Daniel Beyer is the talented creator of “Long Story Short” a highly smart and funny comic. Daniel is the winner of last years Cartoonist Studio Contest and is now in the development phase with Creators Syndicate getting ready for syndication. Daniel is always prepared with a sketch pad near by to capture any creative ideas as they start flowing. Daniel has a bright future ahead and I’m thrilled to feature him at “Don’t Pick the Flowers”.
David: Hey Daniel it’s a pleasure to be featuring you here at “Don’t Pick the Flowers”. You have an excellent one panel comic strip called “Long Story Short”. When did you become interested in being a cartoonist and decide that was the direction you wanted to take with your life?
Daniel: Early on, I was inspired by Chester Gould, Joe Martin and Bill Sanders. It was mainly geographical – they all lived nearby. I wanted to be just like them. I was 15 or so. What I do now is inspired greatly by The New Yorker and magazine cartoons in general. I started selling my cartoons in 2008 and have been published by The New Yorker, Reader’s Digest and Playboy. I had a lot of ideas rejected by these pubs so I posted them on Comics Sherpa just to see who my audience might be or even if they existed outside of magazines. Posting on Sherpa led me to the Cartoonist Studio contest, which I was lucky enough to win. Now I’m in a development phase with Creators Syndicate and getting my comic primed to tackle syndication. To answer your question, 2008 is when I made a serious run at cartooning as a profession.
David: What’s it like in “The day in the life” for you? What kind of schedule or routine do you have? And with that, what are the things that spark your writing and creative process?
Daniel: It’s pretty simple: I’m an at-home dad and I work around my twin boys’ schedule. They go to school in the early afternoon which allows me to work a bit. I also try to occasionally work evenings and weekends to get things done. My sketchpad is always nearby because jokes happen when you least expect them to. To spark my creative process, I just try to get inside my head and tinker with the funny thoughts, weird observations and silly situations that are roaming around in there. It usually leads to something I can share with readers via Long Story Short.
David: Who are some of your favorite cartoonists and comic hero’s, and in your opinion what makes a good comic?
Daniel: I really get off on New Yorker cartoons. You can’t deny how smart and funny a lot of them are. That’s really what I try to make Long Story Short – smart and funny. Mick Stevens is my favorite NYer cartoonist. Michael Maslin is another that I hold in high regard. Comic strips: The Fusco Brothers just flat-out makes me laugh…sometimes even before I read it. I love what Samuli Lintula is doing with Dark Side of the Horse. The dry humor is right up my alley and he’s a great artist. He was a Sherpa-mate of mine and we really enjoy supporting each other. Dave Coverly, who does Speed Bump, is another cartoonist I admire. And I just started to get into Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis. I’m really enjoying his new app, seeing the early Pearls and listening to his take on them. I love EEK! by Scott Nickel, The Norm by Michael Jantze, Cul de Sac by Richard Thompson – there are just so many. The industry is pretty robust right now with high quality comics.
And what makes a good comic? Mojo. It either has it or it doesn’t. What is “it”? “It” is everything that goes into the comic: the writing style, the art style, the direction, the rhythm, the characters, the colors, does it make you laugh, does it make you want to read more, are other people digging it, does it cut through the clutter and grab you, etc… If it doesn’t affect the reader in some way, shape or form, it’s invisible —which is obviously terrible for a comic.
David: What tools do you use to create your comic and what is your favorite, even if it’s something you use that is not involved directly with “Long Story Short”?
Daniel: I use a Hunt #22 extra fine for drawing, Hunt 107 for cross-hatching, Micron 0.5 for lettering, Strathmore 100 lb. Vellum in the pads, perfect bound sketch book for ideas, Mac lap top w/ Photoshop for coloring/digitizing and Doom 3 for some off-line ass-kicking, light table, scanner, bundles of copy paper, assorted pencils, 5 parts Caribou coffee grounds with 7 parts water and, of course, slippers. I love my slippers.
David: What do you consider to be the easiest and hardest part of making comics?
Daniel: The easiest thing to do, for me, is sit down in my chair. I’m very good at that. I just kind of bend at the knees and fall back. I’ve never really had any trouble with that part of cartooning. The hardest part is coming up with good(funny) ideas that ultimately resonates with enough people which will, in turn, bring me obscene amounts of fame and fortune. That’s the hardest thing to do.
David: I believe your comics will be resonating with people for a long time. You can expect long time success. Thank you so much for being featured and I’m really looking forward to seeing what lies ahead for you.
And if you aren’t already familiar with Daniel and “Long Story Short” check out the links below to avail yourself to his amazing talent.