This Artist Draws Amusing Comics Featuring Ridiculous Situations (34 New Pics)

Why do most of us enjoy comics? Is it the stories, the characters, the bizarre universes and settings, the pop-culture references, or perhaps just the slice-of-life feel some of them have? What distinguishes them from more conventional series in magazines or even books that we enjoy?

Perhaps, for some people, a lot of it comes from the element of surprise and the unexpected plot twists that some series feature. “But a Jape” comics can offer exactly that as we venture into the world full of ridiculous situations that are somehow still relatable to us in many cases. James Sandoval, the artist behind “But a Jape,” has also been featured on Bored Panda previously, and if you’d like to see some of his older work, make sure to click here.

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More info: Instagram | twitter.com | butajape.com | tapas.io | webtoons.com

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Image credits: butajape

This time around, Bored Panda reached out to James with some new questions. First, we wanted to know if perhaps the artist was working on some new series or something rather similar.

“Nothing concrete at the moment, but my spin-off comic series, Feitr’s Guild, is currently going through the Feitr’s Guild Origins arc, which serves as a serialized prequel to the adventures of Feitr Sordsmann and his adventuring guild. Feitr’s Guild was originally just the part of But a Jape where I made jokes about fantasy, video games, and anime tropes, but it eventually grew into its own narrative with recurring characters, themes, and storylines.

So I started the Feitr’s Guild Origins arc to explore Feitr’s childhood before he was chosen as the Champion of Justice, the troubles of his doomed-by-the-narrative father, Paetr Sordsmann, and the affairs of the gods who treat this entire world as if it were just a tabletop game. It’s currently 25 parts in and the conclusion is still a fair ways away, so I’m hoping my audience finds it as, if not more, engaging than the more episodic Feitr’s Guild entries of the past.”

#2

Image credits: butajape

#3

Image credits: butajape

We also wanted to know if the artist had a comic he was proud of, and here’s what “But a Jape” revealed to us, “So far, my personal favorite would be SadBot. Of all my works, it probably encompasses everything I’ve tried to incorporate into my other comics: visual distinction, efficient short-form storytelling, interesting philosophical themes, and a sharp and impactful punchline.

It’s had much less spread than some of my other, more popular, comics – which is pretty understandable considering its length. But for those who have actually stuck with reading the entire thing, I’m happy to see they usually find it worth the build-up.”

#4

Image credits: butajape

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Image credits: butajape

Artists often tend to go through a few art phases trying to find the style they could call their own, interestingly enough, James spends a lot of time trying out various styles just so he could directly relate them to the topic of his current ideas.

“One of the things I enjoy doing with my comic is experimenting with the art style whenever I can – I feel like certain jokes and themes land much harder with the appropriate visual aesthetic. So when I have comics that lampoon anime tropes, I try to emulate anime art styles to the best of my ability so the reader can immediately tell, ‘Oh, this is an anime parody.’ The issue comes when I have to balance effectively emulating an art style I’m less familiar with having to keep up with my twice-a-week comic production schedule.

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I’ve had a lot of comic ideas just sitting on the backburners of my mind because I imagine them with much more elaborate and intensive visuals than I currently have the time (or skill) to produce. For example, there are a number of ideas I have that depend on a ‘painterly’ style in order to evoke a children’s story/fairy tale kind of feeling, but I’ve had very limited experience working with paint (I just find the medium very messy and prefer cleaner work spaces) and learning how to reproduce that style through digital means is an entire effort in and of itself.

I’m not solely an artist, so it’s pretty hard finding time to learn a completely new art style while balancing the rest of my life’s responsibilities. But if I ever find enough success to be able to depend on my art work alone, I would love to devote more time to actually expanding that skill.”

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Image credits: butajape

#7

Image credits: butajape

Starting out with comics (or art in general) isn’t easy, so we asked the artist if he had any tips to share with those of you who might be just starting out.

“As with any creative endeavor, you just have to start doing it. This doesn’t mean you have to immediately start producing art for an internet audience – just making little doodles, writing in a journal, or making anything for your own private enjoyment is enough. You might eventually become comfortable sharing some of these private works with your friends or strangers on the internet – post them to whatever online community you’re familiar with and see what sort of response it gets. Even if it gets ignored, even if it receives a lot of detractors, just taking that one step to open up can lift a whole lot of pressure off of you when you realize there’s not that much to fear in just showing off what you can do every now and then.

And even if you’re not comfortable sharing your work after, say, 10 years, that still means you’ve been making art for 10 years. That’s 10 years you’ve spent developing a skill – no matter what, you will have definitely gotten better at it in some way after all that.”

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Image credits: butajape

#9

Image credits: butajape

When we look at a piece of art, what happens is that we usually perceive some sort of emotion, whether it’s positive or negative is entirely up to us, but in the end, the artist still has achieved a certain goal – a reaction. We asked Sandoval to share with us what he’d like for people to take away when looking at his comics.

“First off, I’d like them to laugh, or at the very least, think: ‘that was amusing.’ But a number of my comics are also making some sort of deeper commentary about the world and the weird things we do as people. In those cases, I hope it makes people reevaluate their perspectives on those things, maybe even say to themselves, ‘Hey, I’ve been kind of similar to the object of mockery in this comic. It IS kinda silly for me to behave that way, maybe I should reconsider why I do that?’

But I also have comics where the deepest message I intend is, ‘isn’t it funny that this bear gets terrified by someone raising their hands in the air?‘ In which case, I would like people to respond, ‘Agreed. I also find it funny that this bear gets terrified by someone raising their hands in the air.’ In those exact words, preferably.”

#10

Image credits: butajape

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Image credits: butajape

For some people, art is not only a hobby, but something way more, and it seems that James certainly has his own goals he wants to accomplish when it comes to his comics.

“Entertaining people on the internet, at the very least. If anything more, having them start thinking deeper about the silly things we do or take for granted. If anything more, then perhaps entertaining people enough that they would consider giving me some money to continue entertaining them. It’s fun and validating to receive likes and admiration for my creative work, but neither landlords nor grocery stores accept it as legal tender.”

#12

Image credits: butajape

#13

Image credits: butajape

Most creators tend to receive some type of comments about their work pretty much every day, but sometimes some of them stand out more so than others.

“It’s not any ‘particular’ comment, but it is a recurring one I’ve seen from different people on multiple platforms. Generally, it’s along the lines of, ‘I don’t know why you’re not more popular! Your stuff is great!’ This kinda comment makes me feel like I’m sort of an underground, cult classic type of artist – not a lot of people know me but those that do have a very high opinion of my work.

I also feel like I have a good grasp on why I don’t have more widespread appeal – I don’t really have a specific ‘brand’ that makes me stand out yet. I don’t have a super distinctive art style that immediately tells people, ‘This is But a Jape!’ (especially since I like changing up my style when I think it’s warranted) and I don’t have a consistent theme or subculture I regularly focus my work around. Other than Feitr’s Guild (which I’m pretty sure I’ve made less marketable by turning into a serialized narrative) I don’t really have a regular cast of characters for people to latch onto and identify as ‘the guy(s) from But a Jape.‘ So two of my comics could get a lot of attention on the internet, but since there’s no cohesive thread tying them together (unless you notice the name in the corner), people might have no idea they’re part of the same series.

So when people say, ‘I don’t know why you’re not more popular!’ I like to think, ‘I think I know the reasons why I’m not more popular, but I’m fine with those reasons since I have no intention of doing things differently.'”

#14

Image credits: butajape

#15

Image credits: butajape

Lastly, we were curious to find out if James had any other hobbies besides making art.

“Comedy, in general, is one of my most prominent hobbies – performing stand-up, improv comedy, writing sketches, and so forth. I’m most naturally a homebody and prefer working alone, so I haven’t been able to work as much on these hobbies as I have my comics. They’re usually relegated to the category of: ‘I’d like to get back to doing that, but then I’d have to leave the house/talk to people.’

I also enjoy just ‘knowing things,’ which has translated into me being really into trivia (bar trivia is another one of those hobbies where I would like to engage in it more, but it requires more social effort than I’m willing to put in) and casually studying things like economics and history. The latter two subjects were actually my college major and minor and my interest in them has continued since then, I just haven’t been so passionate about them that I wanted to make my entire career revolve around their study.

Some of my audience may notice that this leaks into my comics, since I will occasionally make jokes about some random piece of economic or historical trivia I find amusing. I’ve also made a number of jokes at my own expense about how adults used to think I was such a ‘clever little boy,’ but for all my cleverness, I just ended up making silly little comics.”

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Image credits: butajape

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Source: boredpanda.com

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