This Artist Draws Comics With Unexpected Endings (30 New Pics)Interview With Artist
A very distinctive art style and hilarious, dark jokes. Those are the two main things that Chris Allison has got going for him when it comes to his popular comic series. And really, do you need anything else aside from those two things? There wouldn’t be a better way to pass some time if you’re bored now than to read some of his newest comics called ‘Toonhole Chris.’
Over 92k followers that follow Chris on Instagram love the way he delivers his jokes and punchlines. He also got one of his stories on DreamWorks Feature Animation and does animation in his free time as well. Given the fact that the last few posts (you can find them by clicking here, here, and here) of ‘Toonhole Chris’ comics were received very well on Bored Panda, we are pretty sure you will come to enjoy these new comics too!
Once again Bored Panda reached out to Chris but this time with even more questions! First, we asked the artist if he had any major influences in his life that might've helped him to develop and refine his style.
"My biggest influences are the wonderful people who have been in my life and I really feel the need to highlight them. I really hit the teacher jackpot. My high school had an animation class run by Paul Messerle (2016 San Diego County Teacher of the Year) and I had the most wonderful life drawing teacher, Jacqueline Nicolini. My college at Cal State Fullerton had so many good teachers (Joe Forkan, Brian Kennon, Marshall Vandruff, Don Lagerberg, Dana Lamb, Joe Biel). And my colleagues that I started ToonHole.com with (Ryan Kramer, Mike Nassar, John Martinez) continue to push and guide me every day after all these years. 'If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.' - Isaac Newton.
But now for the answer, you were really looking for: my first inspiration was really Tom & Jerry cartoons. I really loved classic cartoons: Looney Tunes, Goofy shorts, Fleischer cartoons. The art styles gave the latitude to do broad and subtle jokes and it's stuff that's really hard to do. I'll work my whole life trying to draw and paint like a lot of those artists did in the 1940s."
Art, in any kind of form, takes a lot of time not only to practice but also to produce, therefore we asked Chris how long it takes him to fully finish his comics.
"In general, I think about 4 to 6 hours for most of my comics but it's hard to gauge. I like to do a lot of things in batches. I'll pencil 3 or 4 comics on watercolor paper in a couple nights, then ink them all in one night, then try to color a couple comics at a time. It's easier with watercolor because you can move onto the next panel while the last panel dries, and you can use the colors you just mixed to keep the panel colors uniform. But sometimes I'm doing my comics digitally in Photoshop and just try to get it done in one sit down."
Being an artist is not easy, one can easily encounter a lack of inspiration, burnout, etc, so we wanted to ask the artist about his ideas for the comics.
"Really classic artist problem: the blank page stares back at you, blankly. My remedy has been embracing limitations. It's a hard task to just "be funny" with no footing to hold onto, but much easier to pick a specific topic to jam on. It can be observable things from my everyday life (e.g. writer's block, weekend plans, drought conditions) or things I hear about other people talking about in their lives (e.g. parent-teacher conference, first date, tattoo removal).
I have a small sketchbook I keep in my back pocket (with all the topics written in the back) and I always have a pen on me. I tend to do most of my writing to stave off boredom. So if I'm waiting for an oil change or eating lunch outside or supposed to be paying attention to an accountant that's doing my taxes, I'm probably thinking of comical ways I can look at a topic like 'headstones.'"
As we mentioned before, sometimes creative work can cause quite a burnout, therefore we asked the artist if he had dealt with that as well.
"My day job is working in animation as a storyboard artist/writer. I did 11 years of a hard time working on television shows (Looney Tunes Cartoons, Spongebob, etc), and now I've jumped over to working on feature films. I record music and put out vinyl records on the label I co-run, King Volume Records. We regularly put out ToonHole comics and have been working on animated shorts and pitching TV shows/movies of our own. Frankly, I don't have time to be burnt out and I think that's the thing that's been keeping me going all these years. "
The creative process is not easy, but there are always some enjoyable parts to it.
"I honestly like the whole process. Comics are fun because I get complete control, but they're also stressful because I get complete control. Writing is super fun to watch comics emerge out of the ether onto a page. It's still magic. Inking and coloring comics is phenomenal because I can put on music and get into a flow state. Working in animation is great to collaborate with other people and learn from their process (and steal their secrets). Putting drawings on a timeline to see them move, adding in music and a sound design, working with voice actors. It's just fun to make stuff and it gives a lot of meaning to my life, personally."
We also asked about the inspiration behind the artist's Instagram account.
"Instagram was the dominant platform when I started. It's been a tough go recently, as the algorithms seem to be changing and demanding a volume of content that I personally find a challenge to meet with any sort of quality threshold. Good work takes time to percolate. A comic will be languishing in my sketchbook for a while, broken. Weeks later I'll figure out a way to reword or rephrase something that makes it work. So the next platform that really wants to showcase images will motivate me to start a new account on it too."
Digital art and art, in general, is not easy and requires a lot of patience, time, resources, and in most cases, even money. Therefore, we wanted to know how the talented artist started his own career in digital art.
"I started my digital art journey in the amazing art community that Tom Fulp started at Newgrounds.com when I was in middle school. It was a Flash community at the time, hosting a Flash portal that people could submit to and audiences got to rate the submissions. Having a platform to get instant feedback on your work was amazing and it was a great way to connect and learn from other artists. Newgrounds is still going strong, and I'd highly encourage artists and filmmakers to go check it out and submit their work!"
Artists tend to get motivated by a lot of things such as curiosity, the search for beauty, or even meaning. Therefore, we asked Chris about that too.
"Most people around me had my passion for making artwork when we were young, excited to draw with markers and crayons and sculpt things with PlayDoh. But they seem to have grown out of it, whereas I haven't. I'm not sure what's broken in me, but it's still something that keeps me excited. I'm going to keep chasing it while the passion keeps burning.
Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me and share some of my comics. If anybody is interested, our website ToonHole.com has not only my comics, but also comics and animation from 3 of my best friends (Ryan, Mike, John) that I make stuff with! Hope everyone has a great week and don't forget to drink a glass of water today!"