The Liff Drive-by: Rob O’Connor

Rob O’Connor is not only one of the most talented, amusing and quirky cartoonists you’ll ever come across, he also works at the Very Wonderful Liquid Interactive. He is one of my oldest friends and carries with him a series of stories that reflect either badly or very goodly upon us depending upon your point of view or whether we stole apples from your orchard. He is not a man who can be bribed easily to give up these stories, but is open to competitive offers. His web comic, Liff, lives here.

1. Liff is…
…not quite life (which is an excellent disclaimer when you’re using your family as the basis of a comic strip).

It’s a daily comic strip that I have created for fun, using my family as the subject. The accuracy in which they are portrayed varies to the point where, if I were to plot it out graphically, it would probably make a very nice bell curve.

More than anything, it’s an attempt to keep the writing and drawing muscles moving and to (hopefully) keep people amused. It’s the discipline of getting away from the television/gaming console/interwebs for an hour or two every night to write and draw though, usually, I’m writing about our addiction to televisions, gaming consoles and interwebs. Hmmm… must get out more.

2. You get to go anywhere and anywhen: what do you do, where and when do you go and who is your companion?
With all things arranged and paid for and with no consequence other than experience and a good time, I’d love to travel the world for many years with the family.

Tomorrow, preferably.

A reliable tardis to travel in would be a bonus.

3. The urge to commit art comes from…
…the same place someone sporty gets the urge to kick a football around. I think you just feel incomplete if it’s not happening in your life.

That was my mood earlier in the year when the strip began – work’s not too crazy at the moment (touch wood), the kids are old enough to keep themselves amused without my involvement, so… what was stopping me?

4. Your stance on the graphic novel -v- comics?
To me, comic strips (and comic books) are like any periodical: your prime aim is to grab someone’s attention, entertain them briefly and leave them wanting more so they come back for the next edition or episode. A graphic novel is a short story: a single, polished work that stands alone (please read Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean’s excellent Mr Punch if you haven’t already done so ). I love both and don’t feel the need to pick a favourite.

A comic strip is great medium to either put down random thoughts and gags or create a short story line that stretches over a few strips. That creative flexibility suits me right now and was why I chose it.

5. Donuts or danishes?
I’m non-discriminatory: I accept all pastry regardless of size, shape or filling (though a freshly made hot cinnamon donut will always do the trick). This may or may not be a good thing.

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