06/01/11 Kuu-Drahc Learns Plans


I’ve been doing a lot of research into creating Spacetrawler entirely on the computer. Aside from the 1k price on a Cintiq, I simply can’t figure out a way to not make it look as hand-drawn on a computer in the same way it looks now. And although I have no strong feelings on what a comic should look like, I do feel strongly in my own work that whatever it DOES look like — it should remain as consistent as possible throughout the project. Who knows if I’ll manage to achieve that before the project is over, but it’s still been fun to play with Cintiqs and photoshop filters.

On the comics front, I’ve been really enjoying Scott Kurtz’s delve back into his archive of characters to retrieve the lovely Sonya Powers. I remember her well from her first run back in 2002, awww, poor Skull.

Hey, just a heads up. TopatoCo and I are discontinuing the Limbic Fizzler tee, so get ’em while supplies last!

And…. one more day of my pointing finger before you want to put your eyes out with it: I have all these buttons linked to social networking (Facebook, Twitter, etc). If you like a strip, you should always click on them. Really. 🙂


  1. Thomas S

    Thought 1) Well, I must say this approach does wonders to plot exposition …


    Thought 2) I know of no other webcomic to give me plot whiplash so often as SpaceTrawler.

  2. Well, I guess all I needed was the threat of not being able to buy the limbic fizzler t-shirt to get me to *buy* the limbic fizzler t-shirt! I just wish you had more spacetrawler items in your shop.

  3. JKCarroll

    @Nick, the “SLAM” sound comes from Kuu-Drahc slamming the (specially reinforced) head of one of his minions into the desk/wall/floor/whatever. Said minions are chosen specifically for this task based on the satisfactory noise they make when striking the object and how many slams they can take before being replaced.

  4. RE: Computers

    It’s a tough call.

    Scary-Go-Round (viz: http://www.scarygoround.com/sgr/ ) started off as computer-done, then John A. did it by hand for a while (chapters 24 & 25), then went back to computer-done, then went back-back to hand-done (chapter 31), which he’s stuck through up to current day. Although I don’t dislike the hand-done ones, I personally prefer the computer-done look.

    There’s also Tweep (viz: http://www.tweep.com/ ) which I’m quite sure is computer-done. But much like with SGR, it took a while to develop (if you check some of the latest episodes, then skip back to the first ones, it’s a startling leap back to the artist getting used to the medium).

  5. Christopher

    @Susan, what kind of things?

    @YoungWilliam, excellent examples (although I wouldn’t do it anything like either) (and before that, John A did “Bobbins” with many of the same characters which was hand drawn). And I’m totally okay with a project of mine developing/changing in style during the run (not because I prefer it, but because I find it somewhat inevitable), even Spacetrawler hasn’t been static if you look at the characters now as opposed to in the beginning. But I don’t like to do a sudden intentional shift. 🙂

  6. What would be interesting would be to do two version of the panels; one ‘manual’ and one ‘automatic’, and then see which seems to be working out. That way, one can experiment with the computer-drawn ones without it being the only option. Obviously though, this means twice the work on your part.

    I’ve seen folks occasionally dabble with mixed styles in meta-ways. One thing a friend of my brother’s was working on involved a different artist for each alien race, to add to the “these things aren’t like the other things” feel. A few other folks have used a different style for flashbacks or other internal narrative bits, and I could imagine it being cute to use computer-drawn for things that are on monitors.

    Of course, it’s hard to introduce such a thing mid-stream, and a bit annoying to go back and retroactively preserve continuity by re-doing every monitor screen we’ve seen.

  7. Christopher

    @YoungWilliam, actually, the thing right now is that I can’t justify buying a Cintiq unless I’m actually going to use it for this. But to truly know if it’d work, I’d need to have a Cintiq. One of those dreadful loops.

    I actually do some mixed-styles within the strip, but it’s REALLY subtle. The backgrounds are drawn with a single-width pen, but characters are drawn with a varying-line-width brush (helps them stand out), BUT all characters appearing in computer monitors are actually drawn with a single-width pen (rather than the brush) since they are an “object.” (I told you it was subtle)

  8. Filipe

    Nice strip and all that, but I miss Fyiena. Is kuu-drahc developing some sort of crush on Emily? He asked her to surrender! She already had the love of murdering psycho…

  9. JKCarroll

    @Filipe, Please! Growp was NOT psychotic! He was firmly grounded in communally accepted reality. He was amoral, and amorality does NOT a psycho make. (It DOES make for a very effective business executive, though.)

  10. metaphizzle

    Gunnerkrigg Court also switched from being drawn on paper to being drawn entirely on the computer. (Like you, Tom Siddell colored on the computer even back when he was inking on paper.) In that case, however, Tom has constantly been trying to improve how he draws, and he wants to look good more than he wants to look consistent, so the switch from paper to computer (which happened somewhere shortly after this page in the archives) was actually less noticeable than some of his other, completely unrelated artwork changes.

  11. @Christopher, things like different t-shirts, more (different) mugs. I’ve already got the book (YES!!!) and will be more than happy to buy the next book when you get around to it as well 😉

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