More stuff. Tuesday, Jan 27 2009 


Here’s another stuff. One quarter of a page of stuff anyway. Don’t ask me why I don’t just copy and paste everything when I’m clearly just tracing it anyway.

The comic is called ‘Kerry and the Shadow Puppets’. I know I’m not supposed to use the names of people I know but I thought ‘Kerry’ went well with ‘and the Shadow Puppets’. I think I’ll be able to get through one full page a week.


Hard work. Saturday, Jan 24 2009 

I forgot I was a perfectionist. I’ve spent the last two hours making imperceptible changes to the page I posted yesterday. I won’t bother posting the page with changes yet because it would serve no other value than as a minor spot-the-difference project.

I think I was too harsh on Wall·E the first time I watched it. The part where the humans get involved and everything gets all didactic isn’t too bad, it’s just disappointing that Pixar weren’t confident in the strength of Wall·E and Eve in the movie by themselves. They started out working perfectly with a ‘less is more’ principle, then they added more to the film and made it less. It’s like if you took a Buster Keaton short and spliced Star Wars onto the end of it.

Whatever happened to class? I’m looking at pictures of the Wellington Cup and amazed at how cheap the punters can make stylish clothes look. More Paris Hilton than Audrey Hepburn. Those participating have taken the concept of ‘high society’ and turned it into a dress-up competition. Like if you turned ‘My Fair Lady’ on its head and made everyone an Eliza Doolittle.

Wait, didn’t Audrey Hepburn star as Eliza Doolittle?

The time for constructive procrastination is at an end. Friday, Jan 9 2009 

I’m in New Plymouth for my girlfriend’s sister’s wedding. I have no witty remarks to make about New Plymouth. It’s kind of like any other medium-sized New Zealand town. The weather has been nice.

When I get back I’m going to try to start ‘producing’ a webcomic. I spent most of last year thinking about what to do, how to do it, why to do it, where to do it, when to do it, who to do it, all that sort of thing… I pretty much have no excuses any more. No more ‘should I do it this way or that way, even though there is only a minor difference’ questions to ponder for weeks on end. Anything further I can no longer explain away as constructive procrastination.

Random observation: a CD entitled ‘The Word’s Greatest Worship Music’. Can you believe that all of the greatest worship music in the world is Christian in denomination? Apparently no Muslim or Hindu or Jew or Buddhist or Pagan or Unorthodox Toaster-Oven has ever written a worship song of any note whatsoever.

If there had been people in the world sensible enough to insert a ‘^’ symbol between ‘Greatest’ and ‘Worship’ with the word ‘Christian’ above it, there would be a lot less wars.

What am I doing? Wednesday, Nov 26 2008 

Nothing, apparently. I seem to have got into this lifestyle of watching DVDs and saving up for more advanced and collectible toys and being too lazy to take my girlfriend anywhere interesting. And daydreaming about projects I could be working on but never actually starting because the world seems to be too crowded with people doing things anyway. Every tenth person seems to have a webcomic or is writing a novel or working on some other creative thing.

I could try making a drop in the ocean but it would be like going to the Sevens wearing a silly costume and expecting to stand out.

Is it the Sevens where people wear silly costumes? I don’t know… something like that.

The only thing that stops me from giving up is that when I try finding a new author to read or a new webcomic to bookmark, I realise that 999 out of 1,000 people have no real talent. Do you know how many webcomics start with a strip where the characters are the cartoonist and his friend and they’re talking about how this is the first strip of their new webcomic? And usually one of them will say ‘we should say something interesting’ and the panel after that is an awkward silence. If you filter out drivel like that there’s not really as much competition as there seems.

I think my problem is that I’m always thinking of ways to shrink my comfort zone. I’m almost entirely unprepared to do anything that could in any way discomfort me. I could try working on a webcomic… but if it’s not absolutely perfect I’ll feel like I’ve wasted my time.

Travel, experimentation, pessimism and cynicism. Tuesday, Aug 19 2008 

Today I spent five minutes in Bulls then six hours in Fielding and now I’m in Marton for the night. I’m trying to expand my repertoire of boring places to be.

I’ve been working on that silhouette style I posted the other day. Normally when I embark on some new webcomic concept I prematurely create a comicgenesis page for it before I realise I don’t have the persistence to go through with it. Photographing lego? Bah, too complicated. Moving limbless oval bodies around in Flash? Way too much effort. Drawing simple stick figure silhouettes on silhouette backgrounds? Hmm… Yeah, I’ll give that a go. But I’ll prove to myself that it’s not too much of a chore for me to hold a black vivid and wave it around before establishing any kind of web presence for it.

If I’d persisted with that lego comic I started ages ago I’d probably have enough strips to fill at least one book with. I’ll try not to think about that.

I used to do a weekly thing where I’d check for exciting new webcomics to bookmark. That became a fortnightly thing, then a monthly thing… now I do it once a year or so. According to my latest research pretty much no new noteworthy webcomics have been created in the last four years. Did people just stop trying or what?

Things that put me off webcomics very quickly:

* Not having a ‘first comic’ link. I mean seriously, I’m new to the comic, that’s where I’m going to want to start. Why must you make me wade through pages of archives to find the first comic? I don’t have that much patience.
* Manga. Anything manga. Before Japan was invented there were other ways to draw, you know.
* Comics where all girls have large breasts or where men can transform into half-wolf women and have sex with half-eagle women who have turned into men. I don’t want to hear about weird teenage boy fetishes.
* A combination of both of the above. In other words, most popular yet lame webcomics.
* Anything that Strong Bad would mock.

Arthur Rackham I am not. Monday, Aug 11 2008 

This is just a quick sketch to give myself a visual idea of a ‘shadow puppet’ comic style I’ve been contemplating. Clicking the image makes it bigger.

It’s supposed to be a guy in a three-sized piratey hat sitting on a tree stump sketching some sort of curly fern thing. That’s what it looks like to me but I realise that because of the lack of detail it might look like something completely different to someone else. Like a janitor sitting on a pinball machine in a landslide.

No one ever said progress actually had to go anywhere. Friday, Aug 1 2008 

I started writing a book tonight. But then I started writing three books over the last two weeks. If the word ‘started’ also means ‘strongly intended to start’, then there are five other books I also probably ‘started’ as well. In fact if I stayed up all night I could have ‘started’ at least seventeen new books by the morning.

My cat is sleeping next to me on the couch, which is nice. He’s not really ‘my’ cat but he does seem to spend every night in my bedroom. And he eats all my catfood.

It’s nice that he’s sleeping because he’s usually trying to kill me. Here is how he reacts to various stimuli:

Bright lights: tries to kill me.
Loud noises: tries to kill me.
Sudden movements: tries to kill me.
Trying to get him out from under the couch: tries to kill me.
Going to work in the morning: tries to kill me.

(He’s really very sweet, I assure you)

Bluh! Monday, Jul 14 2008 

I seem to have been stuck in a sort of creative deadlock for some time. I’ll change my mind about what I should focus on about eight or nine times a day. Should I try making a game? A comic strip? Should I try animating something? Should I do something with lego? Should I write a book about someone who goes into a fantasy world every time they have to deal with the small-minded pettiness of most other people on Earth? Should I write a TV show script about a woman who is kind of an clever but oblivious idiot savant? Should I write a book about a millionaire adventurer in the 1980s who does some crazy stuff for the hell of it? Should I try entirely rewriting Pirate Space so I’m happy with it?

I really need to just fix on one thing and just do it.

Le sigh. Monday, Jun 23 2008 

Four months ago I set myself a deadline that I’d have another draft written by the end of june. It’s now about one week until the end of june and I have approximately 600 words to show for it. Hmm…

The only progress I’ve made is of the mental persuasion. I’ll start writing something, then I’ll stop writing after 300 words because of some gut feeling that what I’m writing is wrong. Then I’ll examine that gut feeling and come to a conclusion about what I should actually be writing instead.

I like to think I’m slowly improving my writing this way, but unfortunately this entire process takes about three months.

The only thing I’ve written that I haven’t deleted was something I was inspired to write while I was half asleep. And probably the only reason I haven’t had a bad gut feeling about it is that I have no idea what it’s supposed to mean.

I should probably just follow my guts.

The last time I updated the software on my computer they seem to have amended Quicktime so that when I watch videos downloaded from YouTube, I no longer have sound. Grr…

Um… huzzah! Saturday, Jun 7 2008 

My creative output for the last week may have been nothing more than a doodle on a scrap of paper at work, but at least it’s a start.

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