Journal #42

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Howdy Folks! This is my first post since getting my new phone. I didn’t really need a new phone but that new iphone 6 was calling my name and so I purchased it. The iphone 4 I had was only 8 Gig and I was running dangerously low on memory so I decided to do an upgrade. I still worry about space on the phone but not nearly as much as with the iphone 4. Unfortunately I was too late for the free phone deal and the Verizon store would only give me $30 for my old phone so I sold it on craigslist for $125. I’m hoping that maybe with all this new technology I can possibly do a few quality video blogs for you guys.

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So Autumn is officially here! Halloween is just around the corner! As you see Iggy Pup is ready for Halloween. About a week ago Sara and I made roses out of fallen leaves. She saw youtube video and wanted to give it a try. It’s a cool idea and they turned out pretty good but they barely last a day before they dry out and need to be tossed out. I gave my  leaf flowers to my mom for her birthday along with some actual flowers.

Well, I’ve been scheduled to teach an actual cartooning class for March 7, 2015! It’s exciting and I’ve already started a Powerpoint presentation for it. I get nervous and excited just thinking about it but it should be pretty fun. My main goal is to have the class complete at least one strip. I just hope they take their time drawing it out and not just rush through it to get it done and out of the way. My attention span was pretty good as a kid and I could spend hours just drawing so I’m hoping I don’t get a bunch of ADHD kids ha-ha. It will be a 3 hour class with a 10 minute “break.” The first 2 hours is actual “teaching” time where I show the class stuff and have them do class exercises. The last hour of class will be individual drawing time for them to actually work on their comic strip. While they are working on their strip I plan to show “Stripped” the documentary on comic strips. I’m basically doing this to see if I can do it. It’s something I alway WANTED to do but was never sure I COULD do it. Now I’ll be given a chance to see if it’s something I’m good at and would ever want to do again.

I’ve gone through the application process for Big Brothers Big Sisters, now I’m just waiting to be matched up. I’m nervous but excited as well. I keep thinking of all the things we could do together and that gets my pretty pysched. It’s scary to think of myself as a “mentor” but I think I can handle it. All I need to do is be myself and be a positive friend to a kid that my not have that in his life. So hopefully I’ll be getting a call within the next week. I’ll keep you updated on how it’s going.

As for the comic. I’m still working about 2 weeks ahead of schedule. I don’t write strips as much as I would like but I’m happy with how most of them turn out and I’m comfortable with my schedule. I’m hoping to get out blogs post at a more normal schedule. It seems that I’m averaging about 1 post a month but I’m hoping to get one out every Monday. I’ve designated Saturday and Sunday as my “Social media” day in which I blog, and post stuff to various social media outlets. Wednesdays I have designated as the day I do the bulk of my comic strip (if not ALL of it.) So hopefully I can keep this schedule up and continue on my road to someday being syndicated.

Thanks for reading. Keep your eyes, ears and minds open!

Journal #39

Hey everybody! It’s your favorite cartoonist back for another installment of My Life Is So Interesting. I’m being sarcastic, of course. I would like to spend a little time giving my opinion of the state webcomics though. I must preface this opinion with the fact that it is my OPINION and that I hope I don’t offend anyone. I also realize that this will probably be a very unpopular view but I would like to state my case…. because that is what having a blog is for…. bitching basically.

I just recently came to the discovery that MOST webcomics suck, for the lack of a better word. To the few cartoonist friends I have, I am NOT referring to your comics. A couple of days ago I visited the webcomics list website (of which you can now view my new comics) and I actually took some time to read some of the comics listed. I must say that out of the 8 or 9 webcomics that I saw only 1 that I would come back to read again. I have searched for other webcomics before and never really had much opinion over any of them but now it seems that everyone puts out webcomics whether it’s good or not.  OK, I realize I’m adding to the pile of webcomics but at least I care how about value of my comic and I am my own harshest critic. A lot of the comics I read didn’t even seem to make much sense or were really confusing. And that is the #1 most important part of a comic is for it to easily understood!

I come from a newspaper comics background and I still think that to be a good web cartoonist you need to follow the same principals that a newspaper cartoonist would have. To me, a GOOD webcomic needs the following:
• Good art
• Even better writing
• Likable, well thought-out characters
• And must be funny or at least understandable on it’s own
Even with popular webcomics I don’t understand the appeal. Take Dinosaur Comic for instance. To me, that comic was none of the above. It’s a crazy idea to have the same six panels over and over but is it a GOOD idea? The art is “meh,” the writing in my opinion is even more “meh” and it has no likable characters. I honestly don’t know why it’s so popular. Is it because of the idea and because it is an early webcomic? I blame webcomics like Dinosaur Comic for the proliferation of crappy webcomics today. It seems like anyone with a little time on their hands can whip out a crappy digital drawing and call it a comic. And I suppose that goes for all art forms now such as writing and music. Everyone is an “artist.”

With the freedom that the internet provides cartoonists with now they are able to have their comics be about ANYTHING. I do like the variety of comics out on the web now… I just wish they were better. I’ll give two more examples of the webcomic biggies that I don’t really care for. First is xkcd. I just don’t get it or think this comic is funny most of the time. OK, the guy is doing his thing and making comics about stuff he is interested in but you have to be him to understand it or think it’s funny. Another huge webcomic that I don’t really care for is Penny Arcade. It’s a sin, I know. With Penny Arcade I at least get why so many people follow it. If you’re into the “gamer culture” you’ll enjoy this comic on a regular basis. For me, only a few of the comics are humorous and that’s when they’re not swearing (which isn’t often) and when it’s not about gaming (which is the same as the swearing thing.) The art is nicely done but they are definitely writing for a niche.

I’ll speak briefly about the swearing “free-speech” aspect of webcomics since I brought it up. I think it’s great that we get to say anything we want to say on the Internet but as a wise man once said “With great power comes great responsibility.” I don’t think you need to swear to be funny and “Calvin and Hobbes” proves that point. I think it degrades a comic when there is gutter talk in it. Yes, I know swearing is a big part of our culture now but that doesn’t really mean it’s a positive thing and it doesn’t mean I have to like it or use it myself.

To sum up my long meandering thoughts… Yes,  there are tons of great webcomics out there. I don’t mean to poo poo all webcomics. I just think we need to be more thoughtful about what our eyeballs take in. But more importantly aspiring cartoonists need to put more time and thought into what a great webcomic can be. You want to make a webcomic that only you and your 5 friends will think is funny? That’s GREAT! Just don’t expect me to look for it on the web. In my opinion, if anything is worth doing, it’s worth doing it well. I feel this way about webcomics. Thanks for reading my rant and I’ll have a fresh pile of my own webcomic on Friday. Keep your eyes, ears and mind open!

 

Journal Entry #24

Hey y’all! Just so you all know, I’m back doing “Habitat” as a twice a week comic! I’ve made it my goal to keep pumping out comics twice week. They’ll post on Mondays and Fridays at 10:30am CST. If you haven’t already guessed, the comics are completely digital now and IN COLOR! I’m still getting used to the tablet but I’m sure it will become second nature to me as I keep doing the comic.  The new designs of Finn and Morton are still pretty rough but I do feel more comfortable drawing the more simplified forms.

So, I do have a few New Year’s resolutions. I’ll share my 3 main goals of 2014.

  1. Lose 20 lbs. Yes, it is the obvious “lose weight resolution” but this is actually the first time I’ve resolved to lose weight. I started tracking my calories on a handy dandy app (which will remain nameless.) I’m hoping by summer I’ll be down to my ideal weight and I can start working my on shaping up my abs. I’ve alway admired guys with defined stomachs and I’m sure my fiancé wouldn’t mind it either.
  2. Find a better paying job. Yet another pretty popular resolution but I really need to get out of the place that I’m at now. Right now, I feel that to move on in life I need to find a better job because I’m stuck at a dead-end job now. It’s great that I’m doing something that is in my field but I feel if I stay there much longer I will become obsolete.
  3. Create my own website to promote myself and my work. This year I would like to get more freelance design and illustration work and having a working site would help promote that. I’ve been researching web design and I think I’ll be able to make a pretty good site once I set some time aside to actually do it.

This year I have also told myself that every morning I will keep in mind three things. To be fitter, happier, and more productive. If that sounds familiar, it’s from a radiohead song. 🙂 It’s kinda silly but those three things are what I’m really concerned with in life.

OK that’s all for now, thanks for stopping in and reading. NEW COMIC MONDAY!

PS… Eventually I will have to re-design the header image but for now it will have to be the old character design.

Journal Entry #21

Hey everybody. If you haven’t already noticed I haven’t posted a comic this week. Unfortunately, work has been kicking my ass lately and I haven’t been spending as much time as I should on “Habitat.” Stress at work has been making me lazy at home and I just haven’t in the mood to write or draw any strips lately. I’ve decided to wait till the new year to start the strip again. I want to keep doing “Habitat” but I want it to be good and not something I feel “I have to do.” I hope I don’t lose any fans by taking a break. I think it is for the greater good of comic.

In other news, I’ve been researching HTML and CSS and I’m planning on having my own domain by next Spring or Summer by the latest. I want something that possible employers can visit to see what I can do and in the future I’ll also have a site for “Habitat” that I can link to.

Thank you for visiting and I hope you continue to follow my adventures with my comic.

Journal Entry #6

So, I am now up to two strips a week. I originally wanted to take my time with each strip and maybe do only one or two a month but I’m sort of bending to the will of the Internet. I’ve started worrying more about how many visitors I have than making the comic better which was not my intention. In the heat of the moment, I purchased a domain name for 50¢ which I wasn’t going to do until I reached a certain amount of followers. It’s only 50¢ but I still betrayed my original idea.

I am also fiddling around with the idea of eventually buying a Cintiq Pen Display which was not my original intention. I wanted to keep this comic traditionally inked but I’m starting to wonder if going digital would be easier (and cheaper) in the long run. I’m not married to the idea of using only traditional ink but I do still want the look of a vintage comic strip such as “Pogo.” If I ever do go digital it won’t be until at least next May when I send my comics to syndicates. Right now, I’m better off concentrating on getting better with the brush pen.

I’m still not completely satisfied with the look of the comic but I’m sure that with practice I will begin to like what I’m seeing more. It’s not so much a problem now but I fear that in the future my motivation to do a strip every Wednesday and Saturday will wane. In the past I’ve posted strips to the Internet hoping for more and more viewers and then got disheartened when that didn’t happen. This time around my primary concern is to make a strip that syndicates would pick up and then get my motivation from making a strip I can be proud of. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve gotten there yet but I have to keep trying.

When May 2014 comes around and I send my stuff out and get no reply I will still keep up with the web comic. Every year I plan on sending out the comic to see if a syndicate will pick it up. Will I become rich and famous when I get picked up by a syndicate? No, but it will be accomplishing a dream I’ve had since I has a little kid reading the Sunday funnies.

Thanks for reading! New comic next Monday!

Habitat #10: A Marvel of Biological Engineering

Habitat 10Poor Morton… never knows when to keep his big mouth shut. Finn is definitely more appreciative of the beauty of other animals. Morton’s idea of beauty is a discarded cheeseburger and a nice shaded patch of soft grass.

I’m beginning to change the look of Finn just a bit. Instead of the circle I start drawing his head with a square. It makes a bit more sense with the way I want his head to look. I’m more pleased with this design of Finn… even though he hasn’t changed THAT much. I’m still considering drawing more details into the characters such as fur but I’m still unsure.

So this is big #10! I bet you didn’t think I’d be around even this long! lol Well, neither did I ! 🙂 I hope to stick around for maybe another couple rounds of ten. Thank you to all the readers out there. You guys rock my world! See you guys on Monday! Peace!

 

I Miss Summer

Sharing drinkHey Everybody! I hope everyone is having a fabulous Summer! Now that I’m out of school, Summer is a less evident than it once was. My day job kinda sucks all the fun out of what are supposed to be long lazy Summer days. I won’t get into my day job here though.

As far as the comic goes, I think I’m doing alright. I have been trying to network more and be more sociable online.  I’ve learned that there are a lot of talented people out there and most of them are very nice people. I’m also surprised at some of the artists that have been reading “Habitat.” I’m pretty self-conscience of my drawing ability and I’m being visited by really talented people. It really motivates me to keep going and make the comic better. Thank you to everyone who has been reading my comic. I truly appreciate it!

I am obviously NOT a professional cartoonist… YET. 🙂 I just want people to know that I still have a day job and I’m unable to spend all my time on this comic. This is not an excuse for some of the wonkiness of my drawing. If I want this thing to be good enough for syndication I’m going to have to practice drawing more. A lot of times I have time to draw but don’t because I can’t think of what to draw or I’m afraid of what I’ll draw will look like crap or I’m just plain lazy. From now on most of my free time will be spent practicing drawing.

Well, thank you once again for dropping by. I really appreciate everyone who’s been following me and commenting. You’re all great! Have a good day!

Habitat #9: The Climb

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(Click image to make larger.)

The reason you don’t see more stray cats on the top of electrical poles is because there are no dogs to put them up to it. It does seem very natural for cats to climb up things but not know how to get back down.

I came up with the idea for this strip while driving to work. I just noticed how many poles line the streets and that was the impetus of the idea to put Finn on top of a electrical pole. Since I’m not too settled on Finn’s design you’ll notice he’s only in two panels… I think it still works without seeing him… I don’t know if it would have been funnier to see him in the last panel or not.

I’ll have another fun-filled blog for you next Monday! Thanks for reading!

Habitat #8: The Baby-sitter

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Man, looks like Morton is a real jerk  in this one. If I was Finn I wouldn’t even want to hang out with him. They are all they have though… for the moment anyway.

I’m critical of all the comics I do but this one I’m really critical of. Finn kinda morphs from panel to panel. Consistency is always a challenge in comics. Like I said before, I would like to re-design the look of the characters a little to make them less flat looking. Morton is a jerk in this one which is not how I really want him to turn out. I want him to be a wisenheimer without being construed as meanie or a bully.

Just a reminder that future comics will come out EVERY FRIDAY!

As always, thanks for reading!