Robert Christie and Deborah Lang have been comic book writers ever since middle school. The two were members of their school’s literary magazine, but they truly met after taking shelter under a table during a food fight. After Christie and Lang found out how much they had in common, they began creating characters and stories.
“By high school we were writing longer form comic format stories with a few other friends in the ubiquitous marble notebooks, and these were the very first stories about Crutonia,” Christie says.
Crutonia is a comic book world that serves as the main setting of both Quirk’s Quest and Crutonian Chronicles. In these series, the main characters explore uncharted land and have interactions between Crutonia’s unique creatures. If the two could pick a fictional crossover with their comic book, they would pick the Finnish book series and comic strip, Moomintrolls.
Creating comics is not always easy. Early in their career, Lang faced her own insecurities towards her art. Although she enjoyed cartooning and working with Christie, she felt her work was not good enough. Lang explains how she was able to overcome her feelings. “Good for me that I have supportive friends, most notably a great collaborator in Rob,” she says. “I’ve learned to let go of a lot of the insecurity and it is really freeing.”
Despite the bumps in the road the two faced, they enjoy making comic books with colorful casts of characters. Lang encourages upcoming comic writers to make comics for their own passion.
“Don’t focus on what you think is marketable—if you want to make money go into finance,” Lang advises. “Do something you love and get joy from having something finished, either as a webcomic, an anthology submission, a floppy comic, or whatever you see as what your goals are. Enjoy the process.”