Title: 1171

Monday, Apr 12, 2004

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This is what happens when he doesn’t have a comic to do… he just keeps typing.

April 12, 2004
2:40 PM

Okay… this should replace the little filler rant I had up most of the morning. 🙂

So, as you can see, I decided that I will be taking a little beak. I’ve gotten a few guest strips (not quite enough, but we’ll manage), and I’m pretty much just going to use the time to decompress. I’m still accepting guest strips (as I MAY decide to turn this into a 2-week break, i don’t know), but I’ll talk about that more in a minute. If you’re thinking of doing a guest strip, PLEASE READ BELOW. Thanks. 🙂

One of the nice things I found was the perfect comic note-taking program. A lot of people recommended Microsoft OneNote to me, and while it’s a decently useful program for taking down snippets of information, It’s not really as useful to me as it seemed. Plus, there’s that whole COSTING MONEY thing. Thankfully, someone sent me a link to a nice freeware program by the name of KeyNote. What sets this apart from OneNote is that it’s essentially Windows Explorer for text notes. Every note can be set to be a node to any other note, so you end up with tree-based note structures. Here’s how this helps me: I have 5 different base trees in KeyNote. One is kind of a mind-dump… it’s where I make a note and give it a name of a comic idea that’s been running around in my head. Perhaps I haven’t formulated the whole joke, or whatever. It gets it out of my head and into somewhere more permanent. This note doesn’t have to have any script in it, or anything. Once it’s done, I can move it to the finished scripts folder. This is like a holding tank for ideas that are written to completion, and just need me to draw the comic. I can then drag it to the completed comics folder, and ignore it. (It’s always good to have the script on hand, just in case). I also have a tree where I can put storyline ideas, and then funnel any storyline-related comics into their own sub-tree. I can, at a glace, see how many comics a storyline will take up, and for once in the comic’s existence, write a storyline from start to finish. 😀 I also have a trash folder, of course. It’s never a good idea to completely dump an idea, no matter how bad. Or maybe I can funnel alternate scripts into there (like a stinker I had originally written for friday’s joke). Basically, this is perfect for me, and it’s free, which is even more perfect. I can even keep the text file I use to write these rants in there, for consolidation issues. 🙂

So you’re planning on doing a guest strip. AWESOME. I really, really appreciate it. I do have to set forth a few rules, though. I tend to keep something of a limiter on what will and won’t go in the strip and on my site. I tend to be pretty over-the-top and foulmouthed in private, but I don’t feel it’s appropriate for the website, so I tone it down a bit. 🙂 Here are a few guidelines I ask anyone submitting material to follow:

No foul language, no sexual or graphic content.
Basically, if you can’t show it on television, you won’t see it in Real Life. It’s the way I do things, it’s the way I’ve always done things. And don’t start with me on this indecency crap, I’ve been keeping it more or less clean for the duration of the strip. 🙂

Make it funny.
I guess I need to follow this one as much as anyone else. Basically, try not to just put the RL crew in with some of your own characters for that sake alone. If you’re going to do it, have a joke in mind. Try to make it something anyone can understand, without knowing who your characters are. Really, I’d prefer that any guest strips are more of just your interpretation of the RL universe, without crossovers for crossovers’ sake. I like crossovers well enough, as long as they make me laugh. 🙂 This kind of leads into the next thingy…

Please, please, PLEASE… do it in your own style.
One of the things that makes guest strips great for you to read and for me to see is that I get to see how someone else would envision my characters. I get a kick out of fan -art, or crossover strips, because I get to see what someone else would have done if they were drawing RL. Besides, it’s not exactly like my style should be propogated by anyone else… it’s bad enough that I do it. Don’t want other people drawing as badly as me. 😀 This also means no taking strips I’ve done before and rewriting the dialogue. It’s often very funny, but it kind of defeats the purpose of a guest strip.

NO MS PAINT.
Paint is evil. Paint is the devil. Don’t use the excuse that paint is all you have… Paint is not a graphics program. Keep this in mind. You can get free trials of a lot of the graphics software out there, any one of which is tenfold better than Paint. Hell, even ILLIAD uses Photoshop. I mean, granted, his stuff looks like crap, but at least it’s not ENTIRELY pixellated. Well, I guess it’s mostly pixellated, I mean….okay, bad example.

Formatting Requirements
Mostly. this step just saves me the time of having to edit the strip after it’s sent to me. 😀 The comic can be as tall as you want to make it, but it can be no more than 530 pixels wide. Page formatting thing… you understand. Also, be sure to put your name and credits underneath the strip… I want to make sure you get full credit for you work. 😀

I hope I didn’t drive anyone off with all that crap… You all understand, I hope. Anyway, I’ve gone on long enough, but keep visiting this week, and I’ll let you know at the end of the week if this’ll become two weeks. Barry Smith tells me I should take a few months off, but I don’t really think I need all that much. 🙂 I’m beginning to get back into order as we speak. Take care, and I’ll keep in touch here on the site. 🙂