Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Only way he'll brush his teeth

EV#81 "Only way he'll brush his teeth..."
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No, this isn't a joke about British people's teeth. I realize the header makes it kinda look like one...but it isn't.

I'm still in the process of moving. This was the last thing I scanned before my scanner was unplugged. Next week's comic may need to be computer-drawn or photographed if I can't get the scanner situated and working again before it's due.

Also, it will probably appear in the middle of the week again.

I didn't do my fancy photoshop thing with this comic. The whole thing was drawn on a single sheet of paper, and scanned in one piece (for the sake of time) but I'm getting skilled enough that it doesn't make the same kind of difference it has previously.

Jesi mentioned Sandy's Midna costume. I thought it only fair to actually bring it about. 

At some point in the future, I imagine I'll make a color version of this picture for the fun of it, but in the meantime, this is it. Hope you like. I actually had originally planned on putting her in a GLaDOS costume, but making such a thing recognizable, anthropomorphic enough, cute enough, and fit the time limit...heh just wasn't going to happen.

Besides, Midna fascinates me. Such a strange mix of cute and scary. So much fun to try to get her facial expressions just right. Plus (ZELDA SPOILERS) she's an imp warlock queen that dwells in shadow and fights against the usurper of her throne, all while riding a wolf (who himself was once human, the incarnation of an ancient warrior spirit, cursed by otherworldly magic into a lycanthropic form). How can that not be fascinating?


Hehehe. The old flour-in-the-hair-dryer and brush-your-teeth-with-his-hairbrush pranks. Classic. (That was an attempt to let the confused reader know what's going on, while still being moderately subtle about it.)

One thing I tried to emulate in particular with this comic was a principle called "stage business." It comes from the theatre world, and helps make a scene feel less contrived and characters feel more like people. Theatre concepts are completely applicable here, since comics are a form of enacted storytelling. If you ask me, anyone who wants to make good comics should learn to act, in addition to learning to draw.

In this case, stage business is where you don't just put characters in a particular place because it conveniences you as an artist. You pay attention to the reasons why they would go there, and apply them accordingly, especially by giving them props and busywork. Chinchilla and Jesi could have had a conversation like this as floating heads against a blank background...and the comic would have suffered for it. Instead, they are standing side-by-side in the bathroom, in what at first appears to be a morning routine (or so I intended), but then turns out to be harassment.

I've pulled this trick before: where I'm trying to build plot, and the dialogue ends up not being funny enough for a good punchline, so I pull one out of the stage business instead. It works well enough, I think.

Oi. I've rambled about this comic far too long.


Jesi: "It's not just that she's pretty. She's smart and fun, and she cosplays! Have you ever seen her Midna costume? It's incredible."

Chinchilla: "Silly Jesi. You're not British enough to attract a fangirl."

Jesi: "Do you really think that's all that matters to her?"
Chinchilla: "Well, not just British-ness. But you've got to have that special quality. You know, charisma. Allure. Allitigation. Pinash. Pinosh. Poggledoitch."

Jesi: "Oh, I see..."

Chinchilla: "Then again, I don't know why you're taking me seriously about this. I have the romantic maturity of a five year old. I don't even know what those words mean."
Jesi: "Oh? Well, neither do I..."

Chinchilla: "What are we doing here again?"
Jesi: "Messing with Alek's stuff, I guess. I don't know, I wasn't really paying attention."

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