Last week I told you about how a decade ago, amu and I first entertained a thought of doing a comic. What I didn’t mention is how this ties into webcomics. At the time neither of us knew that webcomics existed. Granted, this was 10 or 11 years ago, and our interests were very different back then when compared with today. The internet DID come into the equation though, even if not in a traditional webcomics fashion.
When pitching the idea to amu, I mentioned that while we would have difficulty nabbing a published strip right off the bat we might be able to increase awareness of it by plopping the images online. Back then I was doing tech support for a local ISP, and subsequently got free, legitimate webspace. The plan was to grab a domain and plop the images up when they were available. I’d share the site with industry folk and then profit, right? Having given up before we started, that wasn’t a possibility.
While I do lament that we didn’t get quite so far as to test out my plan, I’m very glad that things have happened as they did to put us in a much better place with a much better perspective. So what did we do during the decade long distraction and hiatus? We consumed. We became one with our interests and hobbies, and were introduced to new interests and hobbies. We started going to conventions and talking to new people. We slowly, very gradually learned all of the things that would bring us to this point.
Speaking specifically on hobbies, amu turned to knitting. She picked it back up after a dipping into a lull years prior, when she’d put down the knitting needles in her youth. Finding solace in the yarn, and being aware of knitting trends in Japan at the time, she took to amigurumi naturally. It became an obsession. She’d spend hours trying to manipulate giant balls of yarn into tiny little creatures. It’s really astounding what’s possible with just some yarn, a hook, and your imagination.
Amu then began creating characters that she sold at conventions, mainly in cellphone charm form. That first convention we noticed that a fan item she started working on at the table was generating more interest than the things she brought with her to sell. We took commissions and a fever was born. We loved selling at cons. The other side of the table was too big a draw. Our one consistent problem was that the fan items still sold more than the original creations.
How does this tie into doing webcomics? Well there’s a Part 3, you see. Tune in to hear how the tale ends and how I got involved in turning amu’s hobby into a comic.