Mike Witmer is the creative mastermind behind (one of my favorite comics) “Pinkerton”. Pinkerton stars four furry friends (Buckley, Tucker, Steve, and Martin) as they deal with life in the wild with mischief, mayhem and humor. One of my favorite things about Pinkerton is how easy it is to relate to the characters as it takes you deeper into the hollows of friendships that can’t be broken. Today I’m thrilled to feature Mike Witmer and go behind the scenes and explore how he brings his world of characters to life.
David: Hey Mike, thanks for being featured at “Don’t Pick the Flowers”. I was thrilled to have you featured in November 2011, what’s been going on with you and the furry little guys from Pinkerton?
Mike: Well, I took a hiatus for a long time. To be honest, I was on the fence about whether or not I even wanted to come back. I found out that the further away I got from the characters and the strip, the more they nagged at me in my brain. Weird. So I decided to come back on my own terms. I recently sold out of my entire stock of the first Pinkerton collection. Now I’m in the process of plotting my next venture. I’ve been toying with an e-book… something cheap and easily accessible to readers. The jury is still out on that one.
David: What are the things that influence your writing and comic? Do you feel your characters are a writing catharsis for you? And is there a particular character you identify with the most?
Mike: Maybe influences are the wrong term, but I find inspiration in the strangest places. Pinkerton is all over the place from a theme standpoint. One week the storyline could be about parenting. The next week it might be about homicide. The next, pudding. LOL! I may take humor from my day-to-day life. My kids may inspire me to use a certain phrasing or incident. But for the most part, I feel like the characters of the strip influence me most. When I’m working on a new script, I find myself thinking “how would Buckley react to this situation?” And the answer to that question usually helps me to move the storyline along.
I think I identify most with Martin. I often feel like I have the luck of Tucker. Specially when referring to his parenting skills.
David: What do you consider to be the highest praise someone could give your comic Pinkerton?
Mike: Highest praise? “Your comic strip cured my plaque psoriasis!” haha. Seriously, I really enjoy hearing from readers. I’m always impressed when readers know more about the characters than I do. I’m not too concerned about the artwork (obviously). I mean, it’s important. But a poorly-written well-drawn strip is really just a picture with crappy words. So I would say the best compliment I could receive would be related to my writing abilities.
David: What’s next with Pinkerton and what can we expect to see from the gang in the future?
Mike: I’d love to see Pinkerton animated. I’m too lazy to do anything like that so I don’t see it happening any time soon. I would say that you can expect a new book in one shape or form coming in the next year. I’m fleshing out some pretty interesting storylines that I’m excited about. I hope everyone enjoys them.
David: What’s your favorite thing about being a cartoonist, and what kind of legacy would you like Pinkerton to be remembered for?
Mike: I love the process of getting inside the characters’ heads. I enjoy immersing myself in the Pinkerton world. I like the fact that I don’t have to consult anyone in the process too. Boy that sounds selfish but I’m happy to have something that’s MINE!
As far as a legacy… that’s a tough one. I want Pinkerton to be one of those strips that people connect with. If someone is invested in Pinkerton or its characters I think that tends to leave a mark on them. If in a few years someone is saying “hey, remember Pinkerton?” that’s a good start.
David: I and so many others will be remembering Pinkerton for a lifetime Mike! Thank you so much for taking us behind the scenes into your fantastic world of characters. I find it a true honor and privilege to have you featured at Don’t Pick the Flowers and look forward in seeing what the future has in store for you and us the fans.
If you are a long time fan or new to the world of Pinkerton, click on the links below to avail yourself to one of the funniest comics around.