All the rage—power couple creates webcomic

By Jena Howie
Courtesy Photographs

An outlet for creativity and positivity, Cuddles and Rage, a mixed-media webcomic, explores the evil, yet often cute, adventures of food characters and animals living in Snuggle City. Snuggle City is a make-believe place the comic’s creators came up with as a location for its characters. The creators of Cuddles and Rage, Liz and Jimmy Reed, are a dynamite couple. They are both creative individuals who place a high value on positivity and originality.

Liz ’06 has an undergraduate degree in film and digital media and a master’s of communication from Baylor University. Jimmy graduated from James Madison University with a bachelor’s degree in media arts and design. The two are currently living in Maryland and tend to keep their personal lives separate from their life as comedic artists and the creators of Cuddles and Rage.

“The idea for the comic came from us drawing little doodles while we were out with our friends,” Liz said. “They would always compliment our doodles and tell us we should do something with them!”

The jokes incorporated into the comic are original from the Reeds themselves. They look for inspiration in one another’s unique sense of humor and constantly write down joke ideas as they pop into mind. The result of their shared mindset has flourished into a comic with both light and dark humor, and a unique, original storyline for each character. It has also helped them to build an open and honest relationship in all aspects of their married life.

“What’s been handy in our collaboration is that you have someone to bounce ideas off, who is open and pushes you forward, and who helps in any way possible,” Jimmy said. The first comedic diorama Liz and Jimmy created was “Unicorn on a Long Distance Call.” It was something the two created on a whim, and they took the picture with an iPhone. A diorama is best described as a miniature replica of a scene.

“When we posted ‘Unicorn on a Long Distance Call’ online, everyone went bananas!” Liz said.

The comic was official as of February 10, 2010. After some success, the Reeds decided to take a personal break for planning their wedding and all that comes with it. The break lasted roughly six months and resulted in something more powerful than they had anticipated. After the break, the Reeds realized how much they missed the comic, and that feeling encouraged them to go at it in full swing from then forward.

“We are so thankful we took a break from the comic,” Liz said. “It brought structure, mission, and purpose to what we were doing, and it also helped us build an audience because we were able to go to expos and shows to learn more.”

Since the comic’s Internet debut, the pair also has been co-posting on HelloGiggles.com. HelloGiggles is a website geared toward smart, independent, and creative females, and was founded by actress and musician Zooey Deschanel, producer Spohia Rossi, and writer and Internet sensation Molly McAleer.

Liz and Jimmy thought their Cuddles and Rage comic would perfectly suit the HelloGiggles site and its mission. They sent the editor a sample of their comic titled Hot Date. HelloGiggles loved it. Liz and Jimmy have been posting food-based dioramas for HelloGiggles every Friday since last April.

The Reeds work together on everything. Their success comes in part from the ability to collaborate and take constructive criticism. Jimmy’s strength is character design, while Liz’s is drawing and sculpting. They made the decision for one person to draw and sculpt so the comic would have a consistent look throughout.

“The funniest part is getting to write all of the jokes together,” Liz said. “Sometimes we’ll be on opposite sides of the house when a joke idea pops in our head and then have to run to the other to share it and get feedback.”

As the sole creators of Cuddles and Rage, Liz and Jimmy spend a good majority of their free time sculpting figurines, taking pictures, and thinking of jokes.

“It makes for some long days, that’s for sure,” Jimmy said.

The Reeds love being the creators of Cuddles and Rage because it is something they can share with the world and their loyal audience.

“We are so thankful our comic has been such a success. We want to pursue this forever—we’re storytellers and that’s what gets us excited,” Liz said.

To check out Cuddles and Rage for yourself, visit CuddlesandRage.com as well as the weekly food diorama on HelloGiggles.com.

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