Q: Why “Cloud 5”?
Naming things is hard. My previous comic strip, a vinatge-1990s attempt at newspaper syndication that included variants on some of C5’s inhabitants, was named after its lead character, and since that’s such a common thing I didn’t want to go that route again. George Harrison’s tune “Cloud 9” provided the idea: “Take my hope / Maybe even share a joke / If there's good to be shown / You may make it all your own / And if you want to quit that's fine / While you're out looking for cloud 9.” But the characters in C5 are all thwarted in their search for cloud nine, so they, and I, will modestly shoot for Cloud 5.
Q: Is this strip autobio or made up?
Q: So it’s partly real. Are the characters real people?
Ted is based on me and most of the others have their initial basis in someone I know. But the names have all been changed not only to protect the innocent, but to allow me more freedom to take them places their real-life inspirations might not go. If I named Kamiko directly after her real-life doppleganger, I’d feel a lot more restricted in what I could do with her. This way when I hear complaints about her on-panel behavior I can legitimately claim, “but that wasn’t supposed to be you, that was Kamiko.”
Q: How do you make the strip?
I start with a notebook and write the first draft of a strip there, sometimes in a kind of shorthand note-form, then sketch it out in a rough form and tweak the dialogue about fifty-seven times, sometimes more. When I'm satisfied with the writing, I draw it the old-fashioned way, in pencil and ink on bristol board. Then it gets scanned into Photoshop where word balloons, dialogue, and color are added the new-fangled way.
Q: What possessed you to even do this? Isn’t it a lot of time and effort for almost no reward?
Shut up, who asked you? And yes. But that might change, because I will inevitably become immensely popular on the Interwebs with a rabid fan base all too willing to part with their money.
Q: Wow, you sure are deluded.
Q: Did you really get fired?
Yep. Thanks, not-to-be-identified corporate behemoth, for pushing me out of secure financial comfort and toward Internet fame and fortune! And enforced thrift. Seriously, you suck.
Q: So, is this all you do now?
No, I still have a desktop publishing business that I’ve operated on the side that inconsistently provides work doing print production on publications and website design and construction.
Q: I love the strip. Can I buy C5 books and merch?
Thank you. Yes, but not just yet. I will place things in the store when they become available. If you have requests, let me know in the comments or by email.