Video transcript follows: [Chiappetta family sits in living room surrounded by original cartoon art from the Silly Daddy comic series]
Joe Chiappetta: So we've got the Silly Daddy family here, and uh, just some of the comics. There's over five hundred online, and I thought I'd just gather, uh, some of our greatest fans together, and to see, these are our greatest fans, to see, uh, what we, uh, what we think about Silly Daddy comics which can be read at Silly Daddy dot net. So I'll start with my wife Denise. So, what do you, uh, what do you say is your favorite comic?
Denise: I really like this one where it... where you see Anna and she's in her high chair and some food falls on her foot. And she says, Whoops, and then Dad comes along and says, Ah, wait. New house rule. No eating food off of your foot!
Joe: That's a true story. It happened.
Denise: Yep. True story.
Joe: So what do you think about being a cartoon character?
Denise: I love it! I uh, like it a lot because I feel like it uh, takes the moments like that, the precious moments of life, and uh, records them for us. I think it's really cool. And it's neat to be a part of that and to see it all written down and illustrated. I like it a lot.
Luke: I like these two.
Luke: Cuz, uh, with this one, Dad, who is also known as Silly Daddy, uh, is pushing Anna in here stroller, than Anna says, Are you tired yet? And then Dad says, No. And then Anna says, who is getting pushed the whole way up the hill, says, Well I am.
Joe: And so what do you think about being a cartoon character? Do you like that, or is it a little weird?
Luke: I like because, when you make a book then we get to read it. And we get to draw stuff on the papers and everything.
Joe: Thank you, son. Sorry I had to cut you off there. Did you have something inspirational to say before we, uh, go to Maria?
Joe: Okay, alright. So Ree Ree, what do you uh, what do you think of these comics? Any, any of them strike out to you as being particularly useful? Funny?
Maria: Uh, I really like Baby Ninja, where Anna pokes you in the eye and it's excruciating pain and you have to go to the hospital. But she's still really cute and you love her. I like it because it reminds me of when I was younger, and like when I was little and I like, pick your nose and...
Joe: Yeah, that, that tale is recorded in the Silly Daddy 2004 graphic novel which you can get on the Silly Daddy dot net website. So uh, what about being in a comic? You've pretty much been in a comic since the very beginning of your life, 1991. Uh, what do you think about being a cartoon character?
Maria: I like it. It's really cool to see myself, and my friends, and everyone we know on paper as cartoons and sometimes you give me a big nose.
Maria: I don't like that.
Joe: I'll try to work on it.
Maria: But I like being in comics.
Joe: Alright. So Anna, any of these comics that you like?
Anna: I like this one? [points to Dehydrated comic]
Anna: Cuz, I'm little and I have a pink feety on me.
Joe: That's great. And what do you think about being a cartoon character in comics? Do you like that?
Anna: Cuz, you get to read it. You get to look at it.
Joe: That's great. That's great. That's Silly Daddy comics containing some of the funniest people in the world that happen to live right here with me in North Riverside. You can read it all at Silly Daddy dot net. Silly Daddy dot net.
All comics in the video were drawn by Joe Chiappetta.
Thanks to Anthony Paparo for the camera work in the living room. The camcorder used to film this was a Kodak Zi8. It took nice video shots but the format was not really compatible with Windows Movie Maker, which is what I used to edit this video (after converting the file, which was no small task). So I returned the camera to Best Buy for a full refund. But at least we got a funny video out of the whole experience.
How Artists Can Include Family In Creative Work
The above video is a behind the scenes look at Silly Daddy Comics in their first ever entire family interview about what it's like to be in a comic book series. This is also a great example of how artists can include their families in creative work and make their work more of a family atmosphere.
Step 1: Create work that your family can relate to
Keep it real, fun, and positive. What would inspire your family? In my comics, I take a down-to-earth approach. When I capture the funny moments, it helps us in times of trouble to remember that we can still laugh together--that the world is not all gloom and doom. There is hope too.
Step 2: Include family in the art-making process
My wife and daughters and son have all helped in the writing process of the comics. Bounce ideas off of them. After a while, the family starts coming to me with great ideas for a comic. When getting feedback from your family in the process, ask them, "Will this work?" or "Is this funny?" For comics, my wife has even colored many of my comics.
Step 3: Make family members the subjects of your artistic creations
You are creating history here. Your descendants will cherish this family record as your family multiplies over the generations.
Step 4: Gather family together for an interview
Don't rehearse the interview. Just record a candid response on how it felt for them to be included in your work.
Step 5: Share the interview with the world
Post the video everywhere. I have it on my blog and it gives my readers a behind-the-scenes view into my creative life that no other work could more directly describe. This helps those interested in you as an artist to connect on a deeper level.