Two posts in as many days? Craziness.
The bulk of this piece should probably appear in the About the Comic section — and it will sooner or later — but I wanted to go ahead and hang it out on a shingle…right here on the front page.
Delia Awesome isn’t a webcomic. It’s a long form comic that happens to be featured online because A) I’m poor and B) it’s presently the best way to promote it (because I’m poor).
Now, you’re probably saying to yourself, “Mike, long form webcomics are a thing.” And you’d be correct. And on a very technical level that’s what Delia Awesome is. Except, not forever. Some magical day when I can afford to print this stuff or, ideally, find a publisher who will print it for me (again, because I’m poor) I’ll no longer place her exploits — page by page — on the intertubes for all to gawk at.
I’ve always loved every manner of self-published ephemera. I have a small, but carefully curated collection of dogeared zines, self-published comics, and photocopied cookbooks/rants/etiquette guides/treasure maps that I’ve collected from middle school to the present. I’ve even tried (with embarrassingly teenage results) producing my own publications…more for the thrill of holding a reproduction of my own work than of any genuine pride in the content.
Then I shelved all of those joys and aspirations to spend the next decade screwing around with band posters, album covers, textbook art, and the notion that I’d become a professional illustrator in the Robert A. Maguire sense of the term. Comic ideas popped into my head all the time and were filed away – to wait for the day when I’d come to my senses and realize that watching a story grow panel by panel — until that moment arrives when I finally get to hold the printed (or Xeroxed…whatever) copy in my hands — is way more fun and rewarding than tele-arguing the merits of a piece I was never going to be paid for in the first place.
So how does Delia Awesome figure into all of this nostalgia? On an aesthetic level, it’s my love letter to the scene I grew up with (and all of the underground comics, zines, split 7″ covers, and vanity press oddities that filled it) but lacked the talent or maturity to contribute to. The heavy line art, the half-tone patterns, the black, white, and red color scheme, the 8.5 X 11″ format — these were all very deliberate decisions on my part. As much as possible, I want Delia Awesome to ooze the eighties (and very early nineties)…or at least the image of them that Peter Bagge, Eastman and Laird, Los Bros Hernandez, Stan Sakai, Matt Wagner, and R. Crumb (he was getting his second wind back then, after all) cemented in my mind.
And if Delia Awesome can’t be Xericed or Kickstarted into existence, I’ll photocopy the fucker myself if I have to. And if it comes down to that, I’ll be sure the faint outlines of scotch tape and staple holes remain intact.