I came across Invisible Bread through Twitter and immediately loved the all-around, kind-hearted demeanor of this comic. Harking from working on Left-Handed Toons with Drew Mokris and on Draw Until it’s Funny with ChannelATE’s Ryan Hudson, Invisible Bread’s creator Justin Boyd provides a humorous perspective on the world of work, schooling, food, friendship, and more.
As comic lovers will know, economy of elements can make or break a comic. And though Invisible Bread’s characters lack noses, hands, feet and pupils, the way Justin conveys a full spectrum of emotions through his elementally clean characters proves he has truly learned to master his art.
One thing that I truly love about Invisible Bread is that Justin delivers these life observations in an incredibly uplifting way, leaving the reader with a regained sense of hope in humanity. Justin was kind enough to carve out some time for an interview with me. Check it out below:
Interview with Justin Boyd, Creator of Invisible Bread:
Q. Have you always been an artist and/or what got you into drawing comics?
A. Growing up, I surprisingly never even thought about doing anything related to art. What got me into drawing comics though was that I wanted to tell jokes and the webcomic format fit my joke style the best.
My daytime job has nothing to do with art or jokes, but does still involve a form of creativity; I’m a software engineer.
A. After I graduated college, I ended up at a very boring job with a lot of downtime. During those couple months, to pass the time, I started drawing really silly stick figure doodles and sending them to Drew. Eventually Drew and I realized that we should just start a webcomic and post all these silly doodles we had.
Q. With being an integral part of such funny and popular comics, what made you to branch out on your own to start Invisible Bread?
A. One of the biggest reasons I started up Invisible Bread was because I felt like my inability to draw well with my left hand was holding me back with some of the jokes I wanted to tell. I really wanted to challenge myself artistically, too, and I felt like starting a new comic drawn with my dominant right hand would be a great way to do it.
Q. I keep wondering if the name Invisible Bread was concocted after a crazy, tripped out night of trying to eat the air or does it have a more interesting origin?
A. The origin story of Invisible Bread is sadly far less interesting. I was searching for something online and one of the sponsored search results had the phrase “invisible hand” in it. For some reason though, my mind saw “invisible bread” instead and I instantly took note of that being an awesome webcomic name.
Q. One thing I love about Invisible Bread is the light-hearted observations and positive undertone to the comics. What underlying message are you trying to convey to the world through your comics?
A. Great question! I guess I just want to offset the negativity people may experience day to day with my positive comics. I want people to feel better about their todays and their tomorrows because things can be pretty good! The internet needs more happiness and a little less snarkiness sometimes =)
Q. Can you tell me a little about your comic process, from start to finish?
A. It’s a three-phase process:
- Phase one involves blasting out as many comic ideas as possible for several hours. After these sessions, I end up with dozens of ideas with a very wide range in quality. But there are good ones in there!
- So phase two is when I pick out the good ones and plan out each of the panels and the dialog.
- Phase three is the art phase where I take that scribbly Phase 2 comic and turn it into a pretty thing.
Q. Who have been your biggest comic influences and why?
A. As a kid, I always liked Dilbert and would look forward to the Sunday paper with the comics page. When I started drawing my own comics, the one webcomic I really aspired to be like was White Ninja Comics. I loved the silliness and the fact that you could make a really funny and charming comics without the use of color.
Q. Invisible Bread now has its own strip on GoComics.com. How has the process been so far and how has the exposure on GoComics been for you?
A. Gocomics.com has been really great for Invisible Bread. There are a ton of new people discovering the comic through that site and they are all really great. The Gocomics.com team is fantastic as well and I’m so glad they contacted with with that opportunity.
Q. In January 2013, you self published Invisible Bread: Born Bready. How has your book been received and what have you learned from that process?
A. People seem to really like the book! At conventions, I can watch both kids and adults laugh at the jokes and it’s great. What I learned is that making a book that you’re proud of takes a whole lot of time. It always feels like there’s always one more thing you can put in the book, but at some point, you just gotta stop yourself and finalize the book.
Q. What few Invisible Bread comics would you say best sum up your comic voice?
A. Hmmm, let’s see…
- Party – This one is a good summary of the Invisible Bread universe. People just having a good time and being a little silly too =)
- In class again – I also like doing feel-good comics, such as this one. It’s like a little comic reminder that the world out there can be pretty awesome sometimes!
- Stop – I like taking everyday stuff like this and putting a wacky twist on it to make a proper Invisible Bread comic.
A. Wendell is my corgi doggie. My girlfriend and I got him earlier this year and I’m certain he loves the site. I mean, how could he not? He does appear in several comics after all! The Wendell-approved stamp is very very hard to obtain. Currently, the only way to obtain it is to own a Corgi named Wendell who is in my living room right now. As I said, very very hard to obtain.
Q. What advice would you give aspiring cartoonists and artists trying to get into the field?
A. Have fun with it! Getting traffic to your comics is a cool bonus, but it should not be the driving force behind any comic efforts. I think readers can sense a passion or lack thereof, so just go out there and have fun! Don’t worry about all that other stuff. Just put your comics out there and enjoy! If great things happen and it becomes a career, that’s awesome! Just work hard to keep the chances of that happening as high as possible.
Q. What are your future goals and/or up-and-coming projects?
A. I need to finish up Volume 2 of Invisible Bread and I have plans to make some cool new prints for the store and maybe even sell some original art in my style! I’m a busy dude these days.
Q. Anything else you want to add?
A. Pizza is great =)