I came across Poorly Drawn Lines over a year ago and stopped dumbfounded in my tracks: My goodness, I thought to myself. Someone speaks to THAT side of me.
Comic creator Reza Farazmand successfully iterates the humor found in some of the peculiar aspects of life. Initially reflecting on bizarre campus life situations, Poorly Drawn Lines frequently shines light on social awkwardness, provides insight into the thoughts of anthropomorphic creatures, and illustrates observations of the modern lifestyle. Besides his funny characters and clean graphics, I absolutely love how the punchline of his comics tend to blindside me, keeping them exciting and real.
Check out some of the exciting new things that Reza divulged to me in his interview:
Interview of Reza Farazmand, Creator of Poorly Drawn Lines:
Q. What is your artist background and what do you do for your day job?
A. I didn’t draw much until the end of high school when I started making a comic for my school newspaper. It was pretty rough but it got some laughs, and I’ve been drawing ever since. I was able to make PDL my full-time job this year, so I get to draw a good amount now.
Q. Your comics and subject matter have changed a lot in the 2 years you have been posting Poorly Drawn Lines on the web. Your initial comics seem to be fueled by campus life observations and classroom frustrations. Where do you currently get your inspiration from?
A. Well PDL has actually been around for about six years. It started as a weekly black-and-white strip in my college newspaper my freshman year, hence all the campus life comics early in the archive.
In general, though, I don’t really have specific sources of inspiration. I just try to think of funny things. It might start with a word or an object, and then something evolves from there. I’m never sure what.
Q. You started with pen and paper for your early comics. What’s your current process for creating Poorly Drawn Lines?
A. Aside from nicer pens and paper, I still do things pretty much the same way. I draw everything in pencil, ink it, then scan into Photoshop and do edits and coloring with my tablet. The tablet is pretty new to the process, actually. I just started using one this year.
Q. I love how your current, multi-panel comics parallel life’s lessons: they start peacefully, building slowly on the first element scene after scene, then SMACK!, they blindside you with the unexpected. What inspired you to incorporate this technique into your comics?
A. I just really enjoy blindsiding people. I’m not allowed to drive anymore.
Q. You also create humorous, single-panel illustrations that seem to be the yin to Hallmark’s yang (and are similarly offered as greeting cards). Do you create these illustrations explicitly for a greeting card format, or do your illustrations lend themselves to be great alternative greetings once completed?
A. They just happened to fit the greeting card format. Most of my single-panel illustrations start as an idea that I don’t think would work as a full comic, but that I still find funny. So I draw it and post it on Facebook or Tumblr.
Q. Do you find a lot of support from the Los Angeles comic scene or prefer a particular social network of choice?
A. I’ve had the chance to hang out with a few artists here in LA, but most of my interaction with other cartoonists happens online. Twitter has been particularly good for that purpose.
Q. You currently have a large Facebook following and a growing Twitter following. What has been the biggest player towards your social media success to date?
A. I try to keep my social pages simple and just post content. People seem to react well to that.
Q. What few comics best sum up Poorly Drawn Lines?
I always like my most recent comics best because I’ve had less time to find problems with them. So at the moment I’m going to go with:
Q. What is your favorite thing about producing a regular webcomic? Alternatively, what is the least-fun aspect?
A. Aside from having a great outlet for my ideas, the best part is knowing that other people are reading my work and taking something away from it. Like, even just a little chuckle or a smile. That’s cool to think about.
The least-fun aspect is all the business stuff that comes with running a website. I’d like to hire some kind of person to do it for me. Some kind of a business person.
Q. Do you have any upcoming projects to stay tuned for?
A. I wrote a few sketches for a new animated show on Comedy Central. It’s airing next month. I also just signed on with GoComics.com to have PDL run there as well. It’s pretty neat to see my stuff running alongside the cartoons I read in the newspaper as a kid.
Q. Do you have any words of wisdom for up and coming comic creators?
A. Make stuff every day and put it on the internet.
Q. Anything else you want to add?
A. I really enjoy the internet a lot.
Some of My Favorite Comics: