Looking For Group: An epic journey with webcomic Artist Lar deSouza

51Xf6dJm3IL._SL500_AA300_This is a repost of a blog entry I wrote on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012. – The Book Bear

There is a place, set in a reality and time unlike our own where the eating of small children is not necessarily frowned upon; where beings of extraordinary power can destroy entire villages with only “because I could” as an excuse; where families are comically torn apart and sold into slavery in exchange for powerful weapons or a really nice hat; where prophecy, magic and adventure is as common place as setting fire to, then reanimating a chipmunk into a skeletal minion (it happens more than you’d think); and where an epic journey can begin by an accident of fate.

This is the world of Looking For Group.

Yesterday, I sat in on a session at Fandemonium and heard from Lar deSouza, the cartoonist for the 2008 Shuster Award winning online comics, Least I Could Do, which is updated six times weekly and Looking For Group, which is updated Mondays and Thursdays. The artist has also been the recipient of the Prix Aurora Award for Artistic Achievement in Canadian Science Fiction and numerous other awards for caricature and cartooning.

Looking For Group is my favorite deSouza creation. The work is:

… a free comic that is updated several times a week and is generally looked at as a Fantasy/Science fiction parody series that pokes heavy fun at everything World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings, Wheel of Time, RA Salvatore, Dungeons & Dragons, George RR Martin, Everquest, Star Wars and anything else we enjoy, derived from Video Games, Film, Television, Books and Graphic Novels.

deSouza artfully took the audience through the creative process from start to finish, and astonished the audience with several “speed drawings” done on-the-spot and by request.

Audience member: “Can you draw Superwoman smacking down a telephone solicitor?”

deSouza: “Yes.”

And he did.

The presentation also delved into the business of comics and web comics, digital art vs. paper and canvass, and deSouza’s own complex and fascinating journey to the top of the ultra-competitive webcomic world.

“You don’t get into web comics to make money,” he said. “There are much easier ways to make a living. You get into it because you have a story to tell.”

The artist has formal training, but spoke about the fact that when he also went to school and studied to be a chemical engineer, he used to draw to relax. At one point, friends, roommates and other advisors noticed that he spent about half his time on schoolwork and the other half drawing. That’s when deSousa realized he should be a professional artist.

deSouza has published several books, including Looking For Group Volumes 1 and 2 , with writer Ryan Sohmer; and Boys Who Rocked the World: From King Tut to Tiger Woods.

We invite you to start at the very beginning of Looking for Group, from the first page, and perhaps, with a little luck, you may enjoy what you find. Once you are caught up in the story, please return to LFGcomic.com for the continuing adventures. In addition, please stop by the forums to discuss the comic, your favorite MMO or whatever strikes your fancy in the Fantasy/Sci-Fi genre.

Some say love, it is a river that drowns the tender reed. Others say love, it is far less useful than evil; whereas love is only helpful in situations involving bunnies, unicorns, and other pink animals, evil is applicable whenever a horde of marauding soldiers invade your homeland with the sole purpose of domination, where an Elf and a sadistic Warlock are all that stand between you and the abyss! – from Looking For Group Volume 2 .

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