Wednesday, November 25, 2009

the dregs #27

this episode was drawn in late november 2009. i take full credit for this joke. a cop car pulled someone over in front of the bar i work at, but it looked like the car was here for the bar since you couldn't see the car that was pulled over. one of my regulars asked me if i was serving minors. you know what my response was.

the science project #41

titled "taking it to '88", this episode was drawn in late november 2009. rather than attempt tp tackle a racism theme a third time in a row, since it seemed to get people a little riled up, this is far sillier. i think we all remember Doc Brown from the Back to the Future movies, and some of us might remember 80's stars (and now has-beens) Corey Haim and Corey Feldman - aka "the Coreys". my coworker came up with this joke one day with another coworker while prepping in the kitchen. apparently, they try to come up with jokes all the time. once i heard this one, i knew i could use it with the SP. what other 2 guys would want a time machine to go back to the 80's?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

the science project #40

i have to admit that while looking back to where this comic strip series started, i'm surprised it survived to 40 episodes. but i'm glad it has. that being said, #40 is titled "seeing red" and was done mid november 2009.

there are two stories that made this comic happen. the first being that, where i work there are 5 red heads out of maybe 35 employees. now this may not seem like a big deal, but in my highschool of 2500 kids, there were 2 red heads. and they were me and my sister. so, the red heads at work have a special bond and we use "ginger" with each other liberally.

but the second story (which is the main reason for this episode) is when i joined a dating website a while back. while setting up my profile, i filled in the ethnicity section by putting "ginger" in the "other" section and continued on figuring that my little joke was kinda funny and might score me some points with the ladies. when you finish, you submit your potential profile for approval, but mine got denied. rather than tell me what was wrong, they gave me a list of things that are not allowed, such as solicitation or racist remarks. not having done anything on their list, i went back and found nothing EXCEPT the ginger joke, which was the only thing that seemed could be potentially misunderstood. but when i changed it to the less interesting "white", it got approved. and there you have it; "ginger" is a racist term.

so, unless you are one, you can't say that word anymore. seriously. don't even ask for ginger ale.

Monday, November 16, 2009

the dregs #26

this episode was done in mid november 2009 and was an idea i'd had for a while. it's no surprise - non-smokers love telling smokers that they should quit. ESPECIALLY ex-smokers who are the worst. if people want to smoke, let them smoke. they already are forced to smoke in that leper colony nook outside, so if you add some unwanted advice to the mix, someone's going to get stabbed. you have been warned.

the science project #39

done in mid november 2009, this is titled "this is your life!" i got this idea from watching too much tv. being a bartender, i have an odd schedule that sometimes allows me to watch all sorts of delightful midday programming that you don't get to watch unless you're home sick - all the judges, law & order (take your pick from the 3 series), days of our lives, cheaters, and mr. jerry springer. and in between all these gems are commercials aimed at the geriatric and the unemployed so i couldn't help but notice how all the commercials about schools sound like a "better half" badgering the other half to do something with their life. and there you have it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

the science project #38

this episode, titled "color bind", was done in early november 2009. i always joked that doing laundry was how racism was taught at home, but the real reason i did this was because of a co-worker. she asked a table to quiet down when they started disrupting other people's dinners with the volume of their lewd conversation. the WHITE guy at the table said they wouldn't quiet down and that my co-worker friend was being racist. what he actually said was, "is this because we're black?" remember, he was white. in fact, there were only two black guys at that table, and they were horrified at what was happening. what a d-bag.

i had several other versions of what the head klansman says, but what i used was the most simple and to the point - one being something about "the segregation of colors when doing your laundry like the good lord intended" or something like that. for the record, this comic is not making a racial statement like we should reinstate segregation or something. i used the klan as a vehicle to tell the joke since it would be something they would say. it is NOT something i believe.

whew! now i'm all caught up. after this post, i will be publishing this blog as new comics/illustrations are posted to the website.

the dregs #25

this episode was drawn in early november 2009. it was an old idea that i couldn't seem to decide upon whether i wanted to have an inside-to-out or outside-to-in view. since no one knew what "sal's" bar looked like on the outside, i thought it was a perfect opportunity to show it. at least the doorway.

the science project #37

this episode, titled "apps, and ye shall receive", was done in mid-october 2009. like most people, it's hard not to notice that EVERYTHING has an app for it. want the weather? app. movie times? app. nearest whorehouse? app. so, it seemed fitting that it became a joke. hope you like it.

the dregs #24

this one was done in mid-october 2009. this idea came all too easily when the woman who inspired "peg's" character said she didn't start drinking until she was 20-something and "sal's" response was the first thing that popped into my head after she said it. rather than be openly rude, i decided to draw out the joke vs. say it to her. i'd say i made the right decision.

the science project #36

titled "a-cup floweth over", this was done in early october 2009. i don't remember where i got the idea, but i think it was from a victoria secret commercial. not that i pay attention to those things...

the science project #35

titled "hand solo", this was done in early october 2009. being a star wars geek, i really enjoyed drawing this. the idea came from a friend of mine, though i don't remember why we were talking about carbonite in the first place. originally, i was thinking of using jabba the hut in a 40 Year Old Virgin scene - when Paul Rudd and Seth Rogan are discussing how Steve Carrell's collectibles were "not sexy". it would have been funny, but it didn't work.

the science project #34

titled "it's a terrible life", this was done late september 2009. this was another idea i'd had for a while and my brainstorming buddy helped fill in some of the blanks. i know the general idea is not really original (that everyone who believes they had a past life was someone important), but i think it worked out well. the end was a bit Gary Larson-esque and i like it. nero creeping up on his cat with a hard on makes me laugh every time.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

the science project #33

this one i did in late september 2009 and was titled "one night in bangkok". i love this one. i mean it. i loooooove it. a buddy of mine that i bounce ideas off of and draw with weekly helped put the finishing touches after a bartender friend helped come up with the first 3 panels. just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, the 4th panel hits you. i'm smiling right now as i think of what else to write because of it. i guess i'll just leave it at that.

the science project #32

this one is titled "license to chill" and was done in mid september 2009. it was probably one of my oldest ideas, like the last SP episode i did, and i had just gotten around to drawing it. the real reason it took so long? i couldn't seem to draw a decent version of billy ocean and believe me i tried.

the dregs #23

this idea i got from my uncle bill (the one who writes the poems) last x-mas eve, but was done in late september 2009. what can i say? he's a funny guy.

the science project #31

titled "yo, ho hoes", this one was done in early september 2009, but was a two year old idea that kept getting vetoed. i agree, it was pretty crass when i initially wrote it and in retrospect, i'm glad i waited this long to draw it. it needed sensitivity training. actually, it could use a bit more.

the dregs #22

this episode was done in mid september 2009, but was an old idea. my bartender friend from Greenmill gave me the idea about a year prior. my power went out last summer for a week and i needed to sit in some a/c, have a cold beer, and watch an inaudible episode of law & order. i got all that AND a good comic idea. booyah. apparently, someone told him they didn't black out because they didn't remember blacking out. classic.

not bad for "onion's" first close up, right?

the science project #30

titled "vanilla blue", this was drawn in late august 2009 and was the most personal comic i've done to date. this actually happened. to me. bummer, right? but i have a blog now. take THAT!

anyways, i think this is pretty funny (yes, i mean it). i really like the way the dramatic lighting looks and the texture of the trees, rocks, and grass. here's lookin' at YOU, nature!

the dregs #21

this one was done in late august 2009. i got the idea from a bartender friend at Greenmill in chicago. he worded the punchline differently, so i changed it to fit the series.

i just remembered - i had drawn most of this a while ago for episode #10, but after i drew it i knew that i needed to make the image more light hearted. the decision was the right one, but i liked the drawing so i kept it (sans "onions").

i know. it's pretty gross.

the science project #29

this one, titled "potty mouth", was done in late august 2009. it was an idea i had for a while, but it originally was going to take place inside the vatican. i was thinking of having two janitors talking about the pope overflowing the toilet. still not a bad idea, but the reason i didn't use it was because it seemed more difficult to get across the idea that they were IN the vatican than to show it from the outside. i know i know. i went for the easy way around it, but it was a better idea. why think when i can show you? after all, it's the american way.

the dregs #20

this one was done in late august 2009. i think it's great. "peg's" close up is hysterical and her flap jack boobs have always been waiting to be made fun of. zing!

the dregs #19

done in early august 2009, here's another one that falls into the personal category. i like this one a lot, not only because i think it's funny but because my line work is getting much better.

i also tried to do something new with "peg's" hair. i'm still not sure it works.

the science project #28

titled "that's amore," this comic was drawn in late july 2009. in this period of my life, my comics took a personal turn. in fact, the woman in this comic is a drawing of my ex-girlfriend (minus the tattoos) - the reason for my troubles. her dialogue is not anything she ever said (or i would have used this joke earlier), but i felt i needed to vent and i used her to feel a little better.

i do like this comic, despite it unearthing the memory of being very angry. now being removed from that emotion, i think it's pretty funny.

my comics helped me quite a bit during this time. in any art form, emotion always works its way into the craft, but time will tell if emotion made my work stronger or just made me look like a baby. i could see it going either way.

the dregs #18

drawn in early july 2009, this idea came from one of my oldest friends, jeff, after his sister's wedding. he told me and i loved it.

i like the angle of this episode is nice, but i like knowing that i don't have to use "sal" and "peg" in every episode to make it work.

the dregs #17

this episode was drawn in late june 2009. i got the idea for this joke after the whole steroids in baseball ado. the line work is a little more rough in this episode vs others, but that was on purpose. at this point, i was really trying to develop a style with my lines and, though i cleaned it up, i think it looks good.

there is a different version of the border on the hard copy, which i trimmed off before i published it. i liked the idea of a dirty border thinking it might add to the dirtiness of the series. after it was done, the consensus was that it just looked unfinished and the old border looked better. i still like the idea, so maybe i'll do a better version of it for future comics.

the science project #27

i listed this episode after the last dregs comic since it would have been released after it, had the dregs #16 come out when it was intended. regardless, it was drawn in early april 2009 and titled "porn court."

i love the look of this one, especially the judge and jury forewoman. i don't remember how i thought up the joke, but this was exactly the style of humor that this series works best with. everyone loves a good pun. at least, that's what i tell myself.

right before i did this episode, i decided that i was going to continue drawing the SP and i'm glad i did. i've become its biggest fan.

the dregs #16

here's the episode that was originally supposed to be #14, as it was done in early april 2009. the joke actually came from a customer (thankfully, not saying it to me).

does anyone recognize the mystery guest? he was in the SP...

the dregs #15

this episode was done in mid/late may 2009, though it was released as #15. the idea was a lot like episode #10, using someone else's saying to set the tone for the joke. this Oscar Wilde quote was a perfect fit. i'm really happy with the line work on "onions".

the dregs #14

this is where the chronology of this series gets a little out of order. i drew this comic in mid may 2009, but because i had so many drawn i messed up the intended order of release. i was also working on putting my website together, so i wasn't drawing as much as usual and there was a real gap in between the intended comic to be released and #13. regardless, this idea was one i'd had for a while and i had just gotten around to drawing it.

more importantly, this was the first comic to be released using different materials. remember when i was talking about varying my line work? i had just moved from using technical pens (faber castell pitt drawing pens) to a more traditional nibbed pen and ink style. i love the look and still use the traditional style to this day (except for the SP). i also started using brushes to paint in the ink for the background (winsor newton india ink).

also, here is the debut of the 3rd serial character for the dregs - "onions".

the dregs #13

this one was done on 1/31/09. i may have mentioned this before, but one of the things i love about my dad is that he loves trying to help me with ideas for my comics and this is a perfect example. i think he gave me the idea over x-mas vacation to do something about the economy, but i didn't think it was going to work as a dregs idea. but it was a good idea and through a bit of tinkering with the punchline, i think it came out beautifully.

the dregs #12

this one was done at the end of january 2009. the joke was an idea of mine, so i'll take the blame if no one gets it. i do really like the way this looks, though. at this point, i really felt confident with my layouts and characters. there was only one thing missing, and that was a third character to help break things up a bit. i thought "frank" might do it, this being his 2nd appearance, but that would soon change.

the science project #26

after a long hiatus, i drew this episode in late january 2009 and titled it "disappearing act". i don't know why i drew this, still thinking that the SP was a dead series, but i knew the idea for this one was nagging me. i don't know how anyone could miss all those commercials for Valtrex on tv, but they always seemed silly to me. i mean, would you be as calm and understanding as the significant other? let's be honest. the answer is "probably not" at best. but i always thought, "what if that significant other was finding out his/her partner had herpes for the first time in this commercial?" and "why hasn't something like Saturday Night Live done something with this before?" it seemed like a great tv skit to me.

there were two versions of this idea, but this one was the best. the other idea was to have the boyfriend disappear in the background vs. below the panel's view. the only issue with this one is if you don't like the idea of the comic's border being recognized by the characters themselves. i thought that made it a funnier. obviously.

the dregs #11

this one was done in mid january 2009. this dialogue i heard between two of my coworkers and i couldn't pass it up. it's the perfect zinger. regina, a coworker of mine at the time, and our door man blue used to bicker in a joking way exactly how "sal" and "peg" do. blue teased regina far more than the other way around, but this time she fought back. blue, who is never without a witty comeback, came right back at her without missing a beat. it was a priceless moment. unless this episode makes me money, that is.

i don't know i have anything else to say about it other than that i think it's hysterical. hope you liked it too.

the dregs #10

this was the first dregs i drew in 2009, the year being as fresh as this idea was for me. i liked using the graffiti i saw on the red line one night, but i wasn't sure how to make it funny. i don't remember how i stumbled across this idea, but i think it works well. i like that it shows a softer side to "peg" and "sal" since they spend so much time bickering with each other.

the only thing i find slightly off about it is that i hope it doesn't seem unbelievable that there would be more than 3 customers in this bar at a time!

the dregs #9

this was also drawn over x-mas vacation 2008. i like this one very much. for the first time, you really get a sense of how tiny "peg" is and how gorilla-like "sal" is - his body being held up by his knuckles. i also really liked the way the stool tops look at the bottom of the page. all in all, a very clean looking drawing.

i stole (i told him i would use it) this joke from a co-worker one night when we were talking about the woman that was the inspiration for "peg" and an argument he had with her. we were joking about what would happen if she attacked him and the punchline was born.

the dregs #8

drawn over xmas vacation in 2008, this was one of my original comic jokes, though i didn't think i was going to make the drunk customer as white trashy as he turned out to be. i don't know if i had ever mentioned this, but unless i need a one-time-only character to look a certain way (and this goes for the SP too), i usually come up with how they look on the spot. so, this is who i came up with that day. but, as i was saying, although it was an older idea of mine, i hadn't used it until now.

what i thought was neat was that my mom was really interested in how i drew and inked my comics. that interest changed quickly into concern about getting ink on her table.

the dregs #7

drawn in december 2008. i don't remember who said it to whom, but i overheard the initial part of this episode's dialogue. the punchline was something that popped in my head right after i heard it. i love it when things are that easy.

this angle was a new one - a close up and a behind view of "sal". did anyone notice the mistake in this episode? i'll give you a hint. take a look at "sal's" hand and elbow.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

the dregs #6

this one was drawn in december 2008. at this point, it is my best drawn episode. the angle is new, the line work looks much better, and "sal's" head looks less forehead-ish and his jaw is more pronounced. the character named "frank" is only used in one other episode. he was replaced by the future character named "onions", who was a character i had wanted to use for quite some time. i don't know why i liked that name so much, but i did. it seems fitting that a guy named "onions" is a regular at bar like this one, doesn't it?

the joke, itself, was something one of my co-workers had said about how he smelled and i couldn't stop laughing. i had to use it.

the dregs #5

this episode was drawn in november 2008. it also was one of several dialogue versions. "sal" originally says "pal, i'm talkin' to him." i like the published version much better. this is also an episode where i was trying to do something different with "peg's" hair. i gave it little curls but i don't think it works. i'm still working on something better for "peg's" hair.

does anyone recognize the silhouette in the doorway?

the dregs #4

this episode was drawn in november 2008. apparently, at this point, i hadn't been drawing many of these each month.

this is probably one of my favorite "peg" comics. up to this point, she's been half hidden by the bar. now you get to see her in all her... uh... glory. i had always planned on her looking like she was falling apart. now, you get to see it.

i got the idea from a friend of mine at Greenmill. apparently, this was real dialogue.

the dregs #3

this episode was done in october 2008. i had a lot of fun drawing the grim reaper in a stylistic way and i was really happy with how "sal's" hands look. i'm not the best at drawing hands, though i try not to hide the fact that it's one of my shortcomings. hopefully, none of you have noticed.

i don't remember where i got the idea for this joke, but that's no surprise. i'm guessing i had been thinking about how dismal this bar must be and i took it to an extreme - even 'ol mr. death won't enter. this is also one of the couple 2 panel episodes from this series.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

the dregs #2

this episode was done in september 2008, and has no title. it's also the first episode with "peg", and the first episode where "sal" has a mustache. at this point, i thought "sal" was going to have a mustache, but that idea was weeded out after a couple episodes.

i got the idea from this one from... i don't know where. i guess i saw a woman with a mustache. somewhere.

although "sal" still has that huge brow, i think this episode still looks good. i used the inside of the bar as part of the background, which is not used in later episodes, but i think the the bubbles in the beer glasses give a great effect.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

the dregs #1

let me start by talking about the dregs series as a whole. shortly after talking with mr. azzarello, i went to work developing characters. originally, i was planning on making this a spin-off for my characters "bob" and "lawrence", since they were already my bar characters in the SP and they worked well and had the same sense of humor that i was looking to use in this new strip. i tried giving them more of a stylized look, but i found that no matter how hard i tried, i couldn't get them the way i wanted. after all, they are based on people that i know, and so i felt i had to do the characters' models right, but i couldn't seem to do it. finally, i gave up on "bob" and "lawrence" and decided to come up with fresh characters.

"sal" the bartender was the easiest to do. he originally started as even more of a blockhead with a literally square shouldered body and a permanent 5 o'clock shadow. "peg" started as an even more weathered bar fly. there were two other characters i was going to use regularly that i never used at all - "stevie d lixx" and "connor catastrophe". since "sal's" bar is a dive, it only seemed right to add in some young hipster-ish people, in this case two aspiring musicians with dreams of stardom - kind of like tenacious d. but, the idea was that neither of them could play an instrument or sing and the name of their band was always changing - something i could exploit each time they were in an episode (one band name was "crimson orgasm"). "stevie" and "connor", however, didn't make the initial cut since it became obvious that their idea was too conceptual and would never really fly with what i was planning to do with this series. maybe i'll use them in something else since i do like the characters.

since "bob" and "lawrence" were based on real people, friends always wanted to know if "sal" and "peg" are based on real people too. the answer is yes and no. i don't know anyone that looks like "sal". his look is purely imaginary. his delivery and personality, however, is the collection of many bartenders i know. "peg's" look, on the other hand, is based on someone i know, but i don't want to reveal that person's name since the caricature is not exactly flattering. her personality is based on many women i've seen in bars who look like they've lived in one for most of their lives and hate most people (especially men), except for the bartender who you wonder if she's had a prior relationship with (the possible reason for why she's nice to him) or if she's just been a customer for a long time. their love/hate banter gives them a relationship not unlike the comic strip "The Lockhorns".

after all the character tweaking, i was ready to go. thankfully, working in a bar gives me infinite fodder for this cynical, sarcastic, biting comic and so i already had a good amount of material to work with.

the first episode of the dregs was done in august 2008, and was titled (episodes to follow were never titled) "baby huey". "sal", early on, looked more like Cousin It from the Addams Family than how he does now, because even though i liked the way he looked i kept changing little things about him. something else that changed over time was the line work. i use faber-castell pitt series artist pens for the SP, so i used them early on for the dregs. one of the biggest complaints that i got was that my line work needed variation, though i didn't see it at first (i was, after all, a little biased), but later changed. the joke came from something i thought of when i was bartending (it's safe to assume most of these jokes came to me this way). a very large person kept asking for more bread with his meal. "sal's" comment was what i wanted to say after my 4th trip to the kitchen to satisfy this man's carb jones.

and like that, the dregs was officially born.

i love this series because it says all the things i want to say to people, in and out of bars. it also is what i initially wanted to do with the SP when it was supposed to be a Dilbert for the service industry. the reason it is far more successful is that you don't have to be a bartender to get the jokes. they make fun of themselves more than they bite at customers, so no one gets left out in the fun. i'm very proud of this series and i hope you all enjoy it too.

Friday, November 6, 2009

the science project #25

titled "danger, will robinson! danger!", this was done in early march 2008. the idea came from the vacation to ocean city, maryland in 2007. my girlfriend at the time had commented about a few back hairs i had coming in and i replied that it was how i sensed danger - it was my "spidey sense". so, i thought i'd run with it.

i like this one for a few reasons. one of which is the shoulder hair the male character has. it looks like he's wearing parts of a rug.

on a note about the SP series as a whole, this is where it takes almost a year off. brian azzarello, a very talented graphic novel author and friend of mine, was nice enough to take a look at my work up till now. brian's main criticism was that the characters and topics covered were all over the place. he made a good point - that most people like revisiting characters they identify with, and without those characters, that connection with the audience is lost. he liked the bar idea, however, and thought i should develop something with regular characters using that bar theme. and so, my mind switched gears and i started developing my next comic strip "the dregs". after talking with brian, i was ready to abandon the SP for the dregs (the above advice coming from someone i highly revere), and i almost did (the first dregs episode was done in august 2008, while the next SP episode was done in late january 2009). thankfully, the SP survived. i know my brother and father were happy it did.

the science project #24

titled "Mummy Dearest", this was drawn in late february 2008. the idea for the joke was an old one from when i used to be a door guy, checking IDs. in that job, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't - if you ask someone who's obviously over 21 for their ID because they're with someone who may be under 21, the older person gets upset. if you don't ask, they get offended and ask "what? you don't wanna see MY ID too?" just shut up. this comic illustrates the silliness of that question through a bit of embellishment.

sadly, this is the last comic featuring "bob", though the bar idea will continue into its own series soon.

the science project #23

titled "Ticket to Ride", this was done in late february 2008. i had gotten the idea while watching "rudolph, the red nosed reindeer" over the holiday. exactly how i thought of it i don't remember, but i'm glad i wrote it down. i think it makes for a funny comic.

if anything, i wish i spent a little more time with the shading. i think it still works, though.

the science project #22

this episode titled "D1ck Head", was drawn in late february 2008. i had drawn two versions of it. the first was tough to understand because the character's head wasn't big enough for the viewer to get that it was his head (the one on his shoulders) that was getting bigger because he was a dick head. get it? *insert rim shot here* so, i had to redo it, giving the character a larger head and i added in the veins to accent the pun.

i got the idea from being up too late one night and one of those "male enhancement" tablet commercials was running over and over again. then the idea just clicked. it's odd what ideas pop in your head at 3 in the morning, isn't it?

the science project #21

titled "Road Trip", this episode was done in late february 2008. i don't know if you noticed a theme here, but i (like many others) think gwb3 is an idiot. and because he's an idiot, he's easy to poke fun at. but why should that stop me?

this idea was more of a fantasy than a joke. dubbyah went to africa for something and i wished they left him there, but i knew he'd only find his way back.

the science project #20

i did this one in early february 2008 and originally titled it "A Little Taste of Freedom". i decided to change it to "Freedom Fries Taste More Like a Knuckle Sandwich" simply because it sounded better. "bob" and "lawrence" are in this one too, but only as background characters and in the first panel.

this was my best political cartoon to date. i always felt we attacked the wrong country just for the sake of urgency for revenge for 9/11. the country needed someone to pay for the attacks, and iraq was the easy target. this comic illustrates those feelings completely.

the science project #19

titled "Babies on a Plane", i drew this in early february 2008. i got the idea on my way back from christmas vacation. nothing says, "enjoy the friendly skies" like several screaming babies in an enclosed space.

i think this is a fun episode because of it's obviousness, though my dad didn't get it. i don't think he's ever seen the movie "snakes on a plane" though. the only thing i would change is the way the dialogue is laid out. you have to read it left to right through sam jackson's head, which isn't as smooth as it should be.

the science project #18

titled "Take This Jihad and Shove It", i drew this in early february 2008. i like this episode a lot. i just think it's funny and i really like the line work of the rocky cave. it's not saying anything about terrorists specifically, as much as using an excuse we've all used at one time, except with a "job" that probably requires more punctuality and presence than most. i hope you like it as much as i do!

p.s. - i wonder if i'm going to get "flagged" when i add the word "jihad" as a label for this blog.

the science project #17

drawn in mid-january, this was originally titled "Slow Hand", but i went with "Bad Touch" instead. the joke was an observation on PDA (public display of affection, for those less than romantic types). i don't mind PDA, for the record, except for those couples that seem like they are about to make a baby in public. that being said, this is the last time "tim the gorilla" was used in a SP episode. i just couldn't find a use for him with where i felt the SP was going. maybe i'll use "tim" in something down the line, but he won't be coming back to the SP.

technically, i think this episode looks pretty good. but if i had to change one thing, i'd make the masturbating monkey a little more pronounced. i wonder what that says about me...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

the science project #16

titled "A Fool's Paradise", this episode was drawn in early january 2008, right after the assassination of benazir bhutto . the idea is simple - the koran promises a martyr 72 virgins in heaven after the ultimate sacrifice. the specifics on what kind of virgins were promised, however, are not discussed. so, because i think getting promised virgins (who wants virgins anyway?) for killing yourself and others is stupid, i thought i'd exploit the technicality.

the joke is obvious: the suicide bombers find out their promised virgins are nerdy guys after the fact. this has to be one of my favorites.

the science project #15

this episode, titled "A Christmas Story", was done on christmas eve eve 2007. obviously, i ripped off the title from one of my favorite movies of all time (i triple dog dare you to challenge me in a trivia contest), but it fit too well. the cool thing about this episode is that most of you don't know the back story to this one. every year, my uncle writes a poem summing up the year's activities. it's always well received because of its creativity and humor. my dad came up with the idea to make something special for him because he always took the time to write the poem for us. so, the main character in this episode is a caricature of my uncle (who admits that i gave the cartoon version of him more hair than he actually has - you're welcome, uncle bill). the scenes in the cartoon are not exactly realistic to our family get together, but i used creative license to make it more interesting. the last panel, however, is pretty accurate visually because he reads the poem after christmas eve dinner, since some of us don't get the poem mailed to us.

i do like this episode, not only because we were doing something nice for a man who does nice things for us every year, but because it's just cute. this is probably the first comic that i had done that was personal to me. that will change in future episodes.

the science project #14

done in mid december 2007, this episode is titled "Merry F'n Christmas" and has become a favorite with some of my fans. i'm glad because i think this is not only funny, but the best drawings of the characters "bob" and "lawrence". it flows well and i like the usage of uncomfortable situational humor. if you haven't noticed, this is also probably the moment of conception of the comic i'll start to develop in about 3 months.

the science project #13

entitled "Bad Santa", this was drawn early december 2007, almost immediately after #12 "Dead Alive". this was an idea i've had since i was a lot younger - santa getting busted for breaking and entering peoples' houses on christmas eve (an odd thought for a kid to have about santa, right?). this image might be used in a christmas greeting card (hopefully).

technically speaking, the fonts used on st. nick's placard are not in the original drawing. i found that the hand writing did not work as well as using a stencil font so i photoshopped it in. i'm glad i did because it looks soooo much better this way.

the science project #12

entitled "Dead Alive". this was drawn in early december 2007. the joke is pretty obvious, i must admit, but it was fun to draw. one mistake - an x-ray wouldn't show the heart. maybe if it was an m.r.i. or some test like that. but you get the joke.

this was also fun because i didn't need the gorilla (whom i later remembered was named "tim") to deliver the joke. it is a perfect example of where the SP was heading character-wise, delivery, and style of humor.

the science project #11

titled "Bathroom Break", this one was drawn in late november 2007. i think the basis of the joke came from a conversation between a couple while i was in the car with them (someone obviously taking a long time in the w.c.). i thought the idea possibilities were endless for what the male character in this episode could be doing in there. ultimately, i stuck with the card game because my other ideas, however funny, were too bizarre and unbelievable even for a comic strip.

the dialogue and punchline (specifically) went through a number of revisions from friends and family, but the more advice i got, the more the idea started to change into something else. the perfect saying would be "too many cooks in the kitchen." in the end, i decided to stick with the original wording and i think it works just fine.

i used the ankle shot for the wife, because this scene somehow reminded me of Tom and Jerry/Warner Bros. cartoons - you only saw up to the lady of the house's calf while she was instructing tom to watch the baby while she was gone or something. the amish must have loved those scenes with all that exposed ankle. if they had a televisions.

the science project #10

titled "Bundle of Joy", this one was done in mid-november, but the idea was an old one. for those of you who don't know me (or know this about me), i think newborn babies are ugly. period. let the kid grow up a bit before you invite me over to see it or show me a picture because i don't wanna see it. that being said, i always joked with new parents asking, "are you sure that's human? i think they gave you a goblin baby by accident." after that admission, how i put this together is obvious.

technically, i really like the framing and line work in this episode. i think it flows well and is easy to understand.

the science project #9

titled "I said... ROLL OVER, BEETHOVEN!!!", this one was drawn in early november 2007. i can't remember how i came up with this idea, but i'd imagine it that it had something to do with my girlfriend at the time nagging at me.

the rounded edging within the boarders was supposed to give the effect that a single candle light source would have given as the light dies in the distance. without knowing that, i still think it looks interesting. all-in-all, it still gives me a chuckle.

for the record, i still have to check to see if i spelled "beethoven" right to this day.

the science project #8

done in late october 2007, the idea came from a family vacation to ocean city, maryland. for those of you that have never been to an east coast beach vacation area, there are billboards and ads for all you can eat seafood restaurants everywhere you look. maryland, however, is all about crabs so the joke seemed obvious. we all kept laughing at the thought of a seafood restaurant that could be called "i got crabs." if only there was such a place.

the main character is the non-serial character "cap'n eddy". i admit that i love the way i drew him and the t.v. layout for the panels. the best thing about this episode was that this was where the SP started to really find it's groove and pun-like silliness. it really took off from here. it also changed visually because i started using different materials (bristol board vs illustration board) to draw on. it gave the comic a smoother and more professional look.

and if you were wondering, no, i never had crabs.

the science project #7

done in late october 2007, THIS is an obscure one. using "bob" and "lawrence" as background characters, it's about a woman i saw in the bar one night. my fellow employees and i couldn't stop talking about this customer's "fashion mullet" - a very well kept and manicured mullet, but a mullet none-the-less. but this episode pretty much wrote itself in my head as i (we) watched her. in fact, all the dialogue seemed to have a british accent in my head, thus creating the "francis wetherby" character.

i like this episode, but it doesn't really fit in the grand scheme of The Science Project (sounds like a reoccurring theme, doesn't it?). also, i think the second half of the final dialogue panel could have been removed (starting with "but she has to...). it sounds forced and confusing. other than that, i think it's funny, but could have been used in another way. in what way, though, i have no idea.

the science project #6

this one was done in late october 2007. i like this one if only because my dad gave me the idea. a friend at work told him this one almost verbatim (at least "lawrence's" lines). technically speaking, i think this one looked good. i like "bob's" movement and gestures. the humor is very sarcastic and cynical (much like another bar comic strip that will emerge in about 6 months). all in all, i think it's a successful episode.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

the science project #5

this is another obscure episode using the characters "bob" and "lawrence", but introducing a non-serial character named "senor melanoma" and the beloved "kool-aid man".

"lawrence" asks "bob" about "sr. melanoma". "bob" tells him that "sr. melanoma" tries for a dark tan but ends up looking like a creepy red vincent price. the view then moves slightly to the left and reveals the "kool-aid man", who "lawrence" then comments on how HIS red shade makes him thirsty. "oh... yeaaah!!!"

weird, i know. i still think this one is funny, though, technically speaking i would move the dialogue bubbles around to make it easier to read. regardless, neither the "kool-aid man" nor "senor melanoma" will be making further appearances.

the science project #4

some of you may be wondering why i'm not talking about The Dregs yet, and that's a good question. i wanted to show you how all of this developed in the time line that it occurred in for me. so, i'll get to The Dregs. but not yet.

Aug. 2007: this was a very interesting episode. after realizing that i needed to expand the comic strip's focus, one of topics i felt i was missing out on was political humor. for some reason, however, i thought of the ape from the novel "ishmael" by daniel quinn, which i had to read before starting my freshman year at elon college. in the novel, ishmael and his pupil discuss many philosophical topics, so i thought "who better than to ironically discuss political topics, than a gorilla?" i don't think i ever gave the gorilla a name, but i always thought of him as ishmael.

that being said, this was done soon after our former president g. w. bush III publicly backed the creationist theory in the news. unfortunately being of greater intelligence than a former world leader, i found this to be pretty disappointing to hear. what i also found was that g-dubyah, to me, looked like a monkey. at that moment, all the pieces for a good political comic seemed to be in order. i was wrong. or at least i told it wrong.

in this episode, the gorilla sees the newspaper headline on the bottom of his cage and asks the smaller ape in the cage next to him what he thought of the president's disbelief in their common ancestry. the gorilla continues the discussion, only to get poop thrown at him by his neighbor. when he looks his assailant, the small ape looks like gwb3.

i don't dislike this episode as much as i wonder what i was doing and where i thought this was going to lead. oh well. things get weirder than this.

the science project #3

thankfully, this episode doesn't require any explanation. it's just plain 'ol silly. one thing i do have to point out is that this is the point where i started questioning the idea that the SP was going to be successful as a comic catering to the service industry crowd only. i thought broadening it's scope would not only open things up for more potential readers, but would also allow me a much larger number of usable ideas to work with. "bob" and "lawrence" would still have their episodes, but i had new characters in mind for serial appearances as well as knowing that i would be using non-serial characters from time to time.

so, this may be an interesting turning point to some, but it was an uncertain one for me. this was late summer 2007.

the science project #2

this is probably the worst comic episode i've done yet simply because it doesn't make sense to the viewer. as it goes, "bob" asks the customer if he can get him anything. the hipster customer is drunk, so he's garbling his words. "bob" then snaps his fingers, turning the hipster into a tiny camel. "lawrence" (another not-so-clever alias since the character looks exactly like the guy who he's based on) is surprised at this magical transformation and asks "bob" how he did it. "bob", however, is reluctant to reveal his magic school secret and transforms "lawrence" into a tiny pony when he continues to ask questions. the generic bar patron then makes a silly comment.

i believe this comic makes sense once it's explained, but that defeats the purpose of a comic strip and so i think it's an unsuccessful episode. i could have redrawn it but i chose to chalk it up as a loss and move ahead.

the funniest part about this comic is where the idea came from. one of the bartenders that i work with told me a story about how a drunk customer kept talking at him one night and how he avoided him. when it was obvious that the customer was going to keep nonsensically talking at him, he slowly lowered himself below the bar level, like some people do when pretending to lower in an invisible elevator behind a couch. he then reappeared farther down the bar, and the customer he was trying to avoid never noticed. i took the idea and changed it a bit, but i still think the original story is funny to imagine. funnier than the comic, unfortunately.

the science project #1

it's funny to go back and look at early SP episodes (this one having been done in early 2007) knowing where the strip is now. so, let me start at the beginning so you can understand...

the original idea for the science project was that it was going to be a "dilbert" for service industry people. working in a bar, you hear people griping about things on both sides of the wood. having the perspective of the bartender, i thought an outlet like this would be great. however, it quickly became very inside jokey and i realized that, if this was going to be successful at all, i couldn't take it in the direction i had initially wanted because i was going to alienate most of my potential audience telling them how they sucked in a number of ways. SP#1 is a perfect example of this.

living in chicago, the idea for this specific episode was how most non-wrigleyville (maybe even some wrigleyville) bartenders hate cubs fans and frat guys. they're loud, obnoxious, lousy drunks, and really exp;ain the need for our "adult babysitter" role. that being said, most bartenders like the ones i described above (sometimes secretly, sometimes not so secretly) fantasize about these types of customers spontaneously combusting (or something along those lines). so, i took that idea and ran with it.

the main character in this one is "bob" (a not-s- clever alias, considering he looks exactly like the guy he was modeled after). the cubs fan guys he's talking to were drawn to look as generic as possible, while keeping the accents that help define them as this type of customer.

i don't think i need to explain what's happening, but i will. for some reason, some bar patrons (at least one's that i've found) don't listen. when you tell them you're out of something, or you don't carry something, they sometimes keep asking anyway. in this episode, the main cubs fan is doing just that: asking for a beer the bar doesn't carry. the bartender explains just this, and it escalates to where "bob" gets mad and uses his "scanners" power and makes the main cubs fan's head explode. "bob" asks them again what they'd like, and one of the cubs fans was already out the door, as to not end up like his friend. i still think it's funny. but like i said, it's a fantasy.

if i had to change something specific, it would be to make the tiny panels in the middle (the ones that zoom toward "bob's" and the cubs fan's eyes) move in rows vs in columns. it just made it awkward.

there was an alternate idea for this episode. "bob" was going to uppercut the cubs fan's head off in a very flashy japanime style move instead of using mental telepathy. the other way would have been funny too. maybe i'll still use that somewhere.

anyway, this is where it all started. *sigh of nostalgia*...

Lift Off

hi, everyone. welcome to the first of many (i'm sure) postings.

first off, this blog is not a blog about me, but about my work (which is more interesting than a blog about me anyway). secondly, i will try to update this every week as the website, itself, gets updated. everything else is pretty self-explanatory.