Chris Grady is the man (or half-man) behind LunarBaboon a webcomic that’s part gag-a-day and part journal comic that features the titular Lunar Baboon, his wife, and son as they live their lives, illustrated simply, but humorously. The site simply states its content as “a half man/half moon monkey trying to make sense of it all”, and Chris tackles every subject from depression, raising kids, annoying people and much more in his own unique way. Chris was kind enough to take some time off from child-rearing and making enjoyable comics to answer a few questions about LunarBaboon and his process of making the comic.
Leo Johnson: To start with, what is it that you do when you’re not making webcomics?
Chris Grady: When I am not making webcomics you can find me doing 1 of 4 things: Teaching elementary school in an inner city neighborhood of Toronto, doing dad like things with my son and wife, ridding my house of dirty dishes and other annoyances, shoving things into my face (Ex:Doritos, Booze, coffee cakes.)
LJ: Pretend we’ve never heard of LunarBaboon. What’s your elevator pitch?
CG: Here is my About, I think it explains Lunarbaboon best:
“Some time in the 80’s a human woman made love to a space monkey. Eight months later a lunarbaboon was born.
Lunarbaboon is married and has one child. He works as a school teacher and lives a life similar to most North Americans.
He is different from you though in a few distinct ways. Lunarbaboon has too many pubes. His body hair count is outrageous. When he eats he never really feels full. He poops 4 to 5 times a day and rarely smells his fingers after. Lunarbaboon is very fast, enjoys foods wrapped inside a taco shell, and never drinks with a straw(even when a straw is required). He is hardly ever satisfied with anything. He pretends to be nice and like human people, but generally he does not like most people. This makes lunarbaboon feel bad about himself.
Lunarbaboon currently lives in Toronto, a city full of humans.
LJ: What made you initially decide to do a webcomic?
CG: I initially started making webcomics as a type of therapy. I was finding my life was becoming a depressing formula of taking care of kid, work, taking care of kid, struggling to get kid to sleep, and then falling asleep in front of the TV. I envisioned this being my day for the next 10 years and it made me sad. The comic sort of came out of that sadness. Instead of spending my time thinking about my anxieties and sadness I was thinking about how to make my anxieties and sadness funny..or creative. It works. Everytime something shitty happens now I immediately start thinking about how it can be turned into a comic.
LJ: Describe the process of creating the comic a bit. What does it take to get an idea from your brain on to the page?
CG: There are two types of ideas in my head. The ones that come to me in some joyous vision in the morning that immediately get turned into a comic that night…or the ones that sit in my brain for days, weeks, months until I think it is ready to serve. Usually what that means is the idea is unique (at least to me), is creative (at least to me) and doesn’t make me groan. The idea doesn’t have to be funny, normally I just have to like it. The idea also has to be able to be drawn between the hours of 9pm and midnight (my free time) this is why you don’t see a lot of detail in my work…also I am not that strong of an artist.
Once I have something I like, I’ll quickly make a sketch so I know how it will be laid out, then I draw it on Smooth Bristol Board paper, ink it with a micron pen, scan it, and drop grey into it.
LJ: LunarBaboon seems to be part journal comic/part gag-a-day. How do you decide which events to take a bit further and make into a joke?
CG: The ideas that I draw are things that have happened to me to in real life, have happened to me in my head ,or I wished have happened. Some comics are very true and some are not true at all. I think the ideas I tend to gravitate towards are ones that use little dialogue and are universal. I am not going to make a comic about a specific pain in my tooth, but I would try and make a comic about the idea of living with pain.
LJ: What’s been your favorite strip/page to create so far?
CG: I really like the strips without words. “Again” and “Bottle” are some of my favourites. With words, I like “blocked” and “suggestion” I am sure there are some others, but that is all I can think of right now
LJ: What’s been your biggest surprise or discovery since you started the comic?
CG: My biggest surprise since starting this comic is how supportive and awesome the webcomic community has been. I feel like have made some real great friends through Twitter. Also, how obsessive I am over the comic. Any free time I have gets devoted to it.
LJ: What do you see in the future for the comic?
CG: I am hoping to put a book out there eventually. Besides that I don’t have many other plans.
LJ: Where else can you be found on the vastness of the internet?
CG: I can be found on Twitter @lunarbaboon I can be found on facebook www.facebook.com/lunarbaboon, I often can be found on Reddit, sometimes I show up on cheezburger.com, Tastefullyoffensive.com, twentytwowords.com, pleated-jeans, and stumble upon.