It’s been a week since I posted about one of the primary works that influenced GENMOS, it’s time to tell you about the other.
The couple I’m going to talk about has rightfully earned their ranks as experienced webcomic producers. They have each worked on their own, collaborated together often, and even assist Bill Holbrook ( of On the Fastrack fame. Hey, I still have my copy of The Mommy Train, misprint and all, sitting proudly on my shelf.) with his comic, Kevin and Kell.
I’m talking about the husband and wife duo, (I’ll name the lady first, it’s alphabetical) Isabel and Terrence Marks, Creators of You Say it First, Nicole and Derek, Spare Parts, etc.
Whether working independently or together, they make some fabulous and fun reads. Apparently, they met when Terrence, who often (but NOT always) takes the role of writer and sometimes colourer, was looking for an artistfor his comic, “Unlike Minerva.” (An anthro meets Vaudeville mashup. )
Normally, he reached out to others to help draw the strips, and that’s why I’m not posting any pictures here, it’s a collab piece, with different artists featured often.
That all changed when Isabel (Gonzalez), who was running her own comic, Namir Deiter (Which I will get back to) Offered her services as an artist.
They chatted, they collaborated, they ended up married. . . (Wait, why do I hear violins?)
Over time, they’ve created several comics, some of which interweave with each other, some which stand alone, some with random bunnies yelling at each other, some that hit home right in the feels.
At the present, they’ve taken two of their works that ran to completion, (You Say it First and Namir Deiter)
And, using the offspring from the parental series, created an adventure where the worlds intertwine. Nicole and Derek.
It’s a nice touch, after having some of the longest running webcomics out there meet and continue almost organically, it’s a pleasure to see a continuation that is okay with being a sequel, but doesn’t come back like some retro dragon and try to shove old characters down your craw.
I could continue about how they find their influences, about their pop references, video-game worlds that they sneak in, or even how they’ve let “The Wire” influence the stories. (Yes, I’m serious, The Wire, influencing what appears to be a lighthearted slice of life universe. Take a note of that. It’s going to be important.), but again, I set a word limit, so let’s cut to the chase.
I’m going to focus on the comic that was createdby Isabel, written by Isabel, began by Isabel. This was the comic I found back in ‘01, which had already been running for two years. This was the piece that caught my eye and inspired GENMOS.
Namir Deiter ran from 1999 until 2015. Let that sink in, 16 years!
Ahem, anyways, I came into the comic while I was sitting for a break in the school library. At first I thought the art was a tad crude, but as I read further I saw rapid progression and evolution. I was amazed too, as I went deeper, that there was something beneath the fluff of most of the happy stories.
There was darkness hidden within.
Sure, it always looked light and whole-hearted, (Especially anytime the Dorps were featured. Bob rocked!) no gratuitous violence, clean language, but there were other elements, abandonment, a mother on the run, a mourning as a woman passes away and her eldest daughter raises the younger as her own, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Later comics would see their own issues, but never become so bogged by them that you felt there was ponderous preaching, and you are generally so invested by the characters that you root for them. That stuck with me. Life can be dark, but how you view it is the most important, and that gave rise to how I wanted the Genmos children to be hopeful, even in the face of absolute disaster.
As the comic continued, I laughed at a marriage brought about by an incident involving apple cider, I shook my head as an alcoholic found a job as a bartender, and I found solace, when one expectant mother miscarried and grieved. I could not have read that last one at a more opportune time, and I hope they know that it helped me to understand, just a little better, the feelings of loss going through my own head, let alone my wife’s.
I’m glad that the Marks continue to build upon their worlds. I wish them many more years of crafting and building ahead of them.