I had always imagined that Urban Underbrush would include a lot of pop-culture jokes. My other comic, Draconis Wicked, is set in a fantasy world so intentional modern culture jokes are off limits. Urban Underbrush was supposed to be my outlet. But up until lately, I haven’t been able to get away with a ton of pop-culture jokes. I’ve tried, but unless the jokes absolutely fit the story, mentioning something trendy or famous with out a good reason just feels like a cheep grab for attention. It feels forced.

True, some of the most successful comics on the web are the ones that make the most pop culture references. Just look at Shortpacked or PVP.  But these comics have actually made an effort to design their worlds around the ability to make outside references. If you’re not familiar, Shortpacked takes place in a toy store and PVP is about the staff of a gaming magazine. It would be odd if they didn’t use reference humor. For these guys, it’s woven into the very fabric of their worlds. For me, it would be tacked on.

I still want to make funny references once in a while. But for Urban Underbrush, this needs to be a garnish, not a meal.