So give me Coffee and TV, History, I’ve seen so much, I’m going blind, And I’m brain-dead virtually, Socially – George W. Bush
I really like this one. I feel like I capture the Starbucks vibe, maybe even better than last time. I like my shelf of stuff, color tones, wall painting, and attempt to visually display their seemingly constant playing of unoffensive light indie rock music. I also like the clarity of the characters and emotions here. You know exactly what they are thinking and feeling at each moment.
The background was done 100% with polygonal shape tools and the lasso that lets you make your own shapes in Photoshop. So that was different. I was also able to directly import my shelf from the last comic, and expand on it. Time saving! Lazy? Maybe, but whatever. I don’t think it hurt the final product and I didn’t feel like actually “drawing” that stuff. The line between drawing and not drawing continues to blur as further delve into the virtual world.
Speaking of blur, I used a blur effect on the background imagery, as it was too distracting before. I like the effect and the emphasis it puts on the characters. I’ve had plenty of experience working with blur in photos, but not too much in my drawing. I think I’ll continue to play with it and use it to add some depth and focus. It’s pretty subtle here, you’d only really see what a big difference it was if you saw the un-blurred version. I think really good effects should be subtle, not draw attention. At least that’s what I learned when I took Photoshop.
Alex said something interesting when I showed this comic to him. I don’t have the exact quote, but it was along the lines of “I honestly think you have a better sense for writing comic strips than I do. If I wrote this it would’ve been six times as long and not had a strong punchline.” A nice compliment from a writer I respect. Perhaps that means he won’t want to take the strip back over when my current arch ends. I don’t know.
To his point though, I think he is more of a comic book/graphic novel writer, and has never felt very comfortable within the much shorter confines of the strip. Me, I grew up on strips, and maybe that causes me to write them a bit more traditionally. Short, fairly straight forward, building towards some kind of zinger at the end. Does that make me a better strip writer than him? I guess it depends what you’re looking for. More traditionally formated humor, or more unusual broadly formed, sometimes less obvious humor. I could see why someone would prefer either, though mine may have more mass appeal.
Another thing that helps me keep it short and gives me an edge over Alex…I’m the one that has to draw it! The less I write the more space I have to draw detailed art, so I do definitely consider that while writing.
Well, the next strip is number 100! Get excited, it may just feature Johnny Depp!
Before then I think I may write a blog about something I brought up on Facebook last night that got some good response…my dream cast for a Black Snow movie!
Prepare for a weird blurry trip.