This is the sophisticated art that I had been picking away at all summer. This is a copy of an Albrecht Durer sketch of an old man he was using as a study for reference for a future engraving. I believe the completed engraving was entitled "St. Jerome in his Study", but I might be wrong. I'll check it out and fix it if I am. Anywho, the background story to this is that it is supposedly the oldest man that he had ever found on his travels and wanted to draw him. I think the old man got bored from an extensive sitting and started falling asleep, but the expression is classic nonethless. Durer himself is most famous for his Four Horsemen of the Apocolypse woodcuts, and I have been enamoured and inspired with his talent and skills ever since I discovered his work in high school.

The next step to this project (now that I believe I have somewhat figured out how he did what he was doing) is to then draw a portrait of the oldest man I know. This man what I refer to as an adopted grandfather. His name is Ed Conrad, of Weyburn Sk, and I believe he is now 91 years of age. He might be 92, but I'll have to check on that. The only problem with Ed, is he doesn't have that many wrinkles or a huge, curly beard. The pose I have of him (taken with my digital camera) is still a thoughtful one that I think reflects his quiet, caring personality. I am also trying to catch something of a wise but tired look as well. I don't know how it will turn out. I do have the first sketches down, and I have started filling in his eye, but I think it's too big already. But I'll finish it, and if I don't like it, I'll do another one.

I was also happy how the picture turned out. I took it with my digital camera with no extra lighting other than the sun coming in through a large window in my studio. As for the materials I have used, I chose a grey-toned paper and used a 6B pencil for the lines and white and grey conte crayon. Durer's original piece, I believe, was done in black and white ink. It was hard to get an exact replica because the differences in materials used, and I believe his was a lot smaller. Mine measures approx. 11x14, maybe a bit bigger. Just from looking at the size Durer's strokes which I believe to be done with an ink nib, and the fact that it was a sketch, I have come to the conclusion that his was more like an 8x10 or smaller.

Please enjoy, and if you would like a high-res image for wallpaper, or to make your own prints, let me know and I'd be happy to send them to you.

     Wednesday, July 20, 2005
     Blomic Names and Blogger Links

I'll give it another week or so for names submissions, so I'd like to hear more suggestions. Let's make the closing date...ummm...the 28th of July. Just because that's the end of the contest doesn't mean that is the day the prize gets sent. You will get it, but don't be surprised if it doesn't show up until the end of August.

And if anyone would like me to link up their blog to my site, let me know. I do read a few that I've stumbled on through Pilot's blog. I think I know who most of you are, and if I don't know exactly who you are, I probably know you're brother or sister. And I'd like to steal from the blogginator and have pictorial links to each blog. I can create the graphics myself, but if you can provide me with relevant material, it would help.

Later gators.

     Monday, July 18, 2005
     Distracted Doodles

I get distracted easily. As I was drawing out the basics of my comics (I have three started, none finished), this freaky looking kid walked by and made me snicker. I figured I should draw him, as you don't see living, walking, geek caricatures every day. There might be some slight exaggeration in this representation, but I'm serious when I say that it is not that much. This kid really looked like this. I imagine he might of been maybe 9 or 10 years old, so he's got a long life of solitary computer usage, years of cruel teasing and beatings, and a few experiences of awkward rejection and utter defeat of ego and self-worth as girls reject his creepy advances. Keep your chin up nerdo (or what lack of chin you have) and keep on truckin. Anybody that has known me for a long time can tell you that in my Junior High days I was a geek living on social scraps tossed to me from my slightly more popular friends. I grew up and look at me now. Right? RIGHT?! I'm cool now! Chicks dig me! Whatever, I'm going to go draw my comics.

     Wednesday, July 13, 2005
     Pick-the-Names Contest

Just so everyone doesn't worry, I am still working on these things. My progress has slowed way down because I've become much busier at work these past two weeks. I produce most of the base drawings while I'm sitting around waiting for someone to buy a phone card.

Anyway, the point of this post is that I would like to invite everyone to give me name suggestions for both of the characters in my comic. Please keep your suggestions to "real" names: i.e. John, Paul, George, Ringo... but nickname suggestions are good too. The name "fatso" was never meant to stick with that character. It's just what I called him to differentiate the two characters.

Now you might ask, "Why should I do anything for you? What's in it for me? Why are my pubic hairs itchy and falling out?" Well, I can't do much about your itch, except suggest you visit a doctor and use a condom, but as for the first questions: I will give you something! What more do you want?

The grand prize is going to be a 8.5"x11" full color glossy picture of the two characters doing something. I can't say what, cause I haven't drawn it yet. If you would like the picture autographed, I can do that too. If you would rather recieve a picture of my girlfriend while she is sleeping, I might be able to arrange that. But you either get the drawing or the pic. Not both.
The grand prize will be awarded to the person/persons that provide me with the winning names. If I select the two names from two different people, then each person will get a grand prize award. Anyone who participates in the contest will receive a limited addition email that has a limited edition copy of the poster art attached.

Your suggestions can be posted in the comments below, or you can email me @ (god I don't believe I'm putting my email out here) . Failing these routes, you can stuff your suggestion in a bottle and set it in the nearest stream. I'm sure it will eventually get to me.


     Thursday, July 07, 2005
     To Prove I Have at Least One Friend

The following is an MSN correspondence between my friend Jamie and myself a couple nights back. As I was telling him all about my ideas, I realized I should save this thing for future reference. It basically outlines the rough background ideas for the comic as well as my current approach on how to deal with some of the issues I think I'll face. As for the contest that is mentioned (should you read on) I am going to work out the prize and the timeline for my next blog entry, so keep an eye open for that. I've never reproduced a MSN log for Interweb reading, so some parts may make no sense, and spelling (especially on Jamie's behalf) gets to be atrocious in parts. Give me some feedback of how you like this format. There are a lot of MSN conversations that Jeremy and I have shared that might have been entertaining for readers as well. I have made a few edits for simple clarification, and links where needed and possible.

Commencing Communication Replication:...

(edit: This conversation has been stepped into after the initial "Sup dogg?" greetings and immediately after I had sent him the sketch of the dude that I displayed in the previous blog post.)
NB (that's me,) : This is the plan for my main character. The background story to these characters (including fatso from the fart strip) is that they've been buddies since grade 7. Fatso is going to University for an engineering degree, and skinny guy is going for his Vis Arts degree. Basically an odd couple for college.

JC (dis is my bud, not Jesus Christ. Using initials here folks. Keep up please.) : Ill say

NB : The fat guy is socially inept, disgusting pig that likes porn, beer, and porn with beer. The arts guy works at a computer store (obviously) and is more the synical type that pokes fun at everything and everyone he sees. He is a little uptight but can get crazy when the mood hits him.

JC : lol

NB : They are both comp. geeks with a gaming/geek culture side but still happen to maintain normal social lives (somewhat). They both live in their own little worlds built up inside their heads (which stems from playing so much D&D together as adolesents).

JC : ah, cool

NB : The story line still remains mostly autobiographical of my own life, but many engineer story lines will have to come from Mike (my bro) and Terry.(edit: guy I work with)
JC : i see.

NB : Gaming influence I'll have to rely on myself, but mostly you and todd. (edit:another guy I work with, also featured in this comic.)

NB : I need you to start playing more console games.

JC : Only thing todd plays is BF

JC : a sacrifice you must make.

JC : buit it is for a noble casue

NB : Other geek culture will come from my buddy Jeremy up in LaRonge. I may take him on as a secondary story line writer. His humor is really close to mine and fatso is somewhat at least physically based on him.

JC : lol

NB : They still need names though, and that will be a blog contest (edit: Inspired by the infamous Hires Root Beer Contest.). So now you have the basic outline for the fucking comic that is a constant bug in my ass.

JC : sweet

JC : The fatso should have some name that turns into a really bad nickname.

NB : Even though not much has been produced yet, a lot of the stupid foundation stuff is starting to get tweaked. And in my opinion, that's the hardest part. Eventually, I hope this thing will build up enough momentum and practically writes and draws itself.

JC : but thast just top of my head sort of idea.

NB : Yeah, that's the kind of basic story lines that I need that I can take and flesh out.

JC : from what I read from others is that yes sometimes it does, and yes a lot of times it doesnt

NB : If it don't, and it becomes a hassle to produce, and I stop learning and enjoying myself, I'll quit this and do something else. The only person that feels guilty about it and wants to really see come to fruition (as far as I know) is me.

JC : and its either 'work with what ya know' or 'Make some crazy shit up'

NB : And I see a lot of crazy shit story lines in the future as well.

NB : Just a few strips of something completely retarded, like getting a happy meal. Whatever. Look at Seinfield. Anything, if delivered properly, can be funny.

JC : yeah

NB : To me, right now developing the art is key, without good art, the story isn't as good. But eventually, the delivery of the joke will far outweigh any art. I've seen some well drawn Mac Hall comics that either don't make sense or just aren't funny.

NB : But then Real Life has pretty basic art, but is consistently a good laugh.

NB : I have been doing my homework on this stuff, and I honestly think I can make something that will work.

JC : awesome

NB : It's not hard for me to make a joke, but it's hard for me to make one that will bust someone's gut. And that is the ultimate goal with this. Make a consistently humorous strip that will have readers wanting to read the next one, and the occasional gut buster. I still giggle everytime I think about the "Shit in my computer" or "Then we fucked like 20 times behind the barn."

NB : Not every PA (edit: Penny Arcade) strip makes me laugh like that, but I want to read every single one that comes out.

JC : yeah no doubt, its my favorite strip.

JC : I like Vgcats to, hes got awesome artwork, but only puts a stirp out once a week.

JC : Ya should read the new VG cast though its kinda funny

NB : I know, but if I can get it to once a week, I'll be happy.

NB : I'll make sure to check it all tomorrow. I was way to busy to be reading those things today, but I'm pretty much caught up now.

NB : Anyway, I'm fuckin tired and stressed. I need my bedtime smoke and get some shut eye. I hope I didn't bore you with this, but this is what occupies a large percentage of my thinking for the past two months.

JC : Ididnt bore me at all

NB : that's good. It's all I talk about too. Anyway, gnight.

JC : laters

     Introducing: This Guy!

I believe after making crappy sketches after crappy sketches of a portraiture of myself, I have come to the realization that my physical features do not translate well into an interesting toon character. I really had no desire to have this guy look like me, but it was worth a shot. There may be some slight alterations (as in clothing, the eyebrow ring) to this character, but overall to me, he looks like a snide, sarcast, son-of-a-bitch. This is what I was going for. This character is the one to point out all the flaws of society, human nature, and other people's personal flaws. This drawing, believe-it-or-not, was actually first drawn with a pencil, then inked with actual ink. It's unbelievable, but with enough practice, it is possible to create a comic strip (or sketches as this case presents) without Photoshop and Painter and a Wacom tablet. I still prefer the latter method, because I have more tools at my disposal and there is always the undo button. I leave the pencil and pens for when I go back to U of R in the fall.

Which is a nice transition mind you to let you in on a little idea I have been cooking up. This grand scheme involves the two web comic heros (fart guy and dude pictured above) that depicts their trials and tribulations at a generic university. The tall lanky guy is studying in visual arts, and his roomate/friend since grade 8 is going for his engineering degree. With this "oddcouple" scenario still loosely based around geek culture, will now be more related to university jokes. This shift in story line (the one I had originally planned in my head) came from picking up the Carillon (the U of R weekly newspaper) and reading the comic strip section. To say the least, as I have said every other time I have read these strips, is that the humor occassionally contains a chuckle, but the art is sub-Ziggy. I was drawing shit like that in Grade 7. I don't want to come off like an ass (even though I am) but damn. If you want to write a comic and can't draw, find someone who can and just be the writer. But, I don't want to get stuck on that tangent.

My plan is to put together a few strips with these two guys and approach the Carillon about publishing them in their wonderful weekly paper. I am still going to maintain this website and all comics will be posted here as well. I have my suspicions (SP?) that I won't be able to use full color, so expect a lot of black & white. This is fine, but I'll probably still color them every once and again for this wonderful blog. I don't know if it is my own insecurities or delusions of grandeur, but if I'm going to really work on this comic, I want an audience that will read it. I know that if you are reading this, that makes you my audience. But I've pretty much have figured out everyone that is a frequent guest here (thank you for your patronage by the way) and if I'm lucky, that number of frequent viewers is approaching ten. By publishing a comic in the Carillon, my reader base is going to be a lot more. I'm not saying that the whole campus is instantly going to fall in love with my comic. I have a feeling that there is going to be many people that will in fact hate it and either won't get the jokes, or will be offended by them. I have no plans to water down any content. I plan to rip on international students, talk about getting wasted and fucking some fat chick, demean Vis. Arts majors by describing them as light-loafered flaky hippies. Engineers will be thus described as beer-swilling, egomaniacal assholes. And the admin girls will constantly be getting harrassed by both sides due to owning breasts. This comic is based on two idiots that are going to University. That's where the story line will follow. If I get edited (which I highly doubt I will from reading previous news and editorials) I get edited. If they tell me to tone it down, then I'll see if it is worth it. Family Guy was successful because the would make racist statemeants without actually using racial slurs. They would make fun of any and all handicaps because if presented right, it can be funny. Wording things right, they got away with a lot of vulgar sexual humour as well.

I better quit typing. I woke up from a bad dream (I've never had a more stressful night of sleep) and couldn't fall back into uneasy slumber. Now it is 5:50 am, and I need more rest. Coming up next blog: An MSN conversation with my buddy in which I explain some of the other complexities that will be this stupid comic.


     Sunday, July 03, 2005
     Very Sofistercated

This one's pretty explanatory. Enjoy.

I know this looks dumb. It's just a test graphic.

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