Funny "Friends" 

Memphis duo publish comic about comics.

click to enlarge An inside look at Under Pressure.
  • An inside look at Under Pressure.

Chris Haley and Curt Franklin started reading comic books at an early age. Now, roughly two decades later, they've written a comic book about comic books.

Under Pressure was published in September by Createspace, an extension of Amazon.com. Franklin and Haley also publish weekly strips at letsbefriendsagain.com. (After the line "Let's be friends again" was written in one of their first strips, both Franklin and Haley decided that it should be the strips' name.)

"The book is a collection of our online comic strips with some extras, such as commentary and pinups from friends," Franklin said.

Both men began reading comic books when they were very young.

"For whatever reason, my family started getting me comics when I was about 2 years old," Haley said. "I can't remember a time when I haven't had comics."

Franklin, who started reading comics around age 7, does the writing, while Haley illustrates the strips.

"I feel like the whole spectrum of my education was influenced by the reading comprehension and vocabulary I learned from comics," Franklin said.

They said their comic strips are a reflection of whatever they're interested in that week.

"Art is essential to the success of a comic book," Franklin said. "It's a visual medium, so the art conveys everything to the reader except for the dialogue."

But as Haley maintained, the strip is a collaborative effort.

"It's ultimately a visual medium like [Franklin] said, but that's not to say that brilliant writing can't make up for mediocre art," Haley said. "In other words, us."

"Under Pressure" is available on amazon.com.

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