Picpak Dog is a comic that’s been with me my entire life. I created the character in 1996 when I was five years old, in-between teaching myself how to draw Snoopy and Garfield. When I was eight I began adding new characters and making it into a comic strip, racking up quite an archive in the process. Right now I have over twenty books full of material. Some hit, some miss, some are incredibly painful to look at. Not having regular access to a scanner, these comics were never uploaded online until June 30, 2007.
Most of the comics you see now were actually originally written when I was between the ages of nine to twelve, which explains the innocent humour of the strip. I always wanted to create a strip that I as a kid would enjoy, and what better way than posting strips that were drawn while I was one? That being said, a good chunk of the strips are new as well.
A quick look at the archives my old ComicGenesis site infamously shows me doing almost every mistake of a beginning webcomic: comics being scanned with varying quality ranging from excellent to terrible, and being left unupdated for weeks at a time with no explanation. In January 2010, the site moved to its own domain, where I’m committed to bringing you new comics that are actually legible.
What’s with the name? How do you spell it?
I used to joke that it came from Pacman, but truthfully, I have no idea. When you’re a five-year old with a ridiculous imagination, you don’t consider keeping track of these things.
For future reference, Picpak is spelled: P-I-C-P-A-K. The C comes before the K. Don’t email me saying that you invented a new way to spell it wrong; believe me, I’ve seen them all. Don’t be too upset though, even my earliest drawings spelled Picpak wrong.
How do you come up with your ideas?
A lot of the humour is family-based, meaning it comes from events that happen around me, my friends, and my family. In fact, Picpak’s brother Scraps is actually based off an old friend that wanted to move with me into a dumpster when I was young. Yes, it gets absurd and exaggerated for comedic effect, but a lot of it is the little things that happen from day to day that I think would translate will into comic strip humour.
And then sometimes I just rip off Calvin and Hobbes.
What are your biggest influences?
Garfield would easily top the list, simply because the humour of its strips from the late 80′s to mid 90′s is right up my alley and I admire its simplicity. B.C. would be another for its quick sketchiness and showing me an easier way to draw eyes. Calvin and Hobbes and Peanuts, of course, are other obvious choices, as well as Animaniacs (Wakky is actually named after Wakko).
If you’ve felt that Picpak looks like a mishmash of all those comics, but can’t put your finger on a definitive one, that’s probably why. Picpak Dog is my way of harkening back to the “good ol’ days” of newspaper comic strips.
I’ve got a question – how can I ask you it?
Odds are you’ll use e-mail, because nobody knows what formspring.me is.