I’ve been collaborating with Brian Bastian for almost as long as I have been doing comics. After around six issues of ‘Uptown Girl’, Brian wrote his first issue (issue 9) and introduced Sulky Girl. He thought she was the perfect counterpart to balance out the optimistic attitude of Uptown Girl. He was right. Brian wrote the next issue and he was doing such an awesome job with the comic I thought about turning over all the writing chores to him.
I’m glad I didn’t, not because he wouldn’t have done a good job, but it probably wouldn’t have given him the time to write ‘Tommy Chicago’, another comic I drew until I just didn’t have the time anymore. Luckily Danno picked up the art chores and has done incredible work on it.
Anyway, Brian and I have thought up a lot of other comics/projects that we likely will never have the time to do. A few ideas he’s taken to other cartoonists to work with, such as Bud Burgy who drew a short comic about Tom, the communist robot, a character Brian and I created years ago. There’s another project Brian and I have been working on for about three years that will likely never grow into what we want it to be, but I hope it does. It’s a super hero team that has some great ideas and character designs.
I wish I had more time to work on these other projects but ‘Uptown Girl’ and my family get my time. But occasionally an idea will come from one of us that really sounds fun and different than anything either one of us has done.
Case in point: Brian created this…well, spy frog character with his monkey sidekick that sounded kind of fun. They also had a robot car. But at first it was just a weird mash-up of ideas. It didn’t grab me, but Brian’s manic enthusiasm for these guys was contagious and I started to sketch these guys out.
I started to dig these guys and Brian wrote a five page story that I will start drawing this week. Tonight I sketched the characters out and thought it would be awesome to make all the characters animals. That was enough for me to keep going. All of a sudden it was very different visually than ‘Uptown Girl’, which is one of the reasons many of these other ideas never make it off the launch pad.
I knew I wanted to simplify the characters and I think I pulled it off.
The first time I drew Will McRibbit I drew him as a frog with a cape. I took a picture of him and sent to Brian. He wrote back saying that Will was more James Bond, less Superman. Nebraska Roy was originally just a monkey, but when I scribbled him out I put a wizard’s hat on him for some reason. Brian took that and ran with it, making him a failed magician.
Next up is Petrocat, the robot cat that is fueled by gas. He’s evil.
Then we have some rich society ladies. They appear in the story but I don’t think Brian intends on keeping them around.
Finally we have the robot car Will and Roy (or is it Nebraska?) drive around in. I like robots and I hate cars. When I read ‘robot car’ I thought of a Transformer so I wanted to make the design of him different than that. So I made him into a robot dog car. I like the design of him a lot. Brian then told me he was thinking more along the lines of Kitt from Knight Rider.
So that’s the exciting creation of Will McRibbit. I’ll post the comic when I am done drawing it.