Looking for a little levity on board? Ripples, created by British writer Dave Gomersall (left, in photo above) and South African artist Gavin Thomson (right, in photo above), provides a quirky glimpse into the colorful lives of the crew aboard a fun-loving superyacht known as M/Y Molly. [CLICK HERE to see "Ripples"]
The artists created the strip exclusively for DOCKWALK.com, which debuts the first strip just in time for the start of the 2008 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS).
The idea for the comic strip came from the creators themselves who happened upon Dockwalk magazine and DOCKWALK.com soon after the May 1 launch of the website and decided to create a strip exclusively for captains and crew.
In fact, Gomersall came across Dockwalk while perusing the job markets relating to the superyacht industry.
"I was hoping to maybe get a position aboard one of these babies, but got sidetracked when I sent Matt Gomez [DOCKWALK.com's online managing editor] some samples of a comic that we run in South Africa," he says. "Matt shared them with fellow editor Lauren Beck, who is South African. She translated for Matt and I think this tickled him into asking me if we could do a strip for DOCKWALK.com."
Several emails later, the idea for Ripples was born. [CLICK HERE to see "Ripples"]
"We're very happy to be on board with the new comic strip," Gomersall says."I've been reading Dockwalk and it's an awesome magazine. I love the website, too. It makes me want to get out there and drive a boat around."
Gomersall, with his background as a captain of both power and sail boats, and Thomson, an active surfer, have used their experiences to create characters who they think will resonate with the crew community.
You'll find "all the usual suspects" on board Molly, including: Capt. Morgan, First Mate Dennis, Chef Pedro, Stew Jane, Deckhand Tom (or "Atlas") and Engineer Elvis. Other characters may appear from time to time and the setting will change as Molly travels the technicolor oceans in search of fun and adventure.
"I am a captain, and I love the challenge of creating comics about people who work and play on the sea," Gomersall says. "I've done a fair share of dock walking myself around the world."
Gomersall and Thomson are also the creators of a comic strip in South Africa about two zany fishermen who spend most of their time on the water. It can be found at www.treknet.co.za.
"Though our humor may have a 'South African' flavor, there are no boundaries on laughter and fortunately our computers do American spell checks," Gomersall says. "Funny is funny: That's a pretty universal truth. The yachting industry presents a unique challenge, but we are very familiar with these sorts of challenges. That's what makes our work so exciting." [CLICK HERE to see "Ripples"]
Gomersall, speaking on behalf of his creative partner, hopes Ripples will create waves of laughter and is hoping to get plenty of blog responses from members on the site. Online feedback provides one of the best ways to connect with an audience, he says, so both artists welcome the marriage of technology and the superyacht industry to help create a winning comic strip.
"It's always fun to see a little bit of yourself in the characters and that's what we hope to accomplish here," Gomersall says. "It's all about having fun and being able to laugh at yourself and others who remind you of yourself and your crew."
DOCKWALK.com initially plans to feature Ripples twice monthly on the website. More strips are soon to follow and an archive of Ripples comic strips will be available for viewing at all times on the site with the opportunity to comment and suggest new comic scenarios.
"This should be a lot of fun," Gomersall says. "And funny, too."
CLICK HERE to see "Ripples"