‘Let’s Be Friends Again’ Webcomic Goes Full-Time, Joins Rapper Adam WarRock
After two years of making the webcomic Let's Be Friends Again, writer Curt Franklin and artist Chris Haley -- who also make the much-loved Comics, Everybody! on ComicsAlliance -- are about to make the leap both desired and feared by so many creative professionals: They have decided to make it their full-time job.
They'll be posting an update of Let's Be Friends Again every single day this week, with regular updates to follow three times every week hence. They're also forming a creative collective called LBFA! in Memphis with rapper Adam WarRock (a.k.a. Eugene Ahn) whose Avengers mixtape was also featured on CA.
We talked to Franklin, Haley, and Ahn in an exclusive interview about soaring like eagles into the great unknown of full-time comics making, their plans to tour the nation, and the "Boys of the LBFA" calendar that could be in the works.ComicsAlliance: So tell me about what's going on at at Let's Be Friends Again.
Curt Franklin: Chris and I have been doing Let's Be Friends Again for almost two years now, I think, and we've decided to take a step forward and do it full-time. This sort of happily coincides with our friend Eugene [Ahn] deciding to pursue music full-time. Being as we all live in Memphis, TN now and there are literally no other human beings alive here, we figured we'd team up and try to squeeze as much creative juice from one another as we could.
Chris Haley: We were kind of at a point where we knew Euge was about to move down and we wanted to try to work with him and Curt and I were starting to get more offers for things than we possible had time for without giving up my regular day job.
CA: Does your collective have a name?
Curt F: Right now we're just going with LBFA! as the three of us, but we think we can do better than that. Or, if somebody else has a better idea, tell us and we will steal this idea from you.
CA: What is this going to mean for you as creators, and for the LBFA webcomic specifically?
Curt F: The plan is to hit readers with a comic a day this week sort of in celebration, and then begin next week with the three comics a week format - that's the first priority. We're also hoping to do more work for other sites... specifically Comics Alliance first and foremost.
Chris H: Curt gets antsy when we haven't done something new for a while, so this will let us do more, but also let us try some different things beyond just three panel comics.
Curt F: We've got an office set up here in the heartland where Chris and I will be working every day, and every couple days Eugene will drop in like Mr. Roeper and Chris and I will pretend to be gay so we don't lose our lease. When we say our office I mean a room in my house that we have outfitted to be an office.
CA: You should refer to your office as the LBFA International Headquarters.
Curt F: The LBFA House of Pancakes.
Eugene Ahn: Our accomplishments as LBFA! so far have been painting the walls to a satisfactory color, and getting headaches from painting said walls to said colors.
Chris H: It is painted in the official LBFA colors: Eyesore.
Curt F: Come by at 2 A.M. and I will serve you eggs with cigarette butts in them.
Chris H: We've heard from some other people in comics that a studio or office with other creative people is one of the best things you can do to keep yourself motivated and sharp as artists, so we're hoping that will be the case.
CA: Are you nervous?
Curt F: Yes. We might fail. But it'll be a super f**king fun failure!
Chris H: The way Curt stands over me as I do things is incredibly nerve-wracking. He also makes a lot of cusses like that.
Curt F: Eugene can always go back to being a lawyer and I have my dual identity as Julian Assange to fall back on. It's really Chris I worry about.
Chris H: Yeah, it is really me that I worry about the most as well.
Eugene A: We should also mention that I've been sitting on some ideas for projects that would involve books and music, and we are going to move forward on that.
CA: Are you talking about collaborative stuff that involves all three of you?
Eugene A: Yeah, the three of us as an artistic force.
Curt F: Yeah. We have some ideas about things that involve the three of us, and there will hopefully be one ready at ECCC but we'll have to bust our asses on that.
Eugene A: There's a lot in the pipeline for the both of us, and we thought it made sense to table together at cons, work together and merge our forces and audiences.
CA: Euge, will you be doing stuff beyond music?
Eugene A: I think music will be the focus, both individually and with LBFA. But I want to start moving towards doing some more projects, whether that's writing, podcasts, other projects. I like to stay busy, and I think being a part of LBFA will give me a chance to work with Curt and Chris, while also doing other things. I also want to set up a mini studio in the office and make songs about Curt and Chris as they are working. Mostly to annoy them.
Eugene A: Can I talk about the calendar idea? As a thing that may never happen, but I want to make happen?
Curt F: The nude one? Go for it.
Chris H: The "Boys of LBFA" one, right?
Eugene A: It would sell.
Chris H: We'll also have a much bigger focus on new content beyond just comics at the site on a daily basis.
Curt F: As far as content on our site, we're hoping to do more blog updates, have more interaction with people that read the comic and are interested in comics in general, and mainly do what we can to let those people who find some kind of interest in our comic have more to do at our site.
Chris H: We already started trying the new content idea out in baby steps this last week with some more blog posts with new things we wanted to show people that we'd been holding onto like the LBFA infographic that our friends Joey Miller (photos) and Dylan Todd (design) made. Then we posted a little one panel joke about the latest issue of Brightest Day with the Kool-Aid Man as Aquaman and people really seemed to like that based on how much it got "shared."
Curt F: We're aiming to have at least one new thing a day, during the week. If not more on occasion.
Eugene A: And we're working on merging our sites into sort of a more collective site. In that case, my updates will be in there too... They'd look similar, and we'd have a tab at the top that you could switch between them, and the site would look aesthetically similar.
Chris H: And we're going to be planning some... I believe business people call it "synergy" at times, between our comics and Euge's songs.
CA: Will you have synergistic paradigms?
Eugene A: Yes. We will have whatever those words mean are.
Chris H: We're looking to shift our synergistic paradigms to blast past the max. I learned all of my business talk from exercise equipment commercials.
Curt F: We'll be showing up at more cons, usually with the three of us sharing a table.
Chris H: We've also started putting some plans in motion to do quasi-tours together. Euge can probably explain it better, though.
Eugene A: I've been doing shows with comedians, sometimes with bands. I'd like to expand that to make an Adam WarRock show involve Chris and Curt as backup dancers, or like that guy in the Mighty Mighty Bosstones whose only job it is to dance... I'd love to have shows that involve local creators and stores, kind of an extension of the Comic Book Store Tour I've been doing, where the creators could be part of a live appearance or show. We interview comic creators, we have an audience contest where we give away indie books, we have live music and live sketch jams. Plus it's what I've been doing on these Intimate Evening of Comedy and Rap shows. They kinda become a weird mix of things, and people have responded well to them
Chris H: Anything we can do to be good ambassadors for comics being more than just nerd culture is a positive, I think.
Eugene A: It's the reason I started War Rocket Ajax with that Chris Sims guy (whoever that is). I think comic creators are interesting personalities who should be up and talking to people. Curt and Chris are good at that kind of stuff, even though I know that deep below the surface, they are essentially empty vessels of people. But they can talk a good game.
Chris H: We hadn't quite discussed it as such before, so this is honestly a very exciting idea to me
Eugene A: Ha ha. well I just moved here.
Chris H: We're going to be at as many shows as is possible, and if anyone wants us to be at a show they're having, even if it's a small one, get in touch with us, or if you'd like to arrange an appearance for us at your local comic shop, have them get in touch with us.
Eugene A: We'd just like people to know that we are going to be all over the place, and if you don't like us, then this merger is probably the worst possible thing that could ever happen to you.
Chris H: Exactly, if you were already sick of us, 2011 is not going to be your year.
Curt F: It's not often that somebody really goes after their dreams, and in the current climate it seems either brave or horribly idiotic. Time will tell, I guess. Regardless, I'm happy that I get to go on an adventure with two guys I genuinely consider friends, and I can't imagine a better time to start doing it than right now. So, good luck, us.