The brainchild of writer David White and artist Paul Heaney, Ballad of the Badlands is a very funny, very British, very brilliant first issue of a planned new indie comic series from Doodle Munchkin set in an apocalyptic wasteland. We asked the chaps what drove them to create this new masterpiece.
David: I came to comics pretty late really - after reading Tank Girl at college - but I’ve been catching up since then. I was always into expanded universe stuff though, like Star Wars and would spend ages reading all the visual dictionaries and learning all about the minor characters back stories, I always like inventing my own characters to fit in them. So when I got a sketch from Blitzcadet of this little goblin dude I day dreamed a back story for him at work. After Paul started doing commissions I asked him to do one for me of the character and it snowballed from there.
Paul: I was always drawing and reading comics as a kid, but I never thought to take it seriously until I started reading webcomics as a teen. They had a larger impact on me than more traditional comics. There is something very engaging about watching an artist’s drawing style evolve over time and with a webcomic you’re seeing it change strip by strip as they learn and experiment. So it’s no surprise that my favourite artists are mostly webcomic or web based artists such as Mike Krahulik (Penny Arcade), Kate Beaton (Hark, A Vagrant) and Tyson Hesse (Boxer Hockey). The only exceptions to that are Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira) and Mike Mignola (Hellboy). Their work is on a whole other level. I can start reading one of their books and spend an hour on the first page taking in the details of each frame.
Paul: The comic came about after Dave commissioned me to do a piece of artwork based on a character he had in his head. After I finished it we got to talking about trying to make a comic from it. I’d been wanting to start a comic for a while so we decided to take a crack at it. We only really planned on the one story but as Dave wrote more characters and I designed them we decided to expand it and eventually what was one little story became a lot of larger ones.
Paul: When it came to sitting down and drawing it I was totally out of my depth. I hadn’t tried to make a proper comic since I was seven. Each step was something new I had to learn, right up to the day we sent it to the printers. But it was all stuff I couldn’t have learned any other way. We just had to do it and hope we’d done it right.
Paul: We’re in the process of building a website so we can release the next part as a webcomic. This way we’re always working on the story, releasing it weekly, page by page. It keeps us motivated and hopefully keeps people engaged. Once chapters are finished we’ll probably look into printing physical copies with extra content and side stories.Doodle Munhckin