Comic Talk and General Discussion *

How does where you grew up influence your comicing?
ozoneocean at 12:00AM, April 23, 2020
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I grew up in Western Australia, which is a big empty giant state on the west of Australia… As the name suggests. It's bugger than the biggest state in the USA. It's biggg… And flat. All flat. With clear air. You can always see to the horizon as clear as if it was Infront of you, not even any haze… Unless there's a bushfire.

But I mainly spent my childhood in the suburbs. In the Capital city of WA, Perth, a good size place of over 2 million, and Busselton, a smallish country town with a lot less people but a beachy lifestyle. My childhood there was spent at the beach, playing in forest, visiting farms, catching tadpoles, playing cricket and wishing I was back in the city again 🤣

My childhood in the city suburbs was much the same. Except with better TV and toys.

There's not much in the way of ancient ruins here beyond the 19th century (ancient Aboriginal stuff is just cave paintings, no buildings), no mountains, no snow, no haze, the city is very different to those densely populated ones in the rest of the world etc, so a lot of the stuff I'd read about of see on tv or in the movies was very alien to me.

I often wonder how that has changed my writing? I'm not really that sure personally. Maybe it's forced me to make up more stuff because I've had less personal experience of the things I like to write about.
 
lothar at 3:12AM, April 23, 2020
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Interesting topic.
I Grew up in the urban sprawl of LA, hazy sky where you cant see for more than a few miles. everything in the distance looks one dimensional and grey. housing tracts that are all the same. big box stores that are all the same. wide roads and parking lots that stretch on forever. very little in the way of old architecture. The tops of parking structures and dry river basins is where i spent most of my time. Orange sky at night, it never realy gets dark. no snow, balmy weather most of the year, vegetation is all imported garden plants and random assortment of trees. overall very artificial. i found myself focusing on the close up details rather than the whole.

Edit - I totally forgot to mention the desert. while i didnt live in the desert, i loved to go there. it is so desolate out there. when you stop the car and theres no one around And its soooo quiet. i miss that part

but I left there over a decade and a half ago. where i am now is very much like something from Studio Ghibli. Nature is all up in your face with all its wild animals and plants and seasons. Some very old architecture in p;laces. even the city streets are fascinating with the uniqueness of every building. the mix of different styles and ages all thrown together. electric cables strung all over and abandoned buildings everywhere. its really fucking cool compared to where i grew up.
last edited on April 23, 2020 3:15AM
usedbooks at 7:05AM, April 23, 2020
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I grew up in rural WV. Then spent 8-ish years in “urban” WV (that is to say, a town of 50,000 people, the most populated in the state).

My family used to travel to New England often and Atlanta once a year to see my grandparents. Having spent my adulthood in Virginia, I realize how different the WV culture is from “South,” “North,” and “Atlantic” regions, and I realize that this culture presents itself in so many of my characters. West Virginians are “mind their own business” types.

I knew hillbillies but not many rednecks growing up (albeit, I knew a few; rural America is what it is). Yes, there's a difference. Hillbillies are resourceful, secluded people. Their resourcefulness is a product of seclusion and poverty. (Having to drive for hours to get to the nearest store has that effect.) Rednecks are abrasive show-offs, whose “resourcefulness” is a product of pride. Not all WVians are hillbillies, but they are predominantly self-sufficient people. They genuinely don't care about gossip. (When I moved to Virginia, I was SHOCKED by how much everyone is in everyone else's business.) They do not offer unsolicited help, but always lend a hand when asked. They work quietly on point. WV was settled by people whose entire raison d'etre was to be left alone, and the culture has remained.

I loved visiting *real* cities for vacations. And also as part of a school group I was a member of. And my parents used to take me and my siblings out of school for road trips to museums. (DC, Pittsburgh, NYC, Chicago.)

I feel like I end up writing stories where the setting is urban but the characters feels rural.

Also, I include a lot of colorful autumns, snow-filled winters, trees, hills, and animals in everything I write and draw. These were part of my world growing up, and it's practically an unconscious requirement in all my imagined settings. I don't think I ever drew a landscape that had no hills between the ground and the sky.
Tantz_Aerine at 2:05PM, April 23, 2020
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Great topic, Oz!

I was born in Canada, but I grew up in Greece. Hot summers, generally mild winters but with the occasional tantrum, fragrant air, bright colors, beauty all around, intertwined with encroaching grey ugliness that is so telltale of 1970s rampant building. Athens is literally built upon the ruins of the ancient city- or, as I think is the way things go (Troy, anyone?), we didn't build on the city. We just continued to live exactly where our ancestors did, and that means our stuff goes on top of our ancestors' stuff. (Sorry, archaeologists, I know I'm a heathen)

Living surrounded by the ruins and remnants of what came before makes for a great memento mori, in my opinion. So the concept of death, life, heritage, responsibility, honor, remembrance imbues the psyche of a Greek as much as thyme and oregano does. Doesn't matter how it manifests in behavior- it's there. And I think that definitely goes into my comics and my writings in general. War and struggle, intrigue, betrayal and altruism too are themes that fascinated me and have a definite source in the legends, myths and history of my land. That goes in my stories too :)
 
BearinOz at 10:58PM, April 23, 2020
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Ozone - “I grew up in Western Australia, which is a big empty giant state on the west of Australia… bigger than the biggest state in the USA”.
…. “There's not much in the way of ancient ruins here beyond the 19th century (ancient Aboriginal stuff is just cave paintings, no buildings), no mountains, no snow,

Lothar - ”everything in the distance looks one dimensional and grey.“

Tantz - ”We just continued to live exactly where our ancestors did, and that means our stuff goes on top of our ancestors' stuff. (Sorry, archaeologists, I know I'm a heathen)“

I grew up in Wales, which is relatively small - and now seems to get used as a measurement a lot, like Belgium and football fields. We had ruins of various vintage -certainly not the density of Italy, Greece or Turkey, but enough that archaeologists have ‘first dibs’ if anything is found during a ‘development’. The Romans conquered around the edge of Wales. In small town Cowbridge, about 20km west of Cardiff, a site was found to have a mediaeval merchant's house in excavations for a small office building…. so they dug that…then found a Saxon Longhouse below that, dug that…and finally found a Roman farm complex, beneath that. SO, yeah, Tantz is right about living on top of our ancestors' stuff. I also took a wrong turn, heading for a surf one day, and ended up driving on some old Roman road cobbles…which dead-ended in a farmer's field !

A ‘typical’ day in Wales is overcast, so our ”one dimensional and grey“ included sky, houses, even people ! I noticed that MUCH more, going back to visit B-) We had snow, sometimes, but I only remember being blocked in by it in 1960/1 (when I'd come home from school with a sled, from a summer adult woodwork course) and the last winters I lived there Feb ‘79 and Feb’80.

I moved to Queensland at 31. ”The Sunshine State“(the ‘other’ one), My wife suggested ”State Of Confusion“ should've been the logo back then - when we had a state governmnent reminiscent of ”Hazzard County" from Dukes of Hazzard. That was the ‘80s, and my 30s . I’ve loved living here. The climate, the surf, mates who'd already moved here…

I guess both ‘lives’ have worked their way into what I write (not sure about style), especially the last effort, Butterfly Effect, where the characters spend time in both (and France).

 
rickrudge at 1:32PM, April 25, 2020
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I grew up half of my life in northern California, USA in the Central Valley, just north of Sacramento. I lived in a little farm town, but it wasn’t far from a Strategic Air Command Air Force base. I would work in an almond orchard with a clear view of parked B-52 bombers with nukes in them and the sonic booms of SR-71 Blackhawk spy planes. So where I lived was pretty redneck/right wing during the cold war. It’s flat land and you can view the Sierra Mountain range to the East and the Coast range to the West.

Now I have lived in the Portland, Oregon area. It’s much more liberal-thinking, crowded, rainy, and mountainous. My Drako the Barbarian comix enjoy that flat, hot atmosphere, and of course my Tag Forester comix are about Portland. :-D
cdmalcolm1 at 5:11AM, April 26, 2020
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I grow up in NYC. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens to be exact. Bullies, small type local gangs, and drugs. Where I grow wasn’t all bad. Art was introduced to me in elementary school by a guess artist that visited our school. I loved it. As I got older in my teens, walking to school was a mission of avoiding bullies and “stick-up kids” as I cautiously walk through the “projects”. (Halloween was particularly scary.) Everything is close together. Buildings, houses, people and parked cars.


My parents hated the fact that I drew all the time and would never read any books. So, that’s when I got into reading comic books. Mostly, Spider Man and Daredevil. Those were the only comics at the time that had stories about Queens and Brooklyn. So, it kind of related so to where I’m from. From that, I started creating my comic superhero universe using some of my friends as superheroes. At the time I created a comic book called “Mutant Mob” based on my friends and foes. It was cool at the time until I got to high school in the heart of New York City. Art & Design HS.


At this time my family moved to suburban Long Island and I would commute to the city for school. I loved the big Apple. The stinky subway, crowded streets, everybody moving so fast to get where their going. Every 6 to 10 blocks in any direction was like a different district Of different cultures. This really started how I shaped my superhero universe. So I made characters from just about every culture I encountered in Manhattan. To this day, if I make up a character, it is based off the influence of a culture in Manhattan.
Peipei at 6:43PM, April 26, 2020
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I grew up in a small lower-middle class suburb on the west coast. I grew up in the high desert, lots of power outages and fires during that time. There was very little construction going on around that time and much of the surrounding area of my family's house was desert and brush. It was so rural at the time, that coyote and mountain lion lock downs were commonplace.

As for my upbringing having any bearing on my comics? I don't know honestly. My childhood and most of my life was pretty unremarkable, I spent the majority of my youth struggling with various health problems. My webcomics worked as a sort of escape from reality, so I guess in that sense, sort of?

fallopiancrusader at 9:57AM, April 28, 2020
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I grew up in San Francisco, USA, and Germany during the 1960s and 70s. So, I was immersed in the height of the flower-power/hippie movement as a child.
At that time, San Francisco was also ground zero of the American underground comics movement. My father was a cartoonist, and he was friends with many of those artists, so I would play among them when they came over to our house for beatnik-style art happenings. Instead of reading any superhero comics, I grew up reading a constant parade of drug addled psychedelic hippie comics, tempered with tripped out french new wave comics.
BearinOz at 9:38PM, April 28, 2020
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fallopiancrusader wrote:
I grew up in San Francisco, USA, and Germany during the 1960s and 70s. My father was a cartoonist, and he was friends with many of those artists, so I would play among them when they came over to our house for beatnik-style art happenings. Instead of reading any superhero comics, I grew up reading a constant parade of drug addled psychedelic hippie comics, tempered with tripped out french new wave comics.
Haha, lucky you ! In the early-mid ‘70s, I used to buy “OZ” magazine - a U.K. publication produced predominantly by Australian ex-pats - which included stuff like “The Furry Freak Bros.” “Fat Freddie’s Cat”, etc. I loved people like Roy Crumb, and my wife later bought me the “How To Keep Your Volkswagen Alive - the manual for the compleat idiot” - illustrated by Crumb, since we had a ‘62 kombi at the time. “OZ” was a good source of West Coast cartoonery, as it wasn’t really available over there, in its original form.
 

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