Monday, 30 March 2009

Results!

A while ago, I told you I had handed out some questionnaires to try and get a better idea of what people want out of modern cartoons and also to find out what people are watching and what people consider to actually be cartoons. Well, I have collated the data and put into some spiffy graphs and the like and here we go:

No of questionnaires filled out: 30


Age Range: 16 - 61


Gender:


Male

Female

18

12




Not a perfect divide, but the best I could do.


An interesting set of results here. The Simpsons obviously came out on top…which was kind of to be expected, but the results in general are divided significantly towards the male gender. The top three programs here are all what you would expect people from the age range to watch. This study was mainly filled in by 20 – 26 year olds and both the male and females in this age range ticked the top three programs. It would seem that the majority of people in that age group have a firm distinction between what they will and won’t watch, especially amongst the male group. Spongebob & Snow White are obviously not that popular with the majority of people who did this questionaire (The youngest age was 16 and she ticked that she didn’t watch it).


100% thought ‘Animation’ sounded more grown-up than ‘Cartoon’. There was quite a lot of deliberation when making choices and people would put slashes and put both or just not answer if they didn’t know (Or hadn’t seen the show). It would seem that Spongebob Squarepants is definitely seen as a ‘cartoon’ and thus not as ‘grown-up’ as the other shows and the contrast to this is the overwhelming number of people who put ‘animation’ next to Wallace & Gromit, considering it to be ‘grown-up’. I suspect the three people who put no answer next to Wallace & Gromit would have called it Claymation and thus chose nothing because this wasn’t listed as a choice.


The vast majority of No Answers went to South Park, which a lot of people crossed out original answers next to on the sheets. I personally think it would be an animation because of its beginnings as a stop-motion piece…but it would seem the true difference in the modern day between an animation and a cartoon is not what they look like, but what the content of the show is about…well maybe not according to these results.


I was quite surprise by the fact that 100% thought that ‘Animation’ sounded more grown-up, but the most popular shows were then labelled as cartoons. Perhaps this shows that many people see things like Family Guy and The Simpsons as a form of escapism. They know it’s for adults, but they see it as a cartoon. This helps them remove themselves from reality and maybe helps them to get that ‘no worries’ feeling that you associate with child hood. Nothing is truly clear from statistics, not on any scale – at least not when they are applied to the individual.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Lettering

I decided to really concentrate on a lot of the smaller details for this piece of work, ones that I usual just fob off because I like drawings cartoons that move around. This time I want absolutley everything within the piece to look top notch. The animation is going to be much smoother and better with more weight and life about it and I want to generally just acheive a new level of proffessionalism within my work.

I deliberately wrote a narrator into this trailer so that I could elongate the trailer, explain the concept of the film and give the trailer a 'trailer' feel. But, I didn't just want the usual 'swelling text' effect whilst the voice over told us what was happening so I thought, how could I use this in a way that is both funny, informative and suggestive. The text itself is a parody of what the narrator is saying because it only highlights the stupid the narrator says for comic effect. This adds to the 'silly' factor of the trailer.

video

I really wanted to do something special with the text that I hadn't tried before. So I learned how to use After Effects properly and came up with this effect. Obviously, this is just a test...that is why it says test...so there are a few things to iron out.

The effect may be basic to some, but I think it adds an 'epic' sense of feeling to the trailer and it also looks pretty good, which helps. Hopefully the rest of the trailer will be just as good :)

Monday, 23 March 2009

Film Trailers - Analysis

What constitutes as a 'good' film trailer? I don't have the luxury of having a whole film from which to select the best clips, I have to make them for the trailer. This means I have to study the 'trailer' style in reverse. For me a trailer should clearly represent the films genre. If it is a mid-18th century classic film, you wouldn't expect to see the Biker Mice from Mars speeding through in a hail of gun-fire and explosions, would you? More chance of people going to see it, that's for sure.

If its an action movie it should be exciting, with a fast pace, explosions and not even a hint at a storyline. If it is a comic book movie, I want to see the characters I love and know in glorious movie visual type things. If it is a horror film, you want to see people running and screaming with bizarre camera angles, generally in a wood and with some crap plot and obvious killer. Overall, I think the plot isn't something that necessarily has to be the focus of the trailer. In fact, famous actors, fast cars and 'smokin' bitches' are generally what people go to the cinema for, sadly.

Anyway, to aid me in creating a trailer that is as exciting as it is stupid, I have decided to look at some trailers for up and coming films and analyse them. So join me as we take to pieces a few trailers from up and coming films:

Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen

I for one, really enjoyed the Transformers film. It was a good romp and even though I am a fan boy and certain things weren't right, it was still a good attempt as far as Hollywood goes.

The first thing that really strikes me about this trailer is how stoppy-starty it is. Black screens everywhere. They are great to use for a split second just before the action starts, then bring in the sound and action. But it never really happens. Instead it ends up being a mysterious series of clips with no real connection other than to people who saw the first film to ask: why are they back? The special effects are top-notch, can't knock them - but they don't make a great film. The music in the trailer isn't action packed and loud, it is subtle and hails back to the first half of the original film where they kept you waiting to see any sign of a transformer.

In fairness the trailer does kick off with a big explosion, but it never really amounts to anything other making you question what it was that hit the building. Was it a missle or a piece of asteroid or what? I suppose the graet thing about this trailer is the fact that it gets you intrigued and excited. If you enjoyed the first film, you will be looking forward to the second and if it gets people hypothesising over the plotline, then it means its gunna get viewers at the cinema.

Maybe it is too easy to forget that a trailer is supposed to advertise a new film, not shows bits of it. It is a piece of marketing, not a piece of entertainment in itself, which is where the trailer for my cartoon differs. My trailer is a piece of entertainment, spoofing modern Hollywood trailers and their audiences - perhaps it would be wise to just take away the visuals and feelings of a good trailer, rather than an indepth analysis that makes me focus on the wrong thing.


I think it takes a lot of stones to try and take on something within a fanbase as stuck up and snotty as Star Trek's. I should know, I am one of those stuck up snotty critics willing to point whatever I think is wrong, historically and cinematically with anything to do with what I consider to be one of the greatest franchises the world has ever seen.

I can really see what this new film is about. Bring Star Trek to a new generation of kids who think Star Trek is for geeks and dads and I am OK with that. If they get the characters right, I don't mind a bit of action and cheese. When I heard Scotty was been played by Simon Pegg, I did laugh out loud at the idea, but I am willing to give it a chance before I tear it to pieces - which I think puts me a few steps ahead of a few other fans who have already condemned it. The fact is that Star Trek is on its arse and it needs a pick-up. Abrahms has kept me interested with Lost and Cloverfield and I think he signs Bad Robot up to a lot of good stuff, so I remain optomistic at this point.

So the new trailer. Its got everything. Action, aliens, explosions, sex, a string soundtrack that doesn't go anywhere and just makes stabs to keep you interested and raise the tension and zero hint at any kind of concievable plot. I suppose if the plot is completely stupid at least it won't be too far away from TOS (The Original Series) because some of the plot lines, especially in season 2 are just epically ridiculous. What really catches your attention about this trailer is that it doesn't look like a Star Trek trailer, it looks more like an action flick at first. Then when you hear the kid say his name is James Tiberius Kirk you think: say what?

The pace of the trailer is fast and you find yourself trying to keep up, which keeps you interested and builds up excitment. Its full of action, people and ships zooming around and a shit-ton of explosions, which is interesting. If its as exciting as the Dominion War scenes in DS9 then im pretty sure im gunna enjoy it. There is also a kind of narration in this trailer, but it isn't direct. It is pieced together from dialogue in the film - this is an interesting idea and one that is commonly used. I have applied this to my trailer in a round about fashion, but not directly.

I think there are gunna be a lot of salutes to the series in the new film, but they're gunna have keep to the universe that Roddenberry wrote. There better be no Marquis zippin' around or other things that hadn't yet been discovered. I wouldn't mind seeing a few cameo roles though :) I shouldn't have chosen this one to analyse, I have too many opinions on it.

Terminator Salvation

Yes, its time for another Terminator film. Should I be excited? Probably not. Do I like Christian Bale the guy who seems to constantly stick is foot in it by nutting his sister or swearing at extras? Yeah, he's alright. Will this film be worth the ticket price at the cinema? Im guessing not. Personal problems aside, this trailer really does stick to the generic. Are they the same strings from the Star Trek trailer? I think so... Plenty of explosions and action and subtle hint at the plot, with plenty of reference to previous iterations of the movie (They actually say Judgement Day....is it to remind people that they did actually enjoy the Terminator series at one point?).

Here the lead character is the voice over for the trailer, like the trailer isn't a trailer but a documentary of something that actually happened. I like that idea, because you get a glimpse of the character before you see the film. It does remove an element of mystery and a lot of people who go to see action films just want the stunts and action, rather than to have to think about the plotlines. Perhaps this film is targetting the audience that I am infact trying to send-up. People who don't care what they watch as long as there is some tits and explosions in it.

The direction of this trailer does convey a lot of action, which is what you would expect from a Terminator flick, so credit to it there - but maybe its just me, but I already feel like I have seen this film before and that puts me off. At least the Transformers trailer adds a sense of mystery and intrigue and makes me want to see it. In this film I feel like I have been there and done that. Finally, my last gripe is the line 'This isn't the future my mother warned me about?' Sorry, did I spend hours of my friggin' life watching these films just so the next prick that gets a hold of the directors chair can go, "Actually, the future that the characters have worked to try and avoid does actually happen so all that stuff they did meant for shit". Stupid much!

Maybe the thing to take away from this trailer is not to make things too generic, otherwise you lose your audience immediately. This trailer really is cheese factor five thousand. It just seems completely over the top with absolutley not substance. If they want me to come and see a film with no substance, they need to work harder to hide the fact that is completely stupid. This is is exactly what my trailer is about, don't go and see this retarded crap....because you will find me in the corner eating popcorn and enjoying it and that will make me a hypocrit.

Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Generally when I see the number 3 in movie titles two things cross my mind. Either its a cash cow for the company or its an old series brought back from the dead because the studio can't find anything that works. In the case of Ice Age however, neither is true. It is an original and fun idea with some great character writing and animation. Yes, the second film was nowhere near as good as the first, but it wasn't a bad movie at all. It had its moments.

This trailer continues the same theme as the others. It leads with Scrat looking for a nut. I think the thing people love about Ice Age trailers so much is that they are essentiall freebies. They are short films that generally don't relate to the plot at all. I also think they remind people of when they were kids and used to watch Tom & Jerry cartoons. They generally revolved around slapstick with heavy use of sound effects and no music. A great way to attract attention is to not play to what the audience expects. By removing the generic music from the 'action trailer' you create something different that has meaning and conviction. It also forces people to pay attention because they aren't used to what they are seeing and it isn't immediately recognisable.

This is something I need to take away from this trailer. By making your trailer individual and not doing what the audience expects you will get their attention. This doesn't apply so much to my trailer because it is a spoof, so the idea is that I delibrately do what the audience expects, but to such a degree that it becomes satirical. It is the most basic form of satire, one that everybody can appreciate.

This has been valuable time spent investigating these trailers. I have learned a lot in terms of layout, music use and sound effects. I have learned a few valuable lessons too. Cinemotography is an important part of a successful trailer, but more important is the fact that you remember, it is a marketing piece. It sells the final product. This feeling cannot be lost on my trailer, because it will make the spoof all that more convincing. If people actually believe it is a genuine trailer, then I have done my job right. It is about time people sat up and started paying attention to what they watch...because a lot of it is really, really crap. I should know, I watch all of it.

A lot.

Trailer...

Today I am starting the trailer...which means I finally feel like I am making progress. The next month is gunna be hella busy. T&P and PDP are the main things I will be working on for a few weeks along side finishing this project. Dissertation is due this Friday and whilst I have had it written and finished for over a month, I wanted another draft of it done. I will be picking it up tomorrow for any last minute adjustments and then i'll be getting it printed properly.

Anyway, along side some great stuff happening in my personal life - the band's 2nd album gets launched next Friday and we've got a few A&R shows to play before setting up the tour to promote the album - I will be piecing together this trailer....trouble is, I don't know if I'm gunna have time to do another project. Two weeks work experience in April mean that I will really struggle to get another project in there as well. I might have to do a last minute one, or turn my work experience into a last project.

Who knows?

Friday, 20 March 2009

Done Done DONE!

One crap arse load of work and one huge learning curve later and I can sit here at 4 in the afternoon as the sun glorious teases me through the slits in the blind and tell you that the comic book is officially finished! Woot and yip!

The test print went without a hitch and once I had corrected a couple of spelling errors (Blush) and a few dud lines, I sat and colour the bugger in. Now, colouring in Illustrator is definitely worth a mention, because when you know how to do it its freakin' awesome. But when you don't and you need to learn very, very quickly, its a bit tricky.

Anyway, I got my head around it and got on and wowzers, its completely friggin' brilliant. Why doesn't Flash carry and of these tools? I tell you one thing. All future animations will be roughed on paper, drawn in illustrator and put together in Flash. It must be the way its done, because I've spent years trying to work out the best way and I think this is it.

Anyway, I am going to post a few screenshots of the colouring and explain the idea behind what I have chosen to do. I will also be posting the original scans, a rough computerised version and then the current stuff to show how the comic has progressed.

After deciding to do this project I drew up a plot for a full cartoon, but with limited time at hand I decided to cut the plot into a trailer. The plot was grossly over the top and disgusting, so I altered it and re-wrote it about sixteen thousand times until it was a satirical masterpiece. Then, with some of the spare ideas I decided that the 'alternate marketing adaptation' that the brief required would be a comic book. I then decided create a director character who stumbled across said comic book in a bargain bin and went on to make an up-coming action movie based on a none-existent comic book that was put out of print for been vulgar.

This is the universe of:

Captain Uber Vs. Pervert Man
A trailer for a film that will never exist, based on a comic book that was never actually made.

This is how it started...with a hand drawn copy of the comic book.
I started with a word document for the comic book containing the dialogue and some ideas for different panels, but first I read about a million comic books just to learn how they work. I then got out the pencil and paper and drew up the comic book.

Everything was laid out so that story flowed and the dialogue made sense.

I then drafted this up to see what the comic would look like in colour and with nice cartoony lines. I absolutely hated this so I went back to the drawing board and research inking and cartoon colouring.

This idea really struck me. Using black and white and one colour that related to the comic books theme. For example the one above is about a Bee, so the colours are black white and yellow. I really liked this idea and its a great cost cutting idea when it comes to printing. I decided that my limited time and money wouldn't allow me to colour and afford to print the comic book over and over without making some cuts, so this idea would work fantastically.

Here we see the final results. This is the front cover which is deliberately designed to look 1970's-ish. There a lot of little homages scattered throughout the whole comic book, but the front cover itself contains quite a few. The painted style is based on the new Spongebob Squarepants Season 4 box set. All the covers are painted with big wide brushes and they absolutely great, something I wanted to bring in.

All of the marvel comics have their own black and white logo on the front of the comic somewhere - Spiderman's head, is on the majority of mine. As a homage to a great comic book making company, I emblazoned my own cover with the symbol I thought most summed the comic book: a school desk comedy penis drawing.

The Pervert Man font is a homage to the same font they used for the 70's Conan comics. I found it on the Internet ands really wanted to use it for my own comic because it was supposed to be from the same era. I rolled with the USA red, white and blue colours for my main character and logo as a homage to Captain America. I developed my own publishing company specifically for this cartoon called 'Bum's the Word Publishing' - a company that went bust shortly after been sued for releasing this very comic.

Just underneath and to the right of the title you can see some small boxes. If you enlarge the image you will see that it reads: Unapproved by the Comics Code Authority. All comic books had to undergo approval by this Authority....this one didn't and that is why it got banned. Bit of back story dotted everywhere.

And here we are. The final result! I really like this style, i think its got a lot going for it. I liked the just black and white look too and it would have been cheaper print, but the scatterings of colour can be used to draw attention to important parts of the scene and also help the eyes to read what is happening.

It seems to suit certain pages better than others. It definitely works better with thicker lines that clearly divide the colour from the white of the paper.

And back to the original scene I initially drew up, which is now all sexified.

This is such a concise history of this comic book and doesn't really take into account all of the planning and thought that I have put into it. The true trial and error learning and development curve is completely documented on this blog for your reading pleasure...but even then, the hours and hours of my life that I have poured into this project are still not reflected.

I am really proud of this achievement and cannot wait for my ink to arrive so that I can start printing it. I am only going to run about 10 copies off and hand number them. I think I might adapt this into an online comic strip as well and even see about getting onto the G1 Market for distribution....not that I know how to code them, but I have a friend that does.

I didn't screen record a damn thing and have kicked myself all day upon realising that. I will be screen recording the entire making of the trailer though and making a featurette out of it, don't you worry!

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Almost....almost.....

Comic book is almost finished. Just wanted to drop an excited entry to say: WHIP YIP AND WOOT!!! This has by and far been the most patience trying exercise I have ever involved myself with and to see just a 'near-finished' product has got me very, very excited indeed.

I am really pleased with a lot of things about this comic. I think it marks a real move forward for me in terms of satirical writing and it has taken me a huge stride closer to getting my own brand of cartoon out in the open. I have learned so many new skills by chosing to do a comic book instead of JUST an animation because it has forced me to use different programs to get the results I want. Illustrator is truly a fantastic piece of kit and im really looking forward to getting to know the tool in further depth.

The front cover (Which I will post here) is painted in photoshop....I'm no the biggest fan of the tool - purely because I don't know much about it. But I had a friend show me a few things and then experimented a little bit and have found it to be good fun when you know you're way around. I am pleased with the front cover because it looks especially 70's-ish, if that makes any sense. I like how cheap and naff it looks because that is what I aimed for. This comic was crap, it got cancelled for been gross and indecent and it has been really fun striving to make it as cheesy as possible. I have also learned a bit about printing and a whole bunch about layout. Furthermore I am have got into comic books, something I could never see myself doing. I find them a really good source of fun and a great way to practise you're cartoon skills. They also teach you a lot about laying a story out and how to tell a story so that it makes sense and it has pace.

The Original 1976 comic book that was banned for being vulgar...

This has been a really exciting thing to do and although less than a week ago I was tearing out my hair, I really think I have knocked up something really good. Now I all I have to do is perfect the drawings, add the tri-tone colour palette to make it a bit easier on the eye and then print the bugger a few dozen times to impress all mi' mates!

Monday, 16 March 2009

Sound!

Just finished recording the voices for the trailer! They are absolutely insane! The neighbours must think I'm barmey. Had a lot of trouble with the hiss from the new electrical sockets the electrician put in: less than impressed about that, but I think its manageable if I pull out some of the top end. Also, there will hopefully be a booming soundtrack to go with the trailer, so you shouldn't be able to hear it.

Not really much else to say about the sound...can't post any examples and you'll hear it in the trailer anyway. So ner! I could put down the usual rant about how awesome I am because I do the sound engineering, voice acting, sound effects, mixing and mastering, animating, directing, layout and all that other stuff all my little self...but I don't feel the need this time around :P

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Still Comic....

I wish I could describe to you just how long this friggin' comic is taking. I set myself a personal deadline to have this ENTIRE PROJECT finished by the 15th March...and that really just isn't going to happen. Granted the last few weeks have been oddly busy and I have been working on my dissertation and T&P a bit more than usual. But I haven't even STARTED the trailer yet!! Sure its all planned out and ready to go, but my personal deadline has been pushed back to the end of March. I am putting on the pressure to have this done by the 16th March...but other things keep getting in the way. I took on some extra work from a friend and I am drawing up a trailer for a client to get some work experience, but its all taking its friggin' toll on this project and I hate it. It needs to be done. I'm cracking on, so this isn't a wordy one. But I will leave you with a few pictures of the last few pages that I have done on the comic book.


I feel it necessary to mention that this is just inking phase. Afterwards there is the colouring and the backgrounds to do....EFFORT!!!

Monday, 9 March 2009

Inking My Comic!

Over on my T&P blog I did a post about inking...it was heavily related to this project because it was the idea of doing this comic that inspired me to learn about this important part of the animation process. Inking comics is slightly different (Depending on the style) but because I am an animator I thought I would apply what I head learned about animation inking into a comic style. This has created a very interesting stylisation that I think has a good look about it.

For a short while I really struggled trying to ink my stuff in Flash, but Flash wasn't made as a tool for inking...so I started poking around and looking at what proffessionals were using. Illustrator seemed like the most popular choice amongst the industry people. I wasn't particularly surprised that they were using a vector based program, it helps to easy gain that 'cartoon' look , but it is a tool that I knew only a little about.

I jumped in at the deep end and just got going. Did a few experiments and started to work and learn the tools. I created my own brush, read a ton of blogs and 'how-to's' and then just set off. I wish I knew enough about it to do the whole comic in Illustrator, but I don't. One good thing is that CS3 supports Illustrator > Flash integration, so getting my drawings into Flash is nice and easy (If frustratingly pointless). I am so impressed with the tools in Illustrator however that I am definitely going to continue working with this program and learn it to its maximum potential. I am even hoping to use to to line my future cartoons so as to get the lines that I want, rather than the wiggly horrid lines that Flash gives me.

Anyway, here a few pictures of how I am using the tool to create my comic book.

I begin by directly tracing any of the drawings that I am going to use for the comic. I alter the settings on my tablet to alter how well the tip responds. Softer for thicker lines, firmer for thinner lines. I then divide the drawings up into three distinct sections. The thick silhouette lines, the medium 'telling' lines (The lines that convey the message of the drawings) and the the lesser lines, which are the thinnest. This way the image is very clear to read and the eye can easily tell what is happening. These however are not strict rules and do not suit every image.

This example was drawing directly into flash. The red arrows point to all the sharp wiggly lines that get left behind by the brush tool. These are really difficult to control and take a lot of time to get rid of because the tools for editing mistakes or altering brush strokes just don't exist in Flash.

The red arrows here again point out all the blemishes that have to be removed by just using an eraser. Each page was taking me nearly 2 hours to draw, then clean up in Flash. I decided I needed a better tool that would help me speed up the process, after all time is scarce.

Illustrators drawing tools are very sophisticated. After each line the anchors for the lines pop-up, immediately allowing you to alter line shapes on the fly. By holding down the alt-key you get the option to smooth out any blemishes on the spot, meaning the process is incredibly quick and easy.

My other favourite thing about Illustrator is the way that each brush stroke becomes a separate object. You can do something similar in Flash, but the lines are immediately turned into objects that cannot be adjusted, they become static. In Illustrator each line can be selected and altered just by clicking on it. You can change the shape, size and a whole bunch more right there and then without having to re-draw the line or erase any spikes on the lines.

Illustrator has quite literally shortened the my work time to three quarters of the time it was taking me in Flash. Once I learn more about the tool and more about its direct integration to other programs, I am sure this will become one of my favourite programs.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Comic Book - Neat

Today I have spent a lot of time researching inking...you can see it on my T&P blog dated under 'December'...because that is when I originally wanted it done by. Inking is a gruellingly hard thing to do...it requires patience and skill but most of all it requires time....which is something I don't have. I don't know how to get around it either because I really think this comic book and the trailer are essential to getting a good grade for this work. Anyway...enough of the woes.

This week is being spent catching up with my T&P and working on the comic book getting ready to print it thus I will keep it short and sweet and just treat you to a single inked page from the comic...I am hoping to do the rest of it in Illustrator, but I can't find my copy of it anywhere :S

I advise you click and make it big so you can see everything. As I mentioned before, this comic was cutting edge for its day. Anyway, this is also my first real shot at inking - something that is incredibly difficult in Flash and something which I am hoping to get better at in illustrator.

More posts from the comic in the coming week.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Captain Uber Vs. Pervert Man 1976

None of the following is true:

Back in 1976 there was a one off issue of a comic book called: Captain Uber Vs. Pervert Man. It was crude, poorly drawn and badly written and was cancelled after its first issue and banished to the realms of forgetfulness for the rest of all time, God save us all. But it has recently re-emerged and is been crafted into the next Hollywood blockbuster by straight out of college know-it-all director, Toro-Luca Hideoeguezbergtino.

So, this is the back story for my whole project. I don't know how I am going to fit it all in. I have a comic to draw up (Rough version complete) and then print properly, a movie trailer to record and animate (Already storyboarded), movie posters to design and a 'mockumentary' interview with an idiot director who doesn't even exist: Toro-Luca Hideoeguezbergtino. Plenty to do by not-so-mid-march.

Toro-Luca Hideoeguezbergtino is named after all of the big directors at the moment:
  • Guillermo Del Toro
  • Robert Rodriguez
  • Quentine Tarantino
  • Steven Spielberg
  • George Lucas
  • Hideo Kojima (Because I'm a geek)
This is just a fun little poke at Hollywood's A-list.

Anyway, onto the main part of the post. I have just finished my rough hand drawn version of the comic book that I am going to be making for this project. It is very rough and is the second comic book I have ever made. The first one was when I was about 13 and was about zombies. I think I drew it the week before my interest in comics came to an end.

Hand drawing the comic was very time consuming, but it also really helped me to visualise and layout everything so that it can be clearly read. I also have this policy: "Get it wrong to get it right". Basically, it means doing everything at least twice. The first time straight ahead and the second time with planning...by combining the two you keep the spontaneity of the piece, but you get a clear layout that is easy on the eyes and makes sense.

Anyway, here are some scans:

The cover will be designed from the best parts of the images in the comic to save time....

I should mention that the comics first issue was called: The Crazy Clitoral Caper!

This comic was *made in 1976* remember, things were different back then...or were they really that different. All I know is that my hair style would have still been in fashion.

I've taken what I learned from my research and really tried hard to apply it to my own comic book. Laying out a comic seems about ten times more difficult than laying out an animation...there is such a limited amount of space with which to make the comic not only look interesting and exciting, but tell the story and write the dialogue.

A few pages are taken up with really big drawings...this is not only a time saver, but it makes the comic book much more exciting.

Yes Pervert Man, you are correct. They are never, ever where you expect them to be...

This comic is outrageously crude...but that is completely deliberate. After all my research the one thing I really uncovered is that comics (Especially modern ones) are crude. They are gore filled, over the top, gross out, coarse language glam rags that teach young teenagers everything they ever needed to know about the criminal underworld, drugs, sex and violence. If my comic wasn't like this...it wouldn't have got banned and none of you sitting there reading this would actually be interested in reading it...

You could say that this comic was ahead of its time...because this got pulled off shelves in 1976 for what people are only just beginning to accept now in comic books.

The Future of the Comic

I previously said that the future of comic books lies with the Internet. Well, there is another market out there that has serious potential to bring the comic book market into a bigger and better territory. Being a proud G1 Mobile Phone owner :D I often browse the market for new and free and apps for my phone and low and behold but what should be waiting for me when I enter the word 'comic', but several free comic book series that have been specifically crafted for the geeky mobile phone market. They are free too: which is a bonus.


Misery Depot is a sci-fi comic that you can download straight to your google phone, read online or download as a .pdf and it is completely free and done out of love and pride. It is an entertaining comic too. Well drawn, with a captivating plot and believable characters, this might put some of the comics that I would be willing to pay money for to shame.

Here is a great article that talks about this new and exciting comic book distribution method.

It would seem that the makers of the comic have worked really, really hard to push it. They are distributing via P2P, Internet Readers, .pdf, Mobile Phone and they have great Internet presence with there website and there blog! It really is a great comic and they have obviously worked extremely hard to get it this far.

On top of that there is a promo video on YouTube here.

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Whilst I am posting, I will include another series that is just getting going, also available on the G1. It is called 'Hexed' and again it has a great plot that grabs you and makes you ask a thousand questions right from the start. It was also the first comic to be published for the G1!

There is a great review of this comic, along with a list of the pros and cons of reading comics on your mobile phone.

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Ctrl+Alt+Del

Ctrl+Alt+Del is an online comic strip that you can read on your browser and a series of shorts available to download on Xbox Live! This is definitely one of the funniest web comics around and even one of the funniest comics, with a very high consistency. It is mostly centered around geeky stuff and video games, which is probably why it appeals to me.

They also have another series called 'Silly's', an obvious pun on 'funnies' and a homage to the dying trend of newspaper cartoons. These are often very short quick fire jokes, deliberately black and white so they can be made in a matter of minutes and can easily deal with up-to-date news. This is similar to how South Park can churn out an episode on recent events within 6 days and allows for a lot of good clever satire whilst the issue is still hot in peoples minds.

The comic strip has a set of characters and has done since it started. They have grown and become different people as they have played more and more games and if you have followed it for a while like me, you really get to see there characters evolve, just like any following any of comic.

Proof more than ever that the comic book reading audience are alive and well, if just issued slightly differently. I believe that straight to phone comics have a lot of potential, especially for techno-buffs who like to be the first to buy things because they will more than likely be interested in comic books. In the same way I think the e-card market has room to expand into mobile phones, I think we are already seeing the start of something very fresh and exciting in the world of comic books, lets just hope that this new 'faddy' way of reading them doesn't wear out too quickly...otherwise its back to square one. But, if you make things easy enough for the user, they will keep coming back.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Questionaire Update

I mentioned a while ago that I had handed out some questionnaires. You should be seeing some results from them in the following week and the information I have got back has not only been surprising but quite enlightening. I think it will definitely help with future projects. Here is a copy of the questionnaire for reference...I will be collating the data and putting it together in graphs and things just as soon as I have got a few more back.

Questionnaire.

1) Age:

2) Sex:

3) Please circle which do you think sounds more ‘grown up’:

Animation Cartoon

4) Here is a list of programmes that utilise animation. Would you kindly:

1) Tick the ones that you watch regularly in the box provided on the left?

2) Write down which you consider to be ‘cartoons’ and which you consider to be ‘animations’ to the right of each title?

[ ] Family Guy -

[ ] South Park -

[ ] Spongebob Squarepants -

[ ] Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs -

[ ] The Simpsons -

[ ] Wallace and Gromit -

5) The following is a list of words. Please write down in brief what you think each word means:

Adult –

Pervert –

Uber -