Submitted by Delos on September 2, 2009 - 09:00
What Did I Learn?
weekly webcomic reviews by Delos
(this is a repost)
Sheldon by Dave Kellett has a great foundational premise. From the website: â€œIn a nutshell, Sheldon is a sarcastic, nerdy family strip filled with pop-culture references and fun, random storylines. At its center is this weird, wonderful little family: a boy, his duck, and the grandfather that raises them both. Itâ€™s a strip of geeks, for geeks, drawn by a geek. Youâ€™ll dig it: trust us.â€ There is room in that premise for all kinds of themes and humor, including as family, kid, sci-fi and pop culture gags. Thereâ€™s no one thing that gets ridden into the ground, so itâ€™s a wonderful setup. Further, the above quote actually undersells the comic (by far the best way to make me happy that I took the time to follow up on my interest.)
The main character, Sheldon, is described this way on the website : â€œSheldon: Heâ€™s a ten-year-old kid who earned billions with his own software company: Sheldonsoft. Though his huge riches occasionally tempt him into buying something frivolous like, say, Panama, Sheldon remains pretty much a normal kid. (Although he does tend to go into little nerd comas over anything sci-fi related.)â€ So here is a character that has technical talents, immense wealth and is still a ten year old kid. Thatâ€™s a lot of facets to enjoy about this one character. The other characters are just as well developed, including a talking duck, a Pug dog and a lizard. Like I said above, there are many themes for the artist to draw from (ha!) â€“ so you can imagine how varied the storylines can be. I think this is important because true creativity is all about taking things that are disparate and finding ways to combine them.
The art used in Sheldon is finished but retains a sketchy sort of line. It leaves you with the impression that the art furiously scribbled it down so that he could get to his next idea. I should say that it does not strike me as written carelessly â€“ just loosely, from the hip. In some of the comics, there are hatch textures and the like inked in so you get some variety from a black, white and line every so often. Sheldon is mostly done in a three or four panel newspaper strip style, although there are deviations into far different layouts as well.
As you can see, there are a lot of variations on what Sheldon does. It should be noted that the comic has a reliable baseline. When it occasionally strays from that base, it acts a little perk! moment. You think: â€œOh. Whatâ€™s this about?â€ Fun stuff.
The storylines are reasonably short and you always find yourself wondering what else might happen. Iâ€™m personally waiting for Sheldon to dive back into the coffee topic again and Iâ€™m a little sorry that it ended so quickly. Itâ€™s a funny, light comic with interesting characters and fun diversions.
Thereâ€™s a cool little website thing on the upper right of each page. For all of us with our own comics, donâ€™t you agree doing something like that is a great idea?
One final note: As of this writing, Mr. Kellet has a newborn baby girl. Congratulations!
What did I learn?
Make sure your comic has a few different themes that you can draw on, which will let you vary your stories. Be careful not to vary too much, unless thatâ€™s a posited goal of your strip. Give yourself a proper amount of material to work with and have some fun with your strip. Sheldon updates daily and with color Sunday strips.