I made comics as a kid to make my mom laugh, and on good days, that’s what I still do! Some of the old characters from my childhood, Oswag, Shemmah, John Bugeye, Joe Mosquito, etc, have been on many adventures, most of which are lost to time, or decaying on 30-year-old piles of copy paper somewhere. In 2014, I decided to pick up a pencil again and pursue cartooning as a new career path. Since then, the old gang enjoyed a brief resurgence. Also, Leora and the Grumptipus came to be, as well as the Egghead Plushpuppets and a collection of Magnificent Randos. I’m still exploring and expanding. My path as a cartoonist has been twisty-windy with many sidetracks. Some have led me to flowers. Some, to poo. No matter what though, I’m enjoying the process of exploring the path at my own pace.
P.S. If you’re curious about my influences, here are some artists who’ve inspired me:
5 thoughts on “About”
I wonder… What was the initial inspiration for this kind of comic… besides all the artists that you’ve mentioned, just now? Which of the characters in this comic did you create first?
Also, was this comic created before or after starting on the path to learning about belly dancing?
Thoughtful questions! Well, I created the characters of Oswag, John Bugeye and Joe Mosquito when I was a kid (the names reflect that childishness, I think, lol), and had drawn many adventures with them up to when I became 14 or so. John Bugeye was the first, to my recollection. I first drew him when I was around 5 years old. Looking back, I’d say my childhood comics were well influenced by the Simpsons, and the inspiration for them was to play out amusing hijinx similar to what I was watching on TV, but subconsciously I was also adding personality quirks to the characters from my own family as well, and was drawing them to work stuff out. For example, when I was 9 or so, I made a comic about Oswag and his wife Shemmah divorcing, which was clearly correlated to my own parents’ divorce.
Because the prototypical characters of the current Stranded On Earth universe were started so long ago, I consider the comic to have started before the belly dancing, technically. But the comics of Oswag and company that you see on the website began in 2014. I started practicing belly dance in 2002.
I’ve since moved away from telling stories using the old characters and have focused more on Leora and the Grumptipus. They’re speaking more to me now as an adult and I have quite a few more stories to tell through them. I haven’t updated the website recently but will again soon, so please stay tuned. Thanks for your questions and your interest in the comic!
Re: A Gift from Grandma
It’s interesting; I get where the mother is coming from and, not being one for absolutes, I wouldn’t say she’s wrong. But I think my own estrangement from extended family – particularly my grandma – really did begin this way. Long before I’d developed world views that conflicted with theirs, I was hurt and offended that they would give me matching gifts to my other cousins; things that clearly showed how little they were interested in who I was. Maybe they thought we were all the same at that age, but I was of course constrained by social etiquette to pretend to like them, and started dreading those celebrations early on. Anyway: nice commentary, as always, in an amusing framework.
Also: really enjoying the glimpse into your other art. My mother took one of the same classes you did, and I got a kick out of seeing your take, as well as the horrific interpretations. Inktober-27-music is my favorite so far, though; you captured that feeling and expression so well.
I really appreciate your comments! The awkward gift-giving and obligatory pretense is how my estrangement from my grandma began as well. I wonder if it’s a generational thing to treat kids as all the same, or if it just is the way our particular relatives thought, but I don’t quite remember older relatives asking me what I was interested in when I was young. Actually, your comment inspired me to write my nieces and ask them what they might like for their upcoming birthdays. Being far away, I don’t see them often, so at the very least I want to avoid recreating the same estrangement with them!
Also, it feels reassuring to hear Inktober-27-Music is your favorite because at the time I felt I hadn’t captured the likeness so well. But if the feeling and expression come through, then that makes me feel better. Thank you for taking the time to check out my other work! 💜