Jan 21, 2023

I have launched a new webcomic

I just launched a brand new-old webcomic. Let me 'splain...

Back in the late 1990s when I was a young and impressionable college student. I became enthralled with trying to create a sort of minimalist comic. The idea was not to have to draw the comic from scratch each time. The idea, instead, was that I would just need to update the word balloons. That is to say, I wanted to change what the characters say (the dialogue), not how the actual comics look (the art). Then I thought it would be neat if you removed characters altogether. What you might get would be a sort of anti-comic.

So, I came up with J. Herbin. Here was a character who was simply a passive observer in his own strip. It would have little to no movement or action. The dialogue would come in from out-of-frame. We, the readers, are overhearing an off-frame snippet of conversation just as Herbin is in the comic. I came at it as this little experiment. Would such a strip even be interesting? Could I still make it weird? Or even, occasionally, funny?

Since I had just graduated from college (where I had been a cartoonist for the school paper) and the internet hadn't really picked up momentum yet, I did not have an outlet for the idea at the time. My original J. Herbin comics only lasted a short while. I ended up putting it in a drawer and kind of forgot about it. 

I later learned about David Lynch's The Angriest Dog in the World and Max Cannon's strip Red Meat. I thought, "Hey, other people, much more well-known than me, have done this sort of thing. There might be something to this idea."

Over the last few years, while the zeitgeist kind of centered on questions of connection and isolation, I started thinking about this little minimalist anti-comic idea once again. I put it on my list for projects to launch in the new year and now, well, its here!

The first two new J. Herbin comics are up and ready to read on the brand-new website... HERE

I hope, if you are reading this, that you'll follow along each week and check out this little project. I am oddly excited about it.

An old J. Herbin comic from back in the day.

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