Actually, I’m grabbing the Boxphone right now and dialing Trade up…
Hey Trade, it’s me Tyler, seriously… how could you do this to us?!
I thought I would be really sad when The Upside-Down Me got to this point. But I’m actually really excited. The reason for the excitement is called The Sky Kayak. It’s Zip and Li’l Bit’s next big adventure.
Oh phew! So Zip and Li’l Bit will continue to have new adventures. Each one as its own independent story?
That’s the plan at this point. I’ve got general ideas for a few more stories right now and I’m sure other stuff will come up. They won’t follow any sort of continuity or anything though. For example, Officer John doesn’t appear in The Sky Kayak, but he’ll be back for the story after that.
That’s a relief, hang on a second, I need to call off a lynch mob real quick… um, totally unrelated.
I’m sure we all want to know more about The Sky Kayak, but first there’s some things we’d like to know about The Upside Down Me. Where did you come up with the idea for it?
I thought of The Upside-Down Me when I was out bike riding one day. It was a long ride and I kept thinking of stuff, so when I was done I thought I had three different stories. Two of the ideas, were the roof sequence and the broken mirror sequence. The third idea will be The Sky Kayak.
Unfortunately, at that point, I had no idea of who the characters would be. I think it was about a year later that I had my characters dreamed up and was ready to start writing.
It’s a small but interesting cast of characters, are any of them based on people you know?
Thanks. I’m adding a whole new batch of characters in the next story too. I hope people will take a shine to them as well.
None of the characters are based on anyone I know, at least none of their personalities are. I do have to confess to stealing the Li’l Bit name from a friend of mine named Elizabeth who’d told me that her relatives all called her Li’l Bit when she was a child. I suppose people must always be careful what they say around writers.
What about the sheep, does he have a name?
The sheep does have a name. It’s “1″.
Ha ha, I like that.
The Upside Down Me has wonderful backgrounds, so complete and detailed that you are immersed in their environment. It has a lot of great architecture, furniture and clothing styles. Do they live anywhere specific? Are they in London? Should I have been reading it with an English accent that whole time?
I live in Brooklyn now, so perhaps it should be read with a Brooklyn accent. I do look at and borrow the house ideas from all the great brownstones I see in the neighborhood. The backgrounds add a bit of work but I realized when I started this story that it was essential to make the backgrounds an important part of the drawings. Once I started turning everything over and all, there was really no way I could have drawn it any less detailed and had it work. I’m getting better at it. I think I understand perspective a little bit, but I keep reading stuff about it and finding out different things, so I keep learning.
Well you actually warp the perspective of reality a bit. Did you ever confuse yourself in flipping things right-side-up and upside-down and juggling the two worlds?
My take on perspective is the same as they say about grammar, “You have to know the rules before you can break them”. I would completely confuse myself turning stuff all around. There are a few mistakes that I made in case anyone wants to re-read it and point them out. One cool thing I found out, though, is that if you turn your drawings over, it helps you spot the mistakes in them.
I’ve got one question I know everyone would like answered. The letter on the chest of Zip’s pajamas changes frame by frame, going through the alphabet incrementally. Only racking a new letter every time Zip is in the frame even if the actual letter is not visible at the angle Zip is at. What’s that all about?!
That was just an idea that I had. Originally, I thought it’d be cool to spell out messages for people to figure out, but that worked better in theory than practice. Once I started drawing it, I realized that Zip bounces around too much from panel to panel so it’s not possible to show the letter all the time so I had to stick with the alphabet. It’s nice, though, because I think it’s something that works best in comic format, for example if Zip were animated it wouldn’t be so hot. Also, it helps define Zip’s identity.
Is there an upside-down Trade Loeffler we should know about?
Gosh, I hope there isn’t an upside-down Trade Loeffler. I think if I saw myself, or anyone for that matter, walking around on the ceiling, it would be scare the socks off me. I guess it’s not a fun anymore when you’re grown up. Of course, if I saw a cop walking around in my house, that’d freak me out as well.
I worry when in the middle of the night there’s people walking around my ceiling, my kids are up and about, there’s a cop in my house and I never even wake up to check things out.
That’s probably for the best.
It’s probably what Zip and Li’l Bit’s parents are thinking, too.
I’m assuming they are just really heavy sleepers.
So do you love Diana Ross’ “Upside Down” song as much as me?
It’s all right. My favorite would be Gladys Knight and the Pips. I’d love to have a backup chorus that would repeat everything I say for emphasis.
You know, Leaving on that Midnight Train.
I always thought it would be cool to have my own soundtrack, a theme song that played whenever I entered a room.
You can have your Gladys, I will just secretly play Diana’s “Upside Down” while reading The Upside-Down Me. Ha! I’ll also probably try reading it upside-down… boy you turn me… inside out… and round and round.
Now it’s going to be stuck in my head while I’m working on the drawings. Thanks.
Except that now you’ll be drawing about kayaks? What can you tell us about The Sky Kayak?
Whereas The Upside-Down Me was all about, well, being upside-down, The Sky Kayak is all about flying. I’m really excited about it. I think in a lot of ways it’s going to be better than The Upside-Down Me.
That’s sounds like fun, when will it start publishing to the Web?
Ah, this is the tough part. It won’t be showing up until early September. I hope Zip and Li’l Bit fans will bear with me. I want to make sure I’m happy with the story once I finish writing it, and then make sure I’ve got a good head start with the artwork so that I won’t miss any postings once it gets going.
September?! This conversation is over.
It’s probably not much consolation, but I think there’s a Harry Potter book coming out in the meantime.
Heh, well it’s definitely worth the wait. I can imagine you need a good head start posting those big beautiful full color comics twice a week.
Thanks. I hope everyone will feel it’s worth the wait after they wait.
One final question, can we expect to see Zip and Li’l Bit in print in the future?
That’s my plan. I hope I can find a publisher willing to do it, but if that takes too long, we may go the self-publishing route. Somehow, I’ll get Zip and Li’l Bit in printed form for everyone.
That would be great to see it in print one day, i bet all those nice little details and wonderful lines will look great!
So the final comic got posted today,
We’ll be announcing it here when Trade starts up the next exciting story, The Sky Kayak, be looking for that in September, maybe we can get trade to share some sketches or other fun progress stuff until then.