Carafe and the Rise of Perverto

In the early days of 2010, Brian Russell came to me with an idea: a comic in which we (as well as some other comic creators) could just kind of mess around! It sounded like a splendid idea, and so Carafe was born. At the time, I was still using my computer generated art so it wasn’t as free-wheeling as it could have been but I was game and the first comic came easily:

Yes, that is the birth of Perverto. I never intended to use him again after that. The goal of the comic, after all, was for the creators to switch off for updates. It was giving me a chance to use jokes I had never been able to properly use in a comic at that point, too.

The idea behind that comic was that the young man would suffer a number of indignities at the Hamburglar’s hands, each time cursing his name. Because of this, I granted him “regular” status and he was going to be the only character I intended to reuse.

I think that was as far as the Hamburglar joke went. That particular comic went up after two of the other creators did similar comics. If I actually drew my comics like a normal person at that time, it would have been the easiest comic I’d ever done. It was still pretty easy. I never intended to use the stick figure guy again.

My art style had limitations, as you can see. Ollie, as this was the gentleman in red’s name, was a modified model of another character to begin with. It also had its strengths.

Barry was moderately difficult to get “right” and every time I use him now his spine is far less detailed, but only having to create one model for a character made reuse a lot easier. Barry, Perverto, and the Stick Figure Guy were also the only ones made for Carafe. Everyone else was modified from other comics. Out of all the originals, only Barry was supposed to make a return appearance.

Things did not go that way. There were deadlines to meet, after all, and so the next comic came about and changed everything.

And so things were irrevocably altered for my Carafe entries. It should be noted that, by this point, Perverto showed up and named himself in my own comic, Time-Mind Sync-Warp, menacing proto-Subject M before just wandering off. I did try to dial it back a little.

The lure of Perverto proved too strong. Far too strong, in fact.

Only three of the remaining Carafe comics have no Perverto.

I was giving him storylines, on a comic site which wasn’t supposed to feature such things. I was giving him a supporting cast. Perverto had taken over my Carafe output to the point where I was even considering him one of my signature characters.

That said, this comic still got made. I liked this comic and think it turned out pretty good. After this, though, it’s right back to Perverto.

Another weakness of the way I used to do comics was the fact that making new backgrounds was incredibly time intensive if I wanted any kind of detail. Then there was this time, when I just used a vacation photo.

Barry has shown up a few times since the launch of the Fictosphere, and this has remained his default mood and way of interacting with his boss. Everyone else is just toiling for minimum wage.

This next one isn’t a comic.

That’s Free Comic Book Day Man, created by Jeffrey Holloway, and he is the robotic spirit of Free Comic Book Day. He actually appeared in one of our only pre-Fictosphere print offerings, though good luck finding the 2006 Comic Genesis Sampler.

We now enter the last stretch of Carafe comics. By this time, people’s other commitments had taken priority and updates began to wane. Perverto wasn’t done yet. Perverto would never be done.

Yes, I turned Perverto into Garfield. That is a thing I did.

I wasn’t even putting my name on them anymore. There wasn’t room.

Long before Matsu Her-O went on his mad quest through the funny pages, Perverto was doing his own damage and also using the medium’s own tropes against it.

Things ended as they always do: with Marmaduke.

This was the only comic in which characters that existed before Carafe showed up, which was fitting considering how it was one of the last ones and sort of served to bring the characters properly into the fold. That’s Deity Guy, and the tournament they’re talking about is an old event we used to do where all our characters participated in events against each other. We enjoyed making it.

I was a lot more willing to use silent panels in Carafe. It just worked better for some of the comics. Unfortunately, the Doug storyline never reached a proper conclusion and I actually forgot about it until now, though Perverto still seems to establish rivalries with Doug-looking guys.

And so within a year Carafe ended. These last two comics showed up months after the previous updates, and not much later the entire website shuttered. I did do a few guest comics for the Underfold (here, here, and here) which actually represent a pretty weird point in time for the Subject M character, taking place both before and after the birth of the Fictosphere proper.

Anyway, that was Carafe, one of the last gasps of our pre-Fictosphere material. I hope you enjoyed this little trip down memory lane. Also, here was Perverto’s sole non-Carafe pre-Fictosphere comics appearance:

A lot of guys there who got rebooted for Zorgnox’s Depository of Earth Sundries.

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