#41 The Forces of Stuff I Found in my Desk

#41 The Forces of Stuff I Found in my Desk

Shamus Says:

So, I came from a comic where I had lots and lots of panels, and that was where I cut my teeth, comics-wise. I always wanted more panels. At the same time, Shawn was putting a lot of work and many hours into the comic, and was already doing far more work than I was. The work load was already out of balance, and the stuff I wanted to write would have made it much moreso.

Solution: Shawn draws the pictures, and I do the layouts, bubbles, lettering, etc.

My plan was to request just 3 images for each comic. I’d drop those into the layout, but I’d also add them to my depot of images that could be re-used later. In a subsequent strip, maybe I’d recycle one of these images. The idea was to increase the panel count without increasing Shawn’s workload. (And since I was doing the layouts, even reducing his work a bit.) You can see in this comic that panel 3 is just a different crop of panel 2.

This created a bit of unexpected tension. I was zooming and cropping his art, which was great for giving me panels but bad because it wasn’t very flattering to his work. The comics flowed better, but Shawn wasn’t getting as much satisfaction from the final result. He didn’t enjoy the new system, which was really important to the ongoing health of the thing. Since the comic wasn’t paying anything, the only reason to keep doing it was because we loved the project. He never said as much, and it never occurred to me at the time, but this change to the process transformed him from contributing artist to image mill.

Any idea that turned it from a hobby into a job should have been dismissed on the spot. It wasn’t until we abandoned this system that I really understood why it wasn’t working for him.

Shawn Says:

I kind of think of this strip as the beginning of the end.  (Dun Dun DUH)  As mentioned, we’d switched up the workflow.  This sadly did not have the positive effects desired.  When I put together Clockworks or the earlier Chainmail Bikini strips, I tend to think about things like how word bubbles are centered, how the entire thing comes together as a composition, etc.  I can’t help it.  So the new CB strips looked very odd to me.  All I could see were things I’d have done differently.  Now, enough time has passed that I can happily look at comics like this one and enjoy them as they are.  But at the time I could not.

Now, all that said I do enjoy this strip.  I think the central gag is great and the panels of the gaming mat were a lot of fun to draw.  Plus, you’ll note Chuck’s immaculately painted barbarian miniature. which was referenced in the now nonexistent cast pages.  Also, Marcus singing Depeche Mode still amuses me.  I love the idea that all of Jade’s bardic songs were either Depeche Mode, The Cure, or The Smiths.  (Originally, I wanted them all to be Dashboard Confessional songs.  But I don’t actually know the words to any Dashboard Confessional songs and I wasn’t about to subject myself to them to find ones to use.)

Discussion (11)¬

  1. Spluckor says:

    This comic brought up tramautic memories of days before we got miniatures in our group. Things like accidently killing your friend cause your dm was a a-hole.

  2. that reminds me, I’m running a star wars game soon and need to buy a lot of lego stormtroopers.

  3. Heron says:

    I’ve probably listened to Dashboard Confessional more than any sane human ever should (though nowhere near as much as I’ve listened to Weird Al), and I feel I should point out that I can’t think of any Dashboard Confessional songs that have lyrics a bard might sing for his party…

    .. of course, it’s always possible I’m simply not creative enough ;)

  4. AA says:

    Seeing the Depeche Mode lyrics in this has made my day! hehehee .. and the air lute is fabulous! (:

  5. Hondor says:

    Out of curiosity, why is it when we click on the callender, the 4th shows this comic with the date of the 4th, the 6th shows a different one and the one for today shows not comic, but the info for this comic?

  6. Enry says:

    I don’t get it – If you guys are smarter and wiser and more sensitive about the whole process now… and you never had a falling-out… and you still enjoy going over it and talking about it… and you still have a bit of a readership… then why don’t you just pick it up where you left off? It’s not like it’s got an expiration date on it… it’s still as good as it ever was.

  7. Shawn says:

    Enry – because we’ve both moved on to other projects we enjoy more and there’s really no incentive to spend our time and energies on new CB comics instead of Clockworks/Stolen Pixels/etc.

  8. Chuck says:

    This along with a few other comics have vanished.

  9. Shawn says:

    Boo. I’ll fix it asap, which will probably be later tonight.

  10. Melkarion says:

    And the post commentary seems to confirm that I have valid text from the old site…

    “This comic is a bit of a change. Shawn is still doing the art, I’m still making the words, but I’ve taken on the duties of doing the layout and bubble placement. We want this transition to be as smooth as possible, but some bumps are inevitable. Feedback is always appreciated. Forum feedback doubly so.
    (For those who don’t recognize the quote, Marcus is singing “Fly on the Windscreen” by Depeche Mode.)”