Monday, January 23, 2012

Kentucky Fried Popcorn - The Comic

Here is a little something I've been fiddling around with for a while now.  It's a wretched example of a first comic strip - It was worked on over a period of about 6 months in my spare time using half a dozen different graphics programs (None of which I was very familiar with), ergo the wildly varying inking style and character looks.  I was half-tempted just to toss it, but thought I'd go ahead and post it as a little background for (Hopefully) better stuff to come.  Readers may have wondered about the cartoon characters that started turning up in movie reviews a few months back - Well, here they are with the story explained.  These kids will be appearing more often in future movie reviews to put in their two cents circa 1977.   Click the pages to enlarge.

This comic is not approved for use by anyone under 35.

And that's that.  Recurring characters will be P.A.L., the narrator with the flippy hair (That's me, age 11), George (Turtleneck guy), and his younger friend Twitch.  A young Emily is also going to be added whenever I can figure out a way to draw a ponytailed girl that doesn't look like Dilbert's girlfriend.  These kids and their robot will wander in and out of reviews, putting their own two cents in.

On the wild, wild chance that anyone is interested about the evolution of this stuff, here are some of the original doodles that eventually developed into the characters we'll be seeing.  The very first version of the narrator was this extremely simple sketch:

I liked the attitude but had misgivings about the simple face (It's cute, but difficult to convey more complex emotions with such a simplified style).  Also, I was never crazy about the AstroBoy hair and it changed constantly over subsequent sketching as the character also grew taller, skinnier, and generally more like I was.
Above is a page out of my sketchbook featuring a lot of random scrawls (There's one of our cats and a pipe design and a bit of my eye obsession).  As the drawing style of the character got more and more "realistic", the blank eyes actually got a little creepy, looking out of place on the character.  I finally started getting some hair styles I liked simply by thinking back to the days of Luke Skywalker hair.  Tried a couple of more realistic face sketches above but both were way more anime than I wanted, and I became conscious of trying to pin his look down to a more age-appropriate look.  I was shooting for 10-12ish, not 7 or 15.  Finally, one night while watching TV I scratched out this and had the voila moment of, "That's the look I want."

A year from now he'll probably look nothing like the above, again, as his appearance evolves, but we'll see how it goes.  So there's a little backstory for those who are interested in such stuff!