Tripping Over You
By June 2015 Issue.
For Suzana Harcum and Owen White, their LGBT-themed online comic series, Tripping Over You, isn’t just a job; it’s a collaborative effort that’s helped bring the Tucson-based lesbian couple closer.
For the first time, Harcum and White will have a table at Phoenix Comicon. (Read Laura Latzko’s Phoenix Comicon article here.) and showcase a sampling of their work – including books with their comics, printouts and mini comics – to a new audience.
Harcum and White started out as online friends and gradually developed a relationship. After sending doodles back and forth for years, and then introducing characters and storylines, the women officially launched the comic series in 2011.
The couple married in Massachusetts in November 2012 and moved to Tucson about a year ago.
According to White, being able to work with her partner makes doing the comic series – which has a full-time paid gig for both women – even more fulfilling.
“It’s definitely one of the most fun parts of my professional life,” White said. “I’m really fortunate to get to do this every day.”
While both women contribute to all aspects of the series, Harcum, who has done commissioned work for children’s books, tends to do more of the artwork and White executes more of the writing for the series.
Images courtesy of facebook.com/toythecomic.
Milo and Liam
The series, which is updated on Mondays and Thursdays, focuses on the evolving relationship between central characters Milo Dunstan and Liam Schwartz, who become friends and start a relationship in boarding school.
“When we started … they were the characters we liked the best,” White said. “It was just a fondness for them specifically.”
The story line also involves secondary characters, including their parents and friends, as Milo and Liam move from boarding school to college and face day-to-day experiences and struggles.
For the couple, White said, it has always been important to include realistic LGBT characters and themes in their work because it is representative of their own experiences.
“As a lesbian couple, we’re drawn to writing about homosexual couples,” White said. “When we first started, it was about making a comic that we wanted to read.”
For the past two years, White and Harcum have participated in Emerald City Comicon, as part of which they learned that Tripping Over You fans are curious to know more about the characters.
“People want to know more about the backstory,” White said. “Sometimes they ask us if there’s inspiration from our lives, to which we have to laugh and say, ‘Yeah, a little bit.’”
Additionally, White explained that the situations the characters encounter are similar to those faced by her and Harcum, but the characters are more exaggerated versions of them. However, having the series set in England has required the women to do extensive research on an array of topics foreign to them – such as wall outlets in English bathrooms.
As the series has expanded, White and Harcum have moved from monochromatic to color, which Harcum said allows them the ability to bring out details such as the hair color of the characters and moments when they blush.
Additionally, the comic explores such topics such as sex in a PG-13 way. According to White, they wanted to show the awkward and funny moments involved in sexual situations and other topics their audiences can relate to. The comic book creators also sell versions with more explicit scenes.
Along with Tripping Over You, White and Harcum have been developing a new comic series, set in 1870 and also features LGBT characters, which they plan to release it in the near future.
For more information, or for chapters of Tripping Over You, visit trippingoveryou.com.