I was going to post a long blog write up expounding on this thought, but I think the comic strip expresses my sentiments adequately (and you are free to agree or disagree!). I think in comic strips, and so that’s the medium I invest in. I’ve tried my hand at writing longer form comics and graphic novels, but this is my sweet spot. No point being sad about the fact that the stuff I’m good at making isn’t the stuff that tends to be remembered for a long time- it’s good enough to bring joy in a moment (or it should be, anyways!).
Go go Mach rocket sheep is a combination of a number of different comic aspirations of mine.
I like making the true story comics when they come along because a) they’re funny and b) they are little stories about my family I don’t want to forget, and it’s a fun way of keeping those memories around. Most people I know in real life tend to like these ones the best.
I also continue to make charlie and the ghost strips, sans ghost. Charlie was my alter ego for over five years when I was updating that strip, so on occasion, it’s fun to use chuck to draw funny stuff that happened to friends, or that are based off of real conversations, or that I’d like to distance from myself to suspend disbelief or really for whatever reason. Most people I know in real life still think these comics are about stuff that happens to me, but not really so much these days. These ones are popular with people who like comic strips in general.
I have plenty of internal dialogue. It’s like an episode of scrubs up in my head. I also have plenty of dialogue with other people, and usually my brain takes what my friends are saying and twists it into something ridiculous. Often when I’m with friends I’ll just giggle for no reason and then I have to explain. Anyways- comics with me and chuck are usually either a thought process I’ve had, or an internal dialogue with myself, or my made-up recollection of a conversation I had with a friend. These ones are popular with my nerd buddies (usually because they can detect hints of our conversations in them).
The last type is not based on anything, I tend to make them when I have a funny idea for a comic that isn’t based in anything other than a funny thought I had. Also, when I’m lazy. These tend to bomb, or be the most popular comics I make, with internet people.
comics! Is there anything better than making comics???
I’m always trying to refine the process of making these comics to be faster, more intuitive, with a higher-quality output. In the history of this comic, there have been a few major advancements…
1) Moving from a tiny, old Wacom Bamboo tablet to a Tiny, newer Wacom Bamboo tablet that was more accurate and intuitive
2) Moving from the tiny new Bamboo to a large Wacom Intuos 5 tablet, enabling broad strokes instead of tiny little “sketching” (which marked the end of my drawing hand/wrist feeling like i was getting carpal-tunnel)
2.5) Moving from drawing on a computer to drawing on my iPad (so I could save time and draw whenever)
3) Moving back to the computer from the iPad and switching from Photoshop to Manga Studio… the tools look and feel so much better.
4) Moving from my mac to my Surface Pro
5) Moving from my Intuos to the screen on my surface Pro, basically enabling me to have a cheap cintiq! (I would prefer a larger screen, like on the Surface Pro 3, but the surface works well for now!)
The latest little adjustment in my comic-creation process has been my Note III… It doesn’t really work for finishing comics, but it works great for sketching out the first layer. I usually make a sketch layer first and then “ink” over it with the finished product, and with my phone, I can sketch pretty much whenever and have lines that accurately reflect how I would draw on paper.
For me, technology and my art have become very interconnected… Although, this is really more of an issue of time than it is of preference. I fear art and technology are becoming inseparable, and it would be nice to be able to continue drawing comics if there were a zombie apocalypse and technology was gone… But the last time I tried pinch-zooming a piece of paper, I kind of realized It might be too late for me.
Anyway, I have the whole drawing process down to about a half-an-hour, depending on the complexity of what i’m trying to draw… but the WRITING process! OH MAN.
I need to find a way to get faster at writing. Sometimes it’s super easy, but lately, it’s like pulling teeth.
Have a great tuesday everyone!