Thursday, January 10, 2008

Progress report

So far so good on the 366 Days of Creativity – nine down, 357 to go.

Obviously I’ve found a theme - single-panel comics. This is a comic format that I had played around with off an on for quite a few years – even getting a couple of gags published in Eugene’s In Town Comic News back in 1995. (In fact, I believe that they’re still selling T-shirts with one of those designs. I wish I had Internet here at work, or else I’d provide a link. Update: I couldn't find a link to their old store.) As time went on, I decided that what I really wanted to do was draw a strip with regular characters, because characters develop personalities and a “voice” that makes it easier to write jokes for. Plus, the format lends itself well to expanded story lines and dialogue.

When it came to picking up the “pen” again for this project, I decided to start smaller, so I have been writing simple, one-off jokes and drawing them. The artwork for a panel takes less time to produce, which is great for me as I start out – I have to learn how to use my tools all over again. As you can see, I have tried to improve my craft with each successive panel, while simultaneously striving for greater efficiency. First with color, then gradients, and now two-tone shading (which I’ll admit to being nervous about).

My workspace has also changed. Day 1 was drawn in exactly the place and position I have depicted myself – reclining on the couch, using the corner of the laptop as a mousing surface. The next few Days were done in a similar position on the bed. It’s mostly comfortable, but hard to do. Now, I have moved over to our dining room table, where the laptop and mouse have their own space – although I’d like to get a proper mouse pad so I don’t do any damage to the wood. What’s next? I don’t know. I’d love it if I could afford the large Wacom touch-screen tablet like Scott Adams uses to produce Dilbert, but that’s $2500 I neither have nor could justify without having a full-time cartooning job. I should probably start working on drawing these panels with my actual hand and a pen on actual paper, so that will be something I will develop in the future.

Oh – since I’ve started this project, I’ve already had some great feedback. Samuel John Klein Portlandendnsisndinsinesses has been reposting every panel on his blog, with commentary, which has been wonderful and far above what I expected. I’ve had a couple of people mark the Great Salt Lake comic as a favorite on Flickr (Thanks, Nicole and Scott). But yesterday, I got a comment on Day 8 that I absolutely love – sure, it’s a negative criticism, but I’ve always gotten a thrill out of those:

"this makes me wonder if cartoons should be outlawed"

Thanks, man!

1 Talked Back:

At January 10, 2008 at 2:13:00 PM CST, Blogger Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Never doubt your power. Just one panel from you and somone is now agitating for comic to be banned? Dude! You rock!

Actually, there's one comic that should be banned, and that's "Close to Home". Every time that panel hacks out another one, comedy dies just a little.


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