Listen: Nicole, Action Hospital, Dave Baker discussed on I Read Comic Books
"And you can get a copy of that today on your phone, or your computer wherever you're listening. But anyways, let's get into let's talk with Dave Baker. You've been here talking with us about comic books for awhile. We'd really fun discussion about how your big history buff in the brick when it comes to. Comics. I guess getting started your big cartoon is you've been you've been doing stuff for a while. What got you into comic books man. Well, I guess the short answer is a as a kid. I counted understand the difference between prose books and books with pictures. I was really obsessed with boy detectives. So my mom got me a bunch of copies of Tinton from the library nice and it's been downhill ever since. Yeah, I don't know. I just think it's, it's the best medium ever created. I love dearly, and for better for worse. I've been slaving away in the trenches for. So what was the transition like to go from just a reader to artist or were you like as a little kid, just like constantly drawn, your own comics and stuff like that? Yeah. Yeah. Basically, what we've been drawing as a kid, I made a bunch of weird comics characters that I made up a also made shitty X, men, fan comics, I. I think I started self publishing seriously. When I was, like, probably sixteen seventeen put out a couple books, then put up to jen's in college an-and, started making my big kind of like this is going to be my blankets style OG, you know, really, really, really long personal book and. It kinda just killed me. I got like one hundred fifty pages in which is like, I can't I do this, the sucks not the not that the book sucks just the process of making comics. I was a little disillusioned with at that point. And I wanted to get paid to write and no one wanted to do that. So I started writing movie stuff I wrote for commercial company for a while. I wrote for film school writing all of their infomercials for while and since then I've written some feature films and some TV show episodes and done a bunch of works for hiree crazy, like Roger Corman movies where they're like kid, you got three weeks to write this picture. C. And then I write the and then I write the, the movie three weeks in. It's terrible. But, you know, it doesn't matter. So, yeah, I've been doing all that stuff the whole time and probably about four or five years ago. I met Nicole do who's my of partner in kind of refill in love with making comics again, we've been publishing stuff ever since. Gotcha. Yeah. I was going to, like, I met the both of you guys last year before Amilton Comecon. I picked up all three the volumes I think that you have fuck off squad and, and related books, and I grabbed your fuck Stanley pin, very into the look and feel that you guys had. So I've been I've been really digging it like where did Where'd something like fuck off? Scot com should stop talking. Let Paula Nick jump in. But I got all these questions in my head. I just got. Yeah. So you don't I'm make a book called action hospital and the first volume of that is a bunch of injured Twining stories. And I am at Nicole at a gallery opening became friends kinda hit it off. And I was like, oh, you should make comics, and she was more of kind of like an editorial illustrator at the time. And she was like, I don't really know. And I was like, come on be fun. It'll be short. And so I wrote like a ten page thing for her to do in action hospital. And she really liked the, you know, the end result of having finished comic. So then we were kind of trying to figure out what we're gonna do next. What's something that we can do? That's maybe not tethered to this weird shared universe that I've created something that would be just hours. And she was drawing this skater girl over over again, inner sketchbook. And I was like, oh, let's, let's do a slice of life like romance comic. But about skaters, and that's kinda how the initial idea for folks, gelled or whatever. Very cool. Yeah. I, I really enjoyed fuck off squad. I picked up, the, the collected volume here, and I mean obviously, my first sort of impression was, I got very heavy like love and rockets vibe from it since his book about relationships, you know, and music and pop culture and self. But I really enjoyed the way that social media and music was presented in the books. I think capturing those things in of visual formula comics is really tough means showing a band playing music in silent medium is really difficult to portray the emotion feeling there. And I think you know, whatever the division of labor there between you Nicole is you really captured that in that book, some really mazing moments there into the use of text messages, and Instagram incorporating into a narrative. I really appreciate the kind of blend that together. Yeah. Thank you. That, that means a lot. Yeah. I think for better for worse. This is kind of dumb shit that I spend my days thinking about like now out of formerly integrate mechanics into a comics. And how. Like, what are the what are the shortcomings of the medium? How can you use that advantage? Or what are the upsides of the medium? And how can you lean into them? And specifically the thing you're talking about the Nicole. I always call it the phone mechanic really know what else to call it. But we basically the, the books tend to have like a nine panel grid to him. And we were she was working on one of the nine panel goods at one point, and I walked by looked at now like, you know, the focal point of that page is the middle panel. And so we, we, we should have an actual cell phone as that panel. Because the nine panel grid, those panels are almost the shape of a cell phone, and that we could have on the screen, what the people are texting each other, and she was like, oh, yeah, it could really work. And then she was like, oh, yeah. Then we could almost like a diamond shape, so like panels. One three six seven nine could all be panels. And then I was like, yeah, we could do it inverse of that. And so a lot of our. Conversations are like yum, formless like almost like the mathematics of comics of how hell something visually a gets read of the reader, and that was that something that the phone mechanic thing is something that a lot of people respond to just because for better for worse cut phones, or a part of our everyday life now. Right. I mean I, I really don't think you should call because it has the coolest fucking explanation. I've ever heard in my life like that kind of stuff like the what you just described the mechanics of comic page like that takes a lot of brain power. Like, I don't want you to yourself down man. That's all I'm saying, because that's fucking cool stuff to me, dude. Oh, thank you. Yeah, I. Yeah. I like I said for better for worse. This is what I spend my time thinking about. And I think a lot of the stuff in the book as you mentioned. It's, it's kind of like both of us were, there's a, there is a division of labor in that I'm the writer, and she's the ill astray. But also it kinda doesn't necessarily. Work that way, because it's so much of a back and forth, given take, like it's not marvel style. You know, like full, there's a full script with panel, breakdowns into beginning middle end. But there's also there's so much more that it would be hard to kind of codified that unless I was literally sitting there with the book and going. Oh, yeah. That idea was the one hundred percent. Nicole this idea was me that idea was Nicole, because so much of the book is like her sitting there with the script in them being like you don't want. I feel like this would work better on a page turn because this is a reveal needs to be on the top left. Hand of that needs to be on the left hand page on the top of it. So that when you turn the page, it's at actually has impact as opposed to bottom, right? Or like this page turned doesn't work. You wrote this splash page to be on the right hand side needs to be on the left or you know, in, in fact, in fever coast. You know, at that point two courses in the third chapter of the fuck squad stuff in at that point. Nicole, and I had been making stuff together for so long. On that. There were the, the sequence where son v in an Clark driving down the Pacific Coast Highway going to the beach. It's this kind of like very decompressed Sambre like wind in the hair kind of moment. And in the script, I lit, I think literally just road yet here. Do some, some shit for like two or three pages. I know you know what this should be. It's just like sad, and like hair blowing in the wind and all of the actual stuff depicted in those pages. One hundred percent her twenty I was actually going to that moment. I really enjoyed that part of the request a bid that, that you go from one page, where it is a scene of ocean a bunch of smaller panels than the patriot. Is that double page spread of them in the car together, and such a, it's a striking moment? And yeah, you can tell exactly what the emotion supposed to be there without any words. It's great sequence. Yeah. And I think, you know, also like when Nicole and I met each other, we were both kind of in transitional phases in our lives like the personally, professionally. We were both trying to figure some things out. And specifically for that book, the fever coast, like on the beach thing I mean, I don't want to speak for her. But for me personally, like Nicole, and I really became friends at this big kind of like. I guess beach party, I guess, is how you would describe it was like a bunch of our friends on the beach. And there was like a fire pit. There's there's, there's something specifically about the kind of infinite potential of when you make new friends or you meet new person or group of people where you, it's this simultaneously like stereo, exhilarating thing, also there's something about, like the yawning chasm of potential that is the beach and like ocean at night, were you, it gives you a percents of perspective? It's like looking at the stars in realizing that you're just this like blip in the in the cosmos, basically, you know, could be soul-crushing because a matter time like you're only going to be here for a limited time. So like live life and make it the most you can while you're here. And that's I think that that scene right there for me, personally, is that book in a nutshell, and also the, the kind of name fever coast is, that's the, the closest I could get to like having some sort of like. Verbiage that associates with that feeling like I. Yeah. I don't I'm feeling I'm rambling now. Does that make any sense completely? Yeah. Nick, you want to jump in here because I really Paul dominating. Now. Let's okay like I haven't read fuck off squad yet, mainly because of my version swearing. I'm just kidding. I haven't read it yet. So I didn't wanna wanna weigh in on that. I mean, don't get me wrong. I'll talk about all sorts of other things. I've don't know anything about. But for some reason I didn't wanna touch that. Yeah. One thing I wanted to say and I know this is the dreaded convention preface butter not really question. This is just a comment, right? From the get-go. I just wanna say thank you, Dave for like right out of the front of the book in action hospital. Having a very clear in concise credits page, which vary explicitly lays out who did what for what issue like it pisses me off. Endlessly so much when a book begins, and it's like these are the three people that road parts of it. And these seven people that did art. We won't tell you where. And when.."