Feature

Local Heroes

I've had this idea for an online comic strip about the misadventures of a bunch of superheroes for well over a year, but I've been dragging my feet on actually making it happen. Rather than keep putting it off, I've decided to start posting minimalist versions of Local Heroes strips. You can check out the first three strips at www.LocalHeroes.us.

The strips are pencils only--no inks or colors. Maybe someday I'll go back and polish them up a bit, but for now the pencil-only versions will have to do.

There's a few reasons why I took so long getting this strip going.

First, I was too much of a perfectionist about the main characters. I knew I wanted to incorporate many of the half-completed characters, organizations, and plotline ideas I've come up with over the years. Squire would be young Teddy Doucette from the Heroes Incorporated comic I created years ago. Legion was one of my favorite Champions RPG characters, and his UNIONS super-franchise would be the hero organization that would allow me to pull virtually any hero I created from my past into the storylines. I wanted the other main Local Heroes characters to be archetypical hero-types, each one representing various eras of comic books, but to "do it right" I kinda needed to make them from scratch. I sketched, researched, modified, and tweaked them since I first came up with the strip idea. I'm pretty happy with the characters now, and in a way am glad I put off creating the strip because I feel they ended up being more fleshed out and archetypical than if I started publishing the strip a year ago. Problem solved!

Second, I wanted to use Movable Type's capabilities to take care of both the news portions of the site as well as the comics archives. One benefit would be that all postings would be in one entries archives, making searching through past posts of any category way easier. This all-in-one archive concept was a big deterrent, because I'm pretty sure it couldn't be done a couple of years ago (without doing some hardcore modifications of the Movable Type scripts). A few months ago I found some MT plug-ins that were perfect for what I needed. Problem solved!

And Thirdly, while I may be eager, expeditious, and even aggressive when I am helping with someone else's project, I have no sense of urgency when creating something of my own. I actually had a close-to-final first storyline script done pretty early into development, kept dreading going through the various steps required to properly make a fully-inked, full color strip. So recently I decided to just go with pencils and letters. Problem solved--well, sort of. Maybe some day I'll get an inker and colorist to help. Or maybe just become a creative director and publisher.

Now we'll see how long it takes for me to put up a new strip. :]

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Gil commented at 11:25 AM on May 3, 2005:

Dude. At least ink it. Who cares if it's colored? Plenty of other daily strips out there that are only inked. Saying you are a "perfectionist" or that you "..have no sense of urgency when creating something of (your) own," isn't gonna cut it. Just bite the F'ing bullet and put up a finished strip 3 times a week. Half-hearted attempts are only going to get you half-hearted results.

Count me in for any help you may need.

Nobody commented at 12:05 PM on May 3, 2005:

Thanks for your feedback. However, I am going to dismiss it until you also attempt to create an online comic with the completelness and schedule you suggest.

I'll post another one next Monday.

Gil commented at 1:08 PM on May 3, 2005:

Never dismiss my feedback...

Nobody commented at 1:27 PM on May 3, 2005:

Besides, maybe I'll saved the inked version for the compilation comic book, to give you something to look foward to. Why else would you buy it?

(Also, some of the future strips I have in the can aren't so sloppy looking. Some parts may even look inked already.)

Susan commented at 1:52 PM on May 3, 2005:

Oooh! fight! fight! Let's see some many fists a swingin'!

Susan commented at 1:52 PM on May 3, 2005:

By "many", I mean "manly".

Sigh.

Gil commented at 2:33 PM on May 3, 2005:

I got your manly fight right here.

*Pulls out a half-dozen furless Gerbils, five Gallon bucket of KY, and a three foot long piece of PVC pipe.*

Bring it buddy!

Shawn commented at 1:15 PM on May 4, 2005:

Really nice start. Good compostion and nice kinetic energy (art skool jargon @ work). 3 a week? thats a lot!
but....

inking is the FUN part! Coloring, if done without crappy gradients, is EASY. Ink your strip, don't be a wusbahg.:0

They aren't sloppy, just unfinished! But, as you said, you can make them look pretty slick just in pencil.
Really nice job. Don't blow it off and stop. keep GOING!!!
:)
Shawn

Nobody commented at 7:23 PM on May 4, 2005:

For those who don't know, Gil and I used to do a (mostly) bi-weekly strip for SWG Stratics. Here's the link: http://swg.stratics.com/content/feature/agahw/agahw001.shtml

Gil commented at 5:33 AM on May 5, 2005:

Bwah-hahahahahah! "You speak Wookiee?"

Classic...

Ah the good 'ole days.

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