Okay, this is a long and weird story……
How Crappy Action Dude Comics started, and how we got to this point, we have to go back to the year 1999. I was in a heavy metal band based out of Madison WI, and I started a graphic art business, “plan9 Productions.” We made everything from flyers to T-shirts for rock bands. I was making really funny flyers using action figures to promote them.
My band got mad with me because I was making more merchandise for other bands then for us. After many years of touring, I quit the band in 2003, and went into other entertainment fields with my connections I had made in the business. Over time I became burnt out on the crappy music scene and was doing graphic art on the side for money. Everything from TV commercials to band flyers, “plan9 Productions” cranked out a lot of stuff. This is when I started experimenting making a comic with action figures – in 2003. I really just wanted to become better at Photoshop, and using the little toys was a great way to learn.
Over the years I have had a very weird hobby of collecting action figures. I would go to swap meets, rummage sales, yard sales….you name it I would pick it up.
He-Man, STAR WARS, G.I. Joe, and any old figures from the 80’s that I had grown up with. After some years the collection got HUGE, I mean out of control- bad. I have lost count of how many I have. Some things I have sold for good money, but like any fan boy, you can’t part with some collectables.
In 2004, everything went into storage since I had a real messy break-up with my ex-fiancé at the time, and had to move out of the nice apartment I had. In 2005, I got back on my feet and started up “plan9 Productions” again – making short comics with action figures. My goal was a book deal at the time. This same year the writers from “Toy Fare Magazine” teamed up with Seth Green and created Robot Chicken for Adult Swim. This was a good thing (I thought at the time) as everyone liked action figures. Over time, however, we got tired of always being compared. Its something we will probably never shake.
We get comments we are just a Robot Chicken rip off whenever someone see Crappy Action Dude Comics. It sucks! Don’t get me wrong, I was a fan of the show, but after they came after me in 2008 when we started publishing on Face book, I lost all respect. Williams Street contacted me on Face Book, and I had to prove that we made our comics. They seriously thought we were taking still shots from the show and adding word balloons!!!! This is when I got a lawyer and copyrighted everything we made. After proving that we made them, I got a piss-poor apology from them.
So we have to back up a little here…..From 2007-2009 I started experimenting with making a short web comic book using action figures with the storyline of the run-down TV station. A SCTV with action figures, if you will. Nobody was going to publish this stuff, so I focused on publishing it myself directly on the web.
The future of comics is web comics; I see it with dwindling sales in the comic industry. Facebook was the new social media at the time, and you could post pictures on your “page”.
We started publishing all of the past comics and started making new ones. Then it grew from “plan9 Productions comics” to Crappy Action Dude Comics. We started publishing the Shiva of Death’s word scrambles weekly, and the stuff spread like wildfire!
Why do we call it Crappy Action Dude Comics? One day, one of my best friends and co-writer Lynn Forsman stopped over. I told him the idea I had for the web comic, and he responded, “Man…you’re not going to be animating this over YouTube are you? Cuz that would be some Crappy Action Dude…..”
Then a bright light went on in my head, that is what we call the comic! We make the action crappy, and play on the single facial expressions of the action figures! Genius! …so the name stuck. We had like 15 different names in a brainstorming session, but threw them all out.
Lynn would stop over and help write segments, and my buddy Rich Ritter, who is a master model builder, supplied the cars in the fake car ads and helped building sets. My new girlfriend at the time would edit the whole thing. So it was really by chance that we all came together and built this thing….not everyone in plan9 get along at times, but we seem to make it work. Now we are coming out with our 49 issue sometime this or next week.
I have lost count of how many pages we have done, we just keep making them. If a good joke comes to our heads we write it down, and it gets in the comic. I can’t tell you how much material we have thrown out……
NOTE: When TERROR FROM BEYOND THE DAVES learned that Chicago Horror Host, Svengoolie, was making a public appearance revolving around professional Wrestling, there was only one choice on whom to call. Aside from the numerous talents mentioned on this post, Shaun has a background as a wrestling promoter while also being a fan of Horror Hosts. He was one of our earliest supporters when David and I began this site and his online comics have brightened many a dull day at work. He delighted us by agreeing to cover the event and writing about his experiences HERE. Be sure to check it out THIS Saturday evening right here! I also encourage everyone to check out Shaun’s Facebook page HERE. You’ll be glad you did!…Dave F.