About the Comic
Many of us yearn for an escape back to the wonderful 1970s (which never really existed – we just want to time-travel back to childhood). But I was there, as a kid and I now remember it via yellow-tinted spectacles as something that was oh soooo wonderful. Maybe you do too? Are you one of the 1970s kids?
That’s why B*W comic is inspired by childhood life and the popular culture of The 1970s. And it’s set in Ireland – because I was uprooted from Scotland to there, when I was 9 years old. I was planted into the remote countryside outside a tiny Irish village; and I may have been the biggest geek and one of the most foreign oddities in the whole place. It felt like it.
It was fairly remote, and most kids weren’t into space stuff or comics, but guess what happened? It was the very same year that Star Wars hit. For me especially – and a couple of my new friends – that film was a lifeline to a more exciting world.
Ben Kenobi‘s line comes to mind…
“You have taken your first step into a larger world.”
So, Who am I?
I’m John White, a member ^ of Illustrators Ireland. Maybe you’ve seen my previous 2 projects StarWarsAge9.com ^ and AlienAge11.com ^ ? If you haven’t, that’s OK! But maybe you’d like to check them out.
With those, I published comics that I’d already made when I was a kid in the late 70s to early 80s. The Star Wars one went into production on the bedroom floor at the very end of 1977 after I first saw the film and it went through many revisions over a couple of years ending up as a stylistic mish-mash of about 200 pages.
I rediscovered it a few years ago and put it online – and got reviews and articles! 9 year old me would’ve been very happy. Following that bit of success, I did the same with my shorter ALIEN adaptation which I started as an 11 year old who was in search of something a bit… stronger. I hadn’t actually seen Alien, but that didn’t deter me. And look! I got more reviews and articles!
Revelation! (and what the Hell has the Above got to do with B*W?)
Well, they were probably the most enjoyable large projects that I’d worked on since graduating from art college in 1990. They were cathartic, fun, and a real eye opener. I mean they reminded me of what it was that I should’ve been doing in a creative field: drawing, storytelling and entertaining people. They were also projects over which I had total creative control and sole-input.
A Fresh Start
I had a eureka moment one day, that I should do another childhood-based comic, but drawn by the adult me. It really should have come to me sooner! Quixotic images of myself and my friends playing soldiers in the late 70s were popping into my head and the ideas starting coming. Faster than I could draw or even write them down. This comic idea was making me feel good!
In no time at all I had a name and a concept. I’d put aside ambitions for grand story arcs or taking inspiration from Dexter, Breaking Bad and Fight Club. I’d just keep it simple and fun! Maybe like a newspaper strip? And then see where it goes. It might develop into a more complex narrative form and if it does, I can always start over again. And you know, after about 8 strips – it has gone longer form. (See: Supersonic!)
Just do it
The other thing – against sage advice from successful webcomic creators – was to just get stuck-in, rather than going through a lengthy development process of outlining, writing, designing and procrastinating – before even going into actual production. I could spend years being a perfectionist and worrying about whether it’s ready or good enough to put out there, but then I might have spent all of my energy and enthusiasm for the thing, before publishing even a single page.
Bite Size Pieces
The other thing about this simple strip form was that it’d be easier for me to fit between other work. One edition might be a 10 panel page – another, just a single cartoon panel. UPDATE (10 Aug ’15): I thinking of doing shorter strips, and work my way up to publishing 2 or 3 times per week. I want to stick to achievable, reliable publication dates. However, if I can find a faster way of colouring, it won’t be a problem.
Anyway, I’ve blathered on enough here. I hope you enjoy the comic and stick around to comment and get to know the rest of the readership. There are some very nice people here! And nice people are always welcome.
** Stay Groovy **