Daily Archives: August 13, 2012
Ricardo Porven’s webcomic experiences are fairly unique compared to other attempts. It’s one of the few I know of that’s tried to take advantage of what the media dubs as “Web 2.0.) Last year, Mr. Porven made a splash when he tested the limits of the webcomic format by bringing his comic, Donnie Goth, to Facebook. (Donnie Goth is now available on a non-Facebook website.)
I contacted Mr. Porven last week with a few questions about Donnie Goth, to which he graciously replied.
1.) Mr. Porven… are you or have you ever been a Goth?
I’ve never really labeled myself as part of any group really. I was a teenager in the 80s, a bit before the Goth movement really gained traction. However, in my youth I was known to wear eyeliner and listen to bands like, The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, and Marilyn Manson. I also grew up with a fascination with classic horror movies, the works of Tim Burton, and the comic art of Bernie Wrightson. There was even a time I thought my career would be in special effects make-up and counted Rick Baker as one of my idols. If I had been born a mere 10 years later, I most likely would have considered myself a Goth. So if you met me on the street today, you wouldn’t necessarily identify me with someone who is involved in Goth culture, but personality-wise, I’m pretty much a dead ringer. You could say I wear my black on the inside.
2.) I remember Goths being fairly prominent in the 90′s and early 2000′s. Heck, I remember having a poster of Neil Gaiman’s death on my dorm room walls. However, I haven’t heard much about that particular subculture lately. Are Goths still a thing, or have the gone the way of, say, the beatnik?
The Gothic subculture might have reached it’s height of popularity in the late 90s, but it certainly existed before that and is still thriving today. It’s not a lifestyle that gets the headlines. Those that may have embraced it as a fad have likely moved on to other forms of self-expression, but there will always be a group that identifies with the dark themes, romanticism, and fashion the Goth culture is associated with. This is apparent in the popularity of ongoing Gothic themed-films, including most recently; Dark Shadows, ParaNorman and Frankenweenie. Not to mention the myriad of vampire books, novels, TV shows and films that continue to perform well in the market. It’s a subculture. By definition that means it exists under the radar. I think that’s where it prefers to be.
3.) Donnie started off as as a character who seemed to be bristling with sarcasm. Now he’s more of a lovesick puppy, searching for love among Goths and non-Goths alike. What was responsible for the personality change?
The original strips took place when Donnie was 7 years old. He was this overly dramatic, yet powerful kid who didn’t always make the right decisions. The power kind of gave him a superiority complex in comparison to the other kids in his class and the sarcasm came from an overall disdain he felt for them.
The new strips begin with Donnie being 13 and just starting middle school. Right now, he fluctuates between just wanting to be accepted and wanting to be generally left alone. He spent most of his childhood with just Oliver by his side and he is eager to make friends. I wouldn’t necessarily call him lovesick, but his hormones have definitely become active as a normal part of coming of age.
The one current that runs through all the strips is the fact that things rarely work out on the positive end for Donnie. He is a tragic character, but continues to press on in spite of his misfortunes. And he can still laugh about it (and we can join him). I think that’s something fans relate to, whether you’re a Goth or not.
In the strip “X-massacre”, things begin to take on a more serious tone, and both Donnie and Oliver are in for some long-term adventures that take him way beyond the school environment he has lived in up until now.
I guess, like us, the events in Donnie’s life continues to evolve him as a character and the stories change to reflect that.