Thursday, January 1, 2009

Discarding the race card

As I've referred to the Gender Wars arc as Precocious' pilot episode, let me continue that TV series analogy. Pilot episodes are generally raw, as the creators haven't yet discovered what works. Some premises change. Some details are altered. Some characters are cut. Other characters are re-cast.

The major visual Precocious change looks like our poor, unlucky black cat will be recast. I mentioned a few posts back that I was in the middle of inking a Roddy drawing when I turned to get more ink on my pen. When I turned back, I saw Roddy with only the top of his head inked. It looked... better. Could I change my black cat to a Sylvester-type cat? At the time, I decided to stay the course and debate the change later... but now it's later.

The day after the site was launched, I feel the pressure to make my moves now. Look, just because I officially launched the strip doesn't mean anyone showed up to see it. My traffic went from zero to, maybe, two. I still have time! While this post was originally going to be about weighing my options by comparing the two inking possibilities, I've gone ahead and made the change.

I like the *idea* of Roddy as a black cat, but in practice it was limiting. Only certain types of mouths look right when drawn on an all-black character with just India ink, which is a problem because Roddy is supposed to be rather expressive. By making him black and white, I now have the freedom of expression with Roddy that I need. I lose the concept and I lose the race card, but the long-term gains in storytelling will likely make it worth it.

At this point, I was going to continue with the pilot episode/regular season analogy. I want to talk about lessons learned, promotion and various other comic things that weigh on my mind. But not tonight. All today I've been in major postpartum depression, and the power I need to win friends and influence people just isn't there. Oh well, I'll be back in the rambling mood soon enough.

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