I don’t know if the quizzes they run are getting stupider or it’s the people who call in to compete, but man it’s like nobody knows how to sit in front of a dozen instances of Google while they’re on the phone or something.
Who are these people?
It’s so very rare that I draw just for the sake of drawing instead of trying to put together a comic, but that’s what I ended up doing last night for a bit. So I thought I’d scan and post it for kicks.
Trying to figure out why sketching feels nice and loose and as soon as I sit in front of the computer to do a comic it all feels so stiff and stale. Hrm. :/
Back to the drawing board…
We’re almost at the five year mark of Funnywebcomic.com. What started as a joke in September 2008 has turned into a…OK it’s still a joke, but maaaaybe I’ve gotten a bit better at making comics? I’ve done over a thousand comics here, made some excellent books (that you can buy now), done some conventions and even spun-off Blow The Cartridge and Hive FM into their own sites. Over the years many of you have taken time out to read the comics or send me your thoughts which is incredibly gratifying. It’s certainly a billion times better than spending a month to make a mini comic, photocopy up a hundred copies, give them to local comic and record shops and then have no idea if anyone actually read them or not.
I said at the start I’d give it five years to see if it works, but I feel like I’ve just…begun? Weird. I just don’t know how to not make comics.
Lately I’ve been watching Strip Search, the reality show about people who want to make it as a webcomics artist. Not many people know it but I somehow got to the third round of shortlisting for this show last year. That’s not a brag, I think there were something like 40 billion rounds of shortlisting in order to whittle over a thousand applicants down to the dozen contestants we’ve seen on the show. But the reality of spending two weeks in another country when I had just started a new job and really I have a wife and some cats at home am I really just going to leave them for two weeks and what if I win, am I really going to drag them all to Seattle? meant that being on the show was not a feasible option anyway.
Sorry, rambling. My point is that I was watching it, and really became a fan of Lexxxy (who I used as a basis for how I draw Anna, fact fans) and especially a fan of Erika Moen, who just got evicted from the show. On her own comic she posted about how she had dinner with Robert Khoo, and he asked her what her brand is, and she didn’t really know. It occured to me that I should think about what my brand is, you know, the stuff I’m into.
So why am I instead doing comics about radio DJs? *headscratch*
I like doing Hive FM though! It’s fun. I think the comic’s working better than it did when it started, and I’m having fun writing and drawing it. I’m interested in mass media and how they act as gatekeepers and how crushing it is to work in an industry that is becoming incredibly irrelevant to the point of absurdity. And Action Sally is a good character that I’ve been drawing for way too long now so hey, why stop now?
My plan at the moment is to keep doing Hive FM here on Funny Webcomic until September, at which time the Hivefm.com site will have ‘caught up’ to where we’re at here and new comics will go up exclusively there. What’s going to happen to Funnywebcomic.com in September when I hit the five year mark? No idea. Hopefully you’ll be along to see with me…
Today I uploaded the 150th Hive FM comic to Funnywebcomic.com – a neat little milestone that sits nicely next to hitting the 1,000 comic mark here!
So…I’m happy to finally unveil the new Hive FM site! Yes! It’s been in secret beta for the past few weeks, but now it’s ready (?) to face the music:
It’s going to be the new home of your favourite (?) morning radio crew comic, and right now we’re going back to the beginning and putting up a new comic every day. Since it updates daily it’ll eventually catch up to where we are here on FunnyWebComic and then it’ll probably go over there exclusively, like how we moved Old Gaming Jokes over to Blow The Cartridge.
Very exciting! Please let me know what you think!
I’m writing this on the first day of January, 2013, and I started FunnyWebComic back in…September 2008 I think? I don’t want to distract myself to check. Anyway, somehow we’ve ended up here, at 1,000 comics. Crazy!
(I mean, there’s more comics I made on Plant-Man and Blow The Cartridge, but hey, who’s really counting?)
Thank you for being along for the ride. The last year’s been an interesting one, I think I learned to just have more fun making comics and not worry about making them viral or cool or hip whatever I was “supposed” to be paying attention to. I stopped making them for anyone but myself and – crazy – I think I did some decent stuff that actually found an audience. Thanks for your emails, comments and tweets, they have all really helped. Thank you to my long-suffering wife Sabb for putting up with this. There have been a lot of times where I let making comics just take over my life.
So…2013, what’s going to happen?
Well first of all, I think Hive FM is going to go to its own website very soon. Don’t fret too much they’ll still be here, just like how my Blow The Cartridge comics were on both sites for a long while when that strip split off onto its own site. But I did notice that Blow The Cartridge really grew into its own once it got its own domain and I think Hive FM could do the same. Stay tuned!
I’ve also decided not to do any conventions this year…it’s just way way WAY too much stress for what I get out of it. 2013 has a lot of stuff going on and, seriously, preparing for Supanova is practically a full time job for two or three months. It’s a fun event, but maaaaaan. I’m way better off putting my comic energies into…well, the comic. The comic needs improving. The comic ALWAYS needs improving. So how about I stop treading water and improve it?
However, one cool bit of news is that I’ll be teaching kids comics at Carindale Shopping Centre Library on January 13, so if you know any kids that want their fragile little minds warped by the power of COMICS come on by! Check this link our for more detail. See you there!
I’m sure you’ve all heard the news story by now that broke over the weekend about the Australian radio DJs that prank-called a hospital in England that ended up with the woman who took the call taking her own life.
There’s already been millions of virtual column-inches and hours of TV news full of people falling over themselves to attack / defend the DJs, the station, the management, the woman, the hospital and everyone in between. I’m not really interested in adding to the noise of that, short of saying it’s a terrible thing that’s happened and nobody looks good coming out of it.
What I do want to do here, however, is pick your brain a little about what I should do here on this comic…
As you might now I do a comic about breakfast radio DJs. Making prank calls is part of what they do…actually, now that I think about it, they even prank called Hitler once, and he killed himself shortly after, so there’s precedent. But here’s the thing: do I do a comic about what happened this weekend?
If I do, I run the very real risk of being seen to be making fun of this horrible thing, and that’s not what I want to do. On the other hand, not doing a comic about it, not even addressing it at all feels rather dismissive of it, like it doesn’t matter, and it does matter.
So it’s a bit of a pickle. I think I will end up covering it, but I’m curious to see what you think first.
I figure I should stop just gushing about how good Supanova was and actually, you know, write something coherent down.
This was a really important show. I decided a while back that I would give ‘doing’ conventions three goes before deciding if I would do another one. The first one (Brisbane April 2011) would be to learn how to to actually set up a table, the second one (Gold Coast April 2012) would be to learn how to sell things, and the third (November 2012) would be to see if people were actually interested in anything I was doing. Hey, no pressure.
So here’s my table in the Artist’s Alley pavilion! I shared a table with my longtime partner in comic-crime Brad Daniels, proprietor of the fantastic Groovy Gravy anthology that has long been an integral part of the Brisbane comic scene. The RNA Showgrounds were undergoing drastic reconstruction surgery during the show, so the event was split over several separate sheds. The bulk of Artist’s Alley vendors were in the pavilion and there was a fair bit of uncertainty on how this would affect crowds. Would they just stick to the main area and ignore the cool kids club known as Artist’s Alley?
Another cause for concern was the weather. In typical Brisbane tradition it started bucketing down on the Saturday, which is usually the busiest day. Those poor cosplayers stuck in line! As you had to go out side to move between sheds we figured many people would not venture outside or even come to the show at all.
I shouldn’t have worried about any of these things. It was a fantastic show! I was busy most of the time (even the traditionally quiet Friday!) talking, selling and drawing, and I have each and every one of you who came by to thank for it.
It was just a really good vibe, made all the better by meeting new friends and warmly shaking hands with old ones. I want to give special shout outs to my pal, my hombre Ant for dragging his hapless friends to my booth and shoving my silly books in their face. To Colin for being just the swellest guy ever and taking responsibility for being the guy who encouraged me to make comics in the first place. To Clint for swinging by and looking all wrestly and buff. To the Wellbound productions guys who it was a real joy to be table neighbours with, you guys have totally the right attitude to making comics and having fun with your friends along the way. To Scott and Alisha for the kvetching and planning.
To Dan and Kylie for making a really good looking comic about depression that I can’t wait to finally read tonight! To Zac at Ashcan for tolerating my mindless enthusiasm. To Luke for letting me gush about how great his 100 Tips For Being Awesome book is. To Greg and Mini Tom Taylor for their stellar help, I am forever in your debt. There’s a bajillion more people I should be thanking, please forgive my forgetfulness. Oh! To the Supanova staff and volunteers who came by the table to say hi, it’s always a pleasure to see you.
And more than anything else, thanks to my long-suffering wife Sabb for a) putting up with this nonsense and b) gracing me with the guidance and focus I needed to take the table from ‘good’ to ‘great’. None of this would be possible without her, and for that I am truly grateful.
Stuff that went great: I made a new ‘deluxe’ version of my Henry The Sexually Perverted Chocolate Bar mini comic and it was a huge hit,. Seeing people just come up, see the cover, laugh and slap their $5 down on the table without even looking inside was pretty weird, but I ain’t complaining. My second full colour printed Blow The Cartridge collection did very well too, since there were a lot of older people who loved the retrogaming theme. I also sold a lot of sketches and even had the crazy sensation of people recognising me from previous cons and asking what was new this show. Great crowd.
I still learned a lot too. I feel like I really left a LOT of money on the table by not having something ‘family friendly’ available. Sunday morning was pretty much exclusively bored parents being dragged around by their 8-12 year old kids looking for something to buy. Even though I had been looking forward to the convention for weeks I was still woefully unprepared for the show, so much that I was still cutting flyers and stapling minis together at the show while people were walking around. D’oh.
I’m definitely not at the stage yet where I can start doing conventions that are more than a half hour’s drive from me – but man, I really feel like this was a success on many levels and a valuable education on others.
See you at the Gold Coast show in April 2013, yeah?
I’m pleased as punch to say that I will indeed be at the Brisbane Supanova Pop Culture Expo again this November 9 to 11! It’s going to be flipping awesome. Yeah, you heard me, FLIPPING.
I had an absolute blast earlier this year at the Gold Coast show and can’t wait to have an even better time at the Brisbane show, hosted again at the RNA Showgrounds. The people who go to Supanova area a real fun crowd and it’s great to catch up with them and show off some new stuff.
Speaking of which! There will be a new issue of Blow The Cartridge available exclusively at the show. I’m really excited about it! It’s over 30 full colour pages of comics about classic video games, and this issue has something special: a never before-seen 13 page comic about the first time I almost got killed buying Street Fighter 2 for the Super Nintendo. It’s really neat. I even somehow conned my poor wife into doing a bunch of the coloring. It’s new stuff that won’t be going on the website for a good long while yet, so get it while you can!
And also, due to popular demand that I still don’t quite understand, there will be a new Henry The Sexually Perverted Chocolate Bar book available! They’ll be new adventures of the tastiest candy in town ready to check out and some classics ready for another bite. There’ll also be some other neat things available that I haven’t quite finalised yet, so stay tuned here for more surprises!
There’s going to be TONS of cool stuff to check out at the show – so please stop by the Funnywebcomic.com table in the Artist’s Alley section and say hi! I’ll be doing sketches, selling comics and giving everyone super awesome hi-fives all day long. THIS IS WHERE YOU CAN FIND ME:
In our current Hive FM storyline, Action Sally is being offered up as a prize to one lucky guy (or gal, Sally and I ain’t picky) – and YOU can be that lucky person!
Just email me in 25 words or less why you would be the perfect date for radio’s favourite tomboy and you’ll be in the draw. The winner will get themselves featured in this comic at a later date! WOW!
FINALLY, you can live out your life-long dreams of going on an imaginary date with a fictional character in a comic nobody reads! Take THAT, high school guidance councillors around the world!
Hi. It’s been a while!
First of all, what the hell, man? No new comics? Yeah, I know, and it sucks, but I’ve put a brand new comic up tonight and we can get back on the horse. Wait, I don’t like horses, how about go-karts? Yeah, we’re back on the go-karts.
So. A couple of things all happened at once at the end of last month that really screwed everything up:
First of all, I changed day jobs! Resigning from a job and moving to a new one is a very exciting and stressful and ultimately rewarding process, but I’ve never done it before, and didn’t really know anyone who did. Jobs are just these things that happen to you and you just kind of make your peace with it, right. Every time I’d changed jobs before it was because the company I was with went under, so after a while I started to feel like the harbinger of death for any place silly enough to hire me. Maybe I still am! I’ve been at the new place for a month and am just now settling into things – it feels like a good fit and I see a future here.
Secondly, my desktop computer died. Well not all of it, just some bits in it. I don’t know. Look, I am not good at computers. It took about a week to get something resembling a working computer back, and another week to get all the right software on it again, so in the meantime I was just using my iPad and the wife’s netbook, neither of which are that great for drawing comics on. Man, fixing computers is the worst, just the worst.
Oh wait, it’s not the worst, building a games room in the back yard is! We are very over this whole thing now, and pretty much every spare moment in the last month has been spent working on it or thinking about it or buying things for it and I just want it done so I can move all my cool gaming stuff into it and play Bubble Bobble on the arcade cabinet and draw more comics and hide away with the wife in it while watching stupid movies. I think we’ve ‘broken the back’ of the project but man, it can’t be completed soon enough.
Fourthly, I picked up a ton of freelance work because I wasn’t under any restrictions from the old day job and I’m an idiot who can’t say no. It turns out that an iPad isn’t a real substitution for a real computer when you have real work do, who knew? Oh wait, everyone on the planet except for me. Gah!
There’s also been preparing for Supanova Brisbane. It’s going to be a swell time, folks. It could be the biggest Supanova yet! I am excited because I will be there exhibiting in Artist’s Alley with a brand new comic! The wife is excited because she can get her photo taken with Spike from Buffy! Actually I think her plan is cooler than mine. With all the craziness of the stuff above I decided that all my comic-making time was best spent making something really cool for Supanova. I’m proud to say that as of last night Blow The Cartridge #2 is off to the printers and it should (!) arrive in time for the show. I’m really happy with it. First of all there are some video game comics in there that were requested at the last show, and they are exclusive to the book. It also includes a brand new 13-page comic about the first time I almost died buying Street Fighter 2. It’s also exclusive to the book and it’s also the first time the wife has worked on a comic with me! She coloured it and it turned out a treat. I’ll be talking more about the show as we get closer, but I wanted to give you a heads up that something neat was happening for it. There’ll also be some other new things on the table, stay tuned!
So…yeah. I have a ton of updates to catch up on, but I hope you can understand why I’d prefer to get all my ducks in a row before doing good comics again instead of uploading garbage just keep…oh, wait. God damn it!
I’ve been doing a bit of thinking about the Google Car lately, so I thought I would write about it and post it here to save my long-suffering wife from having to hear me go on about all of this yet again.
I really think Google are the bee’s knees. I think they’re doing a lot of cool stuff and have a real exciting vision of the future. If I became Prime Minister of Australia my first act would be to hand complete ownership of the country to Google, because it’s pretty obvious that it’s the only way anything cool is going to get done. And then I would go and work at Google.
The Google Car fascinates me. It’s a car that drives itself. You get in, tell it where you want to go, and it just drives you there. You sit in the driver’s seat “just in case” but really, the computer does all the work.
How cool is that, seriously.
(Yes, I know there’s lots of other places that are doing automated cars, but these guys are making the one I’m the most interested in, so hey)
Anyway moving on from how good it would be to have one, and what that says about my trust in the Google brand that I’d be quite willing to get into an enclosed metal box that travels at 100 kilometers an hour with nothing but a seatbelt and faith in the GPS to save me…I started extrapolating what Google Car technology would do to society.
In particular, all the jobs that would go because of it.
Truck drivers would be gone because freight would be automated. Same for short and long route bus drivers. There’d still be public transport, but the buses would just detect if there’s someone at the bus stop and pull over accordingly. Taxi drivers would be gone – there’d still be taxis of course, but think more Total Recall-style Johnny Cab. The police and road rule enforcement agencies would be decimated – no more random breath testing, no more highway patrols to stop you from speeding, no red light cameras to fine you for going through that intersection, simply because the computer would follow the rules appropriately. How much of an impact will that have on government revenue? How many people will that make redundant? Do you see how much infrastructure is centered around the fact cars require humans to drive them? Take that fact away and things start to unravel in interesting ways.
Parking bays, will they be gone or reduced? I mean all you really need your car for during the work-week is to take you to work and be there when you leave the office at the end of the day, so why can’t the car just go home after it drops you off and be back in time to pick you up? Tow-truck drivers would not be needed as much. Traffic reporters on the morning radio (ha! I knew I’d find a way to make this post relevant!) would be out of a job since traffic automation and rerouting for the optimal path to destination would be handled by the computer.
(There’s a larger question mark about the whole concept of the morning commute to the office being made redundant soon, but that’s another blog post…)
I think you’re going to see a lot of protests and lobbying for legislation to protect these jobs. Can you imagine the truck drivers of the world letting this happen without a fight? The freight companies wouldn’t complain, though – it’s one less person to pay.
Maybe I’m crazy, maybe I’m thinking it’ll be a bigger thing than it will be. But then again, they used to employ people to control elevators in city buildings, or connect people to different telephone exchanges, or to drive horse and buggies. “Driving a vehicle” could be an obsolete skill pretty soon.
I’m excited for the future.