Andy P. is steadily expanding his Ice Cream Sandwich Comics multimedia empire, and you are powerless to stop him -- unless maybe you're, like, a really good new video game.
Launching his Tumblr-based series on GoComics last month, Andy's approximately thrice-weekly updated strip serves as a foundation for his animation-filled YouTube channel and a medley of social media accounts -- each filled with original content. It's a bit of a... content sandwich? We'll let Andy explain in this Q&A below, lest we put chocolate graham cracker-y words in his mouth.
GC: Before joining GoComics, you'd been posting to the Ice Cream Sandwich Comics Tumblr for about a year. Is this your first proper comic?
AP: Yeah this is the first proper run of a comic for me. I've been doodling comics for a long time. It was my medium of choice when first learning to draw, decoration on the sides of my homework, a replacement for lecture notes, a distraction from work. It was only last year when I decided to make them digitally and expose them to the internet tubes.
GC: I'm not going to ask you why your comic is called Ice Cream Sandwich Comics, but I do want to know how many times you've been asked about the title on Tumblr. A rough estimate is fine.
AP: Probably around eleventeen times.
GC: You create your comics digitally using a Cintiq and Clip Studio Paint. How'd you settle on that workflow and what do you like about it?
AP: I love the Cintiq because it's so much more like drawing on pencil and paper (getting to look at what you're doodling), which is how I spend most of my time drawing. Using a normal Wacom drawing tablet requires you to look at the screen away from your drawing hand. You can get used to it but it feels a bit awkward. I already had the habit of drawing that way before I started making digital comics but once I had the budget to buy a Cintiq I jumped to make the purchase. Needless to say, I loved making the switch because it just felt more natural.
I chose Clip Studio Paint because there was a pretty sick sale going on at the time.
GC: I already know how Ice Cream Sandwich Comics are made, so I'd like you to watch this video about how just plain ice cream sandwiches are made. This isn't a question.
AP: I watched this more times than I care to admit.
GC: In addition to your comics, you have an Ice Cream Sandwich Comics YouTube channel. How did you get started working in Toon Boom and what do you like about the format as it relates to your comics?
AP: I started working with Toon Boom because Adobe Animate is, for lack of a better term, annoying. I don't know what it is but I can't get my brush strokes to look the way I want them to. Toon Boom isn't perfect for a brush tool either but it's at least better. OpenToonz is my favorite when it comes to the brush tool but it's still a bit buggy since it went open source. I will probably revisit OpenToonz in the future when things are a little more stable, but for anyone looking for solid free animation software check out OpenToonz.
I love working with video as a medium because I think I can simply deliver jokes better in that format. By no means am I any GOOD at delivering jokes, but I feel it's at least easier. Everyone reads comics with different voices and different paces so a joke just might not land from person to person. But in video, you can control the cadence of the joke, and that makes me feel a bit more confident when crafting material.
GC: You're a bit of a gamer, making comics and videos about everything from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild to Overwatch. How do you balance creation and consumption? Do you ever struggle with it as a creator working in the pop culture space?
AP: Oh, I struggle with that all of the time! I think anyone can relate when it comes to balancing work and play (whether it be games or something else). To balance my life when it comes to creating and consuming is just forcing myself to create. The worst thing about motivation is that it never strikes when you need it. The best thing you can do to make something is to create momentum and keep creating until it becomes a habit. But hey, easier said than done am I right?
GC: What kind of comics keep you inspired and jazzed on making your own?
AP: More than I can count. Off the top of my head, I can say: Extra Fabulous Comics, The Pigeon Gazette, OwlTurd, Safely Endangered, Dorris McComics, Heck If I Know Comics, and Mr. Lovenstein just to name a few. There's so much talent and creativity in the webcomics space it's crazy. I couldn't name them all even if I wanted to.
GC: One thing a lot of webcomics creators talk about a lot is the importance of community. What's your relationship like with other creators and how has it informed your experience so far?
AP: The whole comics community has been nicer than I could ever imagine. Someone's always there for you whether it be wanting to create stuff together through collaboration or sharing helpful advice about time-saving techniques with drawing software. My experience has been limited since I am normally a very shy and reserved person, but every time I interact with anyone in the comics space it's been positive. Just a big helpful, kind, loving bunch!