a crescendo.
Chris Kennedy is both the writer and artist for his own brand which has recently exploded onto Facebook, his choice of colour palette and clean line style is immediately striking and his ability to raise a smile through his stories shows an incredibly rich combination of skills and abilities.
Chris has allowed me to ask a few questions regarding his style and motivations and to share with my readers some of his work in the hopes to brighten someone’s day and to raise a smile.
Chris, what were/are your influences with regards to your writing style and artwork?
My influences stem from MAD magazine, specifically the eras encompassing the 1950’s to the 1970’s. Gary Larson’s sometimes abstracted humour in the Farside Comics, the daily comic strip from the USA – B.C. created by cartoonist Johnny Hart, he sets it in the prehistorical era, complete with anthropomorphic stylisation of animals. I really enjoyed Ren and Stimpy for the anarchic humour and bold colour palette and the Spanish/Mexican comic strip creator Sergio Aragones.
[The influence behind this cartoon comes from someone being completely detached from his job and being indifferent to the outcome of his work – we all know someone like that, again it’s keeping the subject matter relatable and humorous]
How does your Creative Process begin? Do you suddenly have a moment of inspiration? or is it a gradual unveiling/realisation of the characters and theme?
The creative process might begin with a half-formed idea that I get anytime during the course of my day. I immediately jot it down and then later I’ll sit down and develop it. Other times it can come from a random doodle. Then I’ll come up with a story to go along with it.
[This seasonal cartoon was influenced by the fact that Santa is an over grown elf and is a play on the kick ass elves in Lord of the Rings]
It’s important to me when designing the look and feel of the strip to keep it simple, delivering something punchy and easy to access.. My favourite aspect of the process is character creation, I spend a lot of time with that, I also spend a considerable part of my time in an editing process, again concentrating on keeping the design simple, removing anything that doesn’t add to the cartoon, anything that is needlessly additional.
What Kind of Voice does your Work Give You?
I find that I write comics with the intent to highlight the absurdities of life, giving them a humorous feel.
Although Chris has only started his career as a professional web cartoonist, I am confident that we will see more of his work beginning to appear with greater frequency.
Support Chris on Facebook Chris Kennedy Comics