1) What are your own origins, Ben? Plus what path did you take in life to get to where you are today? I'm currently 24 and live in Adelaide, Australia. Like a lot of kids, I used to spend a lot of time drawing. I even started my own brief comic series that featured a man called 'Mr. Big Nose', who would get in to all sorts of crazy, nasally-oriented trouble. One reoccurring theme was that he could not eat ice-cream from a cone due to his nose knocking the scoop off. Not revolutionary by any means, but it sure amused my 5 or 6 year old self.
I studies Maths and Computer Science at university and ended up working for a publisher doing software development and digital artwork for their textbooks.
2) What inspired you to create ‘Comic Du Jour’? I have always loved comic strips. The first one I was a fan of was probably 'Calvin & Hobbes' when I was a kid. I loved how just a few panels, with the right wording, can cheer you up.
The first webcomics I became a fan of were XKCD: 'Cyanide & Happiness, and The Oatmeal'. It gave me a particular appreciation for witty comics. I had come up with ideas for a few strips of my own, but I would never be able to consistently produce enough strips to keep a series going. That's when I realized that there were many other people in my situation. People that are capable of producing great material, but can not keep up a whole series.
So I thought to myself, "Hey, maybe I should make a site that features all of these great people!" and Comic Du Jour was born.
Submitting is pretty easy, there is a couple of links on the home page that brings up a submission form - no login or registration required. Alternatively, you can even just email directly to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can work through the submission process.
4) If ‘CDJ’ was a song, what song would it be and why? Ooh, that's a tough one. I am tempted to go with "Still Alive" by Jonathan Coulton (the song at the end of Portal). Not for the meaning of the song (at least I really hope not), but because it is a good mix of talent, geek, and humor. Also, there is cake hidden somewhere on the site -- but mainly that other stuff.
5) Have you ever received a piece of work that you could not put on your site? There have been a couple of pieces that we have not been able to put up. There has not necessarily been anything wrong with them, they often just either need a little bit more development or include jokes that are based on references that are too obscure. There was one instance where I'll say that the comic was just a tad too 'hardcore' to be featured. Hint-Hint!
7) If you could get a celebrity – either living or dead – to promote your comic, what person would you get, and why would you want to choose this particular person? I would have to go with Felicia Day. Firstly, because I would really like to talk to Felicia Day, but also because she is a big supporter of webcomics and so are most of her fanbase. She has the friendly, creative, geeky qualities that I believe 'Comic du Jour' has.
8) What is the one thing that you’ve learnt about webcomics whilst facilitating your site? I have learnt (not surprisingly) how incredibly friendly most webcomic artists are and how diverse their backgrounds are (children to grandparents, from China to New Zealand). I have also seen a lot of comics about procrastination. It seems to be the world's uniting feature.
9) If ‘CDJ’ had a motto, what would it be? Well, 'Comic du Jour' already sort of has an unofficial motto of 'Comics by you'. The idea is to remind readers that these are comics that have been submitted by people like themselves. It hopefully encourages them to give drawing a comic a go, whether it is carefully crafted pixel-by-pixel, or sketched on some notepaper.
If you have got a great idea, share it. It is what the site is about.
Ka-Pow! Very well put my Australian friend. What you had to say I liked a lot, and what I like a lot I encourage my readers to click on. So go ahead! What are you waiting for? Check out www.comicdujour.com today. Plus don't forget to follow Ben on his CDJ facebook and twitter pages. Ding-Dong.