We LOVE comics and local art! And so, it is with great enthusiasm that we present to you SIQ Magazine, an online catalogue of the illustrations of Nick Perdue.
Nick who? SIQ what? You’ve got questions and we’ve got some answers from the man himself Nick Perdue, founder of SIQ Magazine. That’s not all we got, how do ya’ll like the illustrations he made for us? Pretty dope! Anyway, here’s what he had to say….
What is S.I.Q. Magazine?
SIQ started as an acronym for Synchronicity In Question. When I started the blog I had a pretty vague idea of how I wanted it to develop. I wanted to just start cataloging my work because I had a lot of stuff just lying around my workspace in boxes and zines.
It was also about the time I started drawing “Ike Mcloud” comics which were my first REAL attempts at finalizing work digitally. Those comics, coupled with my old works became the early days of SIQ Magazine and things just blossomed outward from there.
Who is Nick Perdue?
One of my favorite authors Christopher Hitchens says that in life, “You’re expelled from your mothers uterus as if shot from a cannon, toward a barn door studded with old nail files and rusty hooks…Its a matter of how you use up the intervening time in an intelligent and ironic way, and try not to do anything ghastly to your fellow creatures…”
I can identify myself with that, I hope others of my generation can too. I find a lot of people, especially in Miami, are lost in their dream. Lost in the idea of who they want to become or what sort of ethic they want to follow. A sort of “whatever’s happening” kind of attitude. Over-done, over-promoted and obsessed with vanity….makes for good satire.
What is it like being an comic strip illustrator in Miami?
I have to admit it is lonely. I always ask people to do illustrations or something for collaborative zines but I feel like that kind of culture isn’t as prevalent here as I would like it to be. I find a lot of people are digital designers or something that isn’t really conducive to the whole DIY sort of mindset. I’m hoping that changes.
Why did you choose comic strips as your artistic medium?
Growing up I drew comics of myself, my friends, my teachers, and the kids I hated. It has been a pretty essential part of my life ever since I could pick up a pen. When I was a kid, I had a MAD Magazine pile in my bathroom almost to the ceiling. I read all the gross stuff that kids my age weren’t into because of their Ritalin prescriptions or religious parents. Life in Hell, Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, Spy vs. Spy and plenty more lined my bookshelf.
Don’t get me wrong, I grew up in a christian household as well, went to an evangelical school, attended youth group and went to church on Sunday but somehow I always found a way to get my hands on some “secular reading”.
When I was in seventh-grade the school faculty found one of my comic journals in which I had literally drawn every single person I knew in a not-so-flattering light. I was almost expelled for my caricatures of the school principal. I’ll never forget my mom going into the office, the principal handed her my notebook as if it was a copy of Mein Kamf. She laughed at all of them as if she had drawn them herself. Thats when I knew that not everyone was out to see me sit down and shut up and stop writing.
I started putting out booklets and mini-comics by the time I was 17. Other people liked them almost as much as my mom and so I kept going and here we are.
How many mini-comics are featured on SIQ Magazine? What are they and how often do you publish new ones?
Its not like other kinds of art where you do 6 paintings and call it a year…You have to produce ALL THE TIME to catch the eye of anyone and stay relevant. I publish about three full comics a week, plus various illustration projects. Good god. I THINK, without checking the blog, there are about 100 published.
The thing about comics is, that you have all these ideas and mini’s on your desk and then you try and finalize them into one SOMETHING that you can give to an unsuspecting public.
What comes first the drawing or the story?
Well, both in a way. I have a few projects going, most of them regional. “Welcome..” usually comes out of a real-life experience. A hyperbolic telling of people I meet or something I have experienced in Miami. Ike and the rest draw from satire and usually begin with a one liner from Ike, or some crude punchline.
Also, I watch and read too much news for my own good. Current events are like my meals and expressing my perspectives on what’s going on has always been an important part of the “comic anatomy”. First and for most, I write. I just so happen to also know how to draw the people involved in those writings, and that is the soul of a comic strip.
Do you have the overall story for each comic series worked out in your head or do you continue the story as you go along?
It’s a two-three week process. I start out asking myself about topics..Sometimes it’s a bunch of notecards and sketches, sometimes it is a script that needs drawing. A lot of times, I will be having one of those “tossing and turning” sort of nights, when suddenly I’ll have a thousand ideas at once.
I keep a sketchbook by my bed, so i can draw the overall idea, then make it better in the morning. From there, I pencil it out, then ink it by hand. I like the DIY sort of look a lot better than a vectorized, digital render so really all I am doing after scanning is raising the contrast, fixing the size and filling color.
Watch him in action…
Are all the characters and illustrations part of a comic series?
A series, no. Essentially I have three series’ going and one is about Miami, while the rest remain in a fictitious city that adopts the worst aspects of living in a metropolitan area. New Quail is the city’s name and I would never want to live there.
The series I am working on MOST conceptually is “Ike Mcloud: Smartest Man in the Universe” which i plan to animate and pitch in the near future.
What inspired you to create “Ike McCloud The Smartest Man In The Universe”? Is this an alter ego?
It’s so funny that this is asked to me STILL. No, Ike is not an alter ego. Ike is a satirical telling of what I feel like liberals (like me) wish all rich people WERE. Ike Mcloud represents the idea of the illuminati, over-payed, over-staffed, over-enhanced rich guy that all the Occupy folks could put on a dart board.
I have always been nearly obsessed with corporate mascots and the idea of Ike came from looking at characters, such as Richie Rich, Mcdonald, Mr. Peanut, Mr. Salty and plenty more in a “What if they actually led the board at these commitie meetings?” perspective. Ike would meet me, as his creator and spit on the left-wing, hippie ground I walk on. He hates me, he hates you, he loves HIM and he doesn’t know why… He’s a youngish, savvy, impressively wealthy dick. A lot is going to develop about him though.
There is this one-sidedness that is expressed in the narrative of the comic that is very often defeated by Ike coming to some kind of realization about himself. I had a few friends growing up that “had everything” but didn’t. Every time they realized that, in many ways they were ahead but in so many more ways they were behind was an interesting one. The gears of maturity begin to spin. I really think people will be impressed by where Ike Mcloud’s series goes.
Was the series “Welcome To The Future! True(ish) Stories of Miami Living” created for the Miami New Times? When and how did it come about?
Well, I wouldn’t say it was CREATED for New Times but it sort of was…
I had done only one of these “Welcome to the Future!” ideas and then immediately thought it would be fun to have such a topic in the local paper/mag.
I always used to see comics in The Village Voice and even Creative Loafing (which has far less a readership) when I traveled.To me, comics are an essential part of ANY publication and I am 3000% happy to bring that to the New Times.
I wish more people would step up and make strips about every day living in Miami. Its a really funny place to live and everyone here seems to know it.
What’s next for SIQ Magazine?
A whole lot of printing. In all of my online posting, I have really missed HOLDING my comics with two hands. I have put off making books for a while now and it’s time I just stop being a procrastinating dick.
SIQ online has just been going so well that I have allowed myself to forget about the people, walking by a record shop and seeing a weird comic book that sparks their interest.
That’s the most authentic part of indie comics, in my opinion. The unsuspected find in some comic shop, record store, or music show that propels you into the world of that artist and others like him/her. That moment when you’re at a house party and they have some crazy little booklet filled with funny stories and grotesque images on the coffee table and you can’t put it down. It’s time for SIQ to get back to the roots!
Also, there will be more animation and testing out new ideas. Ike Mcloud recently was spotted on Twitter, a fan sent me a meme generated from my “Cats” comic for New Times. I want to broaden the realm of my comics online and I think 2012 is a great year to do it.