I've been especially proud of the strip this week. Not only have I been able to move the story along, I have two strips with stories told in large part without the words in them. My favorite single image is the panel with Vexx alone in the dark, watching TV. In my mind he's watching Jerry Springer...but it could just as easily be A&E as far as Vexxarr is concerned.
Funny how the being you create in your comicverse isn't the being you eventually come to write week after week. Minionbot, whom I created as a simple foil for Vexxarr's sarcasm and wit has become a powerful plot driving force in his (its) own right. Minionbot has become a materialistic narcissist with a proclivity toward world domination (which as Kristofer Straub will tell you is the base state of all robotic consciousness). Honestly I hadn't intended Minionbot to become so shallow and strong willed at the same time. But now Minionbot's character is well rooted and Minionbot writes Minionbot.
But I liked the photographic background. Don't get used to it. I like drawing the military doo dads too much. Also look for more cameos by new, almost new and theoretical military hardware. Also the Bleen are not yet gone and not nearly forgotten.
Also I will be on the road from the 26th through the 30th. SO either I need a guest web update wizard (my tip of the hat to Mr. Pratchett) for Wednesday and Friday OR I will post the whole shebang on Tuesday.
Go see Sahara. Now. Don't sit there and look at me...GO! Now! What? You think I'm kidding? Do I look like I'm kidding? Does this 30-ought-six look like I'm kidding? GO NOW!
Sahara may be the single best film in theaters at the moment. It's a straight adventure with a tight, well thought-out script, good character development and a story that, while not exactly plausible does make sense every step along the way. They also managed to destroy the hero-sidekick paradigm. This is a team-buddy picture where both characters have their center, their strengths and presence. And it's funny - funny in the way that makes you laugh. Out loud. IN PUBLIC! When is the last time you did THAT? It's been since...well...Ghostbusters for me.
I went in today for what was supposed to be a couple of hours of edit on a local TV show. Basically I've been out all day. You can't tell your client "no...I have to go update my online comic..." Best I could manage was, "Of course I can color correct every single second of your fine program." And so I did. And here is my strip. Updated in the final 15 minutes of April 18th... I need to get a day ahead again so I can vanish into the beast of freelance employment and not risk missing an update. Expect Wednesday's comic on Wednesday. Expect a superfluous D in Wednesday.
And so shall it be with Vexxarr. Due to a conspiratorial series of events, The strip shall be posted around noon CST. Even as I pen this I feel the hot glare of Scott Kurtz as he repeats "you see now how I feel now..." over and over.
But he never misses an update...so long as date is taken to mean day...as in 24 hour period. So shall Vexxarr also blaze forth before the day is long unfolded.
This I promise.
This and a new spell check. And a Vexxarr Poster of some kind. Eventually. Really.
I've been lazy about keeping vexxarr and Minionbot on model as it were. This is my new effort to not drift as much during ink. I've been trying to go to ink sooner than I have in the past and not totally nail down the artwork in pencil. The result has been positive and negative. For example, the soldier on 4/11/05 - Too Much Information - was just a scribble and I think I like the the energy of the free inks on him. However, Vexxarr keeps taking on an almost Vaughn Bode aspect. Something I'm fascinated by but not what I had intended.
Looking at the last panel of 4/13/05 - Into The Ground - I really like the perspective and composition of Minionbot, the soldier and the tank. I like that you get an oblique slice of the tank yet you can tell from the detail and obtuse angles that it is an Abrams (an M1a2 no less). That last panel was penciled down to the canister projector just below the mast. And I like how the inks reinforce the detail.
So I'm in an odd place. I have never been a proficient inker yet I am known fro my detailed illustrations. Part of this little exercise was to take on a project that returned me to the drafting table and kept me there. I needed a long-term project hat required small discreet applications of my talent. Enough to be a challenge but not so much that I became mired in execution and never quite made it to publication.
So here we are. Month three and the story is just warming up. I still hope to tell a serious science fiction story in a funny way. If you stick with me, I promise it will be worth the ride.
God, what have I become? Well, not much to report other than working a great deal, which (as my friends will tell you) has NOT been the case in weeks past. So if you are wondering what I'm up to right now, all I can say is I have been running around in a frenzy, well paid for my time and forced to sign a Non Disclosure about my most recent job. Tomorrow, I need to get up early to shoot a golf show.
I hasten to add 'yippee...'
Anyway, I have made a deal with myself to update Vexxarr or die so here is the latest saga in "Hunter tries to make as many strips as possible ABOUT Vexxarr leaving the base BEFORE he actually LEAVES the base." Today's strip is dedicated to my love of the running gag. But you knew that. I AM a running gag. And it is nearly two hours early. Actually, as it is not yet 4:00am, it is SIX hours early.
So I updated Vexxarr a full one hour before midnight.
I apologize. It won't happen again.
I know I don't often share here so I'm going to open a little window into my life for you.
Get some snacks. This may take awhile.
I have a bad back. I tore various dorsal muscles while working art department in L.A. some years back. One of those lifting twelve-by flats with a friend, walking backwards, I stop and he doesn't - sort of things. Suffice to say life hasn't been the same since.
Well as often happens in the Spring, my back has been acting up. So come leg day at the gym, I decide to lay off. I skip like two turns at legs in one month. Then this past Monday I felt up to giving legs a try. So I go in, wear my belt and take a turn in the old squat cage as is my habit. The warm up weight feels ok, so I do a full set with starting weight. So far so good. While I know I haven't worked legs in about two weeks and I should probably take it easy...I none the less decide to just do my normal set, normal reps and normal weight. I do however take extra care with my form, stay on my heels, yadda yadda yadda... All goes well.
Or so it would seem.
Next morning, I get up. The back is fine. I shower and begin to get ready for a meeting. As I stand up from my computer chair I discover something odd. My leg muscles - particularly the quadriceps and hamstrings - have been surgically removed while I was asleep. In their place I discover ingenious mechanisms crafted solely for the purpose of inducing pain directly into my central nervous system by way of induction. They aren't sore so much as saturated with jagged shards of glass. Walking isn't so much a chore as it is a kinetic exchange of alternating pain threshold experiments somehow harnessed into a form of random locomotion. When I bend at the knees I actually see the color GREEN.
So I just walk with long strides and punctuate each step with the sort of vocabulary that might elicit a severe look from Lenny Bruce.
The worse part is, my legs are going to be in agony for several days. They only way to shorten the duration of the pain is to hit them again with squats in four days. Imagine if you will a drug which is unpleasant to take, has no recreational side effects but provides the sort of withdrawal that one would expect when forcing a pit bull to give up FOOD - cold turkey.
I'm going to go lie down now and listen to my legs hurt for awhile.
Friday's strip will be up a bit late. It's written and drawn but I have a meeting with clients at 10:00am so I need to hit they hey. Funny thing is that drawing Vexxarr doesn't take as much time as I imagined. Writing these little ditties takes 4-8 hours. And even THEN I'm not funny...
So bear with me. Vexxarr will post Friday the 1st. I'll have more to say after the meeting.