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: Polar Bear Training: Ice Block
Mar 22, 2006

Those are chinstrap penguins in the last panel. They are a very abundant species of penguin. They are found on the southern islands as well as the Antarctic Peninsula. They are just a bit smaller than adelies and are easily recognizeable by the line across their “chin” that looks like its strapping on a little helmet on their head.

Comments On the Different Art Style

Thanks for all the feedback on the art yesterday. I got sick Monday night, and didn’t feel good all day yesterday, so that’s why the comic is late today. Some 24 hour bug caught up with me. So I’m probably not feeling right in the head enough to even address this now.

Doing this artsy style was my plan for side stories, done in comic book format, like Wally’s origin story and such. But on Monday, I was just sitting down to do the comic, and I had just gotten done with that tedious project I was on, and I sat there looking at the screen, and there was just no motivation to do it. It is vector art and for me that is pretty tedious. I have a drawing tablet for the computer, but creating the comic that way requires very little of using it. It’s basically copy-and-pasting the same objects and then maybe redrawing Wally’s arms. It’s tedious and often limits me. Not that vector art is limiting, I’ve slowly taken it further, it’s the not enjoying it part that limits me. Or reusing the same positions because they are easily available. Often I’ll see what comics I have written and pick the easiest one to do, one where I can copy exact Wally’s and Osbournes from previous comics.

It’s not so much about how the comic looks to me. I enjoy both styles. I think the clean simple vector look delivers the simple humor of the comic well. On the other hand, the hand drawn way has a more personable feel and is more interesting to look at. An attractive scene in a comic can sometimes compensate when the joke is not so strong.

The vector look has a certain consistency to it I enjoy. My main motivation for doing it was that I don’t usually like drawing the same characters over and over, and it would be easy to copy and paste the comic, since it was just a side project I thought that would be the least time consuming. But as the comic progressed, it took longer and longer. Reusing stuff is quick, but I kept needing new stuff, and a lot of my humor is physical so I couldn’t just have the characters always standing around. Often I would not add little details I would if drawing by hand, something that is a few quick strokes with a pen can be time consuming construction with vector graphics.

Here’s the vector art in wireframe mode. Looks like I’m working on a 3-D computer animated movie.

So it doesn’t really come down to how the comic looks best for the comic unfortunately. It comes down to my enjoyment in creating it. Being the sideproject that it is still, the enjoyment in creating it for me is still the most important factor, well, as long as it is still enjoyable to read by readers (otherwise there would be no point in having it on the web). And I’m enjoying creating it by hand, instead of the through the use of “robotic arms”. I’m enjoying being able to touch the comic, and have it right there in front of me as a real object. The freedom a real pen gives, even the errors it produces with me at the helm.

Maybe it will just be a phase and I will tire of this style and return to the vector. Maybe I will develop it, maybe I’ll come up with a happy medium between the two. I don’t know, but I’ve just decided to allow myself to have fun with it and see where it takes me. Maybe that frame of mind in itself will help me take the comic new places too.

As far as how it will work in a book, I don’t know, I didn’t pick a good spot to make such a switch, I’ll figure that out later. Hang in here with me. 😉