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This article is taken from PN Review 213, Volume 40 Number 1, September - October 2013.

on Buttercup Festival David Troupes
Buttercup Festival began thirteen years ago, during my undergraduate years at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, as a way to vent silliness during late shifts at the student paper, where I worked as Arts & Living Editor and copy-editor. Originally I meant nothing more than to lampoon goth sub-culture by creating a character so goth that he dressed like Death. Thankfully I abandoned this line of humour quickly, and the protagonist - who remains unnamed - became a cipher of optimism, whimsy and naivety. The comic has continued to this day, with a three-year hiatus separating series 1 and 2, appearing online and in a mix of student and artsy periodicals from Sweden to South Carolina.

Many strips feature an off-panel character, also nameless, though increasingly the protagonist simply wanders by his lonesome, or speaks to the natural objects and landscapes I love to draw.

I try never to over-think Buttercup Festival, which is what makes it so important to me. If something tickles me, makes me laugh or pause, in it goes. If I feel like drawing trees when I sit down, that's what I do. I also write poetry, which can be a chronically over-thought art form, and it's wonderful to create something simply to amuse myself. The fact that this seems to amuse other people makes it all the more satisfying.

My attitude toward the comic has changed over time, and I find it harder to write the absurdist gags of ...


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