I sure am glad to finally be getting my new web comic site up and running. It has literally taken me years to get to this point. I just checked my files and my first attempt to create a web comic was in December 2005. I’ve started a half dozen more web comics since then all doomed to frustration and failure. That was due to many reasons but the main one being that it takes a whole lot of time to draw a comic strip.

Sure there are plenty of badly drawn comic strips out there that take no time at all to draw. The comic strip world is filled with stories of famous comic strips in which the creator and his assistant(s) whip up a month’s worth of comics in a week and then spend the rest of the month drinking. But in the days when strips were well drawn it would take a full day to make one. At least.

A full day to create a comic strip is fine when you are getting paid a full day’s wage for it but this is a web comic I am making. No payments in sight.

A couple of years ago I made a handful of really nice strips that I liked very much. They were more like Sunday strips. Each was fancy, full color, and bigger than four panels. It took me a week to do each strip. By a week I mean forty hours. That’s a little too much time for a web comic. I turned them into comic strip art prints. I’m going to have to revisit them and maybe post them here sometime.

The other strips I had started were on various subjects. Adventure, sci-fi, magic, and strange surrealist creatures. Some I developed for quite a while and some for only a couple of weeks. What they all had in common was that they were dead ends. I could always see where they were going and I was always frustrated. You know what it came down to? I was bored of drawing comics.

For a guy who has always had to draw comics on his own, I’ve never gotten paid to do them, I’ve drawn a remarkable amount of comics. I estimate that I’ve written, drawn, inked, and lettered at least three hundred pages of comics over a twelve year period. At a page a day, a pace I rarely met, that ends up to be a lot of time over the years dedicated to drawing comics. Without pay I just couldn’t do it any more. I don’t think I’ve drawn a comic page in the last eight years.

I’ve spent the last decade drawing a lot but for my prints and paintings. Not for comics. When I tired to draw a web comic I found my interest in that type of drawing had waned to the point of disinterest.

Comics are a craft. You have to draw things in a certain way to get your point across. There are rules to follow. And there is a lot of repetition. The characters all have to look like the characters from panel to panel. They can’t suddenly look different because I want to draw something different.

In the drawing I have been doing for the last ten years the rules are broader. The drawing is the only thing that exists. There is no following panels where things have to look continuous. I can change everything from drawing to drawing as it suits me. I find that a lot more interesting than drawing one character’s face over and over. That was a problem when trying to make a web comic.

I finally solved the problem with this latest web comic. “Four Talking Boxes” is about conversation. I am more interested in that conversation than I am in drawing people talking over and over so I drew everything in advance. I front loaded it. I drew all of the characters in multiple poses from multiple angles and now manipulate those images to make the strip. It’s not quite cartooning but it will do for now.

All that drawing took a lot of time. It took about eighty hours to finish each character. I started with four characters and then moved to six because it seemed more comfortable. I did all that work last winter and spring and boy did I think it would never be done. But I got it done. And I went on to make many strips from those drawings which will be presented here. I can hardly believe I finally have something presentable. Feels good.