I will say that it’s fun to draw in this style. The anatomy of my human characters got pulled in a more realistic direction over time, partly because I wanted to draw sex stuff, and also because part of the original high concept of A Waste of Time was that the environments and human characters would look fairly realistic, and the cartoon characters would stand out from that world.
But it’s kind of a relief to draw more cartoony people. For one thing, it’s nice that they’re roughly two heads tall… Trying to draw people with realistic proportions in a horizontal comic strip format creates all kinds of problems and due to their height it’s hard to avoid ending up with rows of talking heads. This is of course one of the reasons a lot of classic comics characters have these sorts of dimensions. Obviously, I was looking at some Peanuts strips to get ideas about how to draw child versions of Steven Bannon and Donald Trump. In some panels, Milo Yiannopoulos’ dog body is sort of inspired by early drawings of Snoopy, before he developed the more famous look he has now. I didn’t just want to do the strip in “Peanuts style” because I usually find it annoying when people try to do that or draw something in “Calvin and Hobbes style” or whatever… Homage is one thing, a quotation or a parody is one thing, but I don’t like Schulz’s or Watterson’s style used as a brand. It’s their voice, their handwriting. But I didn’t want to hide that I was obviously using some Peanuts inspiration, so there are lots of details that are nods to different poses and things Schulz did.
When you do things like that, it makes you appreciate how great what he did is. In some ways, it can be a very freeing and quick way to draw… I love doing the fingers that are just like little marshmallows and so you can do the poses without drawing every detail of the hand. But it’s not simpler, there’s so much thought that goes into the minimalism that he developed. To have it very simple and drawn quickly with a fast, free line, but to also capture everything that you need to sell the joke and the emotion of the scene is amazing, so when I’m doing little things that I saw in one of his drawings, I like to acknowledge where that came from.
The faces of the characters are a little bit more in my own style and a little bit more realistic than a Peanuts character, so it looks kind of grotesque to have this somewhat realistic head grafted onto a tiny cartoon body, which I thought was entertaining and fun to look at.