Brad Diller is one down to earth and fun man to talk with. He is also a very talented cartoonist of the comic “Funday Morning”. Brad started his quest as a cartoonist in 1992 having his comic appear in many and various newspapers. In 2000 he decided to leave the newspaper business and pursue freelance illustration and open his own business “Access Pass and Design”. I caught up with Brad and asked him about “Funday Morning” and his life as a cartoonist.
David: Hey Brad it was such a pleasure talking with you today. You’ve had quite a bit of experience with drawing comics, how did the whole idea for Funday Morning come about and give a little history of your work and the evolution of your comic?
Brad: Funday Morning was really rather complete when I started it. I had worked on two strips previously and refined the characters from those, so I didn’t have to sit down and come up with a broad scheme. I do a joke in a single panel, so I didn’t have to devise a long story arch, or consider what they do for a living, etc.
David: You were mentioning that syndicates might shy away from your comic a bit. How would you describe your comic and characters?
Brad: As for the characters themselves, I’ve always seen them as a vehicle for telling a joke. In other words, they are each an extension of myself, so I don’t internally refer to them by anything other than, “the dad,” or “the mom.” Almost everything I write is a way of poking fun at me. As for syndication, the characters aren’t usually very nice to each other and their faults and flaws are right on the surface, so the presentation may be a bit rude for family newspapers.
David: You’ve had experience as a bartender and I can imagine you’ve heard some interesting stories. With that thought in mind, has that helped influence your writing style and what are some of the things you do to prepare for writing and coming up with ideas for your comic?
Brad: I don’t have any particular ritual for writing – the gag line and the image seem to come to me fully formed. I tend to use the same setting over and over so I don’t have to think much about whether they’re on the moon or in a taxi. My life revolves around a contained geographic area and therefore, so do my jokes.
David: Besides your comic strip, you stay busy as Owner/CFO at Access Pass and Design. What is the history behind owning your own business?
Brad: I was a freelance illustrator for two years and that’s how I met my partners. We opened in 2002 and we’ve grown from 5 employees to twenty. Once we opened, I was too consumed with the day – to – day operation to think about cartoons. I didn’t draw anything for nine years.
David: Comics have taken a blow as newspapers are cutting syndicated comic strips left and right. There was a time when comic artists dreamed of being syndicated, and some still do. What plans do you have for Funday Morning compared to what you may have once considered?
Brad: At one time, syndication seemed the only way to go. With the diminished role of daily newspapers in people’s lives and the growing presence of the web, I intend to grow my audience through digital media. It’s a lot more satisfying to get a sense of validation directly from the reader, rather than the message in a bottle experience I had when I was in newspapers.
David: And you do have a very good and funny comic. I love how you come up with one line jokes and panels. It’s simply a great comic. Thank you so much Brad for being featured and sharing your comic here. Absolutely great stuff.
To find out more about Brad Diller and “Funday Morning” comic check out his website cartoons.fundaymorning.com