It's obvious that the web has fast become an excellent medium for art. From the rise of popular "self-publishing" sites, we also have the rise of webcomics. In something typically restricted to paper, the internet allowed them to flourish without needing a lot of money. Yet, there is money to be had, if it doesn't seem too daunting. The vast array and amount of reading to choose from leaves some webcomics left and buried in the shuffle. With no editorial restrictions, this also allows for a lot of not-so-great comics hiding complete gems.
Lesbians, former anime stars, drug addicts and introductions to Australia's social welfare programs? One of those gems happens to be the brainchild of Lindsey Robert Colman. Stepping out and above of the typical format and mold, he uses bold colours and characters to create an experience in and of itself in the weekly comic Woo..Hoo.
Stephanie Duncan: Okay, let's start at the beginning. How did you get into this?
The first comic I ever read was a Spider-Man comic I got in a show bag at the Adelaide show. It was part two of Maximum Clonage. I loved it and wanted more.
What prompted you to start doing your own comics?
I have always drawn, throughout my entire life. It was kind of a natural progression to start drawing comics after I really started loving them. I started in high school with a comic called Deranged Dan.It was... not very good. Not very good at all.
I've noticed that now you have a very distinct style. Did it take a long time to develop that?
My digital style and my pen and paper style are very different, I've always loved the look of colour with no outlines.
Do you have any specific art influences?
I love the art of Shag. It's just so snappy and oozes high living. Martini in hand and the New Yorker in the other. It just says so much to me about what a simple shape can represent. I love minimalistic art. Popart, even.
Along with your striking minimal art style, your characters are what some might regard as "quirky". Is that intentional or did they just "happen"?
They just happen, they aren't based on anyone. They just pop out. I really think I have someone beaming ideas into my head. The characters are just their own people and I don't try to impose any limitaion on what they might say. If they would say it in real life, then they say it in the comic.
Can you see them, and your work, evolving as you work on it? As you go forward, do you try to take different angles to further broaden them as well as your style?
Oh definately! I really try and accommodate who they are like a doting parent, trying to give them the surroundings that would nurture the personality that they seem to be growing into... if that makes any sense at all.
Do the majority of ideas from storylines come from being based off characters or are those entities themselves?
The storylines are really just things that happen to them in their lives. I don't really sit down and say "Right, Bek is going to throw some paint at the end of this story" everything just kind of happens. It's kind of chaotic.
Do you think it would be less chaotic if drugs were less of a driving force behind one of the main characters?
I think that if there wasn't drugs in woo...hoo it would be a comic of Carrons... and I can't think of anything more boring than a comic of Carron. But ya know, drugs aren't THAT much a thing in Woo...hoo. It's not like a drug comic. The characters just happen to take drugs. A lot.
Do you see yourself doing this for a long time?
I see myself trying to do it a long time, but I can see work and the drudgery of life getting in the way. In my ideal dream world all that I would do is comics and art in general.
Can you see yourself trying expand perhaps into print, or making the foray into merchandising like a few other comics?
If I had more readers I would LOVE to make shirts and print comics. But I just don't have the obsessive readers yet. I get a lot of readers but I don't know if they would, say, buy a shirt with Deedee on it yet. I don't think people know the characters well enought to wear them on their chests. It's like taking a picture of a person in the street and putting it on your shirt. In a few days that man could be infamous and before you know it, that innocent picture on your shirt is akin to Hitler or Pol Pot! ...then again maybe I'm just lazy?
Woo..Hoo can be found at Keenspace.com and is updated every friday.
Interviewed and written by Stephanie Duncan, February 2005