Should it be a do-over?

Postby Todd Michaels on Mon Apr 01, 2002 2:04 pm

Over in the Framed!!! forum, Damonk did so speaketh:
If you find that he beginning is corny, what's stopping you from rewriting it?

Heck, I've taken hours to pencil and ink comics, only to scrap them completely just because i didn't like it.

An artist and writer should never be afraid to start over, and most importantly, should force themselves to be satisfied with something they know they can improve.

Heck, I'm actually planing on rewriting the first few weeks worth of FRAMED!!! strips, because there are a number of them that i find are just BAD.


(before I start, I want it known that I believe of course it is a cartoonist's right to do what he/she/it wants with his/her/its creation. If that means doing things over, great--go do that!)

I just felt like starting up a discussion about going back into one's archives and re-doing strips. Should artists do that?

To be sure, there are strips of mine that didn't quite end up how I wanted them, but I'm not going to go back and change them. I like having a history of changes in my drawing style. One of the best examples I can come up with is Silly Cone V (this is not meant to be a slam, Scrubbo). He's got a terrific style, sure, but compare his latest strips with his first ones. What a change! I'm glad I can see the progression. Even in my own stuff, I find it interesting to see how things change. That's why in my Archives site, I've included an "Evolution" section to show how things have changed over the years.

Now, I did pull all of my old Boarders and Sister strips and am (slowly) re-scanning and coloring them, but that's mostly because I finally found what I think is a good size for them. As long as I was scanning them over, I thought I'd put color where there was only black & white before. I think it adds a nice continuity without taking away from the history of style.

So what do you think? Is it better to do things over or leave them as you first drew them?
Todd Michaels
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Postby Patjade on Tue Apr 02, 2002 4:40 am

I think that another alternative is in order. How about redoing some of the strips as you mentioned, but with a commentary about why you changed it and a link to see the strip as you originally drew it? Thus you will have both a polished item, and a little history to go with it. Steve Troop (Melonpool) has done this in his books, as well as his website (if memory serves).
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Postby Matt Trepal on Tue Apr 02, 2002 5:05 pm

On 2002-04-01 14:04, Todd Michaels wrote:
So what do you think? Is it better to do things over or leave them as you first drew them?


Hi, Todd! Glad to see you're still around! (I'll shamefully admit that I'd stopped checking B&S about two months ago)

But, to answer your question, I think it's best to leave things the way they are. I like the idea of watching the progression of an artist over time. Scrubbo's strip is an excellent example. And there are plenty of my own early strips that I don't like to look at now, but I have no intention of redoing any of them.

Why? Because where do you draw the line (so to speak)? Unless an artist has gotten so comfortable with his/her style and can reproduce it consistently, there won't ever be an end to the redrawing. There's stuff about the strips I'm drawing now that I can't stand, but even so they're so much better than how I started that there's little comparison. If I were to redraw the first fourteen strips (which are, in my opinion, the absolute worst ones), sometime down the pike I'd want, or feel obligated, to redraw more of them to correspond to my new quality, including that first re-done batch. Plus, if you redraw the beginning strips you wind up with a point where the quality will actually degrade, instead of constantly improving throughout. That could be a turn-off to any unsuspecting websurfer cruising through your archives.

Plus, my drawing style is so tedious that I couldn't possibly re-do old strips and get new ones done at the same time. So there's an element of laziness involved, too.

Having said that, if an artist so dislikes his earlier work that he's willing to re-do them, that's his perogative. Does any of this make sense?

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Postby Todd Michaels on Wed Apr 03, 2002 3:13 pm

On 2002-04-02 04:40, patjade wrote:
How about redoing some of the strips as you mentioned, but with a commentary about why you changed it and a link to see the strip as you originally drew it?


Now, this is an interesting alternative, and bears some thought! This would serve as an example of how styles change, as well as being a "what have I learned since doing this the first time."

Hmm...
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Postby Todd Michaels on Wed Apr 03, 2002 3:36 pm

On 2002-04-02 17:05, Matt Trepal wrote:
(I'll shamefully admit that I'd stopped checking B&S about two months ago)


Yes, Matt- you should be ashamed of yourself. Even though there were a couple of months where I barely got 1 comic a month, you should've checked me religiously every day.

Actually, I just started trying to get going again in the last month. I haven't really made a big deal about it since I was afraid of slipping into limbo yet again. Once I figure out what kind of schedule I wanted/was feasible, I may publicize it more. For now, I'm just mentioning it casually here and there. You know, to create a minor buzz.

Unless an artist has gotten so comfortable with his/her style and can reproduce it consistently, there won't ever be an end to the redrawing.


Actally, that (consistent reproduction) is where I find the artwork to get a little boring. For example, I find PvP to be extremely well-drawn (as well as hilarious), but there's not really anything dynamic about the art. At this point, it looks like he has a stockpile of character templates and pastes them in as needed.

Plus, my drawing style is so tedious that I couldn't possibly re-do old strips and get new ones done at the same time. So there's an element of laziness involved, too.


I agree. Not so much with the tedium, but with that fact that I barely get the strips I want to done the first time. Were I a playboy millionaire, I would probably spend a whole lot of time tinkering with old strips.

Does any of this make sense?


No. You think far too much like me to possess any coherent reasoning.

<small>so, Todd, are you a daddy yet?</small>


Yes I am! Alexander is almost a month old. I have a site with pictures of him since my parents are in Utah (we're in Illinois). The site is at http://www.tbcnet.com/~peanut2002/ . There are a ton of pictures there, so here, here, and here are some nice ones.

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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Todd Michaels on 2002-04-03 15:38 ]</font>
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