Super Duper Ham

SDH 2014

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This was the longest story I’ve worked on so far, with the most characters. I took some time to reevaluate my creative process and decided to put each event in the various characters’ timeline on a posted note. The multiple timelines were arranged on the walls of my studio so that I could easily see how the the various events/posted notes lined up. I hoped that the story’s sophistication would come from how one event, even the seemingly insignificant, would directly, or indirectly, lead to another.

Unfortunately, I realized that as these events lined up, what happened and why it happened made less sense. The mysterious identity of my criminal mastermind was pretty transparent and the story itself overly complicated. And then I just ran of steam. I put this project on the back burner and was content to distract myself with what would have been a Transformers parody comic mini-series. But given the legal challenges of such a project, after several months of development, that project was permanently shelved.

2013 and 2014 were difficult years for me personally. I decided to transition from freelancing to working full-time, which would provide a regular schedule, less time for procrastination and more money for printing comics and participating in shows. As I settled into my new routine, I also returned to my exploration of superhero archetypes in comics and movies. Suddenly, the narrative solutions that I needed for my SDH story began to reveal themselves.

It’s now July 2015. Time to get back to work.

SDH Sketches

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As soon as I finished drawing Super Duper Ham: Day One, I wanted to redesign the character. I came up with the emblem on his costume’s front and tested out another style of cape. I like how the addition of a mouth worked out, but the squint and hunch just don’t work for the character.

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I drew this sketch to see what Super Duper Ham would look like with a more naturalistic design.

SDH Logo Development

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2009. I came up with this idea for a logo and it was put together by designer Brian Hennings. As soon as I saw it, I started imagining this logo as a belt buckle. Unfortunately, many people at conventions were confused about what word they should read first.

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2012. This logo was designed over a day or two so the comic could be printed in time for Comic Con. My illustrations utilize a lot of crosshatching, and it was fun to incorporate this into the logo to give it a fuzzy look.

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2014. I had stopped working on the comic, but one day I suddenly had another idea for the logo treatment. For fun, I put this together to think about how other cover elements could be prepared to match.

SDH 2013

I originally intended to start producing this as a 12-issue series in 2013, but not enough of the story was sorted out. And then life got in the way.

I started working on it again last spring and I’m pretty please with how I’m resolving some of the narrative problems I was running into. I’ll be redrawing this comic later this year. What will e different? Well, Abe will come from a town populated entirely by pigs. I’m also reconsidering the overall aesthetic of the comic.

SDH 2009

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Around 2003, Matt Sutter, who I knew from Hereford High School, asked several illustrators to reinterpret a Superman satire comic he drew as a kid called Super Ham. My comic became more of a Captain Marvel satire, as a hotdog-shaped pig with little arms and legs says a magic word to turn into an rotund hero in tights.

I don’t have my or Matt’s original comics anymore, but I remember that his was drawn on lined yellow paper and the bad guy was a human in a dinosaur-suit. Mine had no backgrounds to speak of, and there was a Spy VS. Spy-like rat driving some kind of tyrannosaurus cyborg. Both comics featured a pig protagonist rescuing a lady cow. With Matt’s blessing, I started developing the world that my version, which I started calling Abe/Super Duper Ham, would exist in.

I worked on this project off and on for a few years, finally publishing it in 2009 as Super Duper Ham: Day One.