Doodle-Doodle came about as a complete accident. If I think really hard about it, I could say Doodle-Doodle is something I’ve been doing ever since I was seven-years-old and picked up a pen and decided to write a comic book about a Cub Scout that could turn into a bear and shot fleur de lis-shaped lasers out of his palms. Because, um, the fleur de lis had something to do with Cub Scouts, I think. (Webelos?) And fuck yeah lasers man!!!
But if I think a little less hard about it, Doodle-Doodle is the incidental love-child of my old MFA-program roommates Niina and Rohin putting together two- and three-panel comic shorts that were concise, funny, pop-culturally relevant, or just plain weird. They were microcosmic visual expressions of incidents in life, random ideas that leaked out of their pens, or clever comments about whatever they happened to observe. They were visual snapshots of their delightful and warped imaginations, and they were, to employ bro-poet parlance, fucking rad.
I wanted to do it too.
(7 years pass.)
A few months ago, another old roommate of mine called me up and asked me to be his writing partner. Anybody who’s completed an MFA can tell you – writing takes a lot of time, energy, and work, and the absurd and loan-repayment-less bubble of an MFA creative writing program rarely prepares you for the amount of work it takes to write in the, ahem, “real world.” It is more difficult to complete an idea than it is to create one, and in MFA programs you create more ideas than work them onto the page and into finished, realized pieces. Generally, you only “finish” a work that once in an MFA program, and it’s called a thesis, and it is the last thing you do in the program even though it’s also the thing you’re supposed to do on your own from now on.
But when your head is filled with learning the ins-and-outs of the non-Word parts of Microsoft Office Suite because you, in fact, now work under fluorescents in a cubicle due to needing money for things like roofs and food, your brain’s got little room left to plot out your absurdist werewolf novel about a werewolf who doesn’t believe he’s a werewolf because obviously werewolves don’t exist.
There is a poignant wave of loneliness after an MFA program.
It can drown you.
It can make it so you don’t, even don’t want to, write.
So even though I was not waving, not drowning, but kind of treading water in that I had written a couple novels but not sold one, I was lonely, and the idea of working with another writer whom I respected and who respected me was thrilling.
My friend Jamie wanted liability, someone who would hold him to delivering 7 pages (minimum) of writing every Friday. And, in turn, he would hold me to submitting 7 pages to him every day.
And we did it.
We’re doing it.
Writing novels, I mean.
Creativity breeds creativity, just as banality breeds the banal. So it made sense that (after I stumbled through a few false starts) as soon as we hit a sustainable writing pace, we wanted to turn our efforts to something else, something new. And after a few short phone conversations, we came to the idea of a collaborative blog that mixes illustration/doodling with writing.
We’re very equipped to do this. Both of us, in addition to writing, doodle regularly. Jamie is better at it than me, since he used to illustrate a pregnant-vampire-with-lactating-nipples fetish comic book, whereas I struggle with cartoon profiles and not drawing women with Angelina Jolie lips. Whatever. The point is: we have the ability to create content regularly, content about life, about whatever random shit pops into our heads, about what’s distracting us, what pisses us off, what interests us, etc.
As an added bonus, Rohin plans on contributing content too. And Niina might as well.
A collaborative blog seems like a relatively new thing, mainly because I’ve never heard of one that wasn’t some sort of riff of a newsfeed and I am too lazy to google it. I like the idea. We plan on making Doodle-Doodle a space that can host numerous voices, perspectives, and ideas. We will be low-brow and snarky. We will be precise and furious. We will be obtuse and hilarious. We will, like the doodles that fill our pages (and, maybe, yours) be random and quick and weird and, hopefully, necessary.
I’m excited to see what happens. And I hope you’ll take a peek every once in a while and see what we’re up to.