The webcomics blog about webcomics

Today, Tomorrow, This Weekend, And Beyond

Sometimes, the stories just line up.

  • Speaking of John Allison’s decision to end the Bad Machinery casefiles, there was a nice demonstration of how deep his comic world does in today’s update of Expecting To Fly. In 1996, young Erin Winters learns that being in Hell is pretty awesome if you’re a kick-ass lady. In 2007, Erin got sucked into Hell and found it wasn’t all looking awesome in skimpy battle armor and beating boys with a sword. Rather, it was honkin’ huge battle armor and beating the snot out of Robot Hitler.

    Alas, ruling Hell can get old and she made her way outwards in 2010, but even escaping from Hell doesn’t make things all the way better. If Hell is other people, what is people not being able to remember you unless they look right at you? Will she ever get to see her family again? Possibly not. And that, my friends, is how you do a callback across two (maybe three) different series.

  • Speaking of old strips and re-draws, part one: tomorrow will be the re-release of the one strip that did more than any other to propel me wholesale into the world of webcomics. Tomorrow will be the return of the fabled Frog Rocket Wiener. I’ve mentioned before that the first money I ever spent with a webcomic creator was for a merch pack offered by Owen Dunne in the before-times: a t-shirt, a book, a sketch of Jethro. I think I speak for all when I greet this news with a hearty Clippy.
  • Hey, anybody going to be in the lower panhandle of Alaska, say, this weekend? The fine folks behind Alaska Robotics continue their trend of inviting creators north of 48 to talk on topics of interest, and this Friday/Saturday is when Dylan Meconis talks about character design (and since this is Meconis we’re talking about, probably a good mention of worldbuilding as well).

    Best of all, she’ll be sharing a wealth of never-before-seen material for the workshop part of the weekend, and we may see the information shared widely afterwards. I’d drop by, but you know — there’s a whole continent in the way. If you in the PNW and can catch a flight or ferry, I urge you to do so.

  • Speaking of old strips and re-draws, part two: in case you ever wondered why it is that Randy Milholland hasn’t released any Something*Positive print collections (I know I was), we now know the answer is bad luck:

    Basically, long ago, I lost a lot of the 300dpi master files. I had multiple back-ups, but some ended up corrupted and some, the CDs they were on were destroyed in a move. I did over 330 strips my first year, and I only had about one hundred comics’ master files in a complete form (i.e. laid out with word bubbles, etc.). Just under a third them, I had elements of the master files — characters and backgrounds — but not laid out in strip format (mostly from December to March – I don’t remember why I saved all of those elements to separate files, but am glad I did). Many of these aren’t complete, so elements had to be redrawn, but that’s something.

    The remaining strips, I had nothing for but the web-resolution 72dpi files that are on my site. I considered pushing the 72dpi files to 300dpi and just redoing the text. The comics would be fuzzy but readable, but I got some sample pages and it looked awful. I tried a slew of things (converting to vector and enlarging, filters, and more) – everything looked horrible.

    So what I’ve been doing since for comics I have no master files for is printing the 72dpi comics out, enlarged, and tracing them on a light box — panel by panel — rescanning them, coloring them, and just remaking the entire comic.

    Check out the sample originals and redraws — Milholland’s done an amazing job of recreating his art style from 2001-2002, which is to say he’s probably ground down his teeth to nothing, since they look so very different than his modern style. For me, this is great news … not the ground-down teeth, but the fact that my long wait for a print collection of S*P (the first of many, hopefully) will not have to continue much longer. Soon, my precious, ssssoooonnnnn.

Spam of the day:

Variable weather is one of the few guarantees.

In Juneau, that is definitely true. Dress warm/dry, Dylan!

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