Town Called Dobson
Town Called Dobson, TCD for short, is a politically oriented editorial cartoon drawn in a uniquely quirky manga style that I call Surry Chibi.
One night in 2004, I was bored out of my mind, in a hotel room with no cable and no net access. I had nothing to do. As my wife can testify, me being bored is a bad thing. So I decided I had enough time to experiment with a comic strip. That night I developed about a half a dozen characters and made three strips based on topics from that morning’s USA Today. I was off to a roaring start and got no farther. Life happens.
The first three strips were developed way before the dust-up concerning the Danish cartoons dealing with Islam. I had forgotten about this little side project until folks started burning down embassies because of pen and ink. I then wondered how mine, specifically the two with Johnny Allah would be viewed. When I went back, almost 2 years later, I thought they were even more poignant than before.
So I decided to crank production back up. Besides, three published strips is just flat out pitiful.
When I started these, I needed to do them fast, hence the simple shapes. I used Fisher-Price’s Little People Toys from my childhood as a reference. Not being satisfied with the outcome I adopted a Chibi style (a super deformed style of drawing popularized in Japanese Anime and Manga) to the characters. It seems a lot of folks do these days. I have always found it amazing how we absorb so many things from childhood and drag them into adulthood – which I guess why we have such a booming market for Xanax. For strips 1 and 2, no one had arms, just the body and head. When I got the strip 3 (6-8-04), I couldn’t figure out how to do Communion without arms, now everyone in Dobson has arms.
On the art side, I use Adobe’s Fireworks as the production tool. I am in advertising and have access to any graphics software I want, but I just love the ease of Fireworks. I have tried to use Gimp, and I love Gimp, but I am going to wait until it is rewritten under Cocoa for the Dual Core Macs. Yes, I am one of THOSE Mac freaks.
A majority of the characters are based on people I know, most from Dobson and the surrounding area. Some I have never met, Fulcanelli for example and others are purely fictional like the space alien from Cassiopeia, Spork-Nak.