Thursday, March 26, 2009

022 - Pwn Takes King

It figures the week I decide to bring out this old idea to do for the comic, Demetri Martin does pretty much the same thing (click "Annihilator). I would say "it figures", but it really doesn't figure. That's a motherfucking strange coincidence.

Makes this comment someone made about my comics all the more correct.

Of course, now this strip is going to be compared with the Demetri Martin skit and somehow I have the feeling I'm going to lose that battle...

Oh well, time to move on.

The title "Pwn Takes King" is from a drawing I did in art class last year. I was told it would make a good t-shirt design. Maybe. I'm not a t-shirt company, though. When I decided I didn't feel like doing any of the ideas I had written down on the computer, I started looking through my scattered pieces of notepad paper on my desk and found the entry "Tape miniature gun to Chess piece for ultimate chess piece." Between that and "Etch-a-Sketch pornography" I chose this one. Then, I remembered my little picture I made in art class and I decided it would make a good title for the comic.

Originally, the fourth panel was the last, but I hate the routine nature of punchlines. The last line of panel four seemed like too much of a "LAUGH HERE" sign. I spent several days contemplating how to end the comic effectively, and this is what I came up with. I don't know if it's funny, but I think it at least completes the comic without the reader thinking "That was cheesy." I hope.

Someday I'll get better at writing. Promise.

Anyway, I quite like the way the art turned out in this comic. I got the lineart done in about three hours, which has to be a record for me, and it looks good compared to my previous comics. I even managed to get the angle from behind the head to look a lot less awkward for panel five. As always, though, I'll hate the artwork by next week.

Before you go, here's your weekly mini!

This is related to Cat's Cradle, a book by Kurt Vonnegut. If you haven't read the book all the way through, you will not get this at all. It'll just seem like I redrew the opening of "Friends" with different people.

I admit I kinda cheated for this mini. I didn't draw it specifically for this comic. We had an assignment in Science Fiction class to do a comic based on Cat's Cradle, so I pulled an all-nighter and drew this (I reeeaaally didn't want to use the two websites the teacher provided). I got it done fairly quickly but I overlooked a bunch of stuff, was an hour late for school, and overall didn't enjoy drawing the comic in such a rushed manner. The comic makes me laugh, though.

Alrighty, well, that's all I've got to say this week.
Fuckin' Demetri Martin. But I still love his show.

-Have a good week, you.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

021 - How To Run Your Own Successful Fonzie Scheme!

Not a big fan of the art or colors in this one. I didn't enjoy drawing it, so by the time I finished this I just kinda wanted to get it done.

In case you are unaware for whatever reason, I won't question you, this comic is inspired by mishearing the news during the first report I heard of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi Scheme.

If you don't feel like reading Wikipedia (who can blame you), I'll explain a Ponzi scheme as simply and as best as I can. I hope I've got this right...

1.) Guy gets investors to invest in something and promises them a great profit in return for investing. Most of the investors in the Ponzi scheme are unaware that they're investing in a Ponzi scheme.

2.) Guy doesn't actually make any product or service and instead gets more investors to invest money to pay off the first investor.

3.) Repeat until the scheme inevitably collapses on itself for several possible reasons, such as not finding new investors or someone gets suspicious and contacts the authorities, etc.

Anyway, yeah, if you didn't get it before, hopefully you get the comic now.

So I've finished reading Watchmen. It was amazing. I want to read V for Vendetta now.

That's all I've got to say for now. This post must seem mercifully short after the last two I've written. Hell, you might even bother reading it.

Anyway, oh yeah, the mini.

Mini comic!

Comic is self-explanatory.

Man, if I were the guy that does XKCD, I probably could've made that graph a bajillion times better. Oh well, this is somewhere around the best I could do. XKCD is incredibly witty and whenever I read it I begin to wish I was as witty as XKCD or Dinosaur Comics, and then I start reading things and sit in a huge chair and smoke a bubble pipe and feel stupid for all the juvenile humor I've used in previous comics.

Some day I'll be super smart and think witty things! Art college won't help with that, but maybe they'll have some kind of "We Are Smarter Than You" club where I can learn neat things.

Time will tell.

Giving out even more love! No one asked for the first wallpapers, but I've given you another wallpaper anyway. Enjoy, fuckers!

1024 x 768

1280 x 960

1920 x 1200

-Have a good Monday.

Monday, March 9, 2009

020 - Antony and Cleopatra and Robin and Starfire

It just figures that on Monday, the week working up to making this comic, this comes out. I don't believe a word of it since I like to think I was somewhat accurate with my drawing of Shakespeare after having practiced getting it right.

Here are some fun facts about the comic!
1.) In panel two, I put a pen in each of Shakespeare's hands because I couldn't find out whether Shakespeare was right or left-handed. However, note that in panel four I couldn't avoid this so I made him right-handed since right-handed people get all the ladies and party while left-handed people such as myself are left to lay bricks or improperly use scissors.

2.) Some guy, maybe Shakespeare, once said "The pen is mightier than the sword." Well, now Shakespeare is holding two pens, and he's using them as swords. The body count is suspected to be in the billions.

So, hey, remember last week when I said I'd use the time to try out a new art style? Well, I didn't do what I meant last week, but I still tried to spice up this week's comic. The first panel went fairly well, but the following ones elicit a reaction of "What the fuck happened?"

What happened was I got lazy with the drawings. Sorry.

I've been thinking about how I'd be able to spice up the layout of the panels. I know the first time didn't go over so well, but I'm not going to stick with cookie-cutter layouts like this. With the next comic I've made a little change in my process of making the comics. It might take a little time for me to get used to. On the plus side, if it works well enough, it should not only allow me to be a bit more free form with the panels, but drawing the panels in the first place will be a lot more comfortable. It may also make the whole comic-making process even speedier. I have been producing the last few comics fairly quickly, now.

I'm hoping to find the winning formula that works best for me with making comics. I feel I'm getting closer, though.

Oh, hey, by the way, here's another mini comic. I like making these. I think I'll do one for each comic in case the main one tanks or whatever.

This is referring to how, as mentioned at the very beginning of this post, as soon as I started work on the comic, I found on that Shakespeare's real portrait may have been discovered. The idea came from when I was talking with Brandon about it. He said it would make a good comic, so I made it a comic.


No one asked for them but I have given them to you anyway, here is a wallpaper! Download it and do whatever you do with desktops that you like. If the size is too big, set it to stretch and it'll shrink itself to fit your screen at no loss of quality. Nifty.

1024 x 768

1280 x 960

1920 x 1200

Monday, March 2, 2009

019 - Deep Thoughts 2

Since I've decided to regularly update this comic, I've changed several things in the way I go about making my comic. The first being that now I actually work hard and consistently on it instead of here-and-there over a couple months. Another is that I've added the title of the comic (since it now has one) up at the top all pretty-like, put my name and the name of that specific comic beneath it, and I've hidden my name once somewhere in each comic (starting at the M & M one).

Why do I bring this up? No reason, really. I dunno, maybe trying to find my name in every comic will be fun. It's not hard.

There were several problems with my comic about The Thing last week. One of the big ones was that, simply, the comic was too fucking wide. It was 1600 px, which barely fits onto my widescreen monitor. That's a tad redonkulous. So, this comic and from now on, I've got a set width for the comic. I'm not the biggest fan of the set width since I like to keep my pages nice and big, but, let's face it, nobody likes scrolling to the side. No one. So, while I like my comic to be wide, I've made viewing it less annoying for everyone.

Another problem was the joke in itself. I knew full well that not every has seen The Thing. It's an amazing movie and you should watch it right now.
However, what I failed to take into account was people who've never even heard of the movie The Thing. I dunno, I guess it slipped by me or maybe I thought it was as familiar as King Kong. So, those who have never heard of the movie The Thing were totally left in the dark with the comic and thought that the guy had mutated from the T-Virus (from Resident Evil) or that the joke was just completely off-the-wall random pertaining to nothing. I'm not going to say I'm above a random joke that makes no sense, I can't help it if I do, but I do hate those kinds of jokes. I swear last comic was not one of those.

I hope.

Anyway, the third and biggest problem for last week's comic (for me) was consistency. I can not stay consistent when drawing. Whenever I do this comic, all the panels look different, have a different composition, line width, everything's different. It's something I've tried to correct for a long time. I'd draw the same picture over and over for hours on end trying to get two of them to look alike, but they never do. Am I missing something here? How can I not get them to look at all similar? I mean, I like variation, but within acceptable limits.

I managed somewhat better than the last comic. The lines are now basically the same thickness now, and the style is more consistent and things are less jumpy. However, I still notice annoying quirks and differences between the separate panels that bother me.

I'd hate to see myself draw anime. I mean, it all looks the same.
Plus it's anime.
Hey watch me troll.


Last week, someone commented directly onto the blog (that was awesome, thank you). Their complaint was that they felt the speech bubbles didn't fit the style of the comic at all and that the two don't mesh. They clash. They rock the Casbah in a bad way.

Now, I can perfectly understand their reasoning. The artwork has thick outlines and single colors and no shading save for when it helps improve the mood of the comic (I've done that, like, once, so far). On the other hand, the speech bubbles consist of a 1 pixel line at 50% opacity with a white to very light gray gradient. They're practically opposites.

However, I've grown quite fond of my little bubbley bubbles. I think they look nice and clean, don't get in the way of the artwork too much and contain the dialogue quite nicely while remaining incognito, letting the viewer focus on the important things: the artwork and dialogue.
Though, the speech bubbles may very well not be doing that since someone took notice to how they don't like them. Oopsy.

But I dunno, I like them. I've done your generic, thick outline blank white background speech bubbles before and, while there's nothing wrong with them, I always like a little variation. Yes, you can always make them a different color for special characters, like red for an evil overlord (who would pop in to help deliver a punchline, not kill people. I'm specifically hoping to avoid subjecting this little comic thingy to Cerebus Syndrome). But, even then, when that evil overlord appears once ever, maybe twice if he's required again, I go back to ho-hum black and white speech bubbles.

Now, I really do hate to disregard constructive criticism. I appreciate it immensely that someone took the time to explain how I could fix something up. Thank you. However, my own personal feelings are getting in the way since I really like the speech bubbles. If I were a Jedi, Yoda would be giving me an incredibly harsh, vague, and confusing talking to right now.

So, are the speech bubbles a no go, or are they really not so bad? Please note I may disregard your opinion anyway. Just this once, I promise. I really do like the speech bubbles.


Up until Wednesday I considered putting two comics in the update this week. I wanted to for two reason:
1.) This comic took a really short time to draw. While last week's took up until midnight of Sunday to finish, I finished this one Thursday night. I figured that, since I had plenty of time left over, I'd give those who actually decide to check this site out a little treat. Some fan appreciation without drawing tits.

2.) I am absolutely unsure as to whether this comic is funny or not. I kind of find the comic funny, but at the same time I know I'm inclined to find my own shit funny. Besides, this comic seems obscure and random as hell. In all honesty, it made perfect sense when I had this thought, but I've let it simmer, and I dunno.

Okay, there's a third.
3.) I didn't get it finished in time. I'm a slow worker, okay?

Anyway, I decided against putting up two comics for one reason and one reason alone.
If I get more comics done this week, that's more time on my hands to have this site updated on time. This is a huge experiment to see if i can consistently keep this site updated every Monday, and I certainly want to help things in my (and anyone who reads this) favor by having something new consistently. If I put up two comics in one week, while that would be awesome, that's an extra idea I've used up and that's time I could have spent getting more comics done in advance for future weeks. Maybe even finish a super-duper long one.

Am I saying I'll never surprise those who've stumbled upon this place with two comics one week? No, I'd love to do multiple comics in some updates. Hell, three would be awesome. But, as I am no super comic-making awesome mastermind who is consistently funny and doesn't take an entire White Stripes album per panel, I just can't manage that right now.

Trust me when I say, though, that I used this time to make next comic a little experiment in art. WARNING It's a video game comic, and probably also very unfunny, but it'll be something different and definitely worth the effort (for me, at least).

I still love ya, anonymous reader. Thank you for actually noticing me, if even for about ten seconds.
-Have a good week.

I do have this little ditty I drew in a minute, just for you.
I guess this technically counts as jumping on the "making a Watchment-related comic" bandwagon. Oh well. I have yet to read it, and I really want to see the movie. I'll get ahold of the comic this week, read it, then watch the movie this weekend.

Evidence would dictate I did no research for this mini (purely out of laziness). I am 70% sure Rorschach is not the character who says that in the movie (I merely put his face there because he looks cool and is one of the more distinguishable faces in the trailer, in my opinion).

Also, I took no effort in correctly portraying his mask. I didn't bother going to Google to find an image of his face to draw the ink splatters on his mask. Again, I was really lazy. So I made my own. Oh well.
Then again, his face is a goddamned Rorschach ink blot test. His mask might have different ink blots on it throughout the graphic novel/movie, I dunno, I'll have to see.

-Have a good week.

Holy goddamn this is a long post! I wish I'd proofread it!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

018 - You Never Know Who It Is

Ah tits, I'm a couple minutes late :( Sorry, bros, I tried to get it in as close to midnight as I could. At least it's still Monday.

Thus ends last week's trial to have this comic finished in time by today. I learned quite a bit from it. I immediately forget what it is a learned but I still learned something and that's all that mattered. Besides, I'm sure I have my lessons written down somewhere.

Making this comic was an ordeal. I finished the last two panels on Sunday which barely any time to spare. During the entire weekend I was in a funk and I just couldn't get my drawings to look right. Panel 3 was drawn on Friday and panel 4 on Saturday. Panel 3 is not as egregious as panel 4 is. It's like the lines went on a diet! Each panel might as well have been drawn by someone else! Gah! Consistency is definitely something I need to work on.

One of my main focuses of this comic was getting the three characters in this comic to look different from each other without resorting to the obvious "easy-way-out" tricks. I wanted the characters head shapes to be different without making one's in the shape of a triangle, one's a ball and one's a square. I wanted the features on their face to be different without having one having a gigantic nose while the other has none. I wanted them to behave differently, and everything. Unfortunately, the comic in the end did not serve as a good practice for quite a few of the variations I wanted to work on, but I still got a bit of practice in. Oh well. There'll be many more comics with lots of people in that will be great for practicing with.

So, when I made this comic, I had seen The Thing about an hour before. It was awesome. The Thing is an amazing example of a horror movie that doesn't add in unnecessary fluff or stupid plot points that beat around the bush and add time. It's straightforward. The Thing comes to the arctic base the cast is on and shit gets fucked up. There's no romantic interest that distracts the character and makes him lose his cool, there's no "this character misses his wife and we get many shots of him staring at a family photo longingly". It's great.

It even had all the great things about horror movies that all horror movies should have. As anyone in their crew could be The Thing, so everyone is paranoid and freaking out and no one trusts anyone. The movie can be truly suspenseful at times and you're constantly wondering what will happen next. The gore and special effects in the movie are great too. The animatronics used for the film are top notch and disgusting and everything.

See The Thing right now. You're welcome.
-See you next Monday.

According to a person who read my comic, my comic is way too wide. Looking at it, yes it is. 1600 width is just 80 pixels below my screen, and I have a new somewhat big-ish screen, so that's definitely too wide. I'll make sure to fix that with the next comic.

Ah, learning experiences.

Wow, looking at this comic I made so many errors. Gah, I should be ashamed.
Well, I am. Slightly.