When I was a kid, the newspaper had only one real function: a delivery system for comic strips. For a young whippersnapper who enjoyed nothing more than drawing and smartassery, the comics section of the paper was must-read material, particularly the full-color, super-sized edition of the section that appeared on Sundays. With the exception of a few consistently excellent strips (Bloom County, The Far Side and Calvin and Hobbes, I'm looking in your direction) the stuff that ran during the week was fairly hit-or-miss. But on Sundays...well, on Sundays, that's when artists were generally free to kick things up a notch. Those that rose to the challenge made sifting through that morning's newspaper well worth the effort.
Last month, Dear Mr. Watterson - the Kickstarted Calvin and Hobbes documentary we've discussed here in the past - finally arrived, and after watching it I found myself thinking a lot about that Sunday-morning routine I had as a kid. Specifically, I found myself wondering, "What sort of comics section would compel me to seek it out nowadays?" What would it need to offer in order to get the 32-year-old me to track it down?
Here's the pitch: what if Badass Digest had its own Sunday Comics page? And what if the comic strips included in that post were all submitted by our readership? Would enough strips be generated to run such a column regularly? Over the last few years, BAD has fostered one of the most thoughtful, creative, hilarious and consistently worth-reading comments sections on the web, so if anyone could keep something like that going it'd be our home team.
So, let's find out. Here's how this is going to work: everyone reading this is invited to create their own comic strip and send it in to me via Twitter (I'm @LimitedPaper) or via email (Same name, no spaces, at gmail.com). Each week, I'll go through the submissions and post the best 6-8 strips we receive (If we don't have enough submissions to justify an entire post, we'll hold off until we do). Just to sweeten the deal, we'll give out a prize every once in a while to any strip that really blows our skirt up here at BAD HQ. The only restrictions for submitting Strips must be no wider than 556px, must be film-related in some way, and should be no more than 3-4 "panels" in length. Beyond that, you're free to make your strip into whatever you'd like: funny, creepy, surreal, dramatic, awkwardly erotic - make it your own. Surprise us. Be aware that we're looking for diversity more than we're looking for artistic talent, so just concentrate on communicating whatever it is you're trying to communicate rather than creating the next ready-for-primetime masterpiece.
To help get your creative juices flowing, I've spent the last few weeks pestering some of my more artistically-inclined friends to submit their own strips (I also helped out on a couple of these). Faux comic artist names were created, panels were sketched, and...well, the results are below. We hope you'll enjoy reading each of them as much as we enjoyed putting 'em together for you. We'd love to make this a regular fixture over the weekend, but we'll need your help to keep it going. So, check out the strips below, and let us know in the comments section below if you think you're gonna participate.