Hey Kids, Comics! #40 - From Funny Books to Graphic Fiction Part 4: Turning Points and Changing Tastes
Comics as an entertainment have always been a fluid and
evolving medium. With origins linked to newspaper comic strips, an often
embattled history, and a built-in need to maintain readership while also
seeking new audiences, as published matter goes the comic book has done fairly
well to still be around over 100 years later!
Want to see Bobby Blakey's art and humor? Check out six years worth of his strip "Last Stop" right here!
As we reach the midpoint of the latest story arc, HKC! turns
its attention to the rise of the super-hero genre. From the lighting of
the fuse in the form of Superman to the periodic gluts in publishers, titles,
and characters that have punctuated the history of the genre, there is a lot of
ground to cover.
Or should that be "Sunday Funny"?
Welcome to a new weekly feature on The JediCole Universe! Sunday Funnies is just a header really to invoke the full color comic strips in Sunday newspapers (back when there were more of them). And back in those days, a good 20 years or more back, I was informed by my dad that the Oak Cliff Tribune was looking for a recurring comic. Not really being someone who was ever happy with my own art I decided to give it a go none the less. I had been the staff cartoonist for my high school paper for two years after all, even winning some awards for my work.
But I was certainly not going to count on being able to deliver on a weekly basis without a good backlog of work at my disposal. So it was that I gave myself a month or two to hammer out at least 15 to 20 weeks of cartoons that would tide me over during inevitable creative droughts. Even after I had managed that aspect, I was, in the end, a victim of my own self-doubt on my ability to deliver the art consistantly. And so the whole grand scheme went by the way side. Concepts never went past rough sketches or just notes and very little ever made it to the original art stage. Since I had never contacted the newspaper I felt I was off the hook from the whole project.
But I never really was, in all actuality. Over the years an idea here or there would inspire more and I would pick up the concept anew. Granted I had no outlet for the work if I ever got it to that stage, but I could not stop coming up with the comics, all of which were of the one panel The Far Side variety. And being a person who uses every part of the concept, I kept all of my sketches, notes, and other materials filed away for future reference. The years passed and all of that which might have been was archived with my mountanous "life's papers" until this year. This was the year I began to work with my good friend Bobby Blakey, an acomplished cartoonist, on a project of two that he had floating around in the background of his creative life. While collaborating on his project in the capacity of writer it occured to me that he would be the ideal illustrator for my comic strip ideas.
And so it is that the combination of my concepts and Bobby's art, with the addition of a title that Mrs. JediCole had created for another abandoned project, became the weekly comic you will find here every Sunday until I run out of ideas, Bobby runs out of patience with doing all the hard work, or my ideas and the backlog of pre-drawn material dry up. For now, look for a new installment of You Are Here every week, exclusively at The JediCole Universe! Oh, and on my Facebook page, too. This series will feature most if not all of the concepts that began two decades ago as well as some brand new ones that have sprung to mind only since this project started a few weeks ago. The first installment is from a brand new concept that, literally, got this whole thing off the ground.
Special thanks to Bobby Blakey for making this possible. He takes my written concepts, crude sketches, and other cues and turns them into something that is nothing short of amazing! Check back next week to see what else rattled out of the Ever-Ticking Brain of JediCole! Starting next Sunday (April 21) there will no longer be an lengthy intro for this feature, just one really fun cartoon! Want to see Bobby Blakey's art and his own humor? Check out six years worth of his strip "Last Stop" right here!
|Hey kids, AHHHHHHHHHHH!|
Welcome to the latest Hey Kids, Comics! where yet again the issue number is off in the recording but accurate here. By the time we get to #38 this should all be worked out. Sorry for any confusion.
What is not confusing is the topic of the next five-issue story arc to hit this series. In this arc, "From Funny Books to Graphic Fiction", Andrew and Cole explore not only the history of the comic book but also its evolution as a creative medium and its subsequent perceptions by the general public.
As pointed out in this initial episode, this is not going to be a ponderous attempt at exploring a chronological narrative of the comic from its humble beginnings to its place as an industry among industries in entertainment. Instead the goal is to touch upon where comics came from, where they have been, and to a lesser degree where they are going. All of this brought together under the umbrella of specific periods and aspects of the genre.
There is a lot of four color ground to cover and the time-spanning journey begins right here...