Jame E. Couture aka Slim James is good at finding humor in the banal.
He is the clever author creator of the indie comic The Punchin’bag.
So Beavis or Butt-Head ? No, just Michael Kading !
Where do you come from ?
I’m from Yarmouth, Maine.
– How old are you ?
31, which is a gross year, not because of anything that happened but because it’s a prime number.
– Influences ?
Alan Moore, whether I want to admit it or not, Mike Judge, for finding humor in the banal, and when I’m feeling like making something more “superheroic”, Jack Kirby.
– Art school or not ?
Decidedly not. I pushed aside my love of comics for about 10 years, and in the meantime got a degree in accounting. Now I’m teaching myself an art style one page at a time.
– Favorite digital art software ?
I use GIMP to edit, but I can’t draw something only on software.
– Your working method ?
I do a thumbnail of a page, then rough pencils, then better pencils, then bust out the pen and nib and a bottle of ink, among other types of pens and markers, and have now taking to using inkwashes as well. After I do that, I scan it into my computer and do touchups and lettering digitally.
– What your webcomic is about, in a symbolic way, the hidden sense ?
The Punchin’ Bag’s symbolism is very near the surface; just look at his name. The comic is about the struggle in life; nothing comes easy, even if you have superpowers. Plus some events are loosely based on my own experiences as a young twenty-something.
-Tell us more about your main character, the hero !
Michael Kading is The Punchin’ Bag. His skin rendered an impervious polymer, he is virtually indestructible. Unfortunately, he was not gifted with corresponding super strength, or any other ability. His intelligence is average at best. In trying to make it as a superhero, he must deal with other, less glamorous issues along the way, like a boring office job, a mooch of a roommate, and the ever-present dating issues.
– How do you see your future ?
Doing local cons, maybe doing the Boston Con in the next year or two.
– Your next goal ?
Aside from compiling The Punchin’ Bag #2 (a collection of PBs 25-48) for sale at cons, working on a more ambitious Punchin’ Bag #3, as well as the next installment of my “melancholy Canada goose” comic, Etienne The Goose Canadian.
– Advices for beginners ?
Just keep going. You probably won’t live up to your own expectations in the beginning
, but practice helps, and the only way to get practice is to keep doing it. I did a handful of other short comics to test out methods before I started on my “main” idea, The Punchin’ Bag, and even then I had plenty of room to improve, and still do.
– Your technical secret trick ?
The “cartoon” filter in GIMP will sometimes give my black and white pages just a little extra bump that makes it slightly more appealing to the eye.
– Good places to find you ?
The Punchin’ Bag :
My twitter: @theslimjames
Thanks to The Slim James, keep the good work !