2020, amirite? I know it’s been a rough year for all (to put it mildly), myself included. I hope you are all doing the best you can out there, staying safe, making due, getting by. In the words of some history person: This too shall pass.
IT’S BEEN AWHILE
I must confess I was kind of shocked to look at the last date I published a comic and it’s been two years. It makes me feel ashamed and terrible, to be honest. Why? Because even though you might think that not posting very often means I don’t care about the project/comic, it’s not so. I think about the comic a lot and think about ideas and what I want to do with it, etc, but sometimes life and other projects get in the way. Dear Inner Demons is very precious to me and I don’t plan on giving up working on it. Speaking of life, the fact is I was physically unable to draw for almost the entire year this year. I’ve slowly clawed my way back in the last few months and hope to continue forward. I feel like I am back in the saddle now, and hope to stay there.
Today’s comic is a new addition to my Hallowe'en Edition of Dear Inner Demons. If you look back through my previous Hallowe’en comics you’ll know that I LOVE Hallowe’en. I dare say it’s my most favourite occasion of the whole year! I start thinking about Hallowe’en-related things around September 1st, trying to get as much mileage out of the “season” as I can.
Today’s comic is meant to be Dracula himself, I suppose, but I’m not entirely sure. What I mean is there are a lot of interpretations on the classic Dracula, and I’m not necessarily riffing on any of the movie versions here. I guess what I mean is that I’m riffing on the IDEA of Dracula, or maybe even just the Vampire cliche. The answer to his rhetorical question is “NO” by the way haha.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
So because today’s comic has finally come to be Dracula, I think this is the appropriate time to reflect on the beginnings of Dear Inner Demons. I can remember it was the summer of 2014 when the idea struck me to sketch out the classic Universal Monsters being sad and saying something of a pun. This was the germ of the idea of what Dear Inner Demons would become. Here are the original sketches I did at that time in my sketchbook, to get the ideas down:
I look back at these and cringe a bit, as is the way, I suppose. But it was the first step in the direction that would become Dear Inner Demons. I mulled these over for awhile and as you can see I even started scratching out some of the captions.
Here’s a closer look specifically at the Dracula sketch:
Sketching out ideas is one part of figuring it all out, but so was working out an “art-style” for the comic as well. Here you can see my first mock-up ever for what would eventually become Dear Inner Demons comics, and it was in fact the DRACULA comic!
You can see that some essence of what the comic would be is in there, but it’s definitely not “right.” One thing that stands out to me is the lettering is very thin. Also in all those sketches basically every single character is hanging their head, hahaha.
So aside from figuring out the art approach, one of the main problems with these initial attempts was the pun-factor. Puns are a bit too easy. So I devised a set of five secret rules that I adhere to with every comic and have done so for every single comic on the site … except for ONE! Wait. TWO! TWO actually, now that I think of it! If you can guess either of these two, send me an e-mail and I’ll mail you a prize.
The point is this: it is extremely challenging to boil down what you want to say into a single sentence (or two) or even just a few words. When writing the captions, I write sometimes upto a dozen or two dozen drafts, tweaking just a word or the phrasing ever so slightly to basically “carve” down to get just the right wording for the comic. Even this comic I struggled with to express in so many words what I wanted to. Some might wonder why I don’t try to aim for something “funnier”, but that wouldn’t necessarily be true to the scenario and the rules I created for myself, which result in Dear Inner Demons comics being my own unique expression. Anyone can draw a sad pop-culture figure and slap a caption on it. What makes it special is filtering it through your own lens or lenses.