Writing: One Comic At A Time

Behind the first storyline

David Milgrim


Note: You may have already seen the first of these strips in the intro posted here, but the discussion below is all new. There are also new strips at the bottom.

My first sketches were of a wise man on the mountain. It’s a standard comic trope for a reason and it’s especially apt for a strip focused on self-improvement. But the idea of the same ‘ol mountain, even with a woman atop, still felt tired. Competitively peddling the wares of wisdom directly on the street felt more like today’s modern marketplace of gurus.

Despite the 1:1 guerilla marketing, I didn’t want a jaded huckster. There’s plenty of that outside of these frames. I wanted Stellar to actually employ some of the key concepts of happier living. One of the biggest of those concepts is connection. It’s the thing most of us are most in need of. So I’m letting her trade in the currencies of community and experience

I was playing with just a dabbling of color here.

The guy reminds me of me. But I don’t want an avatar clone of myself since there’s already a bit too much of me in my mind. But he (still unnamed) is likewise trying to analyze how to live. He’s spent most of his life proving he’s okay in each and every conceivable way that he could, but it hasn’t worked, so he’s opening up to other, hopefully, easier options.

I find the most penetrating humor to be that which rings true to life, despite the often preposterously absurd situations that pop up. Making sure that the characters react in service of their personalities, and not the lowest hanging joke, requires patience. Especially when I don’t know much about what their personalities are!

I have no idea if I’ve got them right yet. We’ll see. If need be, I’ll run some of them over by an Amazon truck and replace them with identical twins from…