Girls with Slingshots, created by Danielle Corsetto, is fast becoming one of my favorite webcomics. It’s a slice of life for the 20-somethings to 30-somethings who are still finding their way in life. It has things you would expect, conversations about serious issues like above the waist lesbianism and talking cacti… oh, those aren’t serious? Well then, you should read this. While not suitable for all ages, for my fellow 20-30-somethings out there, you’ll love it.
Again, like last week, I could go on and on about why I love this strip, but since this is about webcomics I’d much rather have the creator and the art speak for themselves! Danielle Corsetto was kind enough to answer a few questions I had about her creation, and here are a few of my favorite strips. Disclaimer: While most of the strips are PG-13 Girls With Slingshots does have some sexual references and imagery.
Kelly Melcher: What was the inspiration for Girls With Slingshots?
Danielle Corsetto: I think I give a different answer to this question EVERY TIME! The main characters were developed while I was in high school for my old comic strip Hazelnuts, but I think these guys have just lived in my brain for years, waiting for their chance to escape. I’ll bet they’re pissed that I only let them out on weekdays.
KM: GWS is more than just a hobby, it’s your job. Was that your intention when you started the strip?
DC: Not entirely. My childhood dream was always to become a full-time cartoonist, but I figured the best I could do was to become a full-time illustrator, and do a comic strip on the side (pre-Internet, that WAS the best I could do). Thus, the comic was more of an online advertisement for my abilities, as well as a scheduled creative exercise (and release!). I found a four-leafed clover in 2004 and then adopted a bunny which mysteriously disappeared overnight except for its foot, incidentally made a wish just as like five shooting stars flew out of the sky, and in the end, I totally lucked out. Now I’m a full-time cartoonist. My eight-year-old self would pee herself.
KM: What is the hardest aspect of self-publishing and working for yourself?
DC: Working, and forcing myself not to work. I have a VERY hard time getting out of bed (my bed’s pretty comfy), but once I start working, I have a hard time stopping. Two reasons: one, as I’m sure most self-employed people are aware, is that the more you work, the more money you make (and the less you work, the less money you make).
The second is that I only get to enjoy these characters five times a week, and sometimes I want to keep living in their world a little longer. It’s not that my world isn’t great, it’s just that their world is— well, there’s a talking cactus. And half the cast hasn’t been properly employed for months, yet they continue to live fabulous lives. I kind of want to live there.
KM: What aspect do you enjoy most?
DC: Freedom, freedom, freedom. I can work in my underwear, I can work drunk (she said, as she sipped a cocktail while answering interview questions at 4 in the afternoon), I can work outside, I can work anytime I want and anywhere I want. I work all the time and rarely have a day off, but why would I bother? I’m doing what I love, and I’m doing it every day. If this gig had benefits and a hot tub I’d never leave. Aw, who am I kidding, I’m never gonna leave anyway.
KM: To date, what has been your favorite strip or story arc, and why?
DC: Oh man, good question! But… I have a bad memory. Sometimes my readers remember GWS story arcs better than I do! Which is why I have that handy Story Arc Archive (click “archive” under the comic strip).
I think the town Halloween party will always have a soft spot in my heart. That was the first time we got a real overview of all of the characters and their reactions to one another in a tense and vulnerable state; they all dressed up as each other, which allowed for severe mockery. It was a fun mess.
However, the story arc I am proudest of is when McPedro’s gay French mustache ran away, because I totally pulled it out of my ass and it made me giggle.
KM: Which strip or story arc has gotten the most fan response? Why do you suppose that is?
DC: GWS #443, “Fwuffy the Kitty.”
Once in awhile I do a stand-alone strip that is suitable for framing, even for my mother. This one has to do with cleavage, but because it’s cute and has a kitty in it, I think people can look past the non-PGness of it and go “Awwwww.” It was featured on Cute Overload and almost-featured on CNN, to accompany a story about a squirrel getting stuck in some chick’s boobs.
KM: Are your comics printed in book format?
DC: I am so glad you asked! Because my garage is currently FILLED WITH BOOKS and I really want people to help me get rid of them!
I’ve been self-publishing and self-distributing the first two collections of GWS (each contains 200 of the original strips, plus like 50 pages of extra bonus material). I just had them printed up in Montreal and they are BEAUTIFUL. And books 3 & 4 will be available by November, in time for Christmas!
KM: I’m sure you get this question all of the time, but where did the idea for McPedro come from?
DC: Oh god, I do, and it’s a horrible origin story! In 2005, just a few months after I started GWS, I signed with a company called 360ep. Our agreement: I make the comic, they make the merchandise. Their first idea: “Let’s do plushes of Jamie and Hazel!” I’m not sure if you’ve seen what some people do to plushes, but I was 100% against the idea. So they compromised: “Make up a cuddly character that could be made into a plush.” I’m a snarky a**hole, so I picked a cactus. Ta-da!
KM: Finally, inquiring minds want to know (or, I want to know): is Maureen getting married in a cardigan wedding dress?
DC: I designed Maureen’s dress last night!! I can’t believe I didn’t think to add a cardigan! So… if she’s wearing a cardigan, you know whose idea it was! I’ll send a royalty check.
KM: I would like to thank Danielle on behalf of myself and the staff of Fandomania for taking the time from her busy schedule to participate in this interview.