I’ll tell you what, though… each book has about 300 comics in it, and it was pretty intimidating to contemplate starting in on the next one. These days I like to be about 60 cartoons into the following book before I put a new one out. It just works better to already be onto the next.
Can you tell us about your latest book?
I’m really excited about I’m Saving Up For A Big Brother!!! because I feel like the strip has found its voice and is moving in a really fun direction. My first book obviously has a special place in my mind, but the characters were still finding their voices and the art was always in a bit of transition; you can see the changes from the front to the back.
With this new book, everything is beginning to be comfortable, and that’s not a bad thing at all. You think of a writer being comfortable, and automatically, it’s like they’ve peaked. But for me, it’s the opposite. I’m finding that there’s a wonderful freedom when I don’t have to worry about the mechanics of everything. I’m not concerned with messing up the line of the art. Things are fluid, and the energy can go into writing fun scenarios, creating more memorable characters and moments, and letting things change naturally.
What inspired you to write it?
I started writing the strip just after my mother died in October of 2007. There was a kind of melancholy that set in, and since I’ve always worked in creative fields, I tend to be prone to a bit of melancholia anyway, so it’s not healthy for me to brood.
I’d drawn comics my whole life, but for eight years or so, I’d set it aside to work in other mediums, so I went back to it with quite a bit of hesitation. All of the old demons that told me that I would be terrible came to the forefront, and I spent a month or two just drawing characters and trying to find a sketch that resonated with me.
I decided to base the main characters on my own kids, and initially, I just thought it’d be kind of a fun way to capture their personalities for the future and that was it, but as I started putting ink to paper, I was drawn into the world I was creating. I waited to show anyone until I had a whole batch done up, and the response was amazing… and that was it. We were off and running. I started posting them online and within two weeks or so, I had a few hundred regular readers and self-imposed deadlines.