#40 Heroes of Might and Magic and Other Stuff

#40 Heroes of Might and Magic and Other Stuff

Shamus Says:

Hey! This isn’t a three-panel vertical layout! And neither was the last one!

What gives?

Shawn and I began playing around with the format at #39, trying different layouts. I was still struggling to to do story and jokes in the three-panel format. Looking back, the material works pretty well for me, but at the time I was still standing in the shadow of DM of the Rings. Our webcomic was perfectly successful from a readership standpoint, but DMotR was a tough act to follow.

1) Art was “free”, so it was big. (So every strip could have four or five jokes instead of one or two.)
2) It brought in Tolkien fans and roleplay fans. (The Tolkien folks didn’t stick around for Chainmail Bikini.)
3) Art was “free”, so it came out three times a week. (Which keeps the story flowing.)
4) It was cutting a lot of new territory, while Chainmail Bikini had to be careful to avoid doing jokes that Knights of The Dinner Table and Dork Tower had done before.

So even though Chainmail Bikini was doing very well, it wasn’t quite measuring up to my previous comic, and so I was a little disappointed with my work. At the same time, I think Shawn was frustrated as well, although I’ll let him speak for himself on that.

In any case, at this point we began shaking up our workflow and approach to producing comics.

Shawn Says:

This is the last Chainmail Bikini strip that I did the layout and lettering for.  #39 was actually Shamus’s first, and then he does all of them from #41 out.  The odd thing is, this is probably my single favorite Chainmail Bikini comic we ever did, right here.

The main reason we switched to me doing the art, Shamus doing the writing and compiling was that in the original set up, it would take him about half an hour to write a comic and it would take me about 6 to 8 hours to draw and photoshop it.  So we wanted to make that division of labor a bit more even.  Unfortunately, I’d spend an hour or two obsessively going over the panel structure and word balloon sizing and whatnot once Shamus was doing the comics, so it didn’t really help.  ;)   But we’ll get to that on Friday.

Discussion (7)¬

  1. neothoron says:

    (looks at #39)
    What purpose does the second “line” split in #39 (between Marcus and Ivy) serve?

    Oh, and there is still a problem with the RSS feed (preview image begins with “Behold mortals, I serve Deuse Baaj…”)

  2. Shawn says:

    The extra panel in #39 allowed Shamus to recycle the Ivy drawing from panel 1. (And then he blew it up a bit and now it looks horrible, and chances are almost no one else but me can tell that. See my comments in the main post above.)

    I’ve looked at the settings for the RSS feed, and everything looks fine. Not sure what’s causing it to preview a different comic. There are only 10 or so more comics, and it will probably remain broken.

  3. Groboclown says:

    This was my favorite comic, too. I even had to reference it in my own comic (http://bloody-nipple.groboclown.net/0006.html). Hm. I’d better update that link now.

  4. pirmas says:

    If it helps, Shawn, I too suffer from Photoshop obsessive compulsive issues. I always enjoyed Ivy’s art work; she seems to channel Victoria.

  5. Michael B says:

    FYI – the RSS feed shows a different comic than the one in the actual post. The one that points here, for instance, starts with “Behold Mortals”…).

  6. [...] Give it a look. You can see Shawn grow by leaps and bounds as an artist (compare early strips to later ones, and then compare that to his recent stuff.) And in the end I think the tale has a decent [...]

  7. Melkarion says:

    I believe I have some of the original text comments… it’s been a loooong time, but I’m glad I found their home… If this sounds right, let me know and I can provide a few more.

    “This really is why I hate Bards. Just don’t tell either of the two bards in my gaming group. No, that’s not a joke. We’re a drummer away from starting our own band.”