|Cartoonist Dad Interview
with Bob Corby of Backporch Comics
Name: Bob Corby
Comics: Leaves, Test!, Oh,Comics!, Amazing Tales of Entropy, Why I’m Not Musical
QRD – How old were you when you first realized you wanted to be a cartoonist?
Bob – 5. Somebody told me that all the pictures in a Superman comic were drawn by people. I was stunned.
QRD – What are a few highlights of your comic career?
Bob – Not really a career, but I did a series called Fire Fang back in the mid-80s that actually paid & it did get some distribution.
QRD – At what age did you decide you wanted to become a father?
Bob – I didn’t so much decide as it just happened. I was 19 when my son, Bob (III) was born. I wouldn’t recommend it, but I love my son & don’t have any regrets.
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your family has had on your career?
Bob – I didn’t do a lot of comics work after Bob was born while I was in college, but did start up after college. I think I was committed more to my real job because I was a father than if I wasn’t, so there wasn’t much time to draw for the first 15 years. I was busy trying to make a living. I did do the Fire Fang series just before my daughter, Megan, was born. The publisher called it quits right about the time she was born, so I didn’t need to quit myself. I stopped trying to do stuff to sell at that time & just did mini-comics for fun.
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your career has had on your family?
Bob – I don’t think the comics had any negative effects on family. I still did all the kids activities. I was never good at sports, but I coached a lot of sports with my son. I also was an advisor for an Art Explorer Post with my daughter. We actually worked on comics together at the art post.
QRD – Have your children effected the comics you make &/or listen (read?) to?
Bob – I don’t think they had much of an effect. I seem to like a lot of comics that are made for kids, so I read a lot of them to the kids. Most of my comics are kid friendly.
QRD – Have you had problems with the lack of steady money from a comic career providing the security you feel necessary in your household?
Bob – I guess I never expected to support us on the comics, so I really didn’t have any problems.
QRD – Given the limitations having a family has on appearing at conventions, would you have done the convention circuit more earlier in life if you’d known?
Bob – Probably, but Megan did do a lot of conventions with me. I really didn’t start publishing until I was about 28.
QRD – Do you think being a father or a cartoonist has a greater impact on your community?
Bob – I think being a father had a greater impact. I did coach & advise a lot of kids doing all the activities. Running SPACE (Small Press & Alternative Comics Expo) probably has some impact on the community, but I think the things with my kids had more impact.
QRD – Would you rather see your children eventually become cartoonists or parents?
Bob – Both of those things are difficult & I just want them to do what they would like to do.
QRD – Both family & cartooning seem like things that will take up as much of your time as you’re willing to put in. How do you end up dividing your time?
Bob – Originally I would get up early on Sunday morning & draw before anybody was up. When I was an Art Post adviser I would work on the comics there. I would also work on weeknights when the family was watching TV. Now that the kids are grown & moved out, it seems I work on them less even though I have more free time.
QRD – What do your kids think of your work?
Bob – Not sure they ever said. Probably trying to spare my feelings.
QRD – Do you think you could ever do a comic project with your children?
Bob – My daughter & I have actually worked together producing some of the Art Post books. We both did separate stories. I was trying to talk her into doing a wedding manga after we put her wedding on a few years ago, but she was too busy. I was going to write it & she was going to draw it since her style is more manga. It would be advice on organizing a wedding & some funny stories that happened to us. I still think we would have made a fortune.
QRD – Any words of advice to young people?
Bob – Let your kids know you love them & despite your best efforts they’ll turn out great. Sneak time in for the comics when you can.