Please welcome Carole and Steve the couple behind CAZ the comic strip. I was lucky enough to come across their blog pretty much at the beginning of the journey they are taking with the characters they have created and I am looking forward to seeing their upcoming adventures. Carole and Steve were kind enough to submit to the CHOUETT usual questioning and below is what they are sharing with us.
LaChouett: What is the story behind CAZ? How do you one day decide to make a husband and wife team and go on a comic strip adventure together?
Earlier this year we went to a comic writer’s event with our son. He is compiling an on-line comic anthology, and thought the evening would be helpful. As it happens, the talks weren’t relevant to his work , but they did give me an idea. One of the writers talked about their cartoons, and how they were based on everyday life.
“I could do that.” I said, as we travelled back on the train.
“Go on then,” said Steve, “You write it and I’ll draw it.”
I wrote three strips before we even got home. It seems that basing a comic on real life gives you plenty of material!
The family I write about is very similar to our own – but it’s not us (well – not completely!). A lot of the topics and themes are things that we like or hate or have experienced, but Caz and her family deal with these issues in their own way.
We have made some cartoons and comics previously, so we have some history of working together. When she was young, Carole wrote some children’s stories which I had a go at illustrating, but we didn’t get very far – better luck this time!
Carole has always wanted to write, I always wanted to draw, so there is a good balance between us. Carole is miles ahead at the moment, so there are lots of strips that I am looking forward to drawing.
Lachouett: If any, how do you deal with creative differences? Between the cartoonist and the writer who usually wins?
When I write the strip, I have a picture in my head of how I’d like it to look. Often Steve has very different ideas, so there have been a few heated discussions. If I’m really not happy, Steve will re-draw the picture (four times for one panel last week!). But sometimes his ideas work better than mine so I let him win.
I do what I’m told! See Carole’s answer!
LaChouett: Where would you like to see CAZ a year from now?
When we have a bigger stock of comic strips, I would love to see them in a book. I’m sure that if Steve draws fast enough, we could include plenty of strips that have not been seen before. For now though, we are just happy to be posting on-line and hope that more people will find their way to our web-site.
Firstly I would like us both to be happy and creative enough to keep creating and publishing Caz for a year. That’s a long time, over a hundred strips at our twice-weekly publishing schedule. By then we’ll have fleshed the characters out, so maybe we could take them outside a three or four panel gag strip and try something larger.
LaChouett: One word to sum you up?
LaChouett: What is your favourite comic strip/cartoonist of all time and why?
When I was young, me, my mum and my sister loved Peanuts and Charlie Brown. I can remember crying with laughter and still have all my books. Later, after our sons were born, Calvin and Hobbes was great. It just seemed so relevant to where we were, with our two little human dynamos and their over-active imaginations.
Jack Kirby – His work inspired me to want to draw comics when I was a kid.
Calvin and Hobbes – As Carole has outlined but also because Bill Watterson is a great storyteller.