Some Sketchy Editing

JohnRamblings

Insane Charity Bike Ride UPDATE 3!

HOLY CATS, you guys! We passed $6,500 raised for the Fair Share Coalition, helping bring CSA foods to local low-income households! Because of this, I’ve added another goodie to the INSANE SADDLE-BAG OF HOLDING! Right now, anybody who pledges to my Insane Charity Bike Ride will get pdfs of:

  • WILD LIFE, THE CARDINAL COLLECTION – Carson the Muskrat’s first comic strip, from my college days.
  • A BRIEF HISTORY OF GAMING – Dork Tower #34
  • DR. BLINK #1 by me, Chris Jones and Melissa Kaercher
  • The Dork Tower LORD OF THE RINGS SPECIAL
  • DORK COVENANT, the first Dork Tower trade paperback, 160 pages of dorky fun!
  • EMBRACE THE SQUEE – the very, very geeky coloring book I created for this ride, last year.
  • ADDED: SNAPDRAGONS #1 by John Kovalic and Liz Rathke (August 29)

And I’m still lining up some more pdfs and fun from friends – fingers crossed! But the $7,500 goal is still $1,000 away – so PLEDGE NOW and make me ride 60 miles with plush Steve Jackson Games tentacles strapped to my bike! Here’s the full run-down of everything you can get by supporting my insanity, including UNIQUE, SIGNED Munchkin postcard that lets you start a game at level three!

The Artistic Process of Elimination

One of my priorities this year was to give myself more time for the Dork Tower web strip, and also to get a potential Dork Tower Kickstarter in order. On the web strip end, this means more time for working through strips, making sure the writing is what I want it to be, and the message and (hopefully) gag are as close to what I intend, in my mind-stalk’s eye, as possible. A couple of days ago, I ran across the very first sketch of a pretty popular Dork Tower that ran last week, and I found it interesting for a couple of reasons.

The Sketch:

WrongAnswerSketch

  How It Ran:

DorkTower1237

I work best with editors (HI, Sean!), and I’d go so far as to say I am an awful, awful editor of my own work. But this is one of the few instances where I got lucky, and self-editing seems to have paid off.

I knew the four-panel sketch didn’t work in the way that I wished it to. Going from four panes to three focussed what I wanted to say better. Having the counter guy more aggressively dismissive (as often happens in real life) also gives Gilly the chance to snap and get angry, and not look as if she’s prepared her retort in advance. She’s not someone looking for a fight – which is where the sketch failed – but she’s a strong enough character now that she won’t take shit when it’s handed to her. And that’s why the final strip worked.

Other small changes helped the final strip – the drawing of Counter Guy, for example. Though I notice he kept his freckles. Also, I see I had no real last-panel comeback line for Gilly, when first sketched out. And it amuses me that Carson now refers to his Biological Order, now. But as you know, I’m easily amused.

In the end, the strip garnered thousands of “Likes,” and nearly 10,000 “Shares.” While I’m not saying that Likes and Shares are the goal, it sure feels nice when a message you feeling strongly about seems to strike a chord.

— John

PS:  ‘Wait – did you say “potential Dork Tower Kickstarter,” Muskrat-boy?”  YES BUT I’VE SAID TOO MUCH ALREADY!

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