|Frequently Asked Questions|
First of all, what's with the animal people? Are you a furry? Gross.
I know, right? I like drawing animal people, I find them interesting. But that's about as far as it goes. I have no interest in the fetish/pornographic/ lifestyle/whatever aspect of "furry", though.
The characters are animal people for a few different reasons:
1. I've found that animal faces convey emotion extremely well. Animals are also very appealing, and some people are more easily able relate to an animal character than a human character (even if the animal character is just a human with an animal head). My characters aren't meant to be especially attractive or good looking - if they are animals, I can make them ugly without them being unappealing to look at, if that makes any sense.
2. Allegorical reasons. Some (not all, some) characters are a certain "species" because it fits with their character and it helps to better convey their personality. For example, Frank is an ugly hairless dog creature because I wanted him to look as weird as he actually is. Sometimes I'll also chose a species that fits with the character's body type/general look - Jeordie is a jackrabbit thing because his character is supposed to be tall and lanky and skinny, and the face shape seemed right for how I envisioned him as a person (although he didn't end up looking all that rabbity in his final design, but that's okay).
3. And the main, non-pretentious bullshit reason: When i started the comic, I couldn't draw human faces for shit. I could draw animal faces, though, so I went with it (although now that I look back on earlier comics, I couldn't really draw animal faces that well, either). If I were to start over, I'd probably do the comic with human characters instead, or possibly tinker with the comic's universe a little bit so that the usage of animal people made more sense. Using human characters wouldn't change the story too much. I've drawn a few versions of existing pages with the characters as humans, and there are advantages and disadvantages to both. But I like it either way.
All of the characters have human counterparts, which can be seen in the gallery.
Is Bethany/Jeordie/whoever supposed to be you?
No, none of the characters are supposed to be me. Bethany's teenage appearance is based on mine, and some aspects of Anna's character/personality are very loosely based on myself, but other than that, not really. I wouldn't write a comic about myself, my life is boring.
Do you have any other comics/plans for comics after CT?
Not really. CT won't end for a very, very long time, though.
How did you get into drawing and comics?
I dunno, I've been drawing ever since I was a little kid. My mom is also an artist so I was always encouraged to keep drawing and improve my artwork. I'm not sure where my interest in comics came from, though. I didn't read a whole lot of comic books as a kid but I was always drawing little comic strips and crap. Usually about animals.
Do you/did you go to art school?
I went to an art specialty school for high school, and I have a BA in Graphic Design.
What made you want to start CT?
I've been writing this ongoing story and developing these characters for years, and I figured I should probably do something with them. I also wanted to draw a comic with characters that were as realistic as possible (minus the fact that they are animal people, of course). I wanted to write about people who usually aren't the focus of stories. I wanted to write stories about the type of people you see on the bus. The type of people you see buying bread at the supermarket. Just plain, every day assholes.
The characters don't have to be gorgeous, the situations don't have to be glamourous. Regular life can be pretty compelling, if you look close enough.
Where do you get your ideas from? Are these stories autobiographical?
No, not really. All of the stories are fictional, for the most part.
I get my ideas from different things, it could stem from a personal experience, or something I have observed. I get a lot of inspiration from music. Most of it comes from just thinking about how certain characters would react to different situations. A lot of times I start out with a vague idea or theme (and it could come from anywhere) and just sort of go from there. At some point, the characters become developed enough that they kind of wrote their own stories.
How do you make/put your pages together?
So far, all of the pages are completely digital. For the first 40 or so pages of chapter 1, I did the sketches on paper and then scanned them in and went from there, but eventually I got better at sketching with my tablet so now the comics are done 100% on the computer, from start to finish.
I mostly use photoshop for the entire process (sketching, inking, coloring, layout, typesetting, etc), although at the end of chapter 1 I was using adobe Illustrator to do all of the inking/coloring/shading of foreground elements, and only using photoshop for the backgrounds.
How long does it take to make a page?
Anywhere between 4 and 12 hours, depending on the page. A lot of the pages in chapter 1 took at least 10 hours to do (even considering the shitty quality of some of the earlier pages), while the pages in chapter 2 took around 6. Some of the flashback scenes in chapter 2 only took maybe 3 hours to do. It really varies depending on how many characters are in each panel, how many panels there are, the complexity of the background, and the style that I am working in.
Will you draw me something?
Maybe, if I'm taking commissions at the time. Send me an email, and I'll get back to you.
I don't draw porn.
About the Comic/Shit I've Thought Way Too Much About
Where does this comic take place? It's not really clear.
The comic starts out in a fictional town called Rigsby, in late 1994. It's not really meant to be clear what state Rigsby is in, although in the first chapter there are some references to places in Oregon (but I didn't really know what I wanted to do with the comic at that point, so this might change later). The city itself is based on a few different cities in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
How does the world that the comic is set in differ from the real world?
Other than the fact that there are animal people, not a whole lot. Some things are different - for example, the people in this world still get tattoos, but they have to either shave their fur off for them to show, get their fur permanently removed, or get them in places where they don't have any fur (such as inside their ears). Fur dying is also done. Branding is also somewhat popular amongst the more hardcore body modification enthusiasts.
Beauty standards are also a little different - in the world of fashion, having solid colored fur is considered more desirable than fur with spots or stripes or whatever. Having floppy ears is also not considered especially attractive.
Some people can also be hairless (either completely or partially - hairless except for on their head and tail), and it is considered to be a very rare genetic skin/hair disorder.
If all of the character are animals, can different species interbreed?
All of the anthropomorphic characters are technically of the same species (the differences are only aesthetic), so they can interbreed. A lot of the people in the comic don't look exactly like a specific animal - which is intentional, because it's likely that not all of their ancestors were people who looked like wolves/cats/rabbits. Usually when you look at a person, you can't tell exactly what country their ancestors originate from - I wanted there to be the same ambiguity with the creatures in this comic.
What about race? Do species/races generally correlate?
Kind of, but not really. Since most characters are based on species that could be from almost anywhere (rabbits, cats, dogs, wolves, rodents), the species that they are based on isn't important so much as their specific physical/facial features, such as nose size, ear size, eye shape, etc. For example, in the CT universe, people from desert type areas usually have large, long ears. People from the British Isles usually have flatter faces, smallish noses and short ears. Mediterranian people tend to have longer snouts and short ears. Relating a certain "species" to a certain race or ethniticy of people is a tricky thing, and if done wrong it can be offensive, which is why I try to avoid it. Considering that ethniticy and culture are issues that come up within this comic, I do have a few basic ground rules for how a character's appearance relates to where they come from, but in general, I usually just chose a character's base species based on whatever feels right for the character.
The best thing is not to think about it too much - if a character's ethniticy or race is important, it will be directly referenced in the comic. I know, bringing up racial issues in a comic that uses characters who's race isn't readily apparent is kind of inane. But hey, this is what happens when you start a comic (using a certain genre of artwork because you haven't learned to draw human faces yet but gosh you just have to start it RIGHT NOW) without really thinking about it first.
Are there pets/regular animals in this world?
Yes, this universe has all the same flora/fauna that the real world has, and all of the normal animals are kept as pets (dogs, cats, birds, etc). I probably won't show too many regular animals, though…just because I think it looks a little weird for like, a cat person to have a cat for a pet.
I'd also like to note that none of the people in the comic would be referred to as their animal counterpart. Jeordie would never be called a rabbit, Bethany would never be called a cat. They would just be referred to as "people," or even "humans", because humans do not exist, thus there would be no reason to differentiate between an anthropomorphic animal and a human being. This isn't a comic where the characters make references to themselves being animal-people, because it wouldn't make sense for them to do so.
Have a question you want answered? Send me an email!