This week we explore the strange and marvelous WORLD OF THE FUTURE, full of smelly aliens, Poop Loops, and bright shiny colors. Apparently, there’s also a webcomic and cat with cleavage in there somewhere, but I’m still dazzled by the hues.
Really, though, it’s an interview with Lisa Fary and John Dallaire (formerly known as “artist”).
Lisa Fary/John Dallaire: John has color deficient vision, and if all the colors get too close in value, he has a hard time distinguishing one from the other. It’s also a retro future, a future that was imagined in the fifties and sixties.
Fleen: Do the aliens in your comic smell bad?
LF/JD: Quieghel smells bad when he’s in mating season, but to his species it’s a powerful musk. Mr. Ccchh smells like swamp taint. However, in the future, everybody has a universal smell translator installed in their nose, so everything smells like petunias and brownies. Except for petunias and brownies, which, due to hacker activity, smell like poop.
Fleen: Wait… doesn’t that mean that poop smells like petunias and brownies? So… petunias and brownies smell like poop which smells like petunias and brownies which smell like poop…. HELP. SOMEONE GET ME OFF THIS CRAZY THING.
LF/JD: Hey, poop is a state of mind. Sounds like you’re stuck in a Poop Loop.
Fleen: John’s a professional free-lance illustrator – what does Lisa do for money?
LF/JD: Lisa is a special education teacher for an online high school.
Fleen: What’s the average ratio of original content to pop-culture reference per panel?
LF/JD: Lisa can’t answer this because she’s horrible with numbers. When you get right down to it, most of it is pop culture reference, right down to some character’s names. Jenny Anydots is a reference to Cats. Ginsburg, who hasn’t been introduced in the comic yet is a reference to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s verbal mishap. In a speech, she meant to say “international law”, but she actually said “intergalactic law”.
Fleen: How many times have you made a fart joke at the expense of Ms. Anydots?
LF/JD: So far, only two or three times. Her species is feline; have you ever smelled a cat’s ass?
Fleen: What do we need to know about you that you havenâ€™t told anyone else?
LF/JD: Intergalactic Law has been invited to be part of Graphic Smash. We’ll become part of that community this spring. This February, we’re launching ScifiBabe.com, a webzine geared toward the non-militant, modern fangirl, but where fanboys are welcome, too. In the first month, we already have several interviews scheduled with indie actresses, manga artists and costume designers. We’re interested in working with female webcomic writers and artists for ScifiBabe.
Fleen: What’s the motivation for starting ScifiBabe?
LF/JD: It started when Lisa was looking for girl-oriented scifi sites to promote IGL. Most of her Google searches involving the terms “female” and “scifi” was resulting in one of two extremes: the hot chicks of scifi or feminist scifi theory. All she wanted looking for was a fun, shiny place where girls were talking about scifi, which wasn’t out there. Lisa would have just written a snarky blog post or Sequential Tart article about it if John hadn’t poked her in the butt and pushed her to do something more proactive.
ScifiBabe hasn’t lauched yet, but it’s already getting a good response. Based on the number of interview queries Lisa sent out, she’s had about 75% positive response rate, not just agreeing to do the interviews, but on the concept in general. It’s clearly a market that isn’t being addressed. ScifiBabe goes live on February 1st.
Fleen: Why did you decide to go with a blog style format for your website?
LF/JD: So Lisa could do posts from anywhere, without having to email them to John for posting. Since we’re updating on a regular basis with more than just a comic strip, we went with a blog format because they are more readily ranked by search engines.
Fleen: How did your collaboration come about â€“ whatâ€™s the real story?
LF/JD: Well, John was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar … no, not really.
It’s not so much a collaboration as it is an intelletual Bartertown, with John as Tina Turner and Lisa as Master Blaster. We’re building a Thunderdome in the backyard to settle any creative differences that pop up.
We were working on some ideas for Rocket Pirate. We came up with IGL after watching too many episodes of Boston Legal and Star Trek back to back. When we were ready to submit by Ellis‘ original deadline, we found out that he had been swamped with submissions and closed them early. So, we bought the domain name and started doing it ourselves.
Fleen: You wrote this experience up into your comic – was that after the fact, or part of your hook for getting accepted at Rocket Pirate?
LF/JD: It was after the fact. We actually abandoned our hopes for Rocket Pirate when we found out that submissions had been closed early. We were pretty frustrated and felt it was appropriate to turn that frustration into something creative, if not mocking. As it turns out, we’re glad we didn’t carry on with Rocket Pirate because of the launch difficulties they’re experiencing over there. However, we’re glad the call for submissions got put out there, because we probably wouldn’t have started this webcomic.
Fleen: What makes your comic stand out in the crowd of other alien legal dramedy comics?
LF/JD: Are there any others? In general, we made very informed decisions from the beginning. We knew we wanted it to have a retro sci-fi feel, so John made artistic choices to make it look like a comic drawn in the seventies. Lisa worked on developing the characters before she even wrote the first episode. Also, we’re not really interested in working with trends and what’s popular; we do what we think is funny. There’s got to be others out there with the same sort of twisted thinking as us.
Fleen: Whatâ€™s your experience with ClickWheel been like?
LF/JD: Uneven. There were too many technical issues with uploading for a while, so John gave up. However, he did switch the formatting on the comic to accommodate ClickWheel. Tim Demeter said those technical issues are being hammered out. Once we’re notified of the re-launch, we’ll be more active on ClickWheel.
Fleen: Tell us about your past endeavors with comics.
LF/JD: John had a Single Page published in Cerebus Biweekly around issue 18 or so. He also designed T-shirts for the characters in the Tank Girl film adaptation, which led to doing the same for REM’s video “Crush with Eyeliner”. He also did some garment design and separations for Adhesive Comics back when Too Much Coffee Man was part of that crew. John has tried creating properties before this, but has gotten bogged down by the writing.
Other than reading one issue of her older brother’s Akira stash in the early 90s, Lisa has very little experience in comics. Lisa has had several false starts with novels and short story collections, but didn’t seem to have the attention span to finish them. When she was an English teacher, she wanted to use comics with her students to teach reading comprehension; however that was discouraged by the school. Intergalactic Law is the first comic she’s written.
Fleen: You’ve kind of already answered this question, but I’m not clever enough to come up with a replacement:
L.A. Law, Ally McBeal, Single Female Lawyer, or Boston Legal?
LF/JD: For John it’s Boston Legal and L.A. Law. L.A. Law came on after Lisa’s bedtime back in the day, so mostly Boston Legal for her. Part of the Boston Legal inspiration comes from William Shatner, who’s brilliant.