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Interview with Jimmy Gardner creator of Web-O-Vision

Adam York from The Flowfield Unity interviews Jimmy Gardner, creator of Web-O-Wision

 

I'll probably think of some more interesting questions as we get into this, but I suppose a good place to start is: What made you decide to start a webcomic?

 

Let me first apologise to anyone who doesn't like lengthy answers to questions. I ramble and over-explain to a horrifying degree. It's my lack of talking as a kid spilling forth after being held in for so long!

 

Anyway, deciding to do a webcomic was mostly driven by my love of a community I used to run. In the "Old" section of my site you can see the Imryll Comics and those are the ones I did first. Basically me and some friends from school had been running a very small MMORPG called "Imryll Legends". The game sucked but was made with an existing program and template we had modified fairly heavily and we had a lot of fun times doing it, made some great friends etc.

 

When the time finally came to shut down the game (for many reasons) I wanted the community we had to stick together, and the Imryll comic was my try to do that. It was also just a new avenue of expression – I wanted to tell jokes because I'M FUNNY RIGHT GUYS? and it seemed like fun.

Of course my reasons for doing one now are completely different...

Let me guess, you're in it for the money... or just the girls?

 

Listen man, I fuck small dogs. The only girls I care for are ones willing to wear a furry suit. I guess money is always a factor, though! Somebody has to harvest all the money from the fertile soils of webcomics! HURRRR. (Please don't take that seriously.)

To be honest, I'm not sure I want to take it all, seriously or otherwise... There seems to be a lot of disinformation about you knocking around, especially on your own website. What do you hope to achieve by this, are you on the run?

 

The disinformation? That is basically just fun for me... because it totally confuses the cops that hound me day and night!

 

My bio used to have a lot of serious information about me on it, like what I was doing re: education, work, what I like and dislike, you know how it goes. In the end I just decided that it was maybe too much and I'd prefer it if people would read my visual journal or my comics to try and garner legit info. Or e-mail me, come to the forums, whatever. Plus my dad sometimes liked to check up on what I had written about myself and as parents generally do via their 'worrychannel' he made me feel kinda crappy about it.

 

I can understand why a parent might be worried about their offspring drawing pictures of perculiar sexual practices and comedy stabbings... what do you think is your most dubious comic?

 

Oh, this is good. I think there's a lot I can talk about here. Probably my most dubious comic in an offensive sense must be the "dead fetus" jam comic. There's dead fetutses all over the place, and it's not like a "Hyuk hyuck abotion lol" thing or owt, they're just... you know. The guy opens a box and there's a dead fetus. Then I have one on top of my head, who ends out standing up, then there's an army of them and one holds a knife, etc. People just get really twitchy about that stuff - like, is it okay for him to have the dead babies there?

 

Oh, another one is a random script I had written but didn't plan to draw, but Jam Torkberg and myself did it anyway, jam-style. It involves a guy getting shot, and ends out with the doctor getting shot too but really enjoying it. "WOW!" he says, as the bullet goes through him. The most comments we received about that strip were, "I'm not sure if it offends me or not, which is fine. It wasn't very tasteful.

 

On a PERSONAL note... my most dubious comic is a joint effort between all of my early stuff in MWL. At the time I was like, "YEAH, this is awesome shit!" but I look back now and want to kill myself. It's really shit comics and they partly make me feel good, because in one way it's a, "wow haven't I come far in both my worth as a human being and skill as a comicker," but in another way there's the whole, "this sucks, I should move it to the Old section." Which might have happened by the time this interview is released into the wilds of the Internet.

 

There was just a lot of questionable content in there: me getting angry with a girl I loved over nothing in particular, lots of self-deprecation via lack of self-confidence, references about stuff only a very small number of people would understand. It's the same in the early pages of the Sketchpad area because I didn't feel like I had much worth as a person and was very underdeveloped socially. I got thrust into college, had to get over relationship problems – which took a long fucking time - and it's just teenage drama and angst. I don't know anyone over the age of 16 who is really interested in reading stuff like that.

 

I told you I could ramble, right?

You did, and you can... that said, it's preferable to single word answers and it makes my job easier. What would make your life easier?

 

More self-control.

 

(I gotta eat, back later)

Later… What did you eat and did you cook it yourself?

Chiken/potato/carrot/stuff and cabbaged/chilli. It's regular Chinese. My Stepgran made it. She's staying for 6 months then going back to China. Doesn't speak more than three English words, bless her soul.

 

You seem to have quite a prolific output, how do you manage to fit in creating a webcomic such as Web-O-Vision with such distractions as MMORPGs and ladies in furry suits?

 

Haha! Ugh, well, for a long time it was this insane desire to prove to myself I could update 3x a week (at one point I was doing 5x but stepped down to increase quality). When I finally missed an update it got spotty but I've always delivered, just sometimes late. Something that has really helped with my website content on the whole is the fact that I was an art student this past year and so I was encouraged to be pro-active - keep sketchbooks, etc., which is why there's 80+ entries in the Sketchpad section as well as 150+ comics on MWL, 15 comics in the Jams section and all the old stuff too.

 

At this point it's just a love of the thing that keeps me "prolific". The real life equivalent of my furry-clad ladies tend to be the Internet in general and comic books and they really do distract me horribly. I recently joined up to the somethingawful.com forums and I'm reading all these threads when - typically - two hours later I'm tired and going, "Shit, need to do a comic!" It's a good thing I'm unemployed. Being a creature of habit means that sometimes, even though you really love something, is gets overridden by routine, unfortunately.

Walk us through the creation of one of your comics.

 

Okay, sure! I'll do this in bullet point form so it doesn't drag on:

 

· Try to think of an idea, once got write script

· Translate it into a thumbnail (about 2" x 3") so I can figure layout, speech placement, etc.

· Get an A4 piece of paper and pencil it out. I use rulers for the panel borders at this point

· Use a brush pen/sable brush to ink it (I have different sized sables, a 1, 3 and 4) and fineliner for some aspects

· Rub out the pencil Scan at 300 DPI Adjust the contrast in Photoshop, re-letter it using a Wacom Graphire 3 tablet

 

THEN, IF COLOURING

· Make the linework layer "multiply," so the white becomes a kind of see-through

· Colour beneath on different layers. This bit can change depending on
what I'm going for but I tend to just colour in blocks. I find colour
pretty difficult which is a small reason so much of my work is B+W
(the biggest reason being printing)!

 

Ok, I think we can start wrapping up now, how do you feel this interview has gone?

 

I feel this interview has been a-okay but probably pretty boring. I am secretly not exciting or particularly funny, which, um, won't be a secret anymore. Anything to add? Uhhh, does anyone else want to talk with me about Harvest Moon: Back to Nature? It's for the Playstation. Anyone?

 

Web-O-Vision is part of the Transplant Comics collective.