It seems apparent already that I'm a bit too busy and overwhelmed to keep up with the 100-theme project. Which isn't really any kind of excuse, but I am getting way too stressed, stretched, and generally depressed about everything else to justify the added pressure. I've been neglecting piano practice and yoga, much to the detriment of my emotional and physical well-being. And anyway, I'm still drawing all the time, working on improving the quality of the strip as well as my technique. So apologies for jumping the gun a bit there, I just need to recognize my own limitations.
On a different note, I've been feeling a bit schizophrenic about the Bu lately. I'm very conscious of wanting to do something new with each one, either a different layout/format or a different pictorial style. Which is all well and good, but I imagine it might be a little jarring from a reader's perspective. I am aware that given the fickle nature of internet-surfing these days, you have a better chance of keeping people interested if you maintain some degree of consistency, if not going quite so far as using recurring characters. I've thought about making it into a serial comic with a progressive storyline, but that just seems to close the door on so many ideas I want to explore... I love the freedom that drawing standalone comics affords me.
I've been reading as many different sorts of comics as I can get my hands on, and I can't escape the fact that serialized comics - both of the web variety (like QC or Girls with Slingshots or Sinfest) and well-known strips like Bloom County or Doonesbury (both of which I have tremendous respect for) are limited by their 4-panel formats. Their comics on any given day are rarely that funny. Sure, there's the occasional strip that makes me laugh out loud, but their real strength is in the cumulative development of the characters and the story and the fact that they can tell jokes everyday while at the same time building something big and lasting. I admire that. It's also worth mentioning that most of those strips update at least five days a week, so there's less pressure on each individual comic to be funny. Whereas a twice-a-week comic carries (at least in my mind) the responsibility to make up for those days in sheer brute comic force. And honestly, the urge to set up a 6-10 panel comic, totally self-contained, in order to explore whatever amusing thoughts I have, is just too hard to resist sometimes.
I know that the comic is still young, and I'm in no hurry to lock myself into a specific format. I'm just musing about it, and I'd like to know what you folks think.
Friday, July 11, 2008