QWTD: Steely Gaze interviews lba!
lucky7s76 at 7:38AM, April 23, 2008
posts: 229
joined: 10-25-2007
Username: lba
Comic: Last Words

I'm sure you get asked this a lot, but let's start with a common question: What are your main artistic influences?

Ooh. That's a bit of a tough one. For me every single thing I've seen and done over my life has in some way influenced my art and humor, but if I were to pick a couple of the biggest ones I would probably say the works of Gary Larson and the methods of relief printing. I pulled a lot of the techniques of printing and applied them to my art and Mr. Larson's work has vastly affected my humor and how I present the comic in its format.

How long, on average, does it take you to do one of your comics?

It depends on the comic. Some of them with just the characters and caption can take as little as an hour while my longest, which was my 100th update short story, took me about 10 hours. I'd guess my average is somewhere around 2 to 2.5 hours.

What made you want to start doing Last Words?

I originally started back in high school a couple of years ago just filling time in a computer class making little bumper stickers with the mouse. I almost forgot about it until just at the end of last year when I needed something to fill some extra time I had suddenly developed when I quit my job. From that point I've had numerous reasons to continue, including the fact that I've gotten some awesome emails from folks telling me how my comic has helped them through tough times. Knowing that I'm providing some sort of relief for somebody is a big drive for me.

Now, your comic and your author's notes are two separate entities, and both can actually be enjoyed without the other, but together they make for a very interesting piece of entertainment. Did you intend for them to be linked as they are, or did that come around completely by accident?

It sort of evolved as time went on. Early on, I rarely even left authors notes, but as time went on and I started making jokes from the stories and events of my own life I decided to tell the stories that I thought about as I developed the jokes because they were rather humorous in and of themselves. I never really intended for them to become such a big part of the entertainment, but the grew and became a daily part of things because people liked them.

Are these little guys, Dee, Merle, and Loc, really based on different aspects of your personality?

Originally they all were a part of me (Except for Cannibal. I'm into the taste of people meat), but as things have gone on they've developed their own personalities. Dee and Merle were definitely the biggest parts though. I could never be as violent and angry as Loc.

Okay, now I want ask this somewhat personal question, but if you don't feel like answering that's fine: Do you eat chiclets on a regular basis?

Haha. Actually, I'm not much of a gum chewer. My vice definitely coffee. It's always interesting to me though to see what people think they're made of. I had originally intended them to look like Chiclets, but some people think of them as marshmallows and others see them as little blobs of clay. I think that might be one of the questions I'm asked most often other than “Are you nuts?”

Out of all the characters in Last Words, which is your favorite and which is closest to your real personality?

My personal favorite would probably be Dee. He's also the closet to the way I am. I tend to be pretty happy-go-lucky and somewhat oblivious to the intention of those around me. He's also the one who most acts like me when I'm just happy and content.

You asked the readers to tell you their favorite Last Words comic, and that got me thinking: what is your favorite Last Words comic?

There's a lot of them that I really like. But I think the one that made me laugh most while making it was Do it yourself projects. I rarely laugh at my own jokes since I know the punchline beforehand, but something about the idea of cannibals and head hunters has always been funny to me and that one just struck a chord.

You've frequently stated that these comics almost write themselves, so does that mean you don't really have any plan as to where you're going with them?

As to the end all place it'll be when Last Words ends I don't have any plans other than I don't want it to end at all. I don't really have an overall plot or anything I'm trying to build (I honestly don't even work ahead and make a buffer), but each individual comic usually comes from me writing things down in a journal and literally just letting the characters go through the events that might follow in my head. So while I might start out with one idea in mind, a lot of times as I play it through the characters change it and rewrite it to fit their world as its being made so they essentially end up writing themselves.

Another question that came to mind: Would you ever consider Last Words being printed on greeting cards? You've got to admit, they'd certainly be different than Hallmark's cards.

There may or may not be plans underway to make just this sort of thing happen depending upon whether or not the computer lab monitor at school can be bribed with a couple bags of ramen. A lot of people have asked me for stuff like cards, t-shirts and plushies and I'm pretty anxious to do something for them all as soon as I have the ability.

Is Last Words your first attempt at a comic, or just your most successful one?

Heck no. I've had several other comics I worked on before Last Words. I originally joined the Duck to post another comic I did for art class back in high school, that I've since removed since it ended and I wanted to redo the artwork. Last Words is definitely my longest running and most successful one though and I'm hoping it will continue on for a good long while.

Another somewhat fluffy and useless question: what is your ultimate goal in life?

I'd love to be able to get to the point where I can start putting together some stuff with other web artists like anthologies and coop's and do the con circuit every year. If I could make a living at doing comics and graphic novels in any way shape or form and do the con circuit every year I'd be in total heaven.

What encouraged you to put Last Words up on the web?

To be quite honest it was all about sharing them with as many people as possible. When I started posting I just really wanted to share something with people and have an excuse to practice and get better at what I do.

What would you say to a young, aspiring artist who was struggling through life without hop or direction?

First of all, get a direction. There's plenty of them out there (About 360 if you're of a mathematical mind). You really can't go anywhere if you don't have some sort of goal you want to achieve. Once you've got that, it's all a matter of just going after it until you've got it. And don't get discouraged. You don't necessarily need to get a feature or anything to do well. I haven't been featured myself, but I'm still managing to do pretty well for being only five months into it. It's not about the features, pageviews or anything like that. That stuff is all the result of doing what you love and putting out your best work. Everything else always follows.

And lastly, a question for the ladies, do you prefer boxers or briefs?

Last I checked, they were only concerned with my underwear if I left it on the floor.

Thanks for your time lba! And for putting up with my inane questions…

Well, you're going to have to put up with my inane answers. So I guess that makes us even, now doesn't it?
By the time you finish this, you'll have read it. :3

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:48PM
n_y_japlander at 8:44AM, April 23, 2008
posts: 264
joined: 6-22-2007
(^U^) This was a great interview!!!!
Great job on both you's parts!!!!

(OO) I have to admit… I thought they were marshmallows'… but now I know better!!!

I feel that the greeting cards and t-shirts would be the best for any other than comic money making ideas for “Last Words”… it just seems natural!!!

Again great interview Steely Gaze!!! :)

last edited on July 14, 2011 2:19PM
usedbooks at 9:09AM, April 23, 2008
posts: 2,980
joined: 2-24-2007
Interesting. :)

I thought they were marshmallows too.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:37PM
amanda at 9:14AM, April 23, 2008
posts: 2,075
joined: 9-19-2007
Man, I was hoping to find out the boxers/briefs answer - but I was left hanging! *cry*
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:51AM
crocty at 9:31AM, April 23, 2008
posts: 6,676
joined: 8-16-2007
Aren't they teeth?

They're chiclets!?
I thought they were teeth…
Very nice interview! :D
Oh, how do I edit this again?
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:52AM
lucky7s76 at 1:33PM, April 23, 2008
posts: 229
joined: 10-25-2007
I thought they were teeth…

That was my thought, too. :)

I think you guys are little hard on yourselves… I didn't think this was very “inane” at all! ;)
By the time you finish this, you'll have read it. :3

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:48PM
Steely Gaze at 2:13PM, April 23, 2008
posts: 824
joined: 7-7-2007
Wow, thanks for the nice words. It was probably Iba's clear, intelligent answers that helped make this interview what it was. My questions were fair at best. ;)

That said, I had a ton of fun doing this! I also liked seeing what everyone else though the little guys were. I always figured Chiclets because it came to my mind, but Chameleon Kid views them as marshmallows. It's a personal thing I guess.

Also, Amanda, I was as disappointed as you in not receiving a proper answer to that question. Wait a minute, that just came out wrong. XP

A Roll of the Dice now with full-size pages!

John Clyde now with ten times the tacky Hawaiian shirts!
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:57PM
lba at 8:16PM, April 23, 2008
posts: 2,750
joined: 5-29-2007
Honestly, I'm not too specific about what people want to think of them as. Feel free to continue calling them marshmallows, teeth, chiclets, etc. :)

I think the questions were good. I know I got to say just about everything I could want to about my comic.

As for the underwear issue… I'm going to be tightening my belt a bit more now. lol!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:29PM
Doctor Shadow at 2:52AM, April 24, 2008
posts: 904
joined: 1-6-2008
Good interview :)
A Ronin writer, a masterless samurai of the written word…
Updating: Thursdays. Now in glorious Ink Wash and Water Soluble Pencil! Reva's note: This is not created digitally, it's all hand drawn and inked.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:12PM
crocty at 5:24AM, April 24, 2008
posts: 6,676
joined: 8-16-2007
Honestly, I'm not too specific about what people want to think of them as. Feel free to continue calling them marshmallows, teeth, chiclets, etc. :)
They're molars! D:<
Oh, how do I edit this again?
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:52AM

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