Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Old People Got No Reason To Live …

With apologies to Randy Newman and his ditty about midgets (Short People) I present to you this week’s song lyric that sort of has something to do with my comic strip. Though, I suppose the line from the Who’s “My Generation”, “Hope I die before I get old” would make more sense.

Anyway this week our hero Eddie is back and he’s really doing something pretty damn exciting, watering the lawn. And here comes a random old person to tell him that he’s doing it wrong. Typical old person move, they always know how and when do things correctly. And Eddie does what most young’uns do when faced with this sagely advice, they roll their eyes and ignore it.

Want to see what all the fuss is about? Check out for yourself, grandpa. www.room19comics.com

When I was younger, about 10 years or so ago, old people drove me nuts. I had no time for them, thought they were slow and stupid and just couldn’t deal with them on a regular basis. In fact I wanted to run for office and demand that old people retake the test for a driver’s license every two years, as I feel they are way worse than any teenager. As I’ve aged, I’ve mellowed a bit – not about the driver’s license thing. Mainly because I’ve realized that one day, I’m going to get old and I’ll have to deal with sawed-off punks like myself. Hopefully, I’ll remember how it was when I was a kid and not bitch and moan about the youth of today.

Ahhh, who am I kidding I probably will.

In any event, the purpose of this strip isn’t to rip on old people (though that is entertaining), it was done to rip on those jerks who think that they know how to do everything better than everyone else and aren’t afraid of telling people. I went with the old person stereotype because of two reasons: one I didn’t want people to get the idea that this person was a friend of Eddie. I think that would’ve completely changed the dynamic of the strip because it’s always worse when a complete stranger sticks his nose into another person’s business for no reason. And two old people are a lot of fun to draw. Especially cranky old people, with all of their wrinkles, their pissed off looks, their constant unhappiness. Just a lot of fun.

The sad part about this strip is that I based the old person on me. About nine or ten months ago, I was walking to pick up my car. It was about a mile away from my old apartment and I’d pass a lot of people watering their lawns at about noon on a majorly hot day. Each time I’d think that they’re just wasting water (for pretty much the same reasons that the geezer said in the strip), but I never said anything. I got to thinking about it, realized that I probably was going to be an old crank some day, and then I thought of a pretty good punch line.

The rest is history.

As far as the art of the strip, in the third panel, I did something differently than I normally do, I went with silhouettes instead of going with detail. It turned out well and is one of my favorite panels all time. I think it adds a lot of gravity to what the old man says. And I think that works well with the overall absurd notion of the entire one-sided argument. People that get into these sort of fights feel that they’re doing a service to the entire world by pointing out the faults of others. To them, this is a huge deal and something that is worth getting freaked out by. By making this panel more “serious” my hope was to lampoon those people.

And yes, I know that means myself.

Check out the shirt that Eddie is wearing, it features a stapler on it. Guess what movie I was watching when I was plotting out this strip? Give yourself a gold star if you said “The Office”.

I know that I pat myself on the back a lot when I’m writing these Blog entries, but I really think that this is probably one of the better drawn strip that I’ve ever done. I think that the lines are crisp and clean, I pushed the art a bit and the whole piece seems to flow well. The writing may be a little flat, but I think that the art more than makes up for that.

Not much went on this weekend; Aly, her sister and her mom went to New York City to celebrate her grandmother’s birthday, so I had a free weekend. I spent it to doing nothing. I mean, I did some stuff; played FIFA 2006 for a long-ass time, watched a few movies, walked around the neighborhood and touched up the paint. But, it was a very laid back weekend.

If you have a couple of moments, check out the new Blog on the Room19 site, it’s about a guy on SoSH who has quit his day-to-day job as an investment banker and is going to Europe to play professional baseball. It’s the “Have Bat, Will Travel” link. It’s a fantastic idea. This guy was also the Stanford Cardinal tree mascot for a couple of years and has some great stories about that too. Hopefully he’ll write something about that in his Blog too.