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|Joe - 4/19/04||Laura - 3/30/04|
... Back in my day ...
Okay, next weeks update will, more likely than not, be done on late monday. I'm going to be driving back to NJ to attend a friend's wedding on Saturday, and Sunday is my B-day (so I probably won't feel like doing the update). Heh, they say,"you're only as old as you feel." If that's the case, I swing between being 8 and 65. Unfortunately, I've been feeling more on the 65 side of the scale these days. I think it's mostly work. The situation is one of those "the beatings will continue until morale improves," type deals. Oh well. At least working on EF makes moves me to the 8 year old side of that scale.
While we're on the topic, I want to point out that both Laura and I work full time jobs. For me, that means at least 40 hours a week (if not more, and I don't get paid overtime because I'm salaried). In addition to that, I have about a half hour commute (if the traffic coopreates) both ways, and I volunteer as a mentor for 2 hours a week. If you add that all that up, free time is a real premium. Recently, we were asked if producing a page really takes an entire week. The answer is, of course, no. However, producing EF isn't our main job. If anything, it's more like a hobby. We don't get paid to do it. In fact, we lose money producing it. All of the server costs and domain registration fees come out of our own pockets (which is at least one luxury that having my job allows). However, we really don't want your money. If money were the main reason for doing EF, it would never have started. There are many reasons I work on EF... to hone my writing skills... to tell a story... to entertain people... to prove to myself that I am capable of producing something like EF... and a lot of other reasons. We choose to keep producing EF and making it freely availible. If you look at it, we have devoted hours upon hours planning and producing a comic that we then pay to let people read and enjoy it because we want to. Personally, I would love to be able to spend more time working on producing things like EF, but at this point, it's just not realistic. I'm trying to work towards it. I've been working on some other writing projects to try and wean myself off of my job as a corporate slave, but, like I mentioned before, free time is at a premium.
Sorry for ranting. It was just something I needed to get out of my system. Overall, the overwhelming majority of the feedback we get is very positive. It's just that every once in a while, a comment that a person makes just seems to come across the wrong way. I'm sure that it wasn't the intention of the person to come across the way that they did, but sometimes things just have a way of pushing the wrong buttons in me. Most of the time EF is extremely rewarding. Recently, we've been averaging over 1k unique hits a day (at least according to our tracker). That's pretty darn cool in my book. What's even cooler, IMHO, is that an overwhelming majority of our readers and traffic come from people that decide to link us on their own. The fact that people out there like EF enough to recommend it to their friends is awesome.
Eh, sorry about the later than usual page. I forgot that I was going to a friend's bridal shower this week. 0_o Oh well.
For some strange reason, in the past week or so, a lot of people have asked me about my art process on the comic. I don't know what caused all these questions to emerge at once, maybe some kind of cosmic alignment. But I thought I'd just sort of summarize it here for anyone else who's curious.
Now, up until the Christmas piece I did in 2002, I hand drew all the comics with a 2H pencil on bristol board. For like the first couple pages of the comic, I inked the pencils with a ball point pen, but later decided that it just took too much time, so I cut out that step. Instead, I just cleaned up the art in Photoshop when I scanned it in. Then I would color the comic in Photoshop, save the file and bring it into Illustrator where I would lay out all the type. Then I would bring the image back into Photoshop, tweak it or make any changes or fixes, and save it for the web.
Then, when I got my Wacom tablet and the Painter program a little over a year ago, I basically just started drawing the comic right on the computer. I find it saves some time and let's me create cleaner looking images. I've also started to do some of the coloring in Painter, mostly backgrounds, and then I bring the file into Photoshop and resume from there.
So, I hope that satisfies anyone else who might've been curious. I'm always open to questions about it, so feel free to e-mail me. But I can't give out any almighty art secrets. It's just the same with everyone, practice and hard work.
|All content unless otherwise specified is Copyright © 2003 Joe Lee and Laura Galiffe of the Bonsai Mecha Factory. All rights reserved. If you violate our copyright or piss us off, we'll send Hinoki after you!|