Saturday, 6 June 2009

Joe's Heebie Jeebies 17: Reality Check

Strips with earlier versions of these characters here .

Spotted anything different this week?  Yes, I've moved the copyright and URL outside of the strip itself.

No, seriously though.  I know the change to black and white and the single tier are probably a bit of a let down, but there is a method behind my madness.

My ultimate goal is to be putting a strip up daily.  Also, I've been putting so much effort into the drawing and the colouring I think the writing has suffered.  So, to be able to give more attention to the writing, which you have to admit hasn't exactly had you rolling in the aisles, I've had to sacrifice the colour for the time being.

As for the shedding of a tier (sorry, couldn't resist), it's not quite as bad as it seems.  Starting Wednesday, I'll be on a twice weekly schedule.  So there'll still be two tiers a week, just not all at once.  This is a ploy to get me to write funnier gags.  So, no pressure there then.

Anyway, let me know what you think.  I know it's a drastic change of tone in a way, but I thought it was better to go with my instincts on this one and take the plunge into full blown monochrome.

Maybe I'd better not tell you about the changes I've got planned for Joe's world yet.  It'll be a nice surprise.

See you Wednesday.

R.I.P. David Carradine

My most vivid memories in the first year of Secondary School are of my friends Dale, Chris and I tumbling (in the best imitation of slow motion we could manage) down a grassy embankment that ran around the bottom of the grounds as we did our version of kung fu on each other.  All of this was inspired by Friday night airings of that TV show along with some pretty cool Poster Magazines of Bruce Lee that we (well, Dale at least) picked up to fuel our obsession with the fighting style that the programme showcased.

And now, with the death of David Carradine, the show's star, we can only feel saddened.  I know little of the man himself beyond his total involvement in the show and his role in 'Kill Bill' but I will always remember him for the part he played in my childhood as I negotiated my way into adolescence alongside my two best school friends.  Whatever his personal beliefs and lifestyle choices, he helped us with that I'm sure, however inadvertently.  So, thank you David wherever you are.  In the words of Master Po -

Perfect wisdom is unplanned. 
Perfect living offers no guarantee to a peaceful death. 
Learn first, how to live. 
Learn second, how not to kill. 
Learn third, how to live with death. 
Learn fourth, how to die...
To know love, 
be like the running brook, which deaf, 
yet sings its melody for others to hear. 
Feel the pain of too much tenderness. 
Wake at dawn with a winged heart 
and give thanks for yet another day of loving.


  1. The move to monochrome is a bold one and just as I was enjoying your colouring and highlighting too! "Shedding a tier" - a classic pun! Can't agree with you about the writing suffering, I've smiled at each and every "Joe" thus far.
    I was sad to hear about David Carradine too. I've always marvelled at how we managed to escape any serious injury whilst indulging in our antics (oh, to be 12 again). If I saw some child from my class doing what we did, I'd drain of colour and rush to stop him/her asap.
    Keep up the good work and don't make too many changes over too short a time,
    anonymous Dale

  2. Yeah, I'm really sorry about the colour, too. It was just taking too long - three quarters of the time I was spending on the strip, in fact. And I really need to give the writing a better chance and find the time to work towards the holy grail of daily postings. Over the summer I want to increase to three times a week if I can.

    Good advice about changing slowly though. Don't worry. I've been figuring out how to introduce the story changes gradually. Eventually, I'll be fast enough to do the colour again, too.

    And yes, 12 - *sigh* You'd just introduced me to Spider-Man. Look how that turned out.

  3. What do you use to color your strips?

    I liked the color but I love the line work of your b/w...Always jealous of people with good line work b/c my is ehh.

    Now if you can figure out a way so my horrible eyes can see your yellow type over the green background better, then we'd be

  4. I would love to see a daily strip on here! I know for a fact that color DOESN'T improve the strip - well - in many ways. Yes, for some it's more entertaining, but I've asked that question to many professional friends, and color is not a big priority. I would focus on writing, drawing and inking. I've really enjoyed your work so far - so keep it up!

  5. I thought YOU had introduced ME to spider-man!


  6. I use Photoshop to colour my strips, Bearman. There's a fairly quick way to do it, but it takes me a lot longer because my drawing style leaves so many open shapes.

    I draw the strips on copier paper, one panel at a time and then composite them on the computer in a panel template I made.

    Your the second person to mention problems with the yellow on green. I've adjusted the tiling image and uploaded the update to Photobucket, but it's not showing on my browser at the moment. It usually takes a few hours. Maybe you'll have more luck. If the adjustment doesn't work let me know and I'll try something else. In the meantime, try pressing ctrl (or whatever the Mac equivalent is) and using the scroll button to enlarge the text.

    Great to hear from you again - 'Fake George' :)

  7. Thank you Nate. You've given the start to my day the boost it needed.

    Dale, it went like this - You were off school with glandular fever when I first arrived. In the meantime, we both got into Planet of the Apes because of the TV show and we both started buying the comic that went with it. When you came back we hooked up because of that. Then I noticed you (and Mark) were reading 'Spider-Man' which I rejected at first. And then you showed me the light by DRAWING SPIDEY YOURSELF. It was so cool (although we didn't use that word at the time) and that's howcum I'm a cartoonist.

  8. I have no idea what you are talking about "fake George"

    I just highlight the text and then I can see it.

    As far as photoshop, I had to learn to close my loops or at least on my color layer, know what color was going to be there and draw a line that closed it before I color.

  9. That's howcum you're a cartoonist and that's howcum I'm a guitarist!

    hey nonny nonny mouse dale

  10. Great fantasy incorporation in this strip, John. You're such a great artist anyway, I can live with the absence of color (even though I love it).

    Can't wait to read your Wed. strip! Keep up the great work, man.

  11. Yeah. I close the loops on my colour layer, too, but because I leave so many, it takes ages. Each of the two tier strips here has taken at least six hours each to colour.

    I'm going to fix this text thing on here for you right now. Hopefully this is easier to read.

  12. Well. What a day. Thank you everyone for your kind comments. I'm encouraged enough to continue. Look out Wednesday for a new 'comments' question.

  13. One thing that irks me on my own stuff is that I have to have all closed shapes, too (except for Hank's hair ends [and those are a pian to color with just a mouse]).I don't think that color is mandatory for a strip. I color mine because I can. Before the AC site, Hank spent 16 years in black and white. I just wanted to change it up for my own entertainment. It would be quicker to just leave it in b&w, but I don't mind coloring. It's therapeutic for me.
    You're doin' a great job, John! Keep it up.


The person who doesn’t make mistakes is unlikely to make anything. Where did I make mine in this strip?

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AKA Dubblejay or Mr J

I draw a weekly webcomic - Joe's Heebie Jeebies.