Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Always a rare treat

The joke about Bud's parents is that they're never around. Thus, it is my obligation as a cartoonist to make them suitably interesting for their rare appearances. I don't know about you all out there, but I'm loving this couple so hard that it hurts to part with them. There's a few ins for Bud's dad, since he's just locked in the basement - but his mom is always out of town. We just have to cherish the moments we have together.

Sydney Oven is one of my favorites. Writing for her is so natural and easy - and it always makes *me* laugh. This deeply sarcastic woman seems to enjoy it as much as I do when she goes off on an aggressively uncaring rant. Her outlook in life isn't so much, "work to change what I can and learn to accept what I can't ," but rather, "accept what I can't change and what I don't care to change. Fight like hell for the rest." She's the type to pull her son aside, look deeply into his eyes and tell him her Pokemon battle team is more important to her at the moment than her family. She doesn't mean it, of course, but that's how she communicates. If you aren't prepared for her, watching her curl up to her husband and coo about Bud, "I'm so glad we neglected him," might be a bit scary.

The sketches came about because I was working on some Sydney strips and I needed to have more. I wasn't even content with just making a sketch; I had to pull out the colored pencils! Sydney gets one appearence in the next arc and then I don't have an appearance planned for her until December, so it's best to enjoy her now. Ok, fine, aside from the next arc and an outline for the big summer spectacular, I don't have that many future strips scripted. I can still bring her in if needed, but is that the right thing to do? Sporadic characters must be sporadic to have impact - and it should make you appreciate them more when they do appear. The strip is, after all, about the four kids. I have a vast stable of characters, but they are there to rotate in and out of the main kids' lives.


Applejinx said...

Dude, she's a real hottie :) I'm truly impressed. Your torsos, arms and legs (not to mention adorable footpaws!) are really good- and there's teeny bits of highlighting and shading here and there which- wow. ;)

One thing to stay aware of is that although you know your characters so well and live with them all the time, your reader only knows what's right in front of them. You might say uncut Sydney could be scary, but by the same token maybe you need exactly that in order to sum up her personality in one memorable panel. It does make me curious what the setup is for that line- having Bud serve her a panini or otherwise demonstrate how selfreliant he is?

Also, it seems like in the pic of Sydney her cheekruffs are just slightly different sizes in accordance with perspective- I love that and need to try to steal it, as it's never occurred to me to consciously try to do that (as much as I push the perspective in other things)

If you didn't consciously do that, time you started! ;)

Christopher J Paulsen said...

My characters have hands and feet, not paws! *shakes fist*

Since she rarely appears, she'll get the summary each time. It's comic law! Also, if she appears, it means she's probably the focus anyway. (She can make unannounced cameos, but they won't be the punchline of the comic.)

While I suck hard at perspective - DESPITE A LIFETIME OF TRAINING IN IT - I *do* intentionally alter the cheek fluff. Go me!