October 6, 2013

page 17 of this. This will be known far and why as the only comic strip drawn entirely in microsoft bob.

I keep forgetting that I can simply draw over the pictures from before and use most of the same dialog. I don’t need to redraw and rewrite everything.

when I went to redraw this one, I eventually remembered that the additional device enters a code to start the car. Since the car has already been started it is unnecessary. But I liked the visual clutter, and perhaps I should have drawn it anyway and not thought what it was doing.
I had the car start earlier so that I could show it entering the detour, because otherwise it does not need to go anywhere. Me from 12/8 years ago is a very strange writing partner.

I tried using my quacom tablet to redraw my layout rather than the “usual” way, which is to use the mouse for that. Since I did this in an attempt to be faster, you can be certain that it took longer.

When I reviewed these, I discovered that I formerly drew the lizard’s nose as less bulbous and schnozly, and eyes in general as smaller and less focused toward the center, as I was in a phase when I thought I should make things harder for me. I like the look which resulted, even if it does not suit the awkward personality. I don’t know why this solution did not occur to me sooner. It might not make sense that clothing could alter a being’s physical structure, but many things do not. This did occur in 1994’s The Shadow but I just presumed it was really bad editing around stunt scenes. That’s the way we do it in America; everything’s fake.

HEY. That’s the U S of A you’re talkin’ about, pal.

At one point I had intended to have the lizard, whose original font was the redundantly named Pixiefont, speak in a coincidentally similar but slightly creepier-looking font called Gorey while wearing the hat, but I stopped using fonts between it jumping out a window and the next time it spoke, so that did not occur. And maybe it is best to keep visual signals to a minimum, so the viewer would have to decide how much influence the questionable head-adornment is giving at any point. However, for now it is supposed to be obvious.

5 Responses
  1. 1
    6:38 am, October 7, 2013

    A tuber with tuberculosis sez:

    I have to admit I sort of miss Muffineater’s “Will you be my friend?”, line followed by Treco’s frustrated gargling. Insofar as standard Muffineater tends to be overly concerned about being accepted by others, it somehow seems fitting that the artificially assertive version should use a sort of parody of this behavior to throw its antagonizer off guard. The aforementioned frustrated gargling also makes for a better transition to Treco’s “Did you deliver the [adjective] package or not?!” exclamation, which comes off a little less forcefully in the current version as a result of its absence.

    Also, due to the shrinking of the panel size vis-a-vis the original version and its being transferred to a row by itself to a row of three, I think the fact that the bow tie fool leans to the side knocking over the lamp is somewhat obscured in this version, to the point where the “my lamp burned out” sequence comes off as a bit confusing. I think this could probably be compensated for, however, by drawing our attention to the fool and its actions in the leaning panel, say by giving it a thought bubble, possibly one suggesting that it is leaning over in order to give us a better view of its bow tie (which it doubtless thinks we’re interested in seeing at all times). The fool’s facial expression also somehow seems less hilariously idiotic in this version, robbing the sequence of perhaps its most entertaining element.

    That all said, I see we’re coming up to Nemitz’s dramatic introduction soon. I presume this sequence is likely to be handled a bit differently in the retouched version in order to better highlight what would in retrospect prove to be one of this chapter’s more important occurrences?

  2. 2
    9:34 am, October 7, 2013

    PurpleSpace sez:

    I rather like that the lizard is talented enough to use its feet to drive when its hands are preoccupied with telephone-answering-related-activities.

    I imagine someone could have sold the lizard an extra car starting device under the guise of making the car harder to steal, so the car would need to be started up twice.

  3. 3
    7:20 pm, October 7, 2013

    Heapinfrimp sez:

    I think it should be noted that the lizard is a very bad driver!

    jiffy tube:
    I thought i was drawing too much attention to the lamp knocking over frame before, but it should probably be bigger than this. Indeed I wondered what you might say! I almost sent you the layout in advance but you probably observed that I did not.
    I did wonder if I should have the bow tie creature holding out a hand to point at its bowtie but considered it might be too obvious. But I suppose it needs to be obvious so that a lamp is clearly being knocked over. I drew its facial region fatter to match with how i have drawn it more recently. If that makes it seem less stupid that was unintended. I shall compare them later.

    “Will you be my friend?” I wasn’t expecting to be missed, but I was not expecting that it might be interpretable as sincere. from lope it is conceivable, but from hat-lope it seems too strange.
    I did not get far with any thought to rearrange the nemitz sighting, since I like that attention is not drawn to it. I want somebody to be able to think it is not important, but remember that it happened when the event is referred to later.

    And yet after reading your comment I considered the way I had the next page going. You may compare the two versions up to this point if you are curious. This layout has been unusually troublesome, since after making page 17 I thought I could just draw over the old pictures, and now I have [re]discovered why I do not do that. Indeed I already had realized it was a bad idea before I uploaded the comment about how I thought it was a good idea, but nobody has to know.

    I can definitely condense the lower two rows, and probably remove one or both mirror frames; I drew over the old ones without considering if they needed to be there. I wanted to think less! That never quite works out, alas.
    I want the “eat beets” comment to follow some sort of break, but I like it better interrupted by something other than the creature saying it. It might be possible to cut to kumquat to force an interruption, but kumquat isn’t supposed to be seen until the door opens. Maybe yibrick holding up the deleted “detour ceases” sign wonders if it can go back inside now.

    This reminds me; after deleting over 30,000 junk comments that had accumulated through 6 years and flushed their ghost mass out of some control system I was not aware I had, I freed about 400 megabytes of bim space. I can probably upload comic pages at this size (not necessarily this compression level) in the future. I have not been stuck at 1024×768 pixel resolution for long enough that I don’t remember how long ago it was that I was. Would it be rude to presume wider displays than that are “normal” now?

  4. 4
    12:26 am, October 8, 2013

    A rhizome with rhinitis sez:

    Having the bow tie fool point to its bowtie in the panel strikes me as a very elegant solution to the problem, actually. Not only does it draw attention to the lamp-toppling, it makes the movement which causes the event to occur one motivated by one of the fool’s central character traits, which makes said event seem more satisfying from a narrative perspective than having it be something that just sort of happens for no particular reason. A subtle difference in this particular case, perhaps, but the sort of subtlety that makes a work particularly enjoyable.

    I quite understand wanting to keep Nemitz-sighting low-key and seemingly unimportant, though I think the issue with the original version is that it’s not merely seemingly unimportant, it’s essentially non-registrable, even on a subconscious level. It was a very long time before I had ever noticed that a) We had actually seen Nemitz’s injury in-comic and b) Lope Muffineater was responsible, and my lack of forging this connection had a negative impact on the apparent narrative coherency of the chapter from my perspective. For the longest time, Chapter 1 felt more like two chapters to me, namely the package arc and the Nemitz/Elpse arc, with no seeming connection between the two halves besides the fact that both involve people showing up on Kumquat’s doorstep; the fact that the second incident was actually an unintended consequence of a minor event in the first part didn’t clearly come through. Which is a shame, as it’s a rather clever story development.

    Concerning the two preliminary versions of the page shown above, the first seems to suffer from the main problems as the original version; the imp who gets run down is simply not easily identifiable as Nemitz, and very likely wouldn’t even register as such upon a rereading of the entire comic where the reader already knows who Nemitz is. The second version is better, as it gives a clear view of Nemitz’s face, and the extended bounce and pitiful facial expression tie in well with Nemitz’s subsequent long-suffering status. However, instead of (or maybe in addition to) showing a small Burrito in the background of one panel shortly before the collision, might it not perhaps be better to show a small Nemitz and Elpse? This could have several positive effects. Firstly, it makes it more obvious that Muffineater is inadvertantly running down a pedestrian, making the event more concrete (and more likely for the reader to remember), along the lines of Fleepsy’s surprise victory, while not necessarily suggesting it to be any more important than the Fleepsy incident (but just as easy to recall when it is referenced later). Secondly, it subconsciously impresses in the reader’s mind the association between a green horned imp and an a reddish/orangish imp, making the reader far more likely to remember the pair later when they become of consequence. This changes the reader’s reaction when they later take central stage to “Hey, it’s those two background characters from earlier! Well wha’d’ya know, they were of significance after all!” rather than “Who are these people and why did they suddenly appear from nowhere to become the main character?”, which I fear was my initial reaction the very first time I read through the then-unfinished first chapter.

    Concerning resolutions, my gigantic computer can just barely fit one of the full-sized versions seen above onscreen, whereas my smaller travel computer cannot do so at all. On the whole, your current size seems to be more in line with what one general finds for full-standard-page webcomics, so I would not worry to much there. What more, it’s my understanding that forced side-scrolling is considered a criminal offense in some jurisdictions.

  5. 5
    6:12 pm, October 8, 2013

    Heapinfrimp sez:

    It was my intention to have an elpse angrily but vainly chase the car as it leaves (elpse would have been tending to nemitz and perhaps the bowling ball vendor while lope was engaged). When I FIRST “planned” the scene, rather a while ago, I drew the nemitz as a “cameo” of a creature I drew a lot, before I had decided how or if it would appear in a more useful way (or even what its name was, as you know). Thus I did not consider what elpse should be doing while witnessing that. I should draw the bowling ball stand further away, if anywhere, and imagine nemitz was tossed a considerable distance, preventing elpse being near enough to the car when it stops to chase or identify the driver. It does not hurt anything to have elpse near enough to almost be hit, however, I suppose.

    More recently, I believe I intentionally kept the connection vague, electing not to show lope in elpse’s little memory of the event. I meant to have it be revealed for certain only when elpse finally saw lope’s car again, but that ended up taking far longer than I anticipated. By now I have added another longterm “surprise” so it may be worth putting this one away if it gives a better impression of coherence (perhaps the other, as well).

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