I can’t seem to escape this idea that I want to make a web comic. I’ve already worked on and given up on many ideas for a web comic. Mainly because they are too much work for too little reward. Make that no reward. But making comics is just in my bones. I can’t quite stop thinking up stuff.

Since the web comics I’ve made so far are akin to color Sunday strips I thought I would try for a something more along the lines of a the more simple black and white daily strip. The problem with that is that I don’t have much to say in that form. Most daily comic strips, wether on the web or in print, are gag a day strips. I hate gag a day strips. I generally find them dull and relentlessly similar to one and other.

I actually should be more kind to gag a day strips. There have been great ones; Peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes, and Doonesbury are my favorite three. It’s just that gag a day has been the dominant comic strip form for decades now and there are so many bad ones. And believe me if I were to do a gag a day strip it would just add to the dreck. I can’t write gags any better than all the other guys out there doing it badly. And at least they like to write gags. I’d probably do it worse than the dreck that’s out there.

So that leaves me with the other dominant form of the comic strip. The adventure story. There aren’t many of these left and I can’t think of a good one currently running. Maybe there is one but I don’t know of it. The heyday of the adventure strip happened before I was born. It doesn’t matter anyway because an adventure strip is way too much work for me. An adventure strip takes at least three times as long to draw as a gag a day strip.

With neither predominant form of comic strips looking like they will have anything to do with me I languished. I put aside any notion of web comics until this week. I decided to give it a go based on some dialogues I’ve been writing. No gag and no plot just two people talking. For some reason I like writing two people talking. I try to make it interesting and humorous but there is no gag or joke. I don’t know what to call them.

This week I decided to write a dialogue as a comic strip. It consisted of making four panels and then writing what the two people were saying to each other in word balloons. The writing went well. I made a few strips but then, of course, the problem comes with drawing them.

There is a reason most web comics are so badly drawn. It’s a lot of time consuming work to draw them well. And very few are getting paid for that time. So I tried to come up with a style I could draw quickly in. My strip is about dialogue so it’s really all talking heads but I can’t just draw it that way. I’ve got to vary things up. That takes even more time.

I ended up drawing two strips and though I did them quickly it was not quickly enough for me. And I found drawing it so literally boring and I didn’t even like the drawings in the end. The kiss of death again. Ouch. So now I’m going to try something new.

I’m going to draw a few more strips to see what they look like. Then I’m going to try and suss out where I am going with it visually and work up a book of poses for the characters. A lot of web comics guys cut and paste poses or panels over and over but that is not quite what I have in mind. I’m looking for a bit more variety and a lot less obviousness.

There is no getting around that I am doing a strip based on dialogues so there is no need for exotic locales or action sequences. There is a limited number of ways that I can draw two people talking to each other. I’m going to try and find a number of talking poses and use them as a starting point for my drawing. I’ll draw some varied heads and faces and see if I can tie it all together into a finished strip.

Y’know it could be that I have a hard time working in a linear fashion these days. Pencil, ink, and color. Pencil, ink, and color. Pencil, ink, and color. A lot of times I want to do things out of order. I’ll have to build up something of a backlog. That way I can work on whatever part I feel like at the time.

I think I’ll even try out a couple of 3D programs I have that are designed to help artists draw stuff. You can quickly work up 3D reference figures in them and use the figures in the same way you would use reference photos. Since the strip I’m working on is not photo realistic I’m not sure how much it would help me but I want to try it out.

Once again I have no idea if this will ever amount to anything. But I am enjoying writing the dialogues. And that is something.