The following is an interview with writer/illustrator Charles Brubaker on the release of his comic strip, Lauren Ipsum, into two collected editions: Lauren Ipsum and Lauren Ipsum Throws the Book at You. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Brubaker about his creative process in bringing the world and characters of the series to life on the page, what he hopes that readers may take away from the comic strip, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: For those who may be unfamiliar with Lauren Ipsum, how would you describe the story’s premise?
Charles Brubaker: Lauren is about a librarian rabbit who does freelance writing on the side. She’s very self-indulgent and is proud of it. A lot of strips focus on her writing, her job at the library, and the general going-ons in St. Paws.
BD: As the writer and illustrator, what can you share with us about your creative process in bringing this world, characters, and narrative to life on the page?
CB: I would begin by writing down strip ideas in my notebook. I would either do this at a coffee shop or at a local library. It’s nice to be out of the house to do this part of the process.
Once I get a batch of strips written, I would sketch it out digitally with my tablet, using a template I made on Clip Studio Paint. Once I sketch the strips, I print it out and take it to my lightbox, where I would ink it traditionally on cardstock.
I use a variety of pens for the comic, but mostly Tulip fabric marker, Acrylic paint markers (fine tip nib), and few other odds and ends. Then, I scan it in and save as 600dpi bitmap TIF files.
If it’s a color Sunday strip, I would scan it in, then color it on Clip Studio Paint.
BD: At Fanbase Press, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that Lauren’s story may connect with and impact readers?
CB: Lauren embraces creating from what she’s into. She doesn’t care about whether her ideas are marketable or not, she just does what she wants to do. I think it’s important for creatives to embrace their interests and self-indulge a little, so Lauren is an embodiment of that.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
CB: I’m working on a graphic novel with a friend. It’s still very early in the development to announce, but stay tuned!
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Lauren Ipsum and your other work?