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A Lesson Learned

I mentioned in a previous post, how people who own cats annoy me, because they picture themselves as a kind of cat superhero. Coming to the rescue of their feline friends, where-ever the internet calls them. This latest gem comes from Darlene:

I desperately need to find someone to take 3 cats that have invaded my yard. While I have been feeding them, now that the warmer weather is here my Rottweiler has gotten wind of the cats and has broken thru my fence and ran away. Fortunately, thru a kind neighbor I was able to get my Rottie back, but I do have another neighbor that shoots stray dogs. So I cannot chance having my Rottweiler getting out of the fence again! Please, please help me!!! I will trap the cats (humanely) and get them wherever they can go to be cared for properly. One of them actually likes to be petted, so I'm sure if they are feral or not.

First, let me say I am unloading on Darlene, because she posted this comment in MY blog. I didn't seek her out. She came to me, like a Jehovah's witness, I gotta slam the door in her face. Her agenda annoys me. Darlene just has to say what she wants to say, and it doesn't matter that the Super Unit 5000 site isn't about feral cats, or cat issues, or cruelty to animals. I post about cats only occasionally, because I sell cat furniture. If she had any sense, call the local animal control agency. Or, I'm sure you're town has its own website, try the Pennysaver. Like, why post this random problem on my website? Are we supposed to guess what city she lives in? I like how she feeds the cats, and then can't figure out why those little rascals won't leave. Those darn cats huh? I bet she's the kind of girl to go topless, and wonder why people are staring. Jees, they're boobs, never seen boobs before? Anyway, her story is full of visuals, so let's see if we can make a comic out of it.

Lesson Learned with Super Yambo

She tells a pretty good story. When you're reading it, you can picture the neighbor, dogs, fences... I could have draw dogs breaking through fences, or various ways she could trap cats. However, this is a story that would take up 2 or 3 pages. I limit myself to one page at the most, so I only have 9 panels to work with. I like the "Monacle Vision" myself, and the cat that looks like Hitler. Hitler is comedy gold my friend.

The irony, is while making this strip, I was taught a lesson also. I frequent the Comixpedia, a comic encyclopedia if you will, and noticed that there is a magazine. Every month they feature the cover of the magazine on the website. I thought they took open submissions for cover artwork. So I decided to make a cover for the magazine and have some good bragging rights.

I got an email a few days later, saying you must be invited to make a cover. There are no open submissions. Doh, lesson learned for me. What a total waste of effort that was... or was it? I wasn't taught a funny lesson, but no sense wasting the 20hrs of effort I put into a new character, and strip that would never be used right? I started thinking of different things to do with the Yambo character. Aside from an obvious "Lesson Learned" series of strips, one thing I might try, is "fan art". Many websites feature comics by other artists that are parodies or tributes to the original artist.

As an experiment, I'll see how many times I can recycle this comic as "fan art" or "guest strips" on other websites. This isn't a shortcut to making a comic, because it still take research into another artists characters that I'll have to draw. But I wonder what the response will be to unsolicited submissions? Fan art seems to have loose guidelines when it comes to characters and settings. But a guest strip, it seems to be important that characters and storylines are represented as faithfully as possible. But, I am curious to see what responses I get. How interchangeable are the comics we make? Here is an example I made for Sock'd.

Lesson Learned with Super Yambo

I don't think Chris Kirk would mind me taking some liberty with the characters. But I took the time to size the comic specifically for the Sock'd site. All Chris has to do, is slap a title in the upper left. I didn't do this ahead of time, because I don't know what font he uses, and he'd probably want them all to match up.

Recycling fan art seems to break some unwritten rule of comcis. That anything you submit is supposed to be exclusive... But can anyone honestly answer why that is? Why should I take the time to draw anything as a tribute to your comic? I'm busy working for free on my own stuff. It still took 3hrs to make the fan art for Sock'd, even thought the idea isn't original. In fact, the Lesson Learned is a lot like Jeff Foxworthy's comedy routine "Here's your sign". So I'm not coming up with a terribly original idea to begin with. And panel 5, that is a screenshot of a Might and Magic landscape. So, I don't see why fan art has to be an exclusive comic strip.

I used to have a fan art gallery, but I don't know what happened to it. So, I'm starting a new one. The twist, is that this gallery is a gallery of one comics, done by me, in the style of someone else. At least if my art is rejected in the future, I'll have a place to put it, and that is a lesson learned.