Adis says:Welcome! This time on Quicksketch Sunday, none other than Fragile Gravity. I based the artwork on an old group photo of the Pixies, and I hope you like it. But now I leave you with what authors Barb Fischer and Chris Impink had to say. They are truly passionate about what they do and what they like, and it shows in their words and in their comic
What's Fragile Gravity about? Chris: About five or six panels to the average strip. But to be a bit more descriptive, its the story of Gregg Kreibhle, artist, and Tanya Stephens, writer of the independent comic book "The Adventures of Vince Posthumous - Solar Detective". Life for them in the suburban town of Glidepath is pretty hectic between the production schedule of the book, the numerous sci-fi conventions they attend or work at, and the entourage of friends and pets which cluster about Studio Unseen. Barb: We get to see their adventures at conventions, their work at their home/studio, and occasionally the comic book itself. There also seems to be an unsettling number of penguins.
What made you decide to do a webcomic about that? Barb: We've both been attending/staffing conventions for a long time, so writing about the convention scene seemed natural. However, since that joke would only be funny for so long, we decided to broaden the scope a bit. Suddenly more characters intruded and we had a town develop around us.
Is it true that most people want you to draw Wolverine for them at artists' alley? Barb:Well, not me -- I'm just the writer. Part of that came from a Frank Cho appearance that a friend of mine went to where people were asking for Wolverines every other autograph... and he could whip out a nicely detailed one in about 30 seconds. Chris:Nah - I actually don't hang around Artist's Alley that much, the only time I did a Wolverine was for a sign referring to that comic.
Is there a grander plan with all the penguins? I gotta tell you, one penguin's cute, but a hundred of them...well, that's just scary. Chris: Yes there is. I won't say more at the moment. Barb: Yes, but I just found a herring head in my bed this morning so I can't say anymore.
Why isn't there any sexual tension between Tanya and Gregg? Barb: Mostly I think because they're just partners. Sure you can get some comedy and good writing out of sexual tension, but once that tension's broken, you better have something really good planned to keep the audience's interest. Chris: Within the storyline I think there's an unspoken understanding that it would be bad for the comic - I guess they both saw the movie 'Chasing Amy' at some point. In terms of creating the strip we don't want to 'jump the shark' and fall downhill. There's a lot of material to work with without resorting to that old device.
How did you two come to work together on a webcomic? Barb: We've known each other for years through a sci-fi club we were in; in 1999, we were sitting on the steps in the hotel where A-kon was being held and I said, "You know, we ought to do a webcomic." We sketched out some ideas and nothing came of it for a while. Chris: Life got busy for each of us and the idea got put on the backburner for years, but finally the cost of webhosting fell enough to take a stab at it as a hobby - until then bandwidth costs basically demanded something of a business strategy, and neither of us is much of a business strategist.
Did any of you cry when Spike died in the last episode? (I know many people who were at least freaked out for days...) Both: Which Spike: Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Cowboy Bebop? I was thinking about Cowboy Bebop actually, but the question applies to both, since I saw people react similarly after the last Buffy episode. Barb: Both were rather traumatic, though they didn't make me cry. I was just very sad. Chris: Bebop's was sadder since its probably my favorite anime series ever, and I knew Spike was headed for Angel.
What's your favorite Miyazaki film? (Mine's My Neighbor Totoro.) Barb:Ooh, hard one. I do like Totoro, but Kiki's and Laputa are both really good, too. I liked Spirited Away and Mononoke... great -- now I can't decide. :0 Chris: Princess Mononoke - a very different film for Ghibli in tone if not theme. Totoro was the first of his films I saw so it does have a special place.
Any thoughts on the onslaught of webmanga we see these days? Chris: Its indicative of the rise in the popularity of anime and manga in the U.S. The economy of forms and of line just so happen to work well with the limited resolution of the web so I see it as a good pairing from the technical side, even if it does produce a lot of knock-offs. Barb: Some of it is very good; some of it is just people drawing things with big eyes and calling it manga. I think that the ones with dedication and talent will stick around and develop a style of their own.
Did you ever think CYS was a chibi comic? Chris: Not really, I think the style can be taken as inspired by western styles just as well. The designs remind me a little of PvP, of all things - and a little of the Muppets - or Ship does anyway. Barb: No, but I do adore Ship. He is the cutest sheep ever -- even cuter than Shorn from A Close Shave.
Oh well, Ship is most flattered. A million thanks to Barb and Chris who answered my questions, even when the holidays were upon them. Not only that, but they are the sort of creative people who I'm interested in being around. So what are you waiting for? Go read Fragile Gravity today! Tomorrow's the first day of the month and the BCX Top 100 resets. That means you have to go vote, vote vote!! And thanks for making CYS be in the Top 20, I knew we could do it. Now go to bed! Adis!