In this interview series, I speak with other comic creators about their work! Here, I speak with Bearman, from Bearman Cartoons.
Travis Blair: Bearman! Wait – is Bearman your first or last name? Or is it both? Or is it like Prince, and Cher? How did the person with whom I speaking start making comics?
Bearman: Bearman was a name I had for a long time. Bearman (one name) unless you consider Cartoons as my last.
I started when I was young and always doodled a bit. In college we had a terrible editorial cartoonist for the school newspaper so I applied. Didn’t get it but the guy who did take over was good so it didn’t bother me. Flash forward several years and I was an avid reader of a local news blog. Asked the guy if I could draw a few editorial cartoons periodically and he jumped at it. After a few years I decided to do my own site and thus Beartoons started.
Travis: Does the news still influence the material for your comics?
Bearman: Absolutely but I have expanded to pop culture and slice of life cartoons as well as things I just find odd or funny.
Travis: When you do find something odd or funny, what is the first tool you use to retain that thought? Perhaps a notebook kept in your pocket? Post-it notes stuck everywhere, or conversely, an organized collection of thoughts in a smartphone app?
Bearman: I wish. I think I have a better memory than I do. Half the time I think “oh that would make a great cartoon” and then I forget it. The ones that stick were probably better anyway.
Travis: Believe me – there’s times I probably look crazy when a forgotten comic idea pops back in my head, and you can see a look of surprise. So when you sit down with a comic fresh in your mind, do you create it on the spot, or do you set aside time for making comics?
Bearman: All of the above. I used to try to post 2-3 times a week. Frankly I got burnt out as I had to force myself at times to come up with something. Now I aim for once a week and it seems to be more organic. Something I read, do or experience will prompt a cartoon.
Travis: Two – three times a week would require a lot of creative energy! Your work has been featured in the Cincinnati Beacon. How did that relationship begin?
Bearman: That was the local blog I mentioned before.
Travis: Ah, it was! Your comic fits them well. If you ran a news blog, what webcomic would you want (aside from yours) as a regular feature?
Bearman: Hmm. So many. Depends on if it were hard news or not. If I ran the entertainment section of something like Huffington post I would feature a different webcomic each week with a new posting for seven days straight of the same artist.
Travis: I’d enjoy that, though with seven comics in seven days I’d think the comic creators would benefit from some prep time. What is the order of tools you use when you sit down with an idea in mind?
Bearman: Wouldn’t have to be new stuff. Just some of their best. Tools. Not sure what you mean. To draw I use photoshop elements and a Wacom tablet.
Travis: Now that would be easier than a week of comics about current events! And yes, I mean anything used to create a Bearman Cartoons – even if it’s a required cup of coffee to be adequately caffeinated. Wacom has a great line of products.
Bearman: Yep bottom of the barrel stuff for me in tools. Whole set up was under $200. I think some people think they have to spend a fortune to do art. Though I still can’t seem to draw on my ipad. Jealous of those who have mastered it.
Travis: I think the most important tool for any comic is the mind behind the work. Thanks for letting me get in your head, Bearman! I enjoyed learning what goes on behind your cartoons.
Bearman: Appreciate T.