From digital drawing board to the Internet, Twitchy (writer/creator of the webcomic Strawberry Scented Burnout) talks love, MMA and why he loves being a webcomic!
Let’s face it, we all have crazy ideas but some of us are actually bold enough to go through with them. Twitchy uses his unique experiences to fuel a bona fide honest and entertaining webcomic . We caught up with the Team Mixed Nuts CEO and asked him about what gets the old creative juices flowing!
RhythmEmotion: Great to see you, Twitchy! In your own words, how would you describe the plot of Strawberry Scented Burnout?
Twitchy: Well in Strawberry Scented Burnout (SSB), this geek went out with a girl for a long time until she basically dumped him for being a geek. He soon discovers he can manifest his geek powers into a living weapon. Now, he must defend the geek realm from those who want to destroy it, especially that ex-girlfriend!
RE: Where do you draw inspiration for your work?
T: My inspiration comes from various sources. Anime, manga, video games… I’m a lifelong gamer. Also MMA.
RE: Really? How random! How does MMA factor into all of this?
T: Funny how you ask. In one of the first chapters, the main characters is doing strength training at an MMA gym. I’m using a lot of terms and techniques because I trained in MMA for some time. Of course, I’m a geek so I like to draw from every possible source of media.
RE: How was it training in MMA? I mean, you must have learned a lot from fight training, right?
T: Originally, I did boxing. I quickly learned if you stop training, you’re gonna get your ass kicked. Girls scare me. Wanna know why? Girls have near flawless technique. They pick up nuances very quickly. I found a home on the canvas floor but it was then I gained a new respect for MMA fighters because they have to train every day. It’s hard to get back on the horse. That’s why it’s important [for me] to write every day.
RE: Must be brutal to spar with women when they’re so focused.
T: The idea of strong women is actually a recurring theme in my work. In my opinion, I think women’s MMA is more technically sound than men.
RE: So how did all of this help you get started with your webcomic?
T: Back when I first started in 2008, I was at a low point. I really needed a way to let my feelings out. I spent my time writing and venting a lot. Along the way I thought [to myself], “Hey! This can be made into a comic!” One day a close friend said, “Why don’t you make a comic?!” And lo and behold, I started bringing people into the fray. I named the team “Team Mixed Nuts” because we’re all a little nuts. One thing led to another and here we are!
RE: Cool! What are you working on right now?
T: Right now, the team is working on another story of SSB called SSB: Taekwondo. It’s a completely original story, drawn by Rolando Ortiz. It’s a side story to SSB. It’ll run for 12 issues as a two-page spread. SSB: Taekwondo is going to be published in the Korea Daily magazine. It’s available all over Asian dominated towns. We’ll also be featured on the blog KKonnect.net.
RE: If you had your choice of medium, what would you choose?
T: [SSB] Began as a webcomic and I’d like to stay as a webcomic. Sky is the limit. How many pages you write, when you want to publish and what you want to publish is up to you. It costs little or nothing to get started. You [obviously] need a computer and image editing software. There’s GIMP, which is a freeware almost as good as Photoshop. You need a scanner if you’re using pen/paper. Scan it and go.
I still gotta give props to print comics because without them, we wouldn’t be where we are now. There is no limit to what you can publish and who you can reach. It’s like the “Inifinite Canvas” that Scott McCloud talks about. Publishing would be nice but we would love to get the comic out there first. Then, we’d consider making a book but that’s down the line. For now, I love being a webcomic and being featured.
RE: This has been a really fun time! Before we go, what advice would you give to folks who have projects in mind that they don’t quite know what to do with?
T: I have two questions to ask yourself about doubts. The first is “What’s the worst that can happen?” No one reads? Who cares… gotta keep trying.
For the second, I’d like to quote Jeremy Clarkson: “How hard can it be?”
It’s not that hard to get started. Back when I started, I was writing for fun and it just snowballed. I told my friends [about my project] and they wanted to help me. I can’t figure out why but they must have seen something I did not. And now, it’s because of them that I don’t want to quit.
If you find yourself thinking, “Can I do this?” ask yourself those two questions!
Twitchy can be found on his site, and Twitter.
Team Mixed Nuts can be found on Twitter.
Strawberry Scented Burnout: Taekwondo available starting August 3, 2012 in the Korea Daily magazine and Kkonnect.net.