I talk to Brian Russell, writer, artist, and creator of The Underfold comic (as well as today’s guest strip) several times a week. We talk a lot of webcomic shop. We support each other’s work, discuss marketing strategy, mass audience interest, and share tips. Brian has been doing The Underfold for longer than Up Up Down Down has existed and is very generous with his experience and time. Asking Brian to do a guest comic was instinctual – it just felt right. We’re very thankful for his time and willingness to do a guest comic, and I personally am thankful for a great poop joke.

If you’re familiar with The Underfold that is to your credit. Largely his series follows four main characters: Brian (fairly normal, minus the tentacles for arms), JB (a guy with a brown paper lunch bag on his head and also tentacles for arms), Fred (a talking brown paper lunch bag and JB’s son) and Eye (Brian’s Eye). Amidst The Underfold’s storylines are one-off comics about pop or geek culture. Brian has a section for new readers if you’re wondering where to start. Here is a small sample of my favourites:

Up Up Down Down benefits a lot from Brian’s input. I purchased his first book (http://theunderfold.com/book/) which is a collection of his first three years of his comic. Reading it I saw his ability to create solid comics with great punchlines in for a story-driven series. So when we were having difficulty writing a multi-part series I asked Brian for help. He recommended we write out our comic ideas on blank panels. It used to be when automaton and I discussed ideas there was a back and forth and one of us made chicken scratch for notes. Now automaton thrives on this blank panel format. You should watch him go from “idea” to immediately writing it out across three panels. It’s wonderful to watch.

A few weeks back I read Brian’s new mission statement. The crux of it is, if you’re a creator of anything you have an obligation to share and explore other creator’s works. Because we need to stick together.

I think that’s worked great for us. If you’re a creator of comics, blogs, writing, art, or anything, give it a try. You’ll be glad to you did.