Print Story CFC2
By spacejack (Tue Jul 11, 2006 at 09:00:30 AM EST) CFC (all tags)
Nipping at the heels of Flight, HuSi's own Comics Fun Challenge returns with a second collection of comics by some of the world wide web's primier creative talent!

The Rules:

Seem to get broken. But we write them down anyway just in case someone decides to follow them. Basically...

  1. Roughly one "page" in length. So does that mean like a comic book sized page at 72dpi? Or something that will fit on a 1280x1024 monitor? Or something that sits comfortably in a Husi page? The answer is yes.
  2. Filesize limit: however many bytes it takes to save your final image. Just don't be an asshole.
  3. Does it have to be funny? Does it have to have a punchline? Does it have to be a complete idea? Only in the sense that people tend to respond favourably to those sorts of things.
  4. I can't think of any other useful rules.

The Tools:

I think most people are aware of free image tools like The Gimp and Inkscape. As a matter of fact, I think those are the two pieces of sofware I'll use for my entry.

On the other hand, there are successful comic authors who don't even bother to ever change their clip art, let alone learn to draw. So I don't think anyone should feel artwork is any kind of barrier for entry. As with film, the writer is God. Good art with bad writing is still painful to look at. In fact, good writing with bad art is often better than good writing with good art.

If you're looking for web tools, there's the heavily-used, but still working South Park Studio, a Flash Garfield Comic Creator, the KABAM Comic Creator, and a semi-usable educational tool that could potentially be used for darker purposes here. There's some free trial version of a commercial Comics creation & clipart package. A Google search for comic clip art turns up links to sites like this and many more.

If you spend some time with Google, I'm sure you can find more tools or clip art.

For those that decide to draw their own art, here are a few tips: (If you find this patronizing, just skip to the next section.)

  • If you want to draw it on paper, be sure to make your lines dark enough for a camera or scanner to pick up. If you're using a camera, shoot it outdoors during the day for best, most even lighting.
  • If you scan or shoot your work, try adjusting the levels to make your blacks black and your whites white.
  • If you want to try colourizing a black & white drawing in a paint program, use a layer setting of "multiply" for the line work, and then fill in your colours in layers underneath.
For lettering, you can get free comic fonts over at Blambot. Anime Ace and Crimefighter are probably your most authentic-looking comic fonts. Or grab some big, crazy-looking, bold fonts if you want some impact.

The Upload Site:

256 is generous enough to host again.

The Deadline:

How about... August 1st, end of day. That gives us about 3 weeks, with (for some of us) a long weekend at the end of it.

< Progress report | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
CFC2 | 32 comments (32 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Addendum by spacejack (2.00 / 0) #1 Tue Jul 11, 2006 at 09:02:24 AM EST
I had posted the idea of trying out a collaborative CFC this time around. And although the votes were in favour, I didn't feel there were enough votes in total to make this a success. Plus it's summer, and I'm not sure extra effort is what people (i.e. me) are looking for right now. So I think we should put off the idea til a later CFC.

Tools by ni (4.00 / 3) #2 Tue Jul 11, 2006 at 09:48:36 AM EST
Some people here have had success with stripcreator in the past.

my experience is that people will do amazingly stupid things in conjunction with their crotches -- persimmon
Excellent. by blixco (4.00 / 1) #5 Tue Jul 11, 2006 at 09:57:29 AM EST
Oh, god, the surreal nonsense I can create with that tool.  Oh, goodness.  Oh, you poor souls.
Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco
[ Parent ]
I just tried one as well. by mrgoat (4.00 / 1) #32 Wed Jul 19, 2006 at 05:19:09 PM EST


It made me want to kill myself.

Stripcreator made me need therapy.

I'd link it, but someone took the name "mrgoat" already, so I can't make an account.

--top hat--

[ Parent ]
awesome! by spacejack (2.00 / 0) #6 Tue Jul 11, 2006 at 10:03:21 AM EST
I knew there must be some better tools out there.

[ Parent ]
I'll try to by Pasofol (4.00 / 1) #3 Tue Jul 11, 2006 at 09:49:09 AM EST
post something this time, tend to stay away from these contest, lack of talent usually is enough of a deterrent.  I guess that leaves me until August 1st to come up with something.

Hey by TurboThy (4.00 / 2) #31 Fri Jul 14, 2006 at 03:38:49 AM EST
Just because we lack talent is no reason to stay away with your own strokes of genius.
Sommerhus til salg, første række til Kattegat.
[ Parent ]
Excellent. by blixco (4.00 / 2) #4 Tue Jul 11, 2006 at 09:49:32 AM EST
I will be entering, because I will be out of my goddamn head on post-operative painkillers.
Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco
Forgot one of the rules: by spacejack (4.00 / 4) #8 Tue Jul 11, 2006 at 10:05:20 AM EST
  • doping is allowed

[ Parent ]
Allowed? by Pasofol (2.00 / 0) #26 Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 09:43:37 AM EST
I thought it was encouraged if not forced upon you.

[ Parent ]
IAWTD && RFAU by yicky yacky (4.00 / 1) #7 Tue Jul 11, 2006 at 10:03:23 AM EST

That second acronym being directed towards the E-steamed 256 esq. and standing for 'Request For Anonynmous Upload', as with the WFCs. Even though we can probably all tell spacejack's stuff a mile off, it adds an extra dimension.

Oh yeah, +1FP

Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
I'm going to try very hard... by toxicfur (4.00 / 1) #9 Tue Jul 11, 2006 at 10:22:31 AM EST
to get one done this time. I really tried last time - even got so far as to open Adobe Illustrator and doodle with my graphics tablet for inspiration. I do hope I can come up with something this time.
Continue to lean until you feel gravity threatening to discipline you for being stupid. - CRwM
How are you.. by Driusan (2.00 / 0) #10 Tue Jul 11, 2006 at 11:01:45 AM EST
with a) faces and b) city-settings?

I have an idea for a one-page script, but no time (and more importantly, drawing skills) to do it, so I'm not planning on entering. If you (or anyone else who wants to draw but not write something) want I can take a few minutes to write up said script and send it to you.

Vive le Montréal libre.

[ Parent ]
Interesting idea. by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #11 Tue Jul 11, 2006 at 11:08:23 AM EST
My drawing skills are mediocre, but depending on the idea, I could probably pull it off reasonably well. Let me take a look at the script and I'll let you know if I think it's in my range. Thanks!
Continue to lean until you feel gravity threatening to discipline you for being stupid. - CRwM
[ Parent ]
Check your mail. by Driusan (2.00 / 0) #12 Tue Jul 11, 2006 at 12:13:27 PM EST
For a first draft.

Vive le Montréal libre.
[ Parent ]
Looks great. Check *your* mail. :-) by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #14 Tue Jul 11, 2006 at 02:37:49 PM EST

Continue to lean until you feel gravity threatening to discipline you for being stupid. - CRwM
[ Parent ]
Perhaps I'll have a go by komet (4.00 / 1) #13 Tue Jul 11, 2006 at 01:13:26 PM EST
do you have any pointers in re: pencil sketching and general drawing skills for total artistic morons like me?

<ni> komet: You are functionally illiterate as regards trashy erotica.
Stickman theatre by spacejack (4.00 / 1) #15 Tue Jul 11, 2006 at 03:02:12 PM EST
I always rough out my comics with very simple stickmen. I fold an 8.5x11" page in half and draw it at that size, to figure out panel sizes, make sure it flows visually, and to guesstimate text placement. Personally I think that if it reads clearly, and the style is consistent, that's all you really need.

In the end, I'd probably trace over the pencil with marker (or try the brush pen I've been using recently.) This will look better on screen after scanning, and it'll make your artwork look more confident and finished.

[ Parent ]
Perhaps I'll have a go by TPD (4.00 / 1) #19 Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 12:01:23 AM EST
do you have any pointers in marker or brush (pen?) inking skills for total artistic morons like me?

why sit, when you can sit and swivel with The Ab-SwivellerTM
[ Parent ]
dude by spacejack (4.00 / 1) #22 Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 04:13:17 AM EST
I'm sure you could just trace whatever you drew in pencil with pen or marker and it would look awesome. Use tracing paper if you want to save your pencil sketch.

If you try an ink brush, just have faith that it'll look okay in the end. When I start it always looks sloppy and the line weights look all wrong on the first few strokes. It's not til you're mostly done that you'll realize its inconsistent quality is beginning to look consistent. Just make sure all your important objects are big enough to be drawn with more crude, thicker lines.

Also helps immensely to work on a larger format and then scale it down for the web.

[ Parent ]
i was gonna start the WFC challenge by fleece (4.00 / 2) #16 Tue Jul 11, 2006 at 06:58:03 PM EST
now I'll have to wait til august ;(

Exactly. by calla (4.00 / 1) #17 Tue Jul 11, 2006 at 09:21:10 PM EST
This isn't much of a comics challenge - more of a comic story challenge.

"Are Linux chicks worth it?" fencepost

[ Parent ]
Oh it's still a comic challenge by spacejack (2.00 / 0) #23 Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 04:17:26 AM EST
In fact, this time my idea has no words at all.

[ Parent ]
i got a short idea by garlic (2.00 / 0) #25 Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 07:33:02 AM EST
that I can give you. It's drama (maybe) instead of funny.

[ Parent ]
I can do drama. by calla (2.00 / 0) #27 Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 02:53:10 PM EST
I've even done violence.

I need a reason to enter - send me your story and we'll talk.

"Are Linux chicks worth it?" fencepost

[ Parent ]
We have had by Kellnerin (4.00 / 5) #20 Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 01:57:36 AM EST
WFCs and MFCs running concurrently, with slightly staggered deadlines (and a fair bit of overlap between the participants). Unless you were planning on a short-short timeframe there's no reason you can't still announce the WFC in July and set the deadline to August 7 or a little after, to give people the chance to do both if they want to (or, they can choose to concentrate on one or the other -- no reason everyone has to enter every *FC of a given type).

Anecdotally from a lot of people's accounts of writing their WFCs, the actual writing of the story tends to happen fairly quickly. The weeks between the announcement and the deadline just tend to allow time for ideas to percolate or the writers to procrastinate, or both.

"later" meant either "when you walk around the corner" or "oatmeal."

[ Parent ]
agreemsg. by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #30 Thu Jul 13, 2006 at 10:20:11 AM EST
if the ideas have stewed properly, i will put my wfc entry out in a couple of hours.

the time consuming part is the idea stewing.

"hey! what is this piece of sausage doing in my idea stew?"
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
this comment haiku by spacejack (4.00 / 3) #21 Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 04:03:27 AM EST
I wouldn't worry
I'm sure concurrent *FC
are fine at Husi.

[ Parent ]
this comment haiku by fleece (4.00 / 2) #24 Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 04:49:38 AM EST
* is no syllables!
I might mediate on that...
it's so very Zen

[ Parent ]
Excellent by TPD (4.00 / 3) #18 Tue Jul 11, 2006 at 11:51:16 PM EST
I'm sure I can some up with something - but I was quite looking forward to the collaborative aspect: So if anybody wants me to ruin their script with crude doodles let me know before I start knocking one off on my own - fnarr fnarr!

why sit, when you can sit and swivel with The Ab-SwivellerTM by 256 (4.00 / 2) #28 Thu Jul 13, 2006 at 07:18:08 AM EST
now with anonymous upload
I don't think anyone's ever really died from smoking. --ni
Half-decent, mostly-unencumbered fonts by yicky yacky (4.00 / 5) #29 Thu Jul 13, 2006 at 09:05:53 AM EST

This comment is a note-for-self as much as anything else. Some others may find it useful, though.

I was just having a quick mosey around, looking for usable comic-style fonts. As might be expected, there are quite a few out there, but most of the decent ones are usually encumbered in some way or other (usually "Free for personal use; If profitable use then pay me", or "Free provided you don't show anyone").

Being a tight-fisted money-grubbing leech part-time GNU hippy, I found a handful that are are pretty decent and almost entirely unencumbered. The good ones are demo'd in the image below. The test phrase was: 'This is a test. A TEST, you hear!!'


Note that some of the above fonts/font-packs contain more than one variant of the font in question; the ones used in the image are the defaults (the italic version, if supplied). The image was produced in The Gimp with fonts set at 21 px in size [hinting off, anti-alias on].

Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
CFC2 | 32 comments (32 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback