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Q: Are the characters modeled after anyone?
A: Kim and Jason are derived from the real-life me and my real-life wife, Kim. I first sketched the two characters in 1997 while we were dating. They looked quite different from the way they look now. What started out as simple little drawings designed to woo my sweetheart eventually grew into what it is today. They also played a major role in my eventual proposal. Anyway, I thought they would make great comic strip characters, and people began to respond to my early attempts. The other characters are very loosely based off of other family members, but they have all developed lives of their own.
Q: How do you get your ideas?
A: I find that getting ideas is the most difficult task in creating this strip. Usually I buy all of my ideas at Wal-Mart. When they’re all out, I’m left to come up with other ways. I’ve tried a lot of different techniques, and go with whatever’s working at the time. Sometimes I’ll go on walks and daydream, sometimes I’ll call up memories from my childhood, and sometimes I’ll doodle in my sketchbook. I’ve always been able to notice the little things around me, and I love observing kids. They’re great teachers.
Q: How far ahead do you work?
A: Usually I have storylines written up to five weeks in advance, and my strips are typically inked three to four weeks in advance.
Q: Do you use any computer programs to create your artwork?
A: All of my strips end up getting scanned into my computer where I add shading and add the fonts with Adobe Photoshop. I also use Photoshop to color the Weekend strips once the lineart has been scanned. As far as the rest of the artwork that ends up on prints and cards and our other products, it’s a mix of traditional media and digital media, in which I take advantage of Corel Painter. I have found that my traditional training has allowed me to make the jump to the digital realm without my artwork looking “digital.” I pretty much create the paintings the same way I did with traditional paints, except I don’t have to clean any brushes and I can easily undo any errant brushwork.
Q: Is Kim & Jason your first comic strip?
A: No. My first foray into the world of cartooning was while attending Northern Illinois University. I created a daily sports panel entitled “Obstructed View” for the Northern Star. I learned a great deal from that experience, especially the constant looming deadline to come up with a funny comic every day. My skills got a lot better, I was able to make a positive impact on the athletic department, and I fell in love with cartooning.
Q: Is “Kim & Jason” in any newspapers?
A: “Kim & Jason” has been published in various daily and weekly papers and publications. The strip is also published on a number of better web sites near you, including this one. If you have an interest in seeing “Kim & Jason” appear on YOUR web site or in print somewhere, check out our Publish Kim & Jason page for details.
Q: Why do you feel it is so important to return to childhood? How did it become part of your mission?
A: As kids, we definitely did a lot of stupid things. But I also believe we had a much better grasp on how to live and look at life than we do now. Grownupdom has a way of choking out the fun, playfulness and curiosity that make life truly worth living. Kids are amazed at pretty much everything and don’t spend too much time worrying about the future or what other people think of them–especially when there’s a puddle to jump in. I guess that’s what it all boils down to; grown-ups walk around the puddle and kids jump right into it. I really want to help people reconnect with what they once knew as children – that life is a gift from a loving God, and there’s just too many fun things to enjoy and explore to waste time dwelling on the trivialities of grownupdom.
Q: How old are you? Do you have any kids of your own?
A: I was born in 1976 (you can do the math), but I still don’t consider myself a grown-up. And yes, I do have a daughter named Lucy who is ridiculously awesome. Plus, she keeps me young, which is very nice of her.
Q: Are the events in this strip based off of your own childhood experiences?
A: Some of the concepts are taken from my childhood, but with a few exceptions, the actual storylines are almost always made up. One such exception: I really DID believe I was Superman, and I really DID wear my Under-Roos on the outside of my blue jeans…was spandex invented then? If it was, I would’ve killed for a blue pair.
Q: What is your favorite comic strip?
A: I could go on for days on this one, but here’s my personal Hall-of-Fame: Charles Schulz and Peanuts (duh), Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson, Over the Hedge (Mike Fry and T Lewis), Rose Is Rose (Pat Brady), The Far Side (Gary Larson), The Norm (Michael Jantze), Family Circus (Bil Keane), Non Sequitur (Wiley Miller), Monty (Jim Meddick), Baby Blues (Jerry Scott & Rick Kirkman), Pogo (Walt Kelly), and Dilbert (Scott Adams)…Whew!
Q: What is your favorite part about doing “Kim & Jason”?
A: I like to make people laugh and I like to create new opportunities for the characters to reveal themselves. But my favorite part is seeing how God uses these silly little drawings and stories to touch the lives of other people.
Q: What is your favorite episode?
A: I’m not sure that I have a favorite episode. I can say that I enjoy writing for Super J more than any other character, and I like drawing Kim more than any other character.
Q: Have you ever thought of writing and illustrating a children’s book with Kim and Jason in it?
A: I have entertained that possibility. Right now I’m trying to focus “Kim & Jason” more towards adults rather than children, but if the right opportunity came along, I would definitely consider it.
Q: Will we ever see an animated “Kim & Jason” show?
A: That would be cool, wouldn’t it? Part of my dream is to see Kim and Jason grace television screens in homes across America. Maybe something along the lines of ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’, but who knows what the future holds?