So A Tamarin And An Axolotl Walk Into A Bar...
Robbie Allen aka Pembroke W. Korgi is the creator of Femmegasm and a contributor to Radio Comix. Femmegasm is new this year and mostly a sendup of pop culture, heavy on the videogame references with an awesome recurring Popeye-hates-pirates joke. (Despite the name of the comic it has no Slipshine-qualifying content in it) Check out my interview with Pembroke below for more on this new webcomic.
Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you located these days?
Howdy, I'm Robbie Allen, but I go by Pembroke W. Korgi on my webpage, and I'm the creator, writer, artist, what have you, of Femmegasm. Not sure why I use the Pembroke pseudonym as most everyone knows my real name. I guess it just adds another level of fun to my comicing as I can use a character I made up to represent me in comics than just drawing a picture of myself. Mainly because I don't find myself all that interesting to draw.
I live in Dallas, TX and I'm an insane one man comicing machine. I draw a lot and enjoy it at all times. It's almost like breathing for me. If I'm not doing anything, I typically start drawing. Outside drawing I tend to play video games, read comics, collect toys and figures, watch animation, listen to music, and watch random movies. I have an enormous love for pop culture and tend to learn random stuff a lot (usually accidentally).
Other stuff I do for fun is make Youtube entitled, "Prepare For The Randomness", and make a variety of short comic stories for the various anthologies published by Radio Comix.
However Femmegasm is my main project and my baby. It's probably the most open and expressive interworkings of my mind in comic form possible.
What's a typical day for you like recently? Do you have another job besides working on comics?
Hrmmm... I sleep, eat, work on comics, play games, watch shows, hang out/talk with friends, and work. Real exciting stuff.
As much as I'd like to make a living strictly from drawing comics, that is unfortunately not the case. It's hard to make a living in the comic field, and I'm aware of that. So I draw solely because I enjoy drawing, but it would be nice to do it for a living.
As for work, I do tech support for a group of hospitals. I work the Graveyard Shift, which allows me to get few calls and work from home. So it gives me quite a bit of extra free time to work on my comics and what not. Granted working such late nights do play havoc on my social life.
Give me the 30 second "convention pitch" for your comic.
Femmegasm is a gumball machine of random pop culture insanity!
Do you have a favorite strip or storyline from the comic? Which ones do fans seem to bring up the most?
My personal favorite is the "Jaws Revenge" comic that went up recently. It stemmed from a conversation I had with All Over Migglie author Green Wiggly about the movie's horrible ending. I ended up liking the comic so much that I wanted to make my own shark movie just to use the ending I created for that comic.
I think the fans like any comic that has Shelly in it. She seems to be a big fan fave. Probably because she's too cute for her own good.
Do you have any long term goals or ambition for the future of the comic?
I'd like to be able to make a living from my comic and maybe at some point see figures made of my characters. But in all honesty as long as people read my comic and enjoy it, I think I'll be happy.
Any plans for a print collection?
Oh definitely. I always keep high quality versions of all the strips I do on my computer and I have even designed a few pages for a possible book. So I definitely plan to do one, but I at least want to wait until the comic is at least a year old before I out any REAL work into it.
How do you go about promoting your work? What seems to be most effective at pulling in new readers?
I plug my current comics and share a lot of the random non-comic artwork I do on various places like Livejournal, Deviantart, 1up.com, and the Sodas and Comicdish forums. These seem to help me get me a decent amount of attention. I also advertise on Project Wonderful, which has been really helpful as well.
Any collectives you're working with? If so can you tell us about what kinds of things does the collective do and how does it benefit everyone in it?
I am part of The Scienteers collective. It's really awesome because it's allowed me to chat and share information with a bunch of really great artists. We also will plug or cameo each other's comics to help each other as well. So I recommend people check out that site, because there's a lot of great work there.
What conventions are your favorites to exhibit at? What advice do you have for others just starting to show their work at conventions? Do you have a favorite convention story?
AnimeFest is my current favorite. I try to frequent it each year. I advise you go to a few conventions and observe what other people are doing at their tables. See what works and what doesn't work. Then try to get an understanding of that before shelling out the money for your own table and merchandise.
There's a lot of zany little things that have happened to me at conventions like once at Ushicon I got drunk crabwalked across the entire convention, and got interviewed in some student documentary about sex at conventions. I was drunk so I don't remember it well. Also one year at Comic-Con San Diego, David Willis of Shortpacked kicked my ass at Super Smash Bros. Melee. It was awesome. Never question his Mario/Luigi skills.
When you create a comic, how do you approach it? Do you start with the words and then think about the scene that should go with it or do you start with more of purely visual approach or none of the above?
That's a hard one, really. Sometimes an image appears in my head and I go with it or build something around it. Other times an idea just pops in my head or I get inspired by a conversation I have with someone. Another common way for me to create a comic is when I watch something or play a game I'll observe something that I think is funny and just go with that. So I don't really have a very consistent method of comic creation, I guess.
What tools do you use to make comics? Can you give us a brief walkthrough of your process?
I typically take a piece of paper preferable a piece of card stock or bristol board. I pencil the comic with a mechanical pencil filled with blue or red lead. Then I ink it with four different types of pens. A Faber-Castell brush pen, and Sakura Micron Pens sizes 1, .08, and .03. Then I scan it into Photoshop with the scanner set to Black and White (which allows it not to pick up my blue and red pencils and saves me time erasing them). Edit and clean up the strip. Take it into Flash to straighten up the lines a tad (I have a small tremor in my right hand that sometime prevents my inking to be as straight as I like). Then color the strip in Photoshop, and bam! I have a finished strip.
Did you do your own website? What software are you using on it?
Yes, I'm currently using Wordpress with Comicpress on the site.
What comics do you read?
Shortpacked, All Over Migglie, Fortissima's Treasure Hunters, Cantrip: The Magic Rabbit, Girly, Cosmic Dash, Nestor, VG Cats, and Gastro Phobia are the ones I currently read.
I used to also read Melonpool, Funny Farm, and Lancaster: The Ghost Detective, but they've all ended by now. I really only mentioned them in hopes to get other people to read them. ;)
Anything else you wished I'd asked you about?
Why a Tamarin and an Axolotl for main characters?
Because they are way more interesting than a dog and a cat. Seriously, I like animals... except snakes... so I enjoy making trips to the zoo and/or aquariums. So I learn a bit about less common animals, plus I think making them less generic animals (ie a monkey and salamander) it allows me a lot of little extra things I can work with. Like the fact that Shelly can regenerate body parts due to the fact she's an axolotl. That has given me a ton of great joke material.