Spotlight

Garage Band – Three Dysfunctional Teenagers Savor Youth While They Can

JasonD writes, produces, and manages the webcomic Garage Band. He likes to smoke cigarettes even though he has asthma, buy cool and expensive Nike SB shoes that he never wears, and drink Rockstar Energy.

There’s not much else to know about him.

Garage Band is the story of 3 dysfunctional teenagers in a punk band, constantly bickering with each other and trying to savor every moment of fun they can get their paws on before the inevitable happens: adulthood.

Currently, there are two complete chapters and chapter 3 is in the works.

Garage Band has been picked up by Vivid Publishing! Hooray!

JasonD was awesome enough to answer a few questions for our reading pleasure!

What genre does Garage Band fall into?
Primarily comedy because that’s what I’m really into right now. Vulgar humor, insult humor, dark humor — so many variants to work with.

The other genre is coming-of-age or slice of life according to the internet. I didn’t grow up reading Tolkien books or watching Disney flicks, I just remember dicking around the neighborhood like playing ding-dong ditch, volunteering to serve in the rock throwing wars, and stealing yu-gi-oh cards and getting my ass beat for it.

I wanted to recreate an environment similar to that.

What plans do you have for your newest chapter?
Remy falls for a girl but doesn’t have the confidence to go and impress her. His bandmates Zack and Riana get fed up with his moody behavior and drop him from his own band until he stops being an infant and sleeps with her.

It sounds like another soulless teen sex comedy flick but this will be the first comic where I actually have something personal to say. That’s all I can tell you in regards to the story.

Another cool thing I’m doing is revisiting ancient social media and emo kid culture. Making jokes and references to the essentials of that era like Myspace, Stickam, Manic Panic, MCR etc. That’s gonna be fun.

Did you go to school for art or writing? If so, what school?
I HATE school. Hate, hate, hate, hate, HATE IT. Why would I ever go back and, furthermore, PAY FOR IT?!

Okay, I’ve had thoughts of going to film school before. Thankfully those thoughts were quickly brushed away after hearing nothing but frustration from people that went.

Funny story — a person on youtube I regularly watch made a video on ADR and it was played at ASU as part of a film course without his permission. Imagine if I went to ASU to learn about film and instead got to rewatch a youtube video when I could do that at home for free?

My teacher once broke character and said college is not for everyone. I’m positive that’s the case for me.

What’s it like having an artist draw out your ideas versus the time when you tried to do it yourself?
The best thing ever. Let’s leave it at that.

What was the process like to find an artist with a style that meshed with what you had in your head? How long did your search take?
There’s so many artists now that you could probably find someone with a style most suited for what you have in mind in the glove compartment of your car.

It can be tricky though when it comes to scouting artists with experience in anthro design. Many tend to be hobbyists uncomfortable with making money for acceptable reasons. Others already make a living making pornographic art and have no reason to do business outside of what they love.

But search hard enough and you’ll find them.

I don’t really have to search anymore because I have a list of possible artists I could work with in my head after doing so much digging. When I started storyboarding for chapter 3, I already knew the artist I had in mind for it.

What is your process like for creating comic pages? How much give and take is there when you’re working with another artist or creative team? Do you brainstorm ideas together or do they just work straight off of your script?
I pencil and ink every single comic page on regular sheets of paper. Then I send them over to the artist and basically tell them “copy everything but make it look better.”

Sometimes I’ll take advantage of the fact I’m working with a professional and ask what’s there for improvement but that only happens on rare occasions.

Although my art skills are limited, I still have the ability to draw and would prefer to translate 100% of what’s in my head to paper instead of giving the artist the headache task of trying to figure out what I want through text.

Also I’m bit of a control freak.

Congratulations on being picked up by a small publisher! That’s the dream for a lot of webcomic creators! Any advice to people who are currently looking to do the same? How stressful was it waiting for a response?
Thank you.

For people who are looking into getting picked up by a publisher…

Ignore numbers. Hits, ratings, subscribers, who cares. Just worry about creating a product that doesn’t suck too much (because nothing is perfect) and all the cool people will notice.

Read the contract. Hire a legal consultant to go over it with you if you flunked Business English 101. The last thing you want is losing the rights to your IP.

It wasn’t stressful at all because I honestly expected rejection since my comic wasn’t fantasy or adventure. I still took the shot anyway because you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, right?

How long did it take you to plan the comic before even beginning to physically create it?
It takes about 2 weeks to a month for the script, 2-3 months for storyboarding the entire comic and designing the turnaround sheets, and about a week to get all the artists signed onto the project.

If you’re talking about the whole comic in general and not just what goes into a single chapter, that’s a mouthful for another time.

What was the biggest hurdle you faced during the course of making Garage Band? If you could go back in time to the point where you just started making it and give yourself a pep talk, what would you say?
The artists probably go through more hardships than I do. I don’t know what to tell you, all I do is sit in my computer chair and scribble rude jokes.

I do recall a moment while writing the first chapter where I had difficulty writing a joke and I sat there for 2-3 hours forcing my brain to come up with something. What resulted was probably the funniest joke in the whole chapter.

I guess another hurdle was learning Photoshop. I never touched it until 2 years ago when I wasn’t satisfied with how the artist was lettering the comic and felt there was cleanup needed to be done. I’m not much of a technical person and programs like PS always intimidated me…but I managed to pull through.

If I could go back in time to that point, I would strongly urge my younger self to have a human cast instead.

What is your favorite part about working on Garage Band?
Work is work and it’s usually not fun with the exception of those small moments where everything is coming together nicely or you write something that’s gonna melt some faces.

Holding the very first test print of chapter 1 was pretty wild though. I felt like I created…art.

What is your LEAST favorite part about working on Garage Band?
Illustrating the roughs probably because I don’t enjoy drawing as much as I used to.

Do you have a favorite character to write for? If so, why? Tell us more about them!
Zack (the letterman jacket-wearing bear). He has all the best lines and I like his character design the most. Also he’s from Arizona like me!

Do you have a LEAST favorite character to write for? If so, why? Tell us about them!
If there was a character in GB I didn’t enjoy writing for at all, they would’ve never made the final draft.

Where can we find you?
Webcomic: garagebandcomic.com
Webcomic (spanish): faneo.es/comics/bandadegaraje
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LARDcomics

Where can we find the rest of your creative team? Plug their social media or portfolio sites here and give them a shout out! 😀
Celia Tian (illustrator from the last comic): www.celiazt.com

The current art team for Garage Band #3:

Anaugi: https://twitter.com/CaptAnaugi
Mervvin: https://www.furaffinity.net/user/mervvin

Anything else you want the people to know about yourself, your team or your comic?
JasonD’s impression of Silent Bob from the jail scene in Clerks 2: ………….*shakes head* I got nothing.

Have you read Garage Band yet? Let us know what you think in the comments! Or, hey, go to the creator’s site and show some love 😀

Want your webcomic to be featured here? Drop me a line!