Just to be clear, I like the Prequels. I own them. I pull them out occasionally and watch them. I like Grievous. The Republic Gunship is one of my all time favorite space ship designs… But seeing that trailer and seeing Han and Chewie again… It truly felt like coming home.
So this is my third go at re-launching a comic effort under the title Robot Pirates. Admittedly it’s been a bit of a rough take-off so far.
My first comic Robot Beach was a huge learning experience. With that strip I really cut my teeth while discovering what works well for me and what doesn’t. I ended it after three solid years of effort. Ultimately I was very happy with the strip but it just wasn’t what I wanted to do day in and day out.
I took a lengthy break before deciding to give it another go. This time I’d try something different. Completely different. At first I thought that I’d put together a strip without a specific theme. The idea was that whatever joke crossed my mind, I could simply crank that out as a strip for the day.
The problem was that without a strong theme, it all just fell flat. That’s not to say that this type of comic can’t be done. There are a lot of comics out there that try this same approach. Many of them much better than mine (Perry Bible Fellowship) But what was I bringing to the table that was fresh and unique? Nothing.
Later I became enamored with Kris Straub’s horror comic Broodhollow. He masterfully combines a simple, cartoony style with a deep, engrossing story that twists and turns. His comic oscillates between light and playful to dark and twisted with the flip of a page and it is brilliant. It inspired me to try my hand at this kind of storytelling. I wrote a lengthy story set in the same universe as Robot Beach and started producing pages.
It was pretty but ultimately I got bored with it and if I was bored, everyone who read my strip would have been bored as well.
So yeah, I put a lot of effort into stuff that went nowhere. That effort was not wasted however. I learned what I was good at, what I wasn’t good at, what I enjoyed, and what drove me crazy. I became a better artist and I picked up a few tricks that I get to use in the comics you see now. Best of all, I’m now working with confidence knowing that I tried my hand at something different, and ultimately arrived (somewhat full circle) at the approach that works best for me.
Welcome brave adventurers to Robot Pirates! This webcomic is the result of years of reflection, months of development, and more than a few false starts.
My first Strip, Robot Beach, represented the strip that I had always wanted to create since the time of my youth. It was sweet, simple, family-friendly and the story was a big allegory for my life during my 20s. Well, I’m 35 now and I have seen some POOP.
Robot Beach was a comic strip I created for my daughter. Robot Pirates however, is just for me. For many years now I’ve found my literary interests split between the future (robots, space, post apocalyptic societies, etc.) and the past (Pirates, 16th and 17th century exploration and 18th century naval warfare.) So when it came time for me to develop a new project for myself, it seemed only natural to merge these two interests in the hopes that the world I would present felt fresh, unique and interesting to readers. With this in mind, I tried a few different directions for Robot Pirates but the real breakthrough came one day recently while I was bored and doodling. I couldn’t really decide what to draw and so I just drew Carl the crab.
Suddenly everything just fell into place. It all just felt… right.
So here we are. I’m excited to set forth on this new adventure. I hope you’ll come with me!