I’ve always liked doodling, and even made a comic series in high school that was purely for the amusement of me and my friends. We were the characters and my friends were always making suggestions about what their characters should be doing. I found it annoying at the time, it was my comic, I was the main character (of course), but when working on the webcomic I was more than happy to let our writer tell me what to draw. It’s one thing to make a few panels about something you experienced, it’s another to make up a story off the top of your head.
I was excited when I finally got to use my doodles for something other than to relieve my boredom, but I quickly realized how different it was. My drawings are few and far between because I don’t have the time to draw one everyday. When making the webcomic I had to make time, I had to put more thought into what I was drawing. Suddenly, backgrounds, continuity, and a continuous story line mattered. I couldn’t just draw unrelated events for comedic effect, there had to be a point.
I did employ my preferred art style, but I gave the characters in the webcomic ears, noses, and eyebrows. They seemed important. It also helped a little bit with the seriousness of the tone. I drew some more realistic hands, but if you look from panel to panel that’s not always the case (my motto has always been, “Who needs hands?” not my characters, nubs work just fine for them). I also spent a lot of time looking up background scenery as reference for the webcomic, I prefer the white void that cartoon me inhabits, but it wasn’t practical or helpful to the story to leave those things out.
I think people don’t realize how hard it is to make a comic and to keep up with it consistently, not even chronic doodlers like me. This project really made me appreciate the comic creating process. Especially when it comes to those that are all done by hand. I had more hand cramps in the past three weeks than I ever thought possible…