Archive | comics RSS feed for this section

Scrap that web comic?

2 Sep

It has been a long time since I posted something to read on this blog. At least, it feels like it. Since I started the web comic and, probably most of all, a personal goal to get into shape for a marathon by the end of this year, all my energy seems to go into that.

What bugs me the most about my web comic is that I’m so self-conscious. With that I mean I don’t just create something, but think heavily about what people are going to think about it. That may sound sensible, but it’s not. It’s keeping my creative ideas hostage.

This is exactly what I was afraid of. People told me: “If you want to do a web comic, just create one, don’t think too much about it.” Bad advice. For me at least. Now I’m stuck with that web comic.

I’m reading Orson Scott Card’s excellent book, titled “How To Write Science Fiction & Fantasy.” It’s not so much a recipe book, but more a book about how to approach the creative process of writing novels, with a focus on speculative fiction. He has some great advice on ripening ideas:

The first thing you should learn […] is that no two stories are developed in exactly the same way. However, in my experience one thing is constant: Good stories don’t come from trying to write a story the moment I think of the first idea. All but a handful of my stories have come from combining two completely unrelated ideas that have been following their own tracks through my imagination. And all the stories I was still proud of six months after writing them have come from ideas that ripened for many months—usually years—between the time I first thought of them and the time they were ready to put into a story.

“Great,” you say, “I pick up this book, hoping to learn how to write speculative fiction, and now this guy’s telling me that I have to wait months or years before writing stories about any new ideas I think of.”

That’s what I’m telling you: You’ll probably have to wait months or years before writing good versions of story ideas you come up with now. But you probably already have hundreds of story ideas that have been ripening inside you for many years. For some writers, one of the best ways to help an idea ripen is to try writing a draft of it, seeing what comes up when you actually try to make it into a story. As long as you recognize that the draft you write immediately after thinking of the ideas will almost certainly have to be thrown away and rewritten from the beginning, you’ll be fine.

That’s just dandy! I wished someone told me that earlier. Since I’ve only started this thinking about stories this year, and reading other people’s stories has been limited by no access to them other than buying online, I have little reading experience as well.

So what should I do, start all over or muddle through? I’m tempted to put it on indefinite hiatus until I’ve found a good way to express my ideas.

Big Schtick – Sheepish

29 Aug

Big Schtick - Sheepish

Runners like to make fun while running. However, it’s a basic kind of fun without little refinement. Especially long distance running can be a bit boring at times and a joke to lighten the mood makes the boredom go away.

In need of character

24 Aug

Maybe you have noticed I started a web comic some weeks ago now, called “Big Schtick”. It’s a translation of the Dutch language web comic, called “Stok achter de Deur” and deals with the sport of running. In the first three episodes I (sort of) vented my ideas about running, but I guess this doesn’t scale. At some point those ideas will dry up or become boring. So I need some kind of continuity. I thought a character cast would work best.

Truth be told I had a joke, but I couldn’t get it to work with anonymous characters, like with the previous episodes. I thought I needed identifiable personalities. So making a virtue of a need, I decided to make them the cast for the comic itself.

The Jolly Bunch

Meet the Jolly Bunch. It’s a group of friends who like to run together, three guys and two gals. I haven’t solidified their characters, but here’s the general idea:

  • Jon, the little guy, is a prankster. He likes practical jokes, which make the others laugh and keep their spirits up, even if the run is a bit boring.
  • Pete is the seasoned runner. He has run many races and the others rely on his knowledge about running. He can outrun all of them, but he always comes back to join them.
  • Bob is the newcomer. He has a weight problem and his doctor told him to start running to lose weight. The others always make fun of him, but he’s still a valued member of the group.
  • Nat is the friendly, outgoing one. When pesky non-runners try to mock them, she always tries to let them see the runners’ side of the story, so they understand.
  • Sara is the youngest of the bunch. Her boyfriend doesn’t want her to run, but she does anyway. Maybe she loves running more than anything and her boyfriend can only play second fiddle. Nevertheless, she always is on her cell to tell (or text) she loves him.

All this is still in beta. A lot of things can still change and probably will.

Thanks for reading and if you have any advice for me (and I really need it right now!), or want to ask me anything, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

Thinking of a new mini-comic

22 Apr

Pigguin s conquest of the world

I’m thinking of doing a mini-comic based on a guinea pig who wants to conquer the world. His human companion, Jon, is a cartoonist who loves superhero comics. This has inspired the guinea pig, called Pigguin, to become a super villain and conquer the world, in his secret identity of Dr. Incognito.

The idea started with the sketch of the cartoon hamster on the top left. After I made a side view, I remembered once saying in a chat on Ustream with Canadian cartoonist Jonathan Rector, while feeding his girlfriend’s guinea pig, that he should do a mini-comic about the little guy.

Since Jon is all wrapped up in work as an independent illustrator and his own mini-comic, about Jesop King, I decided to do this mini-comic about the guinea pig myself. Mind you, just about 30 minutes ago or so.

Sometimes things go faster than a speeding bullet.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog post. Definitely check out Jonathan Rector’s website or follow him on Twitter (artbyjar).

“Eden”

19 Feb

"Eden"

Based on this tweet:

A grumpy cat walks and a jolly mouse hops into a bar. The cats ask: “What will it be? If you say CHEESE I will eat you!” #areyouamanoramouse

I know it’s rough, but that is the fun of it.