John McNamee (Pie Comic)by GoComics
The GoComics "Meet Your Creator" series brings you firsthand insight into the lives and careers of your favorite cartoonists. Each week, we hand over the keys to one of our talented creators, who share their inspirations, achievements, creative processes, studios and more! Read on to hear from this week's featured cartoonist: John McNamee of Pie Comic.
Hey there, Internets. John McNamee, creator of Pie Comic here. GoComics asked me to introduce myself to y'all and tell you a little bit about myself. That's what's happening now.
In the beginning ...
The comics page was really big in my house. I remember my dad and I having a kind of fantasy draft for what our dream lineup would be. He always took Mary Worth, which, whatever, he's living his life. For me it was always Calvin and Hobbes. Calvin felt more real that anyone I knew. I wanted to be him.
I literally did this until a couple years ago.
I also lived a few block away from Big Planet Comics, what I would only later realize is a truly amazing comic book store. There I got into Lewis Trondheim, Jason, Dan Clowes, James Kochalka and any number of cartoonists who were frustratingly better than me.
I tried really hard to draw like them, but that wasn't happening. I still wanted to do a strip though, and at the University of Virginia's newspaper, the Cavalier Daily, I got a chance. I cobbled together some characters I could draw over and over, and titled the strip "Pie" after a joke in an improv scene. (I didn't know I'd be stuck with it for the next decade!)
I drew the strip every day for three years. After I graduated, no one told me to stop, so I took it online. It looked the same for a bunch of years, and I lost interest in it a bit, occasionally updating out of habit. I got a gig contributing to the Onion News Network, moved to Los Angeles, and studied improv and sketch.
After a while, I came back to the comic. I came up with a new drawing style, switched back to a daily schedule, and integrated what I learned from improv into my strips.
Now, two years later, I cartoon full time. I have a little studio in my apartment.
The funny thing about inspiration is that every time you think you know what gets the ideas going, it changes. So here's a partial list of some of the things that have inspired me in the past:
• Fairy tales
• Common idioms
• My childhood
• Other people's comics
• Being angry
• Being sad
• Being happy
• My relationships
• Jeff Goldblum
Besides Pie Comic, I also do a biweekly comic strip called Cluster Fudge. I recently got my first comic into Mad Magazine, fulfilling my lifelong dream of warping America's youth. I contribute to the Onion's sister site, Clickhole, and I'm finishing my first full comic issue, called "Punch Mapplethorpe." It's gonna be real silly.