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Strip 698, Volume 4, Page 157

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< Piro >

ping and piro

"the subconscious mule"

Saturday - April 9, 2005

[Piro] - 14:40:00 - [link here]

I think that subconsciously i have a tendency to know when something in a comic isn't working even if the logical and 'awake' side of my brain refuses to think so. It's something i've been paying more attention to in the past year.

It's a weird thing. I can have the most complex drawings, a loose script that isn't quite spot on yet, but if it feels right and I'm comfortable with where things are going, i'll motor on at a fairly quick pace till the thing are done. The little details that are often up in the air work themselves out as the drawings progress. It's kind of hard to explain why this happens, but for me, the real content for these comics comes out in my drawings, not in scripting or writing.

The problem is, you have to have somewhere to start, a good solid story framework to work from. This chapter has been rolling along pretty good because i think i've had a good balance between the drawing side and the planning side of things, and the dialogue between them has been working out well. How do i know when something isn't right, or when the creative drawing stuff is NOT liking what the story writing side has set down for it to do? The drawing side simply plops itself down and refuses to budge, causing it to take an excruciating amount of time to work thru the drawings. That subconscious mule can't talk but it sure can decide when it's not gonna budge.

I've learned to listen to that. The structure of the tail end of this chapter is pretty solid and in good shape. I know where things are going, and even though i find the challenge of drawing the Cave of Evil environment pretty challenging, I'm looking forward to it. But there is still the challenge of making each of the comics that will get us there, and each one has to stand on its own and help things unfold. I had a horrid time with the script for friday, and even tho i was no where near happy with it, i decided i needed to start drawing. Often that will help me resolve things, but drawing wasn't helping. In fact, it wasn't going well at all. My drawing side was refusing to budge in the execution of what i had scripted out.... and then i realized why everything felt so forced.

I stepped back from the whole thing and realized that i needed to completely change my approach to this strip and some elements of the following strips. I totally wasn't dealing with a characterization elements of this comic properly, and i was totally missing out on some of the stronger dynamics presented by the situation. Duh. Sure, it worked, and it fit with the story plan, but it was missing the stuff that makes the *progress* of getting there fun and worthwhile. The logical side of my brain totally brushed over it, the drawing mule saw it clear as day.

So... hell. That put me in a position of having to start all over. Which i did. And i feel better about it now, and its going to be a much better comic. The only problem is, Saturday is half gone, and ... fsck. I simply missed my window to do friday's comic.

I'm not sure if these writing goofs have anything to do with my recent move and getting settled in. Probably, to some extent, who knows. I am sorry for the hiccups in the schedule - having the servers go boingo on me didn't help my creative mood this week either. I'm gonna just take my medicine, finish this comic, but post it at the expected time for monday's comic, and get on a solid footing for my 3 comics per week schedule.

For fun, and so you have something to look at, i've posted what will likely be part of the first frame of the revised comic (i've tanked the drawings i did for the other version - trust me, not worth looking at) and honestly, even this unfinished frame looks 1000% better than what i was doing. It's not done, i'm only 75% done with this drawing, but its a snapshot of a frame in progress. Thought it might be at least a something to tide you over till monday.

< Dom >

Oop ack!

"Filled gaps"

Wednesday - April 13, 2005

[Dom] - 12:30:00 - [link here]

You'll have to pardon my week-long silence. As I mentioned before, I was working on a rather hefty piece of feature article for Newtype USA, and when that finished on Friday, I was immediately assigned a few more stories.

This is a good thing, by the way.

What it isn't is an acceptable excuse not to rant, and so I'll make up for that as soon as I'm done with this last article. It's only 125 words, so I should be back in about a half hour. I'll update this rant, and the RSS feed, at that point.

Ahhhhh, the reviews are off to the editors. Now to what I was actually going to say about filled gaps.

You see, I've talked a bit about my Pile of Shame, a heap of DVDs next to my desk that I keep wanting to watch, but never seem to have time/energy for. These include some of the best movies ever made, like Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, big-ticket stuff like that.

Well, my KOTOKO live tour DVD came in from Amazon yesterday, and as I started to stick it in my laptop, I thought to myself, "wait, you're willing to watch a two-hour concert video, but you can't spare 90 minutes for some of the most influential movies in history?"

So that gave me a good kick in the ass, and I picked up the Humphrey Bogart collection box set I'd gotten for Christmas, and sat down with Bogie, Ingrid Bergman and one of the greatest movies of all time.

Then, after "Louie, this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship", my guilt abated, and I was able to watch a giant robot show where the pilots treat combining to form the giant robot like it was sex. And I didn't feel guilty, since it wasn't like there was anything infinitely more enlightening that I skipped out on to watch it.

I'm a strange, strange little man. But I think you all knew that.

Anyway, I watched the Maltese Falcon today, and after that, my Pile of Shame certainly looks less intimidating--right now, the only classic films I know I need to see but haven't yet are Chinatown, Citizen Kane (it's not going to feel the same after being inundated by parodies of it since I was 8, but it's still required viewing) and The Emperor and the Assassin.

Then, truly, I'll be able to watch my brain candy in peace.

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