Christopher is a journal comic by Chris Williams that details Chris’ experiences with fatherhood. As the site states, it’s “the true story of a new father”. Chris began the comic with an announcement of his wife’s pregnancy and for the next six months the comics detailed his worries, joys, and struggles with both everyday life and getting ready for the challenges of raising a baby. From March 2011, onwards, Christopher was full of the little baby named Nathan and the love that his parents felt for him. Along with that were the little joys of first smiles, workplace jokes, and much more. As a journal comic, it’s easy to relate to Christopher as everyone has been in those situations. Everyone has those inside jokes and those moments with their kid (or niece, nephews, etc.) that Christopher is full of. It’s often funny but it’s even more heartfelt as you can see the genuine love that Chris has for his son. After a bit of a hiatus, Chris has started to update again, so I thought it was a great time to ask him some questions and spread the comic.
Chris Williams: Other than spending time at the day job and commuting, I tend to spend my days simply playing with my kid, trying to find time to spend with my wife, and just poking away in whatever games I happen to have on my phone. I work as a facility technician/mechanic at a sewage treatment plant, and, well, while it’s not the most glamorous job, it definitely pays the bills. Of course, the thought of making more comics and trying to land my first creative job is always on my mind, the trick is just finding the time to make it happen!
CW: Christopher is a light-hearted journal comic about me and my life as a dad! It’s got everything in there from the day we found out we were pregnant to today, including our struggles and achievements along the way. It also takes a brief look at my abusive childhood, which helped shape me into the person I am today, vowing to never repeat the past with my own child.
CW: I’ve had a love of comics almost my entire life. I think the one constant favorite of mine to this day is Calvin and Hobbes; it will always be dear to me. But as for doing webcomics, it all really started with reading through other journal comics, namely American Elf and Allan. Before really dipping my toes into the webcomic field, I had gone through a long period of time where I didn’t draw a thing out of depression from not getting a certain creative job in the gaming industry. I had slaved over getting a portfolio done in time for it, and it was really defeating when it didn’t work out. I really didn’t like that I had let something go (my art) that was such a part of me and who I was, so I eventually started to take an interest in making my own comic just to start drawing again. My first webcomic series was done back in 2009 with a friend who handled most of the writing duties, but unfortunately it didn’t make it past 12 pages due to me just not having enough time to devote to it. Around a year and a half later, my wife and I got pregnant, and I wanted to shout it from the hills to let everyone know. So I started up my current comic, Christopher, and I’ve been going for about 2 and a half years now!
CW: Ideas I can use for new strips are always coming at me, so much so that I’ve started carrying around a small sketchbook to jot them down to make sure I don’t forget. Then the next part is probably the number one hardest thing to do: setting the time aside to actually make the comics. When I first started, I used to update every single day, but as time went on, and the responsibilities of being a parent started to pile on, I’ve had to cut back quite a bit because, let’s face it, being a parent is a job that never ends. It also doesn’t help that I’ve gotten quite a bit pickier about the presentation of my comic, I’ve gone from simple black and white at the start, to full-on color with each update. When I do find the time, though, it can take anywhere from 3 to 6 hours to finish up a strip, with a process that starts with scripting and initial storyboarding, followed up by the actual drawing/pencilling, then inking, coloring, and finally lettering. It’s a lot of work, but it’s immensely enjoyable.
CW: I think that it’s definitely helped me think over things that have happened with a bit more clarity over the course of the comic. It gives me the chance to really analyze certain things and how I felt at the time, especially when I sit down to make a comic about that event. For the most part, though, I can be pretty stressed out due to my career and how I feel about it, so I’m incredibly thankful that the comic does give me the chance to pick out something fun that happened, make a comic about it, and remind myself that “Hey, maybe life isn’t so bad!” I’m also so very thankful that I can look back at things that have happened, because kids really do grow up so fast, and it’s amazing how much you forget in the course of it all.
LJ: Nate, your son, plays a pretty big part in the comic. Are you looking forward to one day being able to sit down with him and show him all the comics that he was in?
CW: I think, personally, what makes it different is that while it’s a comic about me, it’s truly centered on just becoming and being a parent while trying to maintain that connection you had with your significant other before the kid came along. It’s why I started my comic in the first place, and I think it offers up a fun perspective to parenting, in contrast to the thought that once you have a kid, all the fun ends. It’s just not true! Sure it can be (very) trying at times, but there is still so much fun to be had when you just give up the thought of “I’m an adult and should act as so” and just get down to their level. Just toss any sort of notion of being an “adult” out the window and act silly for a bit, your kid will love you for it. I’ve also been told rather often that I have a way of telling things the way they are, just putting things bluntly. I think it’s due to me just wanting to get to the point, and not wanting to drag things out. I just do the best I can to keep things honest!
CW: There’s bits and pieces of me scattered in all sorts of places online which I’m slowly starting to collect and put in one spot on my website, but I can most often be found spouting nonsense and the occasional doodle on twitter. I’ve also got a rather neglected deviantArt account, but it’s still fun to go back and look at some other stuff I’ve done there.