1550 Science Guy.

I have written and put off so many story lines that start with Jess because they’re too complex for me to draw. I wanted this scene so bad that I managed it, even though it’s nothing like I imagined it. She appears in the first story and is seemingly not that important at first, but I wanted to introduce her because she was meant to be a key figure in how things work. I’ve always had to pull back though. There was one nearly completed story with her and Reggie that I finally gave up on because I never improved artistically fast enough to be able to consistently draw a restaurant. Of course I keep the notes, but some of those things really can’t ever be used at this point.
I almost scrapped the furry arc because I didn’t think I could convincingly portray a library. Honestly I don’t think I did, but that story needed to happen to set up other things and I couldn’t figure out a way to work it in to something else. There are so many settings I want to use but I always have to make due with what I have and can sort of make work. I’ve studied perspective and all that. Watched more tutorials than any person should be subjected to, but still never managed to come away with much. It always looks weird when I try to draw complex scenes. I’m just seeing what I can get away with here because I want Jess to have her backstory. She seems like she just bounces in and out of everyone’s lives like a magical creature when, in reality, she has an entire life of her own that she doesn’t really share with anyone. Even her brother wonders how she finds time to go to her classes. Jess is one of those people who always seem to have energy. Like she’s powered by something beyond what other people are. I know a few people like that and have never understood how they function. Even when I was young, and in relatively good health, I was always sad, or tired, or angry, and couldn’t focus, or get things done the way I wanted. Everything was a struggle and people like Jess made it look like life was so easy and the one with the problem was me. Honestly I think there’s more truth to that than I fully grasp. Some people are just better at life and that’s the way of things.
I can sit in my room and hammer away at a page for hours and never make anything as good as other people fart out in 15 minutes. I don’t have whatever it is that makes them more capable. And before you trot out that you can do anything you want to with enough hard work let me hold you back for a sec. Yeah, maybe you can, but it still may not equal out in terms of time spent compared to someone else. You can try harder than the best person in your field and still fail because you lack whatever it is that allows them to breeze through their work on a comparative level.
Jeph Jaques puts out 5 pages a week failry consitantly, and has done for more years than I have. I always sort of thought that eventually I would get to that point, but I don’t think I ever will now. I do two pages less a week and still feel like I’m treading water almost every day. Even at my peak efficiency I couldn’t pull off two more pages. I don’t know why. For some reason this is just harder for me.
To put it in to the nerdiest of terms, I feel like Krillin from Dragon Ball. He tries to keep up with Goku for a really long time, but eventually he just accepts that Goku is a monster and will always be so much better than him that there’s no point it trying to surpass him. They remain friends, but Krillin isn’t his rival in any way. On some level almost all the human cast members eventually accept that Goku is impossible to surpass. The only one who doesn’t is Vegeta because of who he is, but also because he knows he is, genetically, supposedly, superior.
I don’t know what my limits are for sure. I feel I hope I haven’t reached them. I hope I can eventually become healthy enough again to get back to where I was 3 years ago, but I don’t know if that’s realistic. All I can do is my best and hope that I’m not actually Yamcha this whole time.


Well, I don’t know about anyone else, but this

The furry arc was great and I’m looking forward to seeing how this plays out. It has already struck a chord with me …

Yamcha had a bad attitude. Vegeta had a different kind of bad attitude.

You’re definitely a Krillin. The one we identify with.

To be fair, Jeph has presaved backgrounds of most settings he can just draw his characters into.

BTW, compared to me, you’re a Piccolo at minimum. I’m lucky to be Mr. Satan.

ja, but Hercule’s ki powers are entirely dedicated to keeping him alive.

Punching that bus should have shredded the skin of his arm (especially when it got stuck). Not to mention he survived getting pimp-slapped into a mountain by Cell *without* a sensu bean.

Pretty sure some of the heads are pre-saved too. Granted he could just be that familiar with drawing them now, but sometimes I get some serious deja vu.

Just a heads up, the vote link stopped working because they changed things on their side. Removing the default.aspx at the end will fix it.


It’s something that we always do, yeah? We compare ourselves to other people all the time, even if we tell ourselves not to. It doesn’t help.

They do what they do and I do what I do and I’m doing the best I can at it and maybe it’s not up to the quality I think other people are capable of, but at least I’m actively trying to improve my work all the time. It sounds like you are too.

That’s what I tell myself anyway. Dunno if that helps any.

Krillin is the most powerful HUMAN alive in his universe. You can’t realistically compare him to aliens and say, ‘Krillian is underpowered’.

It’s like asking Mohamed Ali to box with Superman, (An awesome comic btw).

With his powers, Superman is untouchable. Because he’s not human!

Krillin is awesome.

THANK YOU! FINALLY someone gets it. I mean heck if I got a POWER UP every time I was beaten senseless I’d be a LITERAL GOD by now.

I’m curious to see how an all-out fight between Krillin and Tien would go. Tien kept training throughout the series. Let’s not forget the whole Cell debacle. I wouldn’t say Tien held up going toe-to-toe with Cell, but he did at least keep him at bay for about a minute.

Am I the only one getting a lazy eye vibe from the professor in the last panel. Just something about the left eye feels off from that perspective.

If you look closely, you’ll see the eyes are well drawn. It’s only the glasses that makes it looks like a lazy eye

Nope, look again; you can see white under the right (left from our perspective) iris, while the left touches the bottom of the eye. Definitely lazy eye or an artist error. Not a big deal either way, though. XD

Spellings (just fyi, it’s not like they detract from the comic) Panel 1 : Chapters.
Panel 3 : Acutely.

If backgrounds are the only reason we’re not getting great storylines, please feel free to set things in grey spaces with a yellow text box telling us where we are. Seriously, not one of us is going to hold it against you!

Or you can do one background, and reuse it. We won’t mind having a fix point of view. But you will, won’t you ?

Don’t worry TOO much about comparing yourself to other artists.
Yeah, Jeph Jaques might seem like a powerhouse, but click that “First” button on his site and you will see that his art started off really rough. Now click the “First” button here, and it’s also kinda rough. But the key point is, you ARE improving, and you will continue to improve… for as long as you prove to continue.

Comparing yourself to other people’s artwork is like comparing your apple pie with their roast beef. As a thing, it doesn’t make sense.

Hell, someone you idolise may be bitter that your dessert overtook their main meal (it’s not impossible), but again, the argument is silly.

The only person you need to be better than is yourself. It’s a long process, and you won’t see the changes, but they will happen. Tomorrow is a new day :)

For what it’s worth, you’re still producing more than me. I used to update three times a week when I started my comic. Then two. Then finally, when I realized I was doing more fillers than storyline-relevant comics, I knew I had to reduce it to once a week (Thankfully, because I try to give my comic a bit of a Saturday Morning Cartoon vibe, I began billing it as “The Saturday Morning Webcomic”!).

The fact that you’re updating three times a week – and using backgrounds while doing so – is mind-boggling to me. A handful of my comics have simplistic backgrounds; most have differently-colored panels to go along with the “mood” of the scene, merely highlighted by Jim Davis-inspired shadows on the wall.

To be fair, all artists have different strengths, work at different speeds, and produce different work. But I learned that if I keep comparing myself to the Jeph Jacqueses and David Willises of the world, I’m gonna be miserable with what I produce. I’m trying to focus on being the best ME that I can be, art-wise, and that’s helped me to be more productive. I’m drawing every day, pushing myself when I don’t feel artistically motivated, and I feel better for it. :-)

Say what you want about krillin he was always on the front lines. From his first appearance in dragon ball to the boo saga in z, he was fighting the big bad, always out classed. That didnt matter, krillins of the world do what must be done. They hold the line, they get the sense beans, hell they even get dragon balls on other planets so earth can have dragon balls again. Also don’t forget krillin got a happy ending, a wife and family. So yea be a krillin.

Go, Jess! Rockin’ that ponytail.

I seem to recall a similar discussion with my Faculty Advisor in the early Spring of 1977. It did not go well. If it had, I would have much different letters after my name today.

As far as the backgrounds and scenery are concerned, I agree with the several individuals who said ‘simple is better’ or that it didn’t matter. Story, story, story. I don’t tune in to see whether you can render Golden Corral perfectly. Think ‘impressionism’, not ‘realism’. A gray (or green, or mauve) silhouette in the background to suggest another table, centerpiece and diners. Shadows, not Shishkin or Shuptrine.

The idea of reusing ‘canned’ scenery is a good one, too. Do you have software that will allow you to trace a simple outline on a new layer later? Do a quick outline of a likely scene, color and save.

Just enjoy the trip, and save the OCD for something that requires it.

Talent is not a measure of skill, it’s a measure of how much effort it requires to GAIN that skill. I’m a decent writer, but can’t draw to save my life. I don’t have the “talent”, and felt that my time would be better spent putting effort into learning skills that were easier for me (“I can’t do numbers. That’s why I program computers.”)

Someone who can do both things well (like you) has my respect.

The speed of the updates doesn’t matter mate. While Jeph might have you outclassed in quantity, you vastly defeat him in quality. At least in my opinion.

I think Jeph storywise has been running on empty for a while, whereas our boss here has been evolving and improving.

Had similar line of thought. Human achievements happen in the brain. I doubt having a few more braincells or less makes a difference. The real problem IMO is everyone has different degree of brain machinery disfunction and that is where the difference in performance lies. We are not aware of it because we identify as our thoughts and the brain doesnt hurt but the brain is probably the most fragile organ of the human species. Not surprising.

Please don’t compare yourself to someone else and beat yourself up. Easier said than done, I know, I struggle with it too. But seriously, compare yourself now to yourself back when, and know that future self is going to be better yet at what you do.

FWIW, I read a number of web comics, but this one’s the only one where I pulled out the wallet at Patreon. The characters and the storylines matter to me.

Your art style has simplistic backgrounds which bring the characters to the forefront. Its not good or bad, it just is. I like it. I like how the characters dominate the page. It reinforces that your strip is about these people, and not the world that they are in. Pages feel focused.

But, I imagine that might make it hard to make complex scenes look good. Too high a line density, and things stop working, or at least, are clearly different.

You’ve done a restaurant scene where you only showed the booth they were in, I think. And, something in the library but not surrounded by books; in a hallway and an office. Both of those worked really well. I really liked the layout of the restaurant scene – its stuck with me/I remember it. You’ve done a really great job working around the constraint that backgrounds need to stay simple. Its probably frustrating to feel like that constraint is given to you, not chosen. But, you’re doing amazing work for it.

Not having the volume you want sucks, and I’m sorry about that. :( Fwiw, your quality has improved dramatically over time, which may be a result of how much attention you put in per page.

Huh. Was it already known Jess was in school for something Scientist related? Because if so I forgot.

I wonder what kind of college Jess is going to. The local one? Maybe it’s mentioned in earlier pages but I can’t remember if it is. I also wonder if this is introductory physics, or higher up – thermo or quantum or electricity and magnetism. I guess the question is, how smart is Jess meant to be? Is she simply very good, or is she a mathematical genius?

I’m attending one of the big state colleges (or equivalent, I’m from Canada) and none of my professors have really treated us like that. Too many students in the class maybe. Although some of the exceptional students in math skip years and do catch the faculty’s attention.

While you might not be able to draw a full inside of a library scene as well as you’d like, you did an amazing job of drawing parts of inside a library – the parts where your comic action is reasonably expected to happen. And people who draw the stacks well tend to be insane.

Of course, different people have different talents; we’re all different. It seems like the only thing we really have in common is that we all keep expecting other people to be like us, to think like us, to want the same things we do, and stuff. It’s insane, and so are all of us.

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