Thursday, March 16, 2006

Ladies, Gentlemen, Anthropomorphs and Sentient Beings All...

One day to go...

Tomorrow's the big day... Strip #300! It's going to be a great strip, too. I would like to thank my co-writer Eileen Heath for helping write the strip, and a HUGE thanks goes out to Paul Milligan, the creator of Der Wundervolle Bean, which is rapidly becoming a huge webcomic itself. He was kind enough to let his characters do a cameo in the final panel of the strip, pointing out the dangers of a comic strip character taking mean pot-shots at the artist that created it. After all, if Bugs Bunny has to watch out for the wrath of the animator, what makes Bor think he's safe, eh?

In Other News:
There... uhh... there is no other news... not at the moment, anyway.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Things to ponder...

I have become concerned of late about the quality of the artwork in my strip. I mean, I've always been concerned, but now there's a stronger element of dread to my musings. You see, on the one hand, I have had to accept that I am not a very good artist. I'm impatient, I take shortcuts, and I have difficulty keeping the proportions on my characters' features consistant. One of the reasons, in fact, that I decided to make the newest character, Persephone, so petite (about 4'10", 96 pounds, full B cups, etc.) was that I realized that I was not paying enough attention to perspective. Sometimes, Boritom (who's about 4'3" tall) would come up to Milo's belt line, other times, he comes up to his chest. At one point, earlier in the strip, I was drawing all of the humans to be about the same height. Very unlikely. If I were casting live action actors, Adam and Milo would be about 6' tall, Cliff would be 6'1" (just to piss Milo off), Mama Festerburger and Suzanne would be about 5'2", and so on. Even as recently as last fall, I kept drawing everybody at eye level with one another. I've tried to correct this here and there, but it's still inconsistant.

The overall drawing quality itself is still pretty sloppy, too. I mean, there are times where I get the style and the quality to really gel, but most times, I'm pretty unhappy with it.

Now, I acknowledge that most artists, regardless of the type of art, are their own worst critics (unless they are really arrogant, or they suck and are really deluded). Even Michelangelo was heard to look at the finished ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and mutter to himself, "Jeez... I really phoned that fucker in, didn't I?" Artists are a dichotic breed. On the one hand, they have this tremendous urge to create something wonderful, new, exciting, or just different. On the other, they're self conscious, self deprecating, and in some cases, wallow in self loathing (why else would Van Gogh have cut his own ear off?). One has to be careful not to allow themselves to go to the extreme, lest they end up looking like they just fought Mike Tyson.

I also realise that, while the basic character design is good, the strip would probably be better if I let someone else take over the actual drawing, and I concentrated on writing and promoting the strip. Of course, my fragile little ego won't permit that, so I'm stuck with the task of trying to refine my style, my technique, and trying to improve my work ethic at the same time. I'm a true slacker. Bob Dobbs has nothing on me.

I have been wanting to try to emulate some of my favorite artists in comics and cartoons, but they're so diverse, and if you go too far in any one direction, you find yourself getting dangerously close to artistic plagiarism. I want to lean in the direction of Chuck Jones in many respects, but the man was such a genius with subtle facial twitches, he had such finesse. I also sometimes want to go more for a Kricfalusi-like approach, but again, I lack the touch. As most of the characters stand now, they're in many ways almost generic Hanna-Barbera in look and feel. I'm not comfortable with that, but I still need to find what works as I refine the look.

It's a never ending process, of course. Charles M. Schultz is regarded as one of the most beloved strip artists, but his style was always changing. You can tell what decade a Peanuts strip was drawn, for instance, by the size of Snoopy's nose, the shape of his feet and ears, and the length of his legs. It was subtle, of course, but very noticeable over the long haul.

I have improved over the three years I've been seriously drawing Boritom. I don't deny that the strip looks better now than it did in 2003. I just wish it looked better to me than it does, and i wish it looked better to other people. A well written comic strip has to be well drawn, too, and at the moment, I actually feel that the look of the strip is distracting from the writing to a good extent. That, in turn, is giving me less confidence in the story, and I make odd mistakes (more about that another time).

I don't work as hard as Randy Millholland, James Grant or Jeff Darlington. I don't have near their following, either. Hopefully, one day, I'll have both the following, and the quality of artwork to justify it.

Until that day... bear with me.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Stuff I Do To Make Myself Omniscient

Since it is very likely that I will be making contact with people through here that I have not made contact with through other sites and mediums, I thought I would take a moment to run down the laundry list of stuff I am involved with, so that you all can get an idea of just how much I desperately want to be famous...

BORITOM: This is a given, seeing as how I created this blog to promote it in the first place. Boritom is my webcomic that I draw, and it is the best damn webcomic about an alien who lives with a crusty, middle-aged goofball, a shape-shifting space cat, and a Floating Orb Of Death ever created.

VIDEO DIFFICULTIES: This is an online sketch comedy program that I've been involved with since 1998. I actually came up with the concept and talked my best friend, Chris McCullough, into working with me on it. It started out as a Phoenix Public Access series on the local cable provider, and we produced 14 30 minute episodes over three years.
Unfortunately, internal stresses caused the team to disband for a time, but late in 2004, we decided to take another run at it, and we're producing a whole bunch of new bits for a new series of streaming video episodes, set to debut this spring.

I'm also getting signed up with a couple of local talent agencies to try to get work as an actor or voice artist locally, or in any features being produced here.

Other Stuff I used to do:

The Narrow Way: This is an alternative band I started in 1988, which stuck around until about 1998. I wrote the majority of the music and lyrics, sang lead vocals, and played some lead and rhythm guitar. Chris was my bass player in that band for about 7 years until its demise.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Intermittently, from about 1987 until 2005, I was part of the local Phoenix shadow cast, predominantly known as "Broadway Bound and Gagged." For a good deal of 2001 through 2004, I was frequently the pre show host, and also usually played Brad Majors, Riff Raff and Dr. Scott.

I also attended Glendale Community College in the early 90's, and primarily just took theater classes. I managed to garner leads in "Hair," "Equus" and "The Lady's Not For Burning." Did a lot of lighting and sound design for a few plays and presentations along the way, as well. Overall, despite never really trying to get a degree, I got a pretty well-rounded education there in theater arts.

So... That'll give you an idea as to what I want to be when I grow up.

In my next entry, I'll talk about some of the famous starlets I've always wanted to bang, and what I would do if I were president to solve the Mid-East crisis.

Until next time, Our Flies are Zipped!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Odd Timing

This coming Friday, we will be celebrating Boritom’s 300th strip. This of course is odd timing, as I am wrapping up one story arch, embarking on a new one, and we’ve got St. Patty’s day popping up right in the middle of it all. This means that this week’s strips, other than today’s, are going to be outside of continuity pretty much. Nonetheless, I believe you will enjoy them.

I had said at one point that I was going to try to back off of doing heavy storylines, preferring instead to do more comical one-off strips that can stand alone. Of course, to just suddenly drop all that’s going on would be too confusing, so I’m basically going to try to pepper the storyline with a few gentle nonsequeter strips that will just be there for fun. That way, I can continue telling the story in my head, but leave room for goofy, off the wall shit that floats in as well.

Anyway, to recap, FOOD is still in the fridge, Adam is healing from a piece of burning Hearse flying into his back, he has a new girlfriend, the evil French/Canadian Illuminati has again reared its ugly head, and there are some new developments about the cast coming up. If all this is too confusing, just remember: It’s only a webcomic.