Tuesday, July 29, 2008


#0043 Macho Shirt


A rather harmless gag based on my own experiences. Not much character development, except to point out Anthony's sort of "macho" self-image, although he does seem to be a little more aware of the joke than he is normally.

But a funny joke, I think.

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Monday, July 28, 2008


#0042 Talking in Their Sleep


This strip is meant more to add to the character's characterization than to create a traditional "narrative with punchline" joke. Each character is having a dream - this is sort of little jokes about each character's hopes and dreams - with the exception of Mikhail, who, true to form, is dreaming about something rather surreal and is the only character who appears to be awake.

Note that other than the title panel, all panels were darkened after drawing to give them a more "nighttime" feel. Perhaps I should have whitened out the "word balloons" to make the writing more visible. I'm also not sure how much effect darkening the room has for light-colored rooms like Robyn's, Scott's, and Chastity's. (The goal was to darken the characters' features as well as the room's; otherwise I would have just colored everything other than the people darker form the beginning).

The dreams are as follows:

(1) Robyn is dreaming about having a romantic interlude with a character from Babylon 5. The particular exchange she is referencing can be found here

(2) Scott is on Jeopardy!, and the board contains his favorite topics.

(3) Chastity is helping her favorite comic nook character.

(4) Abraham is being hired to do a favor for the President, adding to his bank of "favors people owe me."

(5) Emerson has a big scoop against some Senator he doesn't like.

(6) Patience has won the Miss America pageant.

(7) Kenneth is having a dream about female celebrities being his girlfriends.

(8) Anthony is dreaming that some magazine has found him "Sexiest Man in the U.S."

(9) Mikhail is dreaming that some huge rabbit doing a bad Bugs Bunny impression and eating carrot greens has invaded his room.

One last note: with the exception of the color of her sheets, Chastity's room is designed to look like it did in strip #0007.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008


#0041 Fashionable


Kenneth may be dumber and more oversexed, but he is less vain and materialistic than Anthony. Anthony has a constant love affair with himself, which makes his relationships, romantic and otherwise, very difficult.

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#0040 One-Track Mind


This is, I believe, the first time we have seen Kenneth and Anthony together. Kenneth's main feature is his constant lust, which is shown here. Although neither character is very bright, Anthony is a little smarter, a little more self-aware, and less oversexed than Kenneth.

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Friday, July 25, 2008


#0039 Discussing the "Veronica Lake" on a Hill


A bit of a comment here on the rather impractical hairstyle I gave Chastity. Not really much to comment on here other than that.

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#0038 The Problem with Patience


Not for the first time, it is suggested that Patience's self-pitying personality is a bigger turn-off than any physical imperfections.

Also, note the motif of Patience running after the person who zinged her.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008


#0037 Mikhail's Philosophy


Again, I emphasize Mikhail's surreality as he melts with relaxation into the hillside, and as Scott comments on this in the punchline.

Notice the repeated use of multiple angles, which will be done in all of the six "daily" strips this week.

Also note that I have once again given Mikhail uneven bangs (as he had the first time we saw him from the front, whereas from the front in most of the recent strips his hair has been combed left to right or right to left.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008


#0036 Emerson and Scott Talk on the Hill

This week the comic will be focusing on conversations had while laying back nd looking up at the sky. The goal is to get the characters once again displaying their personalities.

Emerson (or "Em" as Scott calls him) basically sums up his defining feature in this strip. When he feels wronged, he will stomp over whoever or whatever he has to to set it right.

If he were Charlie Brown, Lucy would have choked to death on the football by the late 50s.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008


#0035 Robyn and Science Fiction


Robyn is a big Babylon 5 fan. When I first created her character in my head, she was always dressed as Ambassador Delenn. But I think I will make her more well-rounded in the future. Mira, Mira, is a refernce to Mira Furlan, the actress who portrayed Delenn.

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Monday, July 21, 2008


#0034 Campaigning


Augustawell is a town in the fictional state of Maine Hampshire. (Augustawell is a pormanteau of Augusta and neighboring city Hallowell).

This scene is designed to bring up a political issue I care about (ballot access) while also making the strip more focused on the characters than on trying to push a point of view.

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Friday, July 18, 2008


#0033 Slash and Bash


Chastity and Patience at home (remember, they are sisters).

Chastity is similar to Scott in that she takes amusement in noticing hypocrisy and pretension, unlike Emerson, who gets enraged.

If Chastity's head in the fourth panel looks rather unusual, it's because I scanned it in separately from the rest of the page and then added it to the comic with Photoshop. I scanned it in at a larger size, which is why the lines around the head are smaller than in other panels.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008


#0032 Too Tan


Another tanning joke about Anthony Trelawney! This will likely be a running gag for a while, but I will likely not keep the joke going past this year.

I flipped the character's positions on panel 3, because if Abraham had been on the right, it might have looked as if Scott were still talking to Mikhail and I drew Abe by mistake.

There is supposed to be some time elapsed between panels two and three. Scott is going to Abe here because the easiest way for any teenager is Augustawell to get something like this done is to go to the local favor-broker.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008


#0031 Shades


Steve Sailer addresses some of the issues around intra-black discrimination here.

This strip also demonstrates a technique that I have used in previous strips of showing the scene as it progresses from 3 or 4 different angles, with the hope that this makes the setting clearer. In this case, Abraham has opened his door and is leaning out to talk to the NAACP representative.

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#0030 Fight AIDS!


I originally was going to have the bleache-blond just explain to Scott that he wanted to make it illegal to smoke in a bar, but then I realized that it would look too artificial - too much like the Doonesbury "charcters expound Trudeau's political views" or the Day by Day "characters exist only to have Crossfire-like arguments with each other." So I added theidea of the petition to give the character a reason to bring the subject up.

Two problems - first, Scott is too young to sign the petition. But then again, the bleach-blond doesn't know that. Secondly, I did not draw the petition in the panel, which would have been better visually. I would revise the cartoon, but I tried just adding a petition and there is no way to do that well without entirely redrawing the bleach-blond's arms. I think that most people can assume that the petition is there just below the panel.

(Only click If you don't mind salty language). This blog post by Dan Savage (and threebs' un-PC response) was the inspiration for this strip.

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#0029 The Comics Page


This joke requires you to know a little bit about Funky Winkerbean (and Calvin and Hobbes, (but who doesn't know about them)). If you get that reference, and have read Funky in the past ten years, this should be a hilarious (funny, anyway) joke.

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#0028 Introducing Robyn Packer


The way to Scott's heart is through getting his obscure pop culture references.

The woman he finds finally is Robyn Packer, who will be a recurring character. The other women are not intended to be recurring characters, although i may use the same designs again as extras later.

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#0027 Advertising the Augustawell Snoop Scoop


Emerson's motto is: "when life gives you lemons, choke life until it gives you something better." He is constantly angry. As a result, his reports on people tned to be about people who have irked him in some way (not necessarily personally) and tend to be very vicious. Scott takes a much more laid-back attitude, although he has as biting a wit as Emerson and just as much of an intolerance of stupidity and disingenuousness.

The difference is that Scott always says it with a smile.

Note that Emerson has settled on a title for his paper: The Augustawell Snoop Scoop

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Monday, July 14, 2008


#0026 CFL Inspiration


This strip is mostly gag-based, although there is one character element here - Mikhail's cartoonishness compared to the other characters. He is the only character for whom this joke works.

The choice of Abe Sherman and Chastity Lawson, on the other hand, was arbitrary plotwise. Any of the characters could have served as well (unlike in this strip, where Scott and Mikhail were the best choice due to their friendship with Emerson and to a lesser extent to the sophistication of the conversation (which would exclude Anthony and Kenneth).

I chose them primarily for exposure (they haven't been featured much yet) and because I need practice drawing them.

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#0025 Ransacked?


This is character-based humor. With a relatively large starting cast, I need this to set up each character so that future plots may make sense.

I am not certain how clear the chronology is here. In the second panel, they are running to Mikhail's front door, but in the little right triangle in the upper left corner of the third panel, they have entered the house and running up the stairs to the second floor.

I am not certain how well the locking joke works, seeing as the unlocked door is to the house and Mikhail is mostly concerned with his room, but I think the punchline is clear.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008


#0024 Grief


Emerson is sort of like a more assertive Charlie Brown. Things often go wrong for him. Unlike Charlie Brown, though, he tends to get angry and to get even. His journalism and his desire to do "attack interviews" stems from his immediate desire to avenge any perceived injustice. His greatest quality is his burning desire for justice. His greatest flaw is his desire for vengeance.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008


#0023 Vanity


Anthony's tan gets even deeper (trust me, it's going to go back soon) and his hair gets lighter from all of the sun exposure.

Abraham Sherman is not particularly sensitive about people commenting on his race, but he is very annoyed at Anthony for interrupting whatever it is that he is reading. Anthony, as usual, is, while not mean, totally oblivious to other peopl's feelings.

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Saturday, July 5, 2008


#0022 Attraction


Patience's most important character trait is low-grade self-pity, particularly regarding her love life. Her next most important trait is her jealousy of her younger and more attractive sister Chastity.

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Friday, July 4, 2008


#0021 The Interview, Part VII


And finally the actual interview! The top two throwaway panels make more sense if you first read comic #0020. Angus McGuffy's responses and Emerson's internal commentaries are based on Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and blogger Richard Poe, respectively (although the last response is modeled on the way that Poe would respond to questions about Bush rather than McCain).

For another take on the punchline, see this old Glaivester post.

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#0020 The Interview Part VI

Finally the interviewee appears.

There is not much to comment on on this particular strip, so I will draw people's attention to two of my stylistic elements.

First, note that I like to switch between traditional speech balloons and "Bloom County"-esque dialogue with lines (likewise, thoughts are characterized by "thought bubbles" with or without a border around the thought).

Second, I often do not complete the lines on the original drawings, and so borders between colors are often not separated by black lines. I like this effect, although I don't know if I can say why.

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Thursday, July 3, 2008


#0019 The interview Part V


This is the second appearance of Abraham Sherman, third if you count the title panel for #0014. Abe's nose is rounder than in his first appearance, to make his features more black.

Everyone owes Abe a favor, and everyone comes to him for favors. This is the introduction of what is to become his primary characteristic in this strip.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008


#0018 The Interview Part IV


And so the eponymous interview finally introduced.

This pokes fun specifically at those talk show hosts who use "support the troops" to mean "support the President."

As is usually the case, non-sky-blue solid background indicates being indoors (outdoors scenes usually have two colors, with one indicating clouds [usually sky blue for the sky and white for the clouds, but evening scenes have other colors], and occasionally the sky is solid blue).

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#0017 The Interview Part III


More of the preliminaries to the interview. Note the use of nicknames for three characters; this is the first time for two of the characters: Mikhail = Mickey, Patience = Pat. Chastity was referred to as "Chas" in her second appearance.

This is the first time that Mikhail has been really cartoonish, although his first appearance noted his Orphan Annie eyes.

By the way, Patience is left-wing, Scott is right -wing.

Also note Anthony's ever-increasing tan.

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