Sam and Fuzzy Q & A: Struggling Artist Edition
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"Friday’s comic seems a little autobiographical, eh? Finally the truth! After years of saying that while Sam is named after you, he’s not based on you, we find out that Nicole is your true avatar in this comic!
Also, congrats on the ending well! I’ve been along for this journey for more years than I would have thought possible when I started! It’s been an incredible journey and I wish you the best as you move forwards!" -Chris
Haha! I suppose the truth is, while no one individual character in Sam and Fuzzy is my avatar, it's hard not to write a little of myself in all of them at various times!
I would not call this story autobiographical, but I would definitely say that the themes of the story were inspired by things I've been thinking about since wrapping S&F. As an artist, it's really exciting to have the freedom to start new things... but there's also a lot of comfort and certainty that comes from being in the middle of a big, established project!
I thought it'd be fun to write a story that explored that through the points-of-view of several different characters -- eEspecially because I could do it with the Noosehead gang, who I was eager to revist! But the reactions Nic, Malcolm, Tats and co. have to their new projects is pretty to them as individual characters, rather than being directly analagous to my own life. I can relate to the way Nicole is a little intimidated by her sudden creative freedom. But Nicole's primary motivation is that she felt bored and restricted by Noosehead, which was never really a problem I had with S&F. (Probably because S&F was not a collaborative project between me and 10 other people, so I always had the freedom to make it about whatever I wanted!)
Thank you for the kind words about Sam and Fuzzy's big conclusion, by the way. I'm glad you've enjoyed my comics for so long.
"I just realized that I have always read Malcolm in the voice of Tweak from South Park. Did I guess right? 'Space Gophers!' " -Dylan
That's interesting! I can see why you'd think of Tweak, especially when Malcolm is at his most crazed and excitable.
I think for me, I've always pictured Malcolm having a sort of "mildly unhinged professor" type voice. After all, while he can get pretty wild when he's ranting, he also just seems to really enjoy cheerfully lecturing people and explaining things. So I think he'd do well with a voice that can shift from pleasantly authorative to intensely demanding... maybe like Professor Membrane from Invader Zim, or Ludwig Von Drake!
(Also, hi Dylan! Long time no chat!)
"I have a simple question that I hope is not spoilery for the current chapter. Does Nicole have the option to just retire now with no band to support? Or is she contractually obligated to create a project to give to her agency or record studio, or does she not have the money to retire? That information might change to context of her current slump or struggle, as well as the scale of the stakes, but I'm not sure if that will come up this chapter or not, so I'd thought I'd ask since I'm more curious about her realistic options rather than what she'll end up doing. " -Chad
As far as contractual obligations go, both Noosehead and Nicole specifically are signed exclusively to Sun Records, the label formerly known as Sin Records. They're not required to produce new material, but if they do, Sun Records releases it. You'll learn more about the specific pressures coming from the label's direction later in the story!
As for money... well, Nicole is a famous musician with some big hits, so I'm sure she has some dough! But let's say she's is "take a couple of years off of touring" well-to-do, not "retire to the bahamas at age 30" well-to-do. Things have been going well for her, but not so much that she doesn't need to continue to make successful albums and sell concert tickets. (Also, I imagine Noosehead's financial success is at least somewhat diluted by having 13 members, haha!)
That's a wrap for this week, team. But come back on Monday for our next comic!