With less than minimal fanfare, this past Thursday was the 200th episode of ‘Sects! The path there was comprised of 174 dailies and 26 Sunday editions. It really doesn’t seem that long ago that I was celebrating the 100th episode. As I contemplate this milestone, I am pleased by many things.
I am as excited about this comic strip today as I was 200 episodes ago. That doesn’t mean the ideas always come easily, but even in times of writer’s block, I can’t wait to dive into creating the next episode. I also take frequent peeks back at older stories, and I find that most of them hold up against what I’m doing today. It’s nice for me to see that the earliest ideas I posted when I was less confident about the comic are now ones I can look back upon and be proud of posting.
Meanwhile, another anniversary happened today. I made my first post of any kind on this blog back on July 25, 2014. It’s hard to believe I’ve been at this for a whole year now! When I first started, I had a completely different comic strip, From Where I Sit, that actually helped get me a guest invitation at a local comic book convention. I still have some unpublished stories from this comic strip as well as other ideas that I hope to get back to eventually. This comic strip actually passed 100 episodes itself before I put it on the back-burner to go full-steam-ahead with ‘Sects.
In between then and now, I’ve also posted other random things that I’ve drawn along with some funny (or at least things I thought were funny) bits of prose. I also have another comic strip, Fringe Kisses, that has itself ran for 50 episodes as a random single-panel gag cartoon.
In totality, this blog has over 400 posts encompassing all the comic strips and other things I’ve blogged so far. It’s only fitting that nearly half of them belong to my current comic strip, ‘Sects, since I’m perhaps the most proud of it out of anything I’ve done on my site.
So, as I begin the second year of blogging… I hope everyone who has found me and followed me so far has enjoyed most of what I’ve been doing. Thank you to everyone who found me early and has stuck with me… thank you to all my newest followers who continue to find me somehow in the rat maze of the Internet… and thank you to everyone who helps spread the word around and keeps telling people to check out all my online nonsense!
I hope to continue bringing you more, and better things… and possibly a few good surprises in the weeks and months to come!
So… Rick and Morty is a thing… a cartoon on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim lineup. I almost missed it, as it was often on in odd time slots last year… but it is one of the most awesomely weird cartoons you’ll ever want to watch, and the second season is only a few days away now!
I actually drew this the weekend before last… and posted it on Facebook then too. I even posted it on the Rick and Morty page, and they liked it… so if Rick and Morty likes Rick and Morty, then who are you not to like Rick and Morty? Go ahead… try not to like it… I dare you! Rick and Morty forever and ever, for a hundred years.
So… I actually created two final versions of this image, and here’s the secret behind-the-scenes scoop why… I didn’t like my original final piece. I’m not quite as skilled at hand-inking and hand-lettering as I’d like to be… some of that is the tools I have at my disposal, and the rest is lack of practice from years of finishing stuff on the computer where I have quite a bit more control and ease of correcting mistakes.
What I didn’t like about this one… was that the lettering ended up so much larger than I wanted, I had to omit some of the original dialog and did not have any real estate to do some of the stuff in the background that I had wanted. I don’t hate this version… it’s just not the version I wanted to create… fortunately I had the scan of my original pencil sketch…
So, returning to the original sketch, I used this as a baseline to draw the eventual final version (the topmost one in this blog post) completely digitally. If you compare my two color versions above, you can clearly see where I was able to do a better job in the ultimate final version of capturing my original concept.
What I’ve basically done as a result of this learning experience… is develop a new process for myself. I like drawing with traditional tools, but only when it yields something I’m happy with creating… and while I like having final original works that I can sell to others, that doesn’t trump the desire to create what I intend to create. So, going forward… my standard process has become:
1. Pencil sketch and layouts on paper.
2. Scan and keep the original sketch somewhere safe for future reference or potential sale.
3. Use the pencil scan as baseline to create final digital render, coloring as desired.
This gives me a best-of-both-worlds situation where I have an original pencil sketch if anyone is interested down the road, and a final digital piece that completes the vision as I saw it in my head. I hope you like this as much as I liked drawing it… and make sure you watch Rick and Morty on TV too!
Remember, if you are interested in requesting my services as an Illustrator, please use the Contact page and let me know as much as you can about your request.