Sunday, February 8, 2004

Adis says: Welcome back to the Quicksketch Spotlights. This time, we have none other than A.S. Williams, author of Vindibudd, SuperHero in Training, part superhero spoof, part social satire with a short fuse! Here's my chat with Andrew (who is a strong CYS supporter, by the way):

Vindibudd. What is it about?
The Adventures of Vindibudd Superhero In Training is about a student in the International Academy Of Superhero Sciences and how he basically never goes to school. Just kidding, actually Vindibudd just happens to be a superhero because I like drawing cool superhero outfits. It can be about any given thing but I figure that maybe someone that is a superhero can get away with more things than say a regular person because you already can't take him seriously with the outfit. I added the college thing because it gives me an excuse to introduce similarly themed characters. So overall, it's about a student at the school, though I almost never do anything with the official premise.

How did you come up with the idea?
Vindibudd is a spin-off of my first comic entitled The Buddie Files. Buddie was essentially me and after a while it got rather boring drawing myself verbally sparing with my sister. So about this time, there was the Bud Man beer commercial and also Bartman from the Simpsons was a huge hit and I am a gigantic fan of Batman, well it was too much to resist so I decided to make Buddie a sort of superhero alter ego for humorous hijinks.

What exactly does "Vindibudd" mean, anyway?
Considering that Bud Man was already taken, I thought about what a good superhero name might be that was totally original, so I thought Vindicator sounded sufficiently cool and I combined the name with Buddie to arrive at Vindibudd. In the comic's lore, Buddie was inspired to be Vindibudd by reading his favorite comic, the fictious "Vindicator." Subconciously, Vindibudd sets out to prove that Buddie is right in his opinions and thoughts, and as Vindibudd, he can effectively vindicate his own viewpoints. Vindibudd was created in 1992.

Your comic draws a lot from real life, do you walk around with a notebook to write down ideas?
I used to have a little notebook but I never really took to it. Though a lot of the subject matter can be viewed as real life inspired, I generally sit down at my board with no idea of what the comic is going to be about. There are notable exceptions of course, primarily when dealing with putting a real person or acquaintance in for a guest spot.

You defend your opinions pretty strongly through your comic, are you like this in real life?
Haha, not really. I have very strong opinions but I am a friendly person to talk with. I am very much non-confrontational in person. That's the beauty of having a loud cocky superhero character, I can work out my frustrations and sarcasm in a safe haven of pen and ink.

What are your favorite webcomics?
Okay, I know everyone says Count Your Sheep, but it's TRUE! I also like Cazorthade, Penny Arcade, 64 Demons, Dead Air, and UNA Frontiers right off the top of my head. Print comics include Calvin And Hobbes, Get Fuzzy, Foxtrot, Zits, and Opus.

Since you're a big Lord of the Rings fan, I have to ask: Do you have a LOTR crush? Mine's Eowyn.
I love Arwen, and coincidentally, my girlfriend resembles Liv Tyler more than a little.

I'd like to hear a bit more about what influenced you to create those particular costume designs, specially Vindibudd and General Safety.
When I went to design Vindibudd, my primary requirement was that he have a lot of blue because it is my favorite color, and because Vindibudd vindicates, he has to be an alleged smooth operator and cool under fire (which he rarely is), hence he has colors that are mostly on the cool end of the spectrum. You can see hints of Batman and Bartman in him as well with the hat. The hat is a carry over from Buddie, because back then I had a devil of a time drawing hair. the jagged edges you see in his hat and cape were originally supposed to be light reflecting on his shiny costume, but I think of those features as physical edges now.
Lots of people comment on General Safety's khakis and how it's such a funny thing to have a superhero wearing khakis. I must say that it is a side effect of my original intentions because I never added them for that particular reason. I used to work for the Target retail store chain and anyone that's ever been to Target knows that all the employees wear khakis. Coincidence? Absolutely not! I used to be a security guard at Target and I created General Safety for a safety poster contest. This is why he is colored in red, yellow, and green, like a stoplight. He was all dressed up in Targetchic and he admonished all wayward employees to "REMEMBER YOUR SAFETY CODES." The poster won my store, then the district, then the region, and finally the entire southern United States of Target stores. They printed my poster and I got $250 in gift certificates and bought a graphing calculator for college. Good times. General Safety's colors subconciously represent his effect on Vindibudd's speeding through life.

What's in the future for Vindibudd, and when is Common Sense Girl going to get her own series?
I would like to become a lot more consistent in turning out comics of Vindibudd as it directly helps my life-long dream of being a syndicated cartoonist. I don't see big changes as far as the character is concerned though. Common Sense Girl? haha, I don't know if she will get her own comic, I think General Safety is more likely to have his own gig, but CSG might get it. We'll just have to see about it. ;)

If Ship was a superhero in the Vindibudd universe, what would be his name?
Ohh, Ship is a superhero already in my book! but if he were in the whacked out world of Vindibudd, I think he would be Mega Mouflon.

I tried to imagine Vindi during the Golden Age of Comics. I hope both you and Andrew enjoyed it, and I thank Andrew for his time!
Now go to bed!

The first comic Today's comic

Count Your Sheep is Adrian Ramos.