Sonny Strait Interview
In 2005 at our first ever Supanova we met a voice actor who decided that hanging with the weirdos was much more fun than following the rest of the guest entourage. That man was, and continues to be, Sonny Strait. One of the long time “Friends of (Cool) Shite”, Sonny has joined us on “24 hour comic day”, as well as chiming in on why Q-dog is “Gay” in the back of a car somewhere (Here) in the annals of shite history. His new project is the three-times-a-week webcomic “Car Bombs“.
We talked a bit about Car Bombs and what he’s been doing recently. I was wearing a tu-tu.
Q-Dog: Sonny, you’ve been involved in the voice actor game for a number of years, what was it that made you want to get into comics? Specifically web comics?
Sonny: I began voice acting 10 years ago with Krillin on Dragonball Z but I actually got into comics 10 years before that. I was first published in 1989 with a comic short story called The Atomic Punk in Antarctic Press‘s anthology Mangazine. Years later while doing a Dragonball Z signing at Comicon I met Wendy Pini (creator of the comic book series Elfquest). We hit it off right away and I became her apprentice and ended up drawing two 58 paged stories for her. What got me into web comics, specifically, was my own graphomania. I was on hold waiting for a comic series approval from a major production company that was going into months. I have learned that these things can take a long time but I was getting bored. I always need to be drawing. A buddy of mine, Jeff Zugale, who is also an Elfquest artist was doing his own web comic at jeffzugale.com and challenged me to do my own. Since I had been a self-publisher in the early 90s the idea appealed to me. Web comics are an inexpensive form of self-publishing. So I started carbombscomic.com with the help of an anime fan I befriended years ago named Angela.
Q: Why Car Bombs? Are you hoping to become popular with the NSA or homeland security?
S: I don’t like flying. I’m hoping this will put me on the no fly list. I went back and forth on the name. Part of the strip is about a mad scientist and his family. Since the scientist’s name is Mydian Graves I considered the name The Family Graves. But another part of the comic focuses on two 90 year old men starting a rock band. The name of the band is Goth Metal Gods so that name was also in the running for the comic’s title. But both were too specific to include the other so I ended up with something nonsensical and a just bit irreverent. Maybe the title Car Bombs in a time of war is more than just a bit irreverent but it’s too late now. I’m stuck with it.
Q: Where do you draw inspiration from for a three times weekly comic? Do you have a backlog of weirdness to draw on?
S: Yeah. I’m a couple of months ahead actually. I have drawn strips I really want out now so I can find out the reader’s reactions to them but I keep coming up with filler ideas. For instance the current storyline, Beer Run, was supposed to be a single gag. The two 90 year old men get on a motorcycle for a beer run, the motorcycle falls over and they’re just laying there for a couple of panels until, at last, the one on the back says, Faster like he’s oblivious to the fact that they just fell. Suddenly I got the idea for several strips all about them lying on the ground in the driveway. This seemed right for a road trip story about two 90 year old men. Some of the readers accused me of being lazy because it was the same panels, the guys lying motionless, for days and days but I’m not lazy when it comes to drawingÂ¦I’m addicted to it. It just seemed funnier this wayÂ¦presenting the story arch as high adventure on the road when actually it’s just a couple of old men trapped under a motorcycle in their driveway. Well, it was funny to me anyway.
Q: Long term listeners and (cool) Shite fans will know that you have had some run-ins with us in the past and supanova and on 24 hour comic book day, what are the chances of seeing some coolshite style folks appearing in carbombs?
S: HmmÂ¦maybe my 90 year old rockers could be in a battle of the bands against a group called Queenie Quinn and the Shiters! I like itÂ¦I like itÂ¦
Q: if you were to do a Car Bombs animated series, who would you choose as your voice cast? (Can i have a job please? lol)
S: Obviously you’d have the role of Queenie Quinn with a minimum of casting couch time. Since one of the old men is based on me in the future (even named Sonny) I’d insist on playing that one. I’m not sure about the rest of the cast. Maybe I’d go against type and have the mad scientist’s little girl, Batty, played by monster basso vocal tones of Chris Sabat. HehÂ¦that’s actually pretty good. (Supanova fans please note Chris Sabat will be appearing at the Sydney and Perth shows!)
Q: Do you have any aspirations to film directing, or traditional acting, as opposed to just using your voice?
S: Not so much for film. I have done a lot of live theater. I am also a mad puppeteer and have written a couple of TV pilots for puppets. Maybe they’ll see the light of day sometime.
Q: What’s the hardest thing about doing a comic strip three times a week?
S: Forcing myself not to do 5. I like to stay busy. But sometimes get into overwhelming workloads from my inability to say no (especially to paying projects). I’m forcing myself to do only 3 per week. That way I’ll be able to maintain it no matter what the outside workload. Currently it’s a labor of love but if the numbers keep increasing and Car Bombs starts paying a few bills I might consider going daily.
Q: Are there any topics that just aren’t funny?
S: Yes and noÂ¦and it’s all determined from subjective viewpoints. A Unitarian friend of mine joked that she’s watching Car Bombs closely for any age discrimination. But how could it be discrimination? Sonny and Tom are me and my best friend Tom several years into the future! And he and I both agree we’d love to see that future pan out. I told my Unitarian friend to consider it preemptive self-deprecation.
Sonny Strait’s Car Bombs come out three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and can be subscribed to through their RSS feed so you never have to worry about missing them again! Sonny still does voice acting work and lives with his sweet and delicious family in Texas somewhere… Its a big ass state!
Sonny Strait: voice of Krillin, Artist of Car Bombs and friend of (Cool) Shite on the Tube. Let us know what you think of Sonny’s work, be it vocal, or artistic.
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