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Underdogs, Underserved, and Underrated Comics: An Interview with Locoma of Anti Featured!

kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, March 31, 2014
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Last week I was able to chat with lifetime DrunkDuck member Locoma about his process in selecting comics for his Anti-Featured comic. As a fellow featured comic reviewer and fan of underdog comics, I had a lot of curiosity going into the interview about the underground feature reviewer. Plenty of hours go into selecting comics for Anti Featured and it is interesting to learn more about them. So without further ado, here is the Locoma Interview!

BACKGROUND

How long have you been a member on DrunkDuck? What keeps you coming back?
I have been a passionate reader of DrunkDuck since 2004. I could not ever leave DrunkDuck because of its community and the inspiration it has become to me. It has to be literally non-existent for me to ever stop being a part of it, and even so it always will be a part of my life.

Did you study art in school? Are you formally trained or self-taught?
I went to an art high school and an animation university, but DrunkDuck gave me my second wind in art. I was pretty down about it before becoming a part of this, I was doing illustrations at the time, but I never found that too inspiring. Webcomics and what is involved in them inspire me more than the technicals or the professional venue of art.

If you were stranded on an island with electricity and an internet connection, what tools (paper, pens, watercolors) would you bring along to create a webcomic for one year?
I am stranded on an island that I call everyday life! I used to love pencils since they are really reliable, but watercolors are simply too fun to use for me, even though I consistently try to control a medium that is random by nature.

Is there a fanbase for webcomics in Argentina? (i.e. Comic conventions, 24-hour comics, comic book stores)
Argentina has a really strong history with comics, until the 1970s/80s it was a nonstop growing industry that every common person consumed on a daily basis. Fast forward to present time and we still have the passionate artists, just not the local industry. Many artists have been working for international publishers like DC or Marvel, many of them living elsewhere, but there is a strong love for comics in general, and it is slowly coming back to the masses. Just last year we had our own Comic-Con with great success, with tons of current local artists featuring their art as well. There is a really strong love for manga and anime as well, even with cosplay contests that have been around for more than a decade.

Who are your favorite artists?
It is really hard to have few of those with the variety the web has offered us over the years, but I have been a devoted fan of KC Green for quite some time now. I have read every webcomic he has ever posted. Locally I have many favorites too, but Carlos Nine has produced some of the most bizarre and at the same time beautiful stuff I have ever seen, and I have been reading his published works since I was a little kid.

ANTI FEATURED

What inspired you to start the anti-featured comic?
I'm glad you asked that! This year I started the official 7 page storyline that explains exactly that, which I am about to complete (just two pages left) called Anti Featured Origins. I don't want to spoil the ending! :P

Approximately how long does it take you to find and review an anti-featured comic from start to finish?
It is totally random. Sometimes I find a really good underground comic ready to be exposed, other times I find comics that don't look good at first, but over time you start to get them and what they want to communicate to you. I try to do a summary of that in my description for each one, or in the collage I sometimes make of them.

What is the most fun part about promoting underground/silly/abandoned/underdog comics?
Sharing them with my audience of course! Some of my readers are really passionate about it! (wink to user “awsome owl 98” there)

Has anyone ever contacted you after being featured?
Not really, the few times I tried contacting them I didn't get much of a reply. I guess that is to be expected due to the nature of the comics I feature. On the other hand, I have seen some Anti Featured comics that came back to life, and for those I have an Anti-Featured badge called “Anti Featured Resurrected”.

This is the badge:


Do you ever use the Quail's Random for potential features?
Yes, it is the main tool nowadays to add comics to my list, but I have a really long list of comics I've compiled through the years since I've started this.
I began compiling it in 2008 looking at the bottom of Drunkduck rank and went my way up. That of course if not possible now since the list is in alphabetical order only, but I have a pretty long buffer of comics in it. Finding the comics and adding them to my list is just the first step. Later I go through the list doing a second, more in depth reading of the comic's archive and make an entry in a database I coded for it. To choose the actual page from the comic I want to feature I sometimes find a single page that represents the whole comic perfectly, other times I compose a collage from various pages. I usually try to enhance the visuals a little to make it more accesible (like adjusting brightness, or re-typing the balloons if it's not easy to read them). Finally, when the day comes to update Anti Featured, I go through the entries of my database looking for a comic that fits my current mood. There are still plenty of comics I've reviewed months ago and never felt like posting them. They're just waiting their time to come out.
Sometimes I do random searches of various topics that are wondering in my head to explore the vast Drunkduck archive.
My anti-featured database is actually not the first database I coded for webcomics, I have another one with key favorite webcomics I've read through the years, and many of the entries I have there are no longer on the internet. It helps me keep a good track of the webcomics I've experienced over the years. I just love webcomics, I have like 5 projects for online webcomics tools that I hate myself for not having finished them yet.

Has anyone ever approached you to get anti-featured?
Not about their own comics, but many readers have suggested me entries and I've been wondering about opening my database to make it public, so anybody can make an entry on it. That requires more time to code of course. I have featured reader suggested comics, with much joy!

How do you select the themes for each month?
Generally I just try not to post the same “type” of comic and switch it a little. If I post a short comedy comic one week I try posting a different genre the next, but currently I'm posting mostly comedy comics since the counterpart would be my own “Anti Featured Origins” story.

What tips would you give comic creators who aspire to get anti-featured?
I think I can give tips to NOT end up in my list! Not that my list is a bad thing, but I generally feature comics I feel haven't been given the chance to shine on their own. Just because your comic doesn't get views or comments doesn't mean it's bad, sometimes you need to work on promoting it to get your audience aware that you exist!

Any shoutouts, plugs, links?
Since you are giving me the chance to, I would like to promote The Bluenoser. It's a wonderful comic that isn't really getting too much attention even though the author has consistenly given the fans tons of material to enjoy. I found this author the same way I find obscure comics for Anti Featured, when the author was in a long hiatus and seemed it wasn't coming back. Fortunately, he did and gave his fans tons of stories to enjoy. I enjoy tons of comics in Drunkduck but that comic is the most underrated one in my opinion, the others I like have a worthy fanbase.

Links!
Locoma's Profile Page: http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Locoma/
Anti Featured on DrunkDuck: http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/ANTI_FEATURED/

.::.
QUACKCAST CONTRIBUTIONS

Are there any Science Fiction buffs in the house?

Banes is looking for willing participants to enlighten us about your vast knowledge of everything SciFi for Quackcast 161.

Questions include:
What are your favorite scifi tales/books/movies/shows/etc?
What “type” of sci fi do you like and why?
Do you write a sci fi comic or work on sci fi projects?

So head on over to the Forum's General Discussion section and add your SciFi words of wisdom!
Link: http://theduckwebcomics.com/forum/topic/176119/

2014 DD AWARDS

The 8th Annual Drunk Duck Awards are about ready to start up again. It is early to get started, and it may seem like we just wrapped up last year, but getting a leg up really helped getting things rolling for this year.

Right now it is time to relax and chew over the categories and get the basic planning in order. The infamous “For Your Consideration” pages theme will be announced soon. And they will be running throughout May and June once the categories are finalized or almost finalized.

Contact Niccea for more information.

.::.
What's Quacking?
Do you have any announcements, community projects, ideas, news, or milestones to report? Please leave general comments below or send a PQ to kawaiidaigakusei. Email me at kawaiidaigakusei@gmail.com.

comment

anonymous?

Banes at 6:10AM, April 3, 2014

Loved it! And "any suggestions for artists who aspire to be anti-featured?" was great. XD

Locoma at 11:05PM, April 2, 2014

aww thanks guys, and thank you Claire!

usedbooks at 9:37AM, April 1, 2014

Great interview! Anti-featured is a fun idea. Locoma is such a good artist himself. I love his watercolors. I only wish he had time to do more.

HippieVan at 5:28PM, March 31, 2014

Great interview! I love Anti Featured, and have been very much enjoying the origins story. :)

cdmalcolm1 at 7:12AM, March 31, 2014

Thats a great Idea for those comics not featured. I think I will look at your list for something new to read. Awesome interview.


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