A while back I listened to the audio version of Steve Martin’s biography of his time as a standup comic, Born Standing Up. In it, he talks about getting a whole new kind of reaction from the audience by passing on the stand-up’s standby: the punchline.
So I started kicking this idea around. Could Steve Martin’s idea of humor… that is, basically, of never letting the air out of the balloon, be adapted into comics? Maybe.
I decided to try it. So, allow me to introduce my comic: Eat the Babies. It’s about a walking talking TV. There is no continuity to it, other than the fact that the TV does have friends. The two most frequently recurring friends are Woody Guthrie and John Maynard Keynes. It veers into social and philosophical issues a lot, but mainly its concerned with using the TV’s confusion about humans to create a humor that is elusive.
It means to be elusive.
The idea is you’ll get to wanting to look for it and find it in your own places.
I don’t know if I’m quite getting there, but if the comics don’t make sense yet it is because that is what I am looking to do. To explain my thinking behind strips would be to defeat the purpose, but let me point you to a few favorites so far.
TV is a talking head on tv (my personal favorite so far).
If you’ve seen the Charles Schulz tribute site, 3eanuts, that’s the best example I can give of what I want to do so far, though it’s not quite there. Well, it is there. It is awesome at what it is. It’s just not quite what I want Eat the Babies to be. But it’s close!
For the hardcore arts crowd, there are genuinely avant-garde webcomics out there. You should check them out. I don’t think I’ll be going to any conferences with those guys, as much as I might like to. So, if you’re interested in seeing someone try something, that’s the trick I’m trying. Feel free to click any of those links above and, you know… come see.