What’s the Scoop?
The comic was initially conceived of in early 2001, and was eventually published in UMass’s Daily Collegian newspaper in 2003 and 2004. After a brief hiatus, I revamped the comic and published it on my personal website, Daniel Beadle.com, at the beginning of 2007. Later that year, I moved Running on Empty to its own site. A webserial based on the comic strip was featured on Destructive Fiction at the same time.
The series centers on Dan, Devin, and Jake, an artist, a car thief, and a thug, respectively. As a result of their negative life experiences, the boys have adopted various antisocial habits and philosophies that often fly in the face of convention.
Dan is a sensitive artist with a pessimistic worldview. He considers himself emotionally divorced from the rest of humanity, often times referring to “humans” as if he is not one of them. He finds himself uncomfortable in social situations, and drinks generous amounts of hard liquor to cope. A past heartbreak haunts Dan, and has essentially given him a fear of relationships. Jake often refers to Dan as a “good kid,” since he has successfully avoided hard drugs and criminal activities, and keeps a steady job as a graphic designer.
Devin is a charismatic car thief, who is extremely successful at seducing women. Though he’s relatively attractive, his appearance is partially masked by his long hair and ubiquitous sunglasses. Devin is repulsed by the idea of monogamy, and has no interest in long-term or emotionally involved relationships. He is extremely proud of the fact that he has not had to pleasure himself in years, due to his promiscuity. Devin spends his days working part-time in his father’s auto-body shop, which gives him an extensive knowledge of cars. He steals exotic cars in his spare time, and occasionally participates in illegal street races under the name “D-Man.”
Jake is a thug and all-around dirt bag, whose short temper and impulsive attitude repeatedly get him into trouble. He has poor personal hygiene, lives in squalor, and readily abuses alcohol and cigarettes. Though he is a year younger than Dan, he tries to be a father figure to him, throwing down bad advice and flawed life lessons. Due to his alcoholism, Jake is inhumanly tough and resilient to injury, making him an exceptional brawler. Jake has little-to-no success with women, which has caused his sexually appetites to become warped with time. Despite his machismo, Jake has a soft spot for blonde, female pop stars, and will often defend their honor with very little provocation. Jake has no regular source of income, but it’s implied that he is involved in several illegitimate moneymaking schemes.