Ask R. C. a Question

Ask R. C. a Question

Postby Rcmonroe on Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:11 pm

This thread is here because if it weren't, you might post a question to me in a different thread, and I might not notice it, and you might get mad at me. I can't deal with that.

Oh, trust me, eventually I'll probably be too high and mighty to acknowledge you, so take advantage of the fact that as of now, while I can still count my fans on one hand, I actually have the time to hobnob online with the likes of you. I can't impress upon you enough how much I look forward to the day when I'm so conceited that I'll guffaw with delight at the numerous postings in this forum that all ask the same question—"Remember when that @$#%! cared enough to give us the time of day?" At which point most of you will get lives, abandon me for some far worthier ideal, and ultimately seal my doom. Hah! Serves me right.

Right now you're probably thinking: Whoa—is this dude for real?

Only one way to find out:

Ask R.C. a Question.
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Ask R.C. a Question

Postby GoPogo on Thu Aug 17, 2006 3:12 pm

I have a question. (Its a bit exciting to have the first question on here, I must say.)

Do you already have the story planned out, or are you making it up as you go along?
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Re: Ask R.C. a Question

Postby Rcmonroe on Thu Aug 17, 2006 10:09 pm

GoPogo wrote:I have a question. (Its a bit exciting to have the first question on here, I must say.)


Would it sound pathetic if I said it was even more exciting for me? Oops, too late.

Do you already have the story planned out, or are you making it up as you go along?


I have quite a bit of the story planned out. The next hundred or so strips are already scripted. After that, I'm pretty much making it up as I go along, but I have general ideas about what's going to happen to whom. This could change, of course. I don't have any ending planned, because I don't plan to end the strip voluntarily; they'll have to pry it from my cold dead hands.

Okay, now I have a question for you: did you choose your screenname because you're a fan of the Pogo comic strip? If so, you rock.
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Postby Neveryoumind on Fri Aug 18, 2006 12:29 am

Hey there man,

I'm the dude who emailed you a way back.
If that rules it out.

Let's see... questions, questions...

How do you draw your comic,
and how long does it take you?

I ask this partially so I can gauge it against myself.
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Postby Rcmonroe on Fri Aug 18, 2006 8:37 am

Yeah, I remember you--you were Fan No. 1. Welcome.

To answer your question:

I made a template in Photoshop with all the borders, the strip title and my byline, the copyright line, and my signature. From there, everything gets created from scratch.

I start with the lettering, which I do in Photoshop. These days I also draw the word balloons in Photoshop; when I started the strip I hand-drew them.

I draw each panel on a 5.5" x 8.5" piece of paper in non-repro blue pencil (I'm too lazy to erase). I use a brush pen for all but the thinnest lines. Early on I wasn't confident I could use the brush competently so the early strips had a sketchier look to them. I think they look better now.

After inking I scan the panels and do whatever clean-up is necessary in Photoshop. This used to take a lot longer because I made a lot of mistakes inking; I don't make as many now.

I think all that takes approximately 1.5–2 hours per strip. I've never actually timed it. Some strips take longer because some have more detail.
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Re: Ask R.C. a Question

Postby GoPogo on Fri Aug 18, 2006 8:59 am

Actually, I just couldn't think of anything. I picked Go Pogo because its a song by the band Antidote and I like pogo-punk. I've heard of the comic Pogo but never actually read it.
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Postby Rcmonroe on Fri Aug 18, 2006 9:55 am

Fair enough.

The word "Pogo" meant comic perfection years before a man who called himself Vicious thought of bouncing up and down at his mates' gigs.

Not that the man wasn't a comic genius himself.
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Postby GoPogo on Fri Aug 18, 2006 8:14 pm

Don't even get me started on Sid Vicious. I could rant for hours about him. Okay, maybe not hours, but a few solid minutes at least.

I wish I had another question for you, but at the moment I don't. Not any good ones, I mean.
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Postby Tenma on Sat Aug 19, 2006 12:58 am

Nice place you got here, Monroe. Now, let me just stretch out and grind my feet on your couch... ;-)

I don't think I've ever heard of anyone doing the lettering and bubbles first. That's an interesting way to do things, though, and I can see how it would give you a better idea of exactly how much space you have to work with. I usually hit it in between setting my lineart in the frames template and coloring, in case I need to make adjustments.

I remember you saying something about quitting drawing and coming back to it several years later to do Out There. Did you do anything else of this magnitude before the great hiatus, or was it always kind of just a hobby? I ask because you seem to have a well-defined style and excellent consistency, which suggests you've had a lot of practice.
Last edited by Tenma on Sun Aug 20, 2006 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Rcmonroe on Sun Aug 20, 2006 10:00 am

GoPogo wrote:Don't even get me started on Sid Vicious. I could rant for hours about him. Okay, maybe not hours, but a few solid minutes at least.

I wish I had another question for you, but at the moment I don't. Not any good ones, I mean.


Okay, I won't get you started. I think the Pistols were great, but that had "bugger all" to do with Sid.
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Postby Rcmonroe on Sun Aug 20, 2006 10:23 am

Tenma wrote:Nice place you got here, Monroe. Now, let me just stretch out grind my feet on your couch... ;-)

I don't think I've ever heard of anyone doing the lettering and bubbles first. That's an interesting way to do things, though, and I can see how it would give you a better idea of exactly how much space you have to work with. I usually hit it in between setting my lineart in the frames template and coloring, in case I need to make adjustments.

I remember you saying something about quitting drawing and coming back to it several years later to do Out There. Did you do anything else of this magnitude before the great hiatus, or was it always kind of just a hobby? I ask because you seem to have a well-defined style and excellent consistency, which suggests you've had a lot of practice.


Eehhh. I need a new couch anyway.

Yeah, to me doing the word bubbles first just makes sense, because then I know exactly what space I have left to work with. I can see how it wouldn't be necessary in your case, because you usually have much wider panels than I do and therefore a lot more space to work with. When one of my windy characters goes into a diatribe though, I know that with my skinny panels space is going to be at a premium.

As for my style, I started drawing comics when I was a wee lad, drew a daily strip in college, then a couple of weekly strips in various community (read: very low-circulation) newspapers after that before throwing my hands up in the air. So I did have a lot of practice. I guess it's like riding a bike, because when I started again, it felt a lot like it did in the old days.

I'm getting to the point where I'm starting to feel like the drawings are consistent, but I'm not there yet. It's a funny thing--I didn't want to start the strip until I had sketched the characters enough so they wouldn't be changing a lot once I started the strip. But they have changed; maybe not radically, but the change is noticeable. I wonder if you've also found the following to be true: no matter what you think you know about your characters, the final decision always seems to be up to them.
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Postby Tenma on Sun Aug 20, 2006 12:38 pm

rcmonroe wrote:Yeah, to me doing the word bubbles first just makes sense, because then I know exactly what space I have left to work with. I can see how it wouldn't be necessary in your case, because you usually have much wider panels than I do and therefore a lot more space to work with. When one of my windy characters goes into a diatribe though, I know that with my skinny panels space is going to be at a premium.


Yeah, that would have been good advice for me back when I was doing horizontal strips myself. (Can you imagine trying to do them at 700 pixels wide?) One of the main reasons I decided to switch back to the full-page style was so that I could have some room to stretch out.

As for my style, I started drawing comics when I was a wee lad, drew a daily strip in college, then a couple of weekly strips in various community (read: very low-circulation) newspapers after that before throwing my hands up in the air. So I did have a lot of practice. I guess it's like riding a bike, because when I started again, it felt a lot like it did in the old days.

I'm getting to the point where I'm starting to feel like the drawings are consistent, but I'm not there yet. It's a funny thing--I didn't want to start the strip until I had sketched the characters enough so they wouldn't be changing a lot once I started the strip. But they have changed; maybe not radically, but the change is noticeable. I wonder if you've also found the following to be true: no matter what you think you know about your characters, the final decision always seems to be up to them.


Heh, compared to me, you are a GOD of consistency. There are certain times in my archive where it looks like the comic has switched artists entirely. I guess it's partially excusable since I didn't have as solid foundation to start from as you did. I doodled a little as a kid and on and off throughout my adult life, but TG is the first actual comic project I've ever done, so it's still very much a learning experience.

There are a lot of things I would do differently the next time around, including your idea of sketching the characters until you really get them down before starting the comic. You're right, they do take control of their own destinies to an extent, but it's much easier to call it 'evolution' when you had a good grasp of their designs to begin with. :-)
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Postby Schprocklabor on Thu Aug 24, 2006 12:54 am

Are you really R.C. Monroe? Really? You?
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Postby Rcmonroe on Thu Aug 24, 2006 6:57 am

Schprocklabor wrote:Are you really R.C. Monroe? Really? You?


As far as you know.
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Postby KAM on Fri Oct 20, 2006 1:07 am

Hi

How do you feel about people you don't know suggesting your comic for reviews?

How do you feel about your characters making cameos in other comics?

Okay, I noticed your comment over at the Studio Rat forum & thought I should stick my head in & say hi & there didn't seem to be any other thread for that.

Been reading Out There from the 3rd comic. Cracked up, read the first 2 & bookmarked it. Just not much of a forum person.
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Postby Rcmonroe on Fri Oct 20, 2006 8:23 am

KAM wrote:How do you feel about people you don't know suggesting your comic for reviews?


Love it.

KAM wrote:How do you feel about your characters making cameos in other comics?


Love it.

KAM wrote:Okay, I noticed your comment over at the Studio Rat forum & thought I should stick my head in & say hi & there didn't seem to be any other thread for that.

Been reading Out There from the 3rd comic. Cracked up, read the first 2 & bookmarked it. Just not much of a forum person.


Glad you like it; it's great hearing from supporters. And thanks for the suggestion in the Studio Rat forum. If he hates my strip and reviews it anyway, it's a positive thing. Publicity is good. I'm happy about anything that gets someone to click a link to my site.
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Postby Cloudy on Fri Oct 20, 2006 10:46 am

Sure, I'll bite. Have any artists ever influenced your drawing style, and if so, who and in what way?

~Cloudy
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Postby Rcmonroe on Fri Oct 20, 2006 11:26 am

Cloudy wrote:Sure, I'll bite. Have any artists ever influenced your drawing style, and if so, who and in what way?


A friend of mine called my style "a cross between Gary Trudeau and Mort Walker." We have remained friends in spite of this.

In addition to the aforementioned: Charles Schulz, Walt Kelly, R. Crumb, Jack Davis (in fact, probably everybody who drew for Mad Magazine during the 70's or earlier), Gilbert Shelton… maybe Johnny Hart and/or Brant Parker…

Am I dating myself? I could make it even worse by adding Peter Arno, Chon Day, R. Taylor…

There's probably dozens of others I can't think of right now.

In what way have they influenced me? Too many ways to recount, and in ways even I am not aware of. I consider Schulz the most important because he was the main inspiration to start drawing comics in the first place.

As for writers, Schulz, Trudeau, Harvey Pekar, and Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez have probably been the most influential.

If you haven't heard of any of these people they're all well worth a Google.
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Postby Schprocklabor on Fri Oct 20, 2006 1:05 pm

rcmonroe wrote:Am I dating myself?

You sure are, you young whippersnapper. Where's the love for George Herriman, Winsor McCay, and A.D. Condo?
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Postby Rcmonroe on Fri Oct 20, 2006 1:26 pm

Schprocklabor wrote:
rcmonroe wrote:Am I dating myself?

You sure are, you young whippersnapper. Where's the love for George Herriman, Winsor McCay, and A.D. Condo?


Herrimann and McCay rocked, as did F. Opper, Cliff Sterrett, Harold Gray, Roy Crane, Milton Canniff, etc. I didn't mention them because I discovered them after I had been drawing for a very long time, so I can't say they influenced me much.

Who the heck is A. D. Condo?
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