Friday, February 15, 2013

I'm [Sic] of Hearing You Need "Better Drawing.s"

Here are some behind-the-scenes thoughts from page 85, while we're moving forward here. This package that's being shared around is the same that appeared in the first scene, way back in the early pages. It'll make another appearance in the story, but for now, while it may not be clear here, the package is being handed to James, Jesus' brother, and not to Lazarus yet. Lazarus is being charged with a more serious oath of service, though I'm not sure he quite knows what he's getting into.

The mythology of this story is revealed a little more as Jesus visits Bethany days before he is betrayed by Judas in Lazarus is Charged.

See more by following the links:
Webcomic news
I don't really have any "news" for this week, but rather had something of a complaint for webcomics. It's something that's been gnawing at the back of my mind for a little while now, and I think it finally made sense to me just last night.

Mostly, it's the disassociation between a good webcomic and providing highly stylized and well designed art to accompany the regular updates.

What set me off on the epiphany was that Benjamin Pernick, the head sloth at Turbo Sloth, had announced the three-year milestone for his site, which boasts hundreds - perhaps even more than a thousand - pages of absolutely ridiculous jokes.[Ridiculous in the best way - the site if full of "groaners"!]

This is the faucet installers' equivalent of spitting in your burger.
I dropped Ben a line to congratulate him on the milestone, and his response is what really solidified my understanding of what I'm feeling here.

Thanks! I'm glad I've stuck to it for so long...even if I haven't gotten much better :P
His answer immediately reminded me of some "constructive criticism" that the folks at The Broctopus had received upon launching their site after this comic was posted:

Gregory102714 Good in theory horrible in execution. I think you guys would have more hits if you had better drawing.s
Seriously!? This is what "Gregory" felt after reading this comic, that the strip is "good in theory" but unable to attract attention or traffic without "better drawing.s" [sic].

I can't imagine anything sillier - what these two strips have in common is that they're people who are eager and passionate about sharing their comics. They're doing it for the love of doing it - the side effects of which would only be to brighten the days of readers when they pass through, and the warm feeling that comes from knowing you had something to do with it.

If anything, the silly and nonchalant style is imperative to a good joke. It admits to readers that this isn't to be taken too seriously. I mean, Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel was supposed to be a ceiling-comic, but he got carried away and people "don't get it" now.

Revisionist history and restoration "experts" completely missed the joke. A warning to us all that too much detail distracts us from the gag.
Now, I must admit, I was prescient of this concept before I endeavoured to start making comics about the bad haircuts I'd received at the bad barber's shop. He made me feel stupid by giving me a bad haircut, and drawing dumb comics is my outlet - after joking about it for ages with a co-worker, I thought the joke between us could live on if I immortalized it in a silly strip. To go along with the bad barber was the bum that begged for change outside our office:

I know, the Peterborough, Ont. version of Bert and Ernie, right?
I wanted the comic to look "thrown together" because I didn't want it to be taken too seriously, but I have to admit, I spent a lot of effort making sure the images looked like that. Like, an embarrassingly long time, if you ask me.

And that's the IMPORTANT lesson here. The merit of the comics, that spirit of creating them for the love to bringing a little joy to the lives of others, is what's essential - and cramping up because it's not straight out of the Yale University School of Art is no reason to stop.

As long as you love it, don't ever stop, slow down or feel less of yourself for letting your style and personality grow through your work.

It's ridiculous [in the bad way] to think you have to be great at something before you start, or that becoming a Master in your craft requires that you conform to the style of those who have been the most successful in your field. All of that's nonsense.

Keep it real!

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Hey there, I am glad you have taken the time to leave a comment. Thanks - I am looking forward to reading it.