Submitted by Pear-pear on January 6, 2008 - 21:54
In the latest comic, I've tried to take into account some of the very precise, thoughtful criticism I've received from some other webcomickers on speech bubble design.
Submitted by Pear-pear on December 29, 2007 - 15:11
For a while, more by consistent accident than on purpose, I've been drawing the contents of the speech bubbles in Pear-Pear in a slightly more representational style than much of what goes on in the "physical" space of the comic. Cases in point are the detailed garbage heap and the dream crocodile. I like the effect sometimes, but I think it creates problems for me other times.
After reading Neil Cohnâ€™s column on framing, I've been more actively thinking about speech bubbles. The conventionality of the speech bubble lends legibility--or the illusion of legibility--to what is sometimes visual gibberish, or provides the key tool for getting a whole visual sentence out of a single panel.
The concept of framing might even justify changing artistic style within the bubbles in a way that mirrors the shifts in rhetorical style that distinguishes narrative frames in Chaucerâ€™s work (which is what made me so interested in him in grad school). But Iâ€™ll have to work that out another day. Today, let me focus on the problem I created for myself in this recent comic.
Submitted by Pear-pear on December 13, 2007 - 19:42
Yep. I did it. I broke continuity to do a holiday themed comic. I at least somewhat-incorporated the Halloween joke into my strip for that day . But two weeks later, I'm realizing the thanksgiving pic is a cheap shot.
Submitted by Pear-pear on November 2, 2007 - 08:42
You know, there's not enough dialog between silent movies and comic strips. There may have been at one point; Krazy and Ignatz come to mind. The more I think about the conventionalized visual language of silent film, and how Comix is being reborn on the web, I think there's a lot the latter can learn from the former.
I remember reading in one of Bill Watterson's books, probably the 10th Anniversary Book (since its the one with all the words in it), about how newspaper strips were way too dialog-based and largely missing the opportunity for physical comedy and slapstick that the medium naturally provides. I honestly can only muster up the will to read newspaper comics every so often, but I see what he means. Garfield used to have a lot of slapstick stuff, a lot of which worked. Mother Goose and Grimm has some every now and then, a lot of which doesn't work (for me anyway). Watterson, on the other hand, was always experimenting with the possibilities and I'm seeing now how much of an influence on me he was -- not so much in artistic style, but in timing.
Submitted by Pear-pear on October 28, 2007 - 09:51
Whenever I start thinking about web design, I think of the term "look and feel," which inevitably makes me think of the hamsters in Microserfs. Then, I chuckle to myself and move on.
When designing the look and feel of pear-pear, my wife and I wanted a site that avoided everything we hate about webpages--ads, unnecessary framing, a crowded visual field. But that's a website in general. We also get pretty opinionated when it comes to how we feel about the design of webcomics pages specifically. If the intent is to focus your audience on the art and the narrative, a lot of those poor website design choices become even more inappropriate. With a nonverbal, single-panel comic, it's especially ludicrous.
Submitted by Pear-pear on October 25, 2007 - 22:59
One of the challenges that keeps me drawing Pear Pear is the facial expressions. I intentionally don't thumbnail or sketch the cartoons out in pencil before inking. This is because if I do, the sketch often comes out better than the final product, which is the most frustrating thing in the world.
Submitted by Pear-pear on October 20, 2007 - 13:12
I'm a doodler. And recently, I had the opportunity to ask myself: "Does doodling your webcomic on a napkin at a restaurant and leaving your URL and a little 'thank you!' scribbled on it entice your server to visit the site and tell friends?" it could. Especially if your comic is about food-related characters.
The other night my wife and I went to the Melting Pot, and I brought my pear-pear notecards to try and sketch out some comic ideas. It has been difficult to find time for that, and the Melting Pot is a very relaxing, slow-paced night out. So as I was doodling, I drew a little fondue pot with a smiley face, pear-pear style, and it caught our server's eye. He loved it and said he'd have to call over the owner. While he was gone I put the URL on the card, and my wife and I decided to leave it for the restaurant. Before we left the owner came over and took a look. She really enjoyed the little fondue guy and wanted to keep it. Of course we said yes!
Submitted by Pear-pear on October 16, 2007 - 00:02
In my British Lit classes, much to my high school juniors' dismay, we've been reading Macbeth. To gague their understanding, I've tried several methods of quizzing: short answer, multiple choice, reader-response, double-column notebook...and yes, having them draw comic strips.
Submitted by Pear-pear on October 13, 2007 - 15:07
When did "Oh boy, I'm going to update this comic every day" turn into "I hope I can find time to update this weekend?"
The original plan (how naive I was) was to draw a quick cartoon every morning as part of my routine. You know, a breakfast-related cartoon ought to be updated every day before breakfast time. Isn't breakfast when we used to crack open the newspaper to the funny pages, so we could sip our coffee and check, with morbid curiousity, the dying pulse of the Comic Strip?
Submitted by Pear-pear on October 10, 2007 - 19:32
My name's Peter, and I'm excited to make a foray into the webcomic world. This is sort of one of those "I want to make a post to try out this blog thing, but I'm sure I'll regret whatever I put here because you know how first impressions are" kind of posts, so I'll try to keep it under control.