I had a lot of fun drawing last week’s I’M FAMOUS! as it gave me an opportunity to draw Black Snow again, which I hadn’t gotten to do since finishing Issue #6. If you missed it then take a look at this.
I know I’ve written fairly extensively about this in the past, but I love the character of Black Snow. Working on Day Camp then I’M FAMOUS! for so long I started to forget that. At first Day Camp dazzled me with being able to do something new; like using colors, drawing children, working with semi-autobiographical material and things like that. Well, I think some of that was just a honeymoon period feeling. I still like Day Camp, but not as much as Black Snow or I’M FAMOUS!
I had a similar honeymoon period with I’M FAMOUS! that may still be happening since I’m really enjoying working on it. I think it’s hilarious, the funniest stuff we’ve ever done, and I’ve always loved the Lone Wolf. But drawing this made me realize how much I missed Black Snow, both the character and the comic book. I know it’s not as flashy and doesn’t have as much mass appeal as the comic strips, but in a lot of ways I like it best. There’s also a high level of comfort there for me.
One of the reasons that I think Black Snow has been put down a bit in my mind is the same reason it’s so comfortable, because we’ve been working on it so damn long. In case you’re unaware, Alex and I created Black Snow in high school, when we were teenagers, and we’re both 26 now. I think that bothers Alex sometimes because he’ll often say “Well, we were just teenagers” when I talk to him about things like how we came up with the Anti , I look back at some of the jokes, question why some things are written, or other things like that. To some extent I can see what he means, but really I think most of it is pretty solid and still holds up today.
Is the character of Black Snow a creation of pure teenage angst, ideals and debauchery? Maybe a little. When we created him we were both well underage and didn’t really drink, smoke, or have any of his main vices. I could see how he could be interpreted as our teenage desires manifested, but I don’t think it’s very accurate. In many ways I think that we wanted him to be very pathetic and easy to relate to or empathize with. Maybe to understand him we have to look at what inspired Black Snow. For me it was the live action version of The Tick that aired briefly at the time, the movie Mystery Men that Alex and I saw together, and this short film I made for my high school screen writing class entitled SUPERiority complex HEROES. Check it out, and yes that is me as Fan Boy Boy. You might recognize the Indian guy in it, Sunkrish Bala as he’s known now. He’s gone on to have bit parts on several major TV shows.
It’s funny, I was a little worried about drawing that last FAMOUS! because I thought it might be hard to draw Black Snow really well after having not done it for so many months, but it was really easy. I shouldn’t have been surprised, I’ve drawn him more than anything else in my life. As I alluded to earlier, I think one of the reasons it was so tempting to do these strips that focus on other characters is because we’ve worked with Black Snow so long. It’s been many years, the comics themselves are pretty long (30-40 pages), and he’s the title character so you can pretty much safely assume that he gets the bulk of the focus. If you actually read them, and please do if you haven’t yet, the focus is more broad and shifts from him to the larger ensemble cast as time goes on. I think that is something that happened for the reasons I already mentioned and to serve a larger purpose story-wise. Now that we have these strip outlets to work with I think much of that tension of working on the same thing for so long will be alleviated. Also, from an overall plot perspective I know that the story focus shifts back to Black Snow next.
So what does it all amount to? I want to get back to work on Black Snow. Next up looks to be Issue 7, as I think we’ve scrapped the Issue 0 idea for the time being. I still want to work on the comic strips and stick to my one a week vow, especially I’M FAMOUS!, but I want to get back to the flagship series. The next step is getting Alex to find the outline and flesh it out into a script, which is always a painful process as he never seems to want to write, is very unorganized, and has trouble focusing. Lets hope it’s not like pulling teeth this time and you’ll be reading a completed Issue 7 by year’s end.