Hello?

Postby Somebody Strange on Wed Jul 18, 2001 2:27 am

Hey folks. It's been quiet here lately.<P>I'm assuming that may be due to the lack of current comics. Rest assured, I have more comics ready to go, but last night was a lightning storm that punted me offline several times until I got the hint. FTP'ing the comics was impossible. Then, I overslept (no time to FTP this morning) and I have an audition tonight, and I'm leaving straight from work to the theatre.<P>When I get home, comics shall appear. Honest.<P>--Strange/Dave<P>------------------
<A HREF="http://viciouslies.keenspace.com" TARGET=_blank>Vicious Lies.</A> You can't handle the truth.
Neurotic -- sane, but unhappy about it.
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Postby SpareChange on Thu Jul 19, 2001 4:18 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Chris Purcell said:
<B>You *could* add people to your cast, you know. Perhaps a neighbour, or a friend or relative. You might wanna ask them first, of course.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
It's much more fun if you <B>don't</B> ask them and use them in your strip anyway, but never reference them by anything but a first name. Then they can whine that they don't look/talk/act like that, and you can just roll your eyes and say
"That's because it's <B>not really you!</B>"
Not like that's what I do... um... never mind.<P>------------------
<B>Warren</B><P><A HREF="http://sparechange.keenspace.com" TARGET=_blank>Spare Change</A>
<A HREF="mailto:Warren@Webcomics.zzn.com">Warren@Webcomics.zzn.com</A> <p>[This message has been edited by SpareChange (edited 07-19-2001).]
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Postby Chris Purcell on Thu Jul 19, 2001 4:33 am

"Wanna practise?"<P>
Heheheheheh....<P>You *could* add people to your cast, you know. Perhaps a neighbour, or a friend or relative. You <I>might</I> wanna ask them first, of course.<P>
Dave, how hard is starting a comic strip? And would getting a graphics tablet be a good idea? (Just musing, you see.)<P>Chris/Kritter out
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Postby Somebody Strange on Thu Jul 19, 2001 6:28 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chris Purcell:
<B>You *could* add people to your cast, you know. Perhaps a neighbour, or a friend or relative. You <I>might</I> wanna ask them first, of course.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>I've included some of Ann's immediate family, although her parents only appeared in <A HREF="http://viciouslies.keenspace.com/d/20010526.html" TARGET=_blank>this "Congratulations" comic</A> for her sister's college graduation, and her brother Brad only appeared in that one and <A HREF="http://viciouslies.keenspace.com/d/20010611.html[/url" TARGET=_blank>this one</A>. Frankly, I only see them once every couple weeks or so -- not a huge amount of time to find inspiration -- plus, I just haven't had much time to draw lately.<P>I don't have many close friends here in Indianpolis. There's a couple folks I hang out with on occasion, and they may find their way into the comic eventually. There are also several of Ann's highschool friends still in the area, but we really don't see anybody that often. It's still an event when we get together with friends (as opposed to college, where you couldn't <i>not</i> hang out with groups of people). Most of my college friends have moved away, and even the ones still around are two and a half hours away -- <i>I</i> moved after graduating in '99.<P>My family all lives 650 miles away -- that's something like 1050 kilometers. <IMG SRC="http://www.keenspace.com/forums/smile.gif"> Again, <i>some</i> fuel for comedy, but not as much as I'd like. I'd love to have a regular character, but the vast majority of my communications with people are internet-based. A week of Dave-on-the-phone comics showed me that a week of Dave-on-the-net comics might work, but might just get old.<P>And as for my neighbors -- oy. I'm going to start a new topic just to discuss my neighbors. (I <i>am</i> moving in a little more than a week -- just to the other side of town, but maybe I'll get some new neighbors who WILL make it into the strip. I'm hoping we have a neighbor about our age who's more socially adept than I am.)<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>Dave, how hard is starting a comic strip? And would getting a graphics tablet be a good idea? (Just musing, you see.)</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>It's not hard to start the strip. It's hard to keep the strip going. I started <i>wrong</i>, though... I wasn't prepared.<P>Keenspace is a wonderful community where half the people are willing to help and the other half are just looneys. I asked question after question after question of great folks like <A HREF="http://kankong.keenspace.com" TARGET=_blank>Dan Frioli</A> (aka Simon Jester, aka Sergeant Bomar), <A HREF="http://www.toddandpenguin.com" TARGET=_blank>David Wright</A> (aka toddandpenguin), and <A HREF="http://www.boxjamsdoodle.com" TARGET=_blank>BoxJam</A> (aka... uh, BoxJam). I also solicited help on specific topics from people like <A HREF="http://www.lummoxjr.com" TARGET=_blank>LummoxJR</A> and <A HREF="http://www.randymthoughts.com" TARGET=_blank>Randy Tayler</A>. I've never been turned down on a request for help. Except by Corey Marie Kitley of <A HREF="http://www.radcomics.com" TARGET=_blank>Life's So Rad</A>, who gets so many requests for assistance that she apparently doesn't answer very many at all. Despite what you may think of her comic (and my opinion of it changes daily), she does know some pretty decent HTML and Javascript.<P>For me, the hard part is drawing. I'm not a very good artist, and I'm not a very fast artist. (Or as a friend once put it -- "You're not a fast artist, but you're not a slow artist. You're a half-fast artist." Say it out loud if you didn't find that amusing.)<P>I highly recommend getting a better graphics program than I have. My drawings may look pretty bad, but they're actually a lot better on paper. It's scanning and "fixing" any scanner-created problems like missing pixels that causes my drawings to look the way they do.<P>In terms of a graphics tablet, are you referring to something like a sketch pad? An actual pad of paper designed for drawing? Or are you referring to one of those nifty little pieces of hardware that allow you to use a stylus on a computerized pad and "draw" directly into the computer?<P>The former is a good idea, even if I just use high quality printer paper. The latter sounds nifty but is expensive, so I haven't actually looked at it.<P>If you browse through much of Keenspace, you'll see a ton of comics that made it through about six strips, then died. I recommend drawing at least ten strips before you even officially start your comic. That'll give you a whole lot of lead time to draw more. It'll also give you a good idea of how long it will take you to do a single strip, so you can decide whether to be weekly (can't think of a good example of a weekly comic), bi-weekly (ditto), tri-weekly (MWF like <A HREF="http://oddjobs.keenspace.com" TARGET=_blank>Odd Jobs</A>), weekdays lite (MTWR like <A HREF="http://www.soaprope.com" TARGET=_blank>Soap on a Rope</A>), weekdays (like <A HREF="http://www.boxjamsdoodle.com" TARGET=_blank>BoxJam's Doodle</A> and <A HREF="http://www.toddandpenguin.com" TARGET=_blank>Todd and Penguin</A>, weekdays plus (like <A HREF="http://sparechange.keenspace.com" TARGET=_blank>Spare Change</A>), or daily (like <A HREF="http://www.schlockmercenary.com" TARGET=_blank>Schlock Mercenary</A> and <A HREF="http://www.randymthoughts.com" TARGET=_blank>Randym Thoughts</A>).<P>(Ahhhh, pluggage.)<P>--Strange/Dave
<P>------------------
<A HREF="http://viciouslies.keenspace.com" TARGET=_blank>Vicious Lies.</A> You can't handle the truth.
Neurotic -- sane, but unhappy about it.
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Postby Lummox JR on Thu Jul 19, 2001 8:45 am

Hey, if you're looking for an interesting character you could always include some made-up instant message conversation with me. I'm somewhat loony and have many pet rants, making for interesting conversations--and you wouldn't have to draw a thing.<P>Lummox JR
("How big is a breadbox, anyway?")<P>------------------
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Postby BoxJam on Thu Jul 19, 2001 9:35 am

>>I highly recommend getting a better graphics program than I have. My drawings may look pretty bad, but they're actually a lot better on paper. It's scanning and "fixing" any scanner-created problems like missing pixels that causes my drawings to look the way they do.<P>What are you using? Do you know how to anti-alias?
If you do, scan in at 300 dpi resolution, then color it and stuff (for mine, it scans in
as a b&w drawing, so I have to grayscale and
turn on RGB before I can color), and *then*
reduce it to 72 dpi, you shouldn't have missing
pixels, etc.<P>However, when you reduce from 300 to 72 dpi, you
need to make sure it anti-aliases. With PhotoShop,
if the image is a color image, that happens by
default. I don't know about anything else.<P>Or did you know all that?<P>------------------
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that keeps <A HREF="http://www.altbrand.com/" TARGET=_blank>Alt Brand</A> down.
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Postby Chris Purcell on Fri Jul 20, 2001 12:47 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Somebody Strange:
<B>For me, the hard part is drawing. I'm not a very good artist, and I'm not a very fast artist. (Or as a friend once put it -- "You're not a fast artist, but you're not a slow artist. You're a half-fast artist." Say it out loud if you didn't find that amusing.)</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Yeah, I'm no way a good artist, but it might be fun to try, and I migh even get better at drawing <IMG SRC="http://www.keenspace.com/forums/smile.gif"><P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Somebody Strange:
<B>I highly recommend getting a better graphics program than I have. My drawings may look pretty bad, but they're actually a lot better on paper. It's scanning and "fixing" any scanner-created problems like missing pixels that causes my drawings to look the way they do.</B><P>*ahem* How legally do you recommend I get it?<P>[QUOTE]Originally posted by Somebody Strange:
<B>In terms of a graphics tablet, are you referring to something like a sketch pad? An actual pad of paper designed for drawing? Or are you referring to one of those nifty little pieces of hardware that allow you to use a stylus on a computerized pad and "draw" directly into the computer?<P>The former is a good idea, even if I just use high quality printer paper. The latter sounds nifty but is expensive, so I haven't actually looked at it.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Not really expensive these days; I can pick up a reasonable one here for about 50 quid, I doubt it'll be too bad in the US! <IMG SRC="http://www.keenspace.com/forums/wink.gif"> But if you do decide to get one, you need a good graphics program to go with it; check out the software they supply. Crappy programs wouldn't recognise pressure, etc.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Somebody Strange:
<B>If you browse through much of Keenspace, you'll see a ton of comics that made it through about six strips, then died. I recommend drawing at least ten strips before you even officially start your comic. That'll give you a whole lot of lead time to draw more. It'll also give you a good idea of how long it will take you to do a single strip *snip*</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Yeah, good idea. I wouldn't even be starting for a few months (lack of decent OS, lack of free non-work internet connection, etc), but if I started sketching now I could see what's what. And back at Uni I might be able to scrounge some artistry lessons of some friends, you never know.<P>Thing is, I have this entire sci-fi world going round in my head, it needs to be let out somehow, and like you I've been inspired by the great Howard Taylor to actually <I>do</I> something about it! I'd considered making a game, but you need to spend ages on the engine before the plot can even begin; I'd considered writing, but my writing skills are limited to fairly shallow, short stories. So now I'm considering the comic-medium, if only to see what it's like.<P>Thanks for all the comments, Dave. Hope your imagination gets going <IMG SRC="http://www.keenspace.com/forums/wink.gif"><P>Kritter out<P>P.S You don't need to actually script any 'net conversations per se. It might be interesting/funny if you described them to other characters in your strip, for example - like the dog <IMG SRC="http://www.keenspace.com/forums/biggrin.gif">
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Postby Somebody Strange on Fri Jul 20, 2001 6:27 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BoxJam:
<B>What are you using? Do you know how to anti-alias?
If you do, scan in at 300 dpi resolution, then color it and stuff (for mine, it scans in
as a b&w drawing, so I have to grayscale and
turn on RGB before I can color), and *then*
reduce it to 72 dpi, you shouldn't have missing
pixels, etc.<P>However, when you reduce from 300 to 72 dpi, you
need to make sure it anti-aliases. With PhotoShop,
if the image is a color image, that happens by
default. I don't know about anything else.<P>Or did you know all that?<P></B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>
I don't know the name of the scanner I'm using, so THAT's not much help. All I know is that the graphics program that comes with the scanner is supposed to be fantastic, but is so stinking difficult to use that I don't bother. I use flood fills for my colors (mostly because I have a bad eye for color and don't really understand how to do <i>non</i>-flood fills), and this program won't completely fill in anything -- I mean ANYTHING -- that I've asked it to. It also won't let me fill in the remaining pixels of what's not filled in, so I get this hideous speckled white stuff all over my comic. Additionally, the whole comic won't appear on the screen at once unless I zoom way the heck out, and once I've done that, manipulation of the comic to correct errors, or even just to color or cut and paste, becomes almost impossible. The only other option is shrinking it (I scan in at 600 dps), and it doesn't anti-alias.<P>So what I usually do is: scan in a B&W line drawing at 600 dps. Convert to RGB. Save as a .bmp file. Close the scanner program. Open MS-Paint, the only other graphics program I have. Open the .bmp and re-size it. Edit, color, add text. Save. Open Microsoft Photo Editor (techically a graphics program, but of virtually no use for comics... at least not to a mensch like me). Open the .bmp file. Save it as a .png file. FTP it and voila.<P>A typical "new" comic can take me so long that I've been re-using images for probably a month now with only one (if any) new pictures actually drawn by hand on paper.<P>I may be getting Illustrator and/or Photoshop from a friend... but I have a demo of Illustrator at work, and I can't figure out how the bloody thing works. I understand vectors and all that; I understand the CONCEPTS of Illustrator. It's the execution of the dang thing that's my hang-up.<P>--Strange/Dave
<P>------------------
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Postby Somebody Strange on Fri Jul 20, 2001 6:32 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by SpareChange:
<B>It's much more fun if you <I>don't</I> ask them and use them in your strip anyway, but never reference them by anything but a first name. Then they can whine that they don't look/talk/act like that, and you can just roll your eyes and say
"That's because it's <I>not really you!</I>"
Not like that's what I do... um... never mind.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>The folks on the phone are real people: John, Chris, Alisha, Lee, Kellie, Paul, and Aaron exist. I wish I spent more time with all of them, as they'd make my comic a much more interesting place to inhabit.<P>As it is, one of the above people is probably going to appear in the comic sometime in the next month, although the last time I actually saw said person was months ago. I've decided to fiddle with "reality" a little bit and introduce this character to you -- with jokes based on real conversations or events from our shared experiences. At this point, I don't plan on shredding reality to the point where he's a regular character, but our last visit (less than 24 hours) will probably be extended to a week.<P>--Strange/Dave<P>------------------
<A HREF="http://viciouslies.keenspace.com" TARGET=_blank>Vicious Lies.</A> You can't handle the truth.
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Postby Frodoelf on Sat Jul 21, 2001 12:53 am

i like to draw out my characters first on marker paper, with blue pencil and sharpies. I then scan at 300dpi, then use photoshop to remove the blue lines. Then I put my characters into the boxes for the strip, then add background, color, shading, and text. then i convert the image to 72 dpi, save for web, and voila! as the damn dirty french say. oh, and I use a tablet most of the time. it helps.<P>------------------
----Frodo
<A HREF="http://www.thenecronomicon.net" TARGET=_blank>The Necronomicon</A><P>"I find it amusing that most rap 'artists' think that it is ok to rhyme a word with itself. But then, you have to give it to them for making up the word 'biotch'"
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Postby Frodoelf on Sun Jul 22, 2001 10:50 am

p.s. dave if you need any photoshop or illustrator help, gimme a ring. i can help at any time. email me <B>frodo@thenecronomicon.net</b> im me <b>ICQ: # 41672855 aim: frodoboba</b> or call me on the phone (teehee) <b>360.833.1080</b>. Im open to helpin'. <P>------------------
----Frodo
<A HREF="http://www.thenecronomicon.net" TARGET=_blank>The Necronomicon</A><P>"I find it amusing that most rap 'artists' think that it is ok to rhyme a word with itself. But then, you have to give it to them for making up the word 'biotch'"
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Postby Toddandpenguin on Mon Jul 23, 2001 4:29 am

I have heard some stories of difficulty with the graphics pads. They are hard to use, according to some people I have talked to. Somebody told me that you can't even see what you are drawing while you are drawing it?? Maybe there are exceptions, I dunno. Just talk to people who have used them.<P>~dave<P>------------------
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