The staff at FCAP – Florida Community Association Professionals truly believe in the positive affects of humor in business and life. The creation of Hurricane Winds Condominium Association comic strip, which debuted recently in Florida Community Association Journal, began as an idea by CEO Jim McMurry to add humor to the pages of the longtime trade publication. When McMurry began the search for an artist to bring his idea to life, he knew exactly who to turn to. FCAP’s graphic designer, Joey Phelps, took the idea of humor in community business to heart and the characters of Hurricane Winds Condominium Association were born.
Hurricane Winds is a new venture for Florida Community Association Journal, but a comic strip is nothing new for Phelps. Phelps and his brother, Michael, are lifelong artists who have worked together to make art and humor a successful business. The Phelps brothers created a comic strip several years ago for an international non-profit online magazine, Hat Trick Magazine, which still runs today. The strip can also be found at www.LilNipperSnappers.com.
Phelps knew that humor built around the seriousness of community association management would be the perfect medicine for managers and board members who face stressful and sometimes volatile situations on a regular basis. According to an article published by the Mayo Clinic, “Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.” The same article goes on to say, “Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations.” What better prescription for what ails us then, than the characters brought to life in Hurricane Winds.
So exactly how does Phelps bring his characters to life? This is where pencil & paper and digital technology come together. Working closely with McMurry to develop the ideas for who each character will be and will look like, Phelps uses pencil and paper to sketch out characters and develop the unique characteristics for each. He then goes back over each sketch with pen and ink to make the characters more vivid and bold on paper. The pen and ink drawings are then scanned into Photoshop where Phelps adds color digitally via a Cintiq monitor and can take advantage of technology to move, reposition, and tweak each character.
Each installment of the Hurricane Winds Condominium Association comic strip is brought to life each month through a series of brainstorming sessions between McMurry and Phelps and are developed through the same system as the initial character development. From pencil and paper to PhotoShop and a digital tablet, the words and story lines come to life. Phelps has spent years working with this industry through the production of Florida Community Association Journal and has watched it grow and change over the years. He gains insight for each character and story line from the relationships built between this organization and those he serves.
Watch for the next issue of Hurricane Winds in the November issue of Florida Community Association Journal, arriving in mailboxes very soon.