The last time Bored Panda talked with James Breakwell about his comics, the man said he couldn't draw at all. 9 months later, his strips still look terrible. But the visuals were inspired by stick figures on public restroom doors and the 'professional comedy writer and amateur father' manages to keep them consistently bad so that his lack of an artistic background looks more like a deliberate stylistic choice.
Where the Unbelievably Bad Webcomic series excels is character development and storytelling. It unravels Breakwell's everyday life with his wife and their four daughters, providing insightful and humorous insights into the chaotic reality of the modern family.
Breakwell's kids are the starting point for almost all of his jokes but his comics are an homage to parenting in general. "Everybody's kids are weird and my comics celebrate that," Breakwell said, "anyone who says they have normal children is lying."
Since James has a name for himself, his family is well-aware of his Internet fame. But that doesn't mean they think much of it. "My wife and kids are thoroughly unimpressed by it," Breakwell told Bored Panda. "For my kids, if it's not on YouTube, it doesn't exist. I became Internet-famous in the wrong place."
When it comes to the comics in particular, the gang know which stick figure represents each of them, and that's basically it. "My wife checks my various social media feeds periodically to see what new shame I've brought on our family. She's a lucky lady."
Parenting is one of those things people can easily disagree on, and they're prepared to p*** off anyone who disagrees with the way they raise their kid. Breakwell's comics, however, seem to unite moms and dads. "The ups and downs of family life are universal. Everybody's kids are weird. Everyone's house is a mess. Everyone feels like giving up. I focus on that. The struggle is real," he explained.
If you follow James' feed, you know his uploads are really consistent. "My low-quality art makes it easy," the modest comedian said. "I don't have to waste much time drawing. I can focus on coming up with jokes. Usually, that just means paying attention to whatever is happening in my house at that moment. If I wait long enough, something will go wrong and then I’ll have the inspiration for a new comic."
In fact, Breakwell has kept himself so busy, he released a new children’s book called Prance Like No One’s Watching: A Guided Journal for Exploding Unicorns. "It teaches kids how to find humor in their everyday lives and channel it into comics, jokes, and other forms of expression that hopefully won’t lead to a parent scrubbing permanent marker off the wall. Maybe hide the markers just in case."
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