Chris Otto on the left and writer Ben Taylor at Intervention con.
Webcartoonist Chris Otto wrote a nice introduction for the Intervention con site last fall, which I'll quote here rather than rewrite it: "I started "A Dog's Life" last September after years of being a webcomics fan and wanted to try to make people as happy as I am when reading them. I just had to wait for inspiration to strike, and one day I started seeing my dog Hunter in my head in comic strip form, and there it was. I may have been a little hasty from conception to the time I started posting comics; I wrote and drew up 30 strips in 3 weeks and started posting. Am I insane for deciding to start up a comic with no artistic history and pushing 40? Perhaps. Have I had more fun than should be legal since I started drawing? You bet. Dogs rule, cats drool." He was kind enough to answer my usual questions.
Mike Rhode: What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?
Chris Otto: I am the creator of the comic “A Dog's Life” on the web. I write, draw, color...I do it all!
I draw the strip on Bristol board with pen and ink, then scan it into the computer for coloring and lettering.
When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?
I'm actually in Richmond, but I travel to DC often for comic events and visits with friends.
What is your training and/or education in cartooning?
Unless doodling Bloom County characters in my notebooks in high school counts, none... I just picked up a pen and started to draw.
Who are your influences?
Dave Kellett and Berke Breathed are the biggest ones.
If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?
I would have waited until my drawing was more refined before launching the comic. The early strips are pretty scary, art-wise.
A Dog's Life. It's my first comic.
What work are you most proud of?
The 10th strip of the current story line, “Bark To The Future” is probably the best thing I've drawn; it's on my wall now.
What would you like to do or work on in the future?
I plan on doing the comic for a long time, and I'd like to take the book I nearly finished
writing and turn that into a second comic.
What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?
I'll take a shower; my best ideas pop into my head in the shower. I take a lot of showers!
What do you think will be the future of your field?
Comics on the web have been around a long time, and more and more arrive every day. As
traditional print media dwindles, people will go to the internet for their comics.
I was at Intervention for the first time this year, and hope to attend again next year. The DC Comicon is another of my favorites, run by Brett Carreras of the VA Con and MarcNathan of the Baltimore Comicon... it's a fantastic show.
What's your favorite thing about DC?
People from DC come from all over but inevitably become die-hard fans of the local teams, especially the Caps and the Nats...the sports fans here are great!
What monument or museum do like to take visitors to?
I'm a big fan of the Spy Museum.
How about a favorite local restaurant?
Ted's Bulletin. Best. Milkshakes. Ever.
Do you have a website or blog?
You can read “A Dog's Life” at http://adogslifecomic.com/