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Postby Scatman on Sat Nov 24, 2001 5:23 am

Thanks for dropping by, Johnny & Ward. It's good to hear from you.<P>Johnny, I had a case of Guiness to give out as a prize. Of course I had to have one to make sure it wasn't stale, and one thing led to another...Anyhow, you'll have to settle for my wife and I naming our first born after you whenever that time comes.<P>I haven't submitted anything to the syndicates since Comics Edge. While I think my work has improved, I also think that the characters' personalities are only now really evolving. Lester, for example, is getting a little more cranky. I just think cranky is funnier. I also think that waiting a few months will allow me to submit a more polished product. When I only have about 30 strips to sell my idea, I want them to look good, read well and most of all be funny.<P>I read over at wimpystuntmen's board about your submissions. I can identify with the disappointment of receiving thse little, thin envelopes back from the syndicates. But at least I have confidence that improvements are being made, and my next submissions will be better. Any more news on your end?
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Postby Scatman on Sat Nov 24, 2001 5:44 am

Welcome! Thanks for checking out Home Fries and the forum. Feel free to let us know what you think about the site or any other comics issues. It doesn't matter if your a professional cartoonist or a fan, let's hear from everyone!
As the site builds a following, and we hear from more and more people, I hope that the forum will become one of your favorite spots on the web.
Thanks again!
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Postby Throbbin Johnny on Sat Nov 24, 2001 8:28 am

ALOHA! Nice to see the forum up and running! Best of luck w/Home Fries. Any submissions to the syndicates yet? Responses?<P>And, since J.Diddy is your first official poster here, does Johnny win a door prize?<P>"Throbbin' Johnny
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Postby Justward on Sat Nov 24, 2001 8:51 am

I love the toons. They keep a rocking!<P>Ward
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Postby Throbbin Johnny on Sun Nov 25, 2001 8:00 am

Johnny received a personal rejection letter from United on 11/14, where the comics editor(Amy Lago) wrote what Johnny should work on improving on his toon. Johnny was already in the process of retooling the toon, and her suggestions were positive reenforcement that Johnny's on the right path! Johnny will also wait to re-submit, probably by the end of Feb.2002. <P>This is the best letter from a syndicate yet, and Johnny looks at it like it's a dirty JPEG!! Lately, it's been all about improving the toon...day or night.<P>Keep working on it! <P>"Throbbin' Johnny
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Postby Scatman on Mon Nov 26, 2001 1:40 am

Glad to have you join the forum, Greg. I'm more than willing to talk a little trash. Let me get a few beers in me, and I'll be ready to bash anything.
Maybe that's a good way to get people over to the forum. I can be the Jerry Springer of the cartoon world. Any transvestite midgets care to reply?
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Postby Yupyop on Mon Nov 26, 2001 6:19 am

Talk trash? As Throbbing and I showed during the final days at CE we got too much class for such activities.
So Lester is becoming cranky. Do you worry you might become too close to CRANKSHAFT?
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Postby GregCartoonist on Mon Nov 26, 2001 7:20 am

Hey Guys! Didn't want you to think I wasn't lurking around. <P>Let's talk trash until a really hot thread gets rolling.<P>Uhmmmm...<P>The queen is a man!<P>%$#@!<P>*&%$!<P>Say, are these threads censored?
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Postby Scatman on Tue Nov 27, 2001 7:14 am

Glad to have you here, Yupyop. I probably should investigate Crankshaft more to avoid character similarities. I don't get Crankshaft in my local paper. But Lester is only getting a little more cranky, and more accurately, impatient.<P>I wanted to avoid the cranky old man stereotype, but I think I made him too cheerful and affable for the CE run. I think that people will be able to identify better with a character that shows more human flaws. <P>I see Lester as sharing more traits with Ralph Cramden. He's generally pretty happy until Norton (in Lester's case, Warren) pushes his buttons as is likely to happen.<P>I think there's more potential for humor this way. Any thoughts?
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Postby Scatman on Wed Nov 28, 2001 2:31 am

I always assumed "piehole" was a place to stick pies, of the fruit or cream variety. Am I really naive? Now that I think about it, someone looking for things to be offended about could read other meanings into it. If that's the case, I guess a "Shut yer yap!" would have been better.
Do you think I owe an apololgy to my Aunt Rosaline?
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Postby GregCartoonist on Wed Nov 28, 2001 6:07 am

Yo, Scott. Catch a couple of the Crankshaft books at the local bookstore. It always pays to know what has gone before. Then there's the classic stuff with older guys in bit parts... Gasoline Alley, Katzenjammer kids... You might wanna look at 'Pop's Place'. Pop isn't really 'old' old, but I remember him being cantankerous.
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Postby Yupyop on Wed Nov 28, 2001 6:17 am

Today's strip (11/28) is a good example, I suspect, of what you were talking about in your last post. The gag is very funny and the art gives a visual boost to the gag.
Today's nitpick. Would Lester use the word "piehole"? Or would someone like Lester say "Shut up!"?
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Postby Yupyop on Wed Nov 28, 2001 6:29 am

How common is the slang among Lester's age group? Is he picking up bad habits from that grandson?
BTW, I liked the way you avoided a static look by moving the POV in and out. But why in Panel 2 is Warren looking at us instead of Lester?
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Postby GregCartoonist on Wed Nov 28, 2001 9:30 am

I think Lester would use the editor/syndicate-friendly "Pipe down!" or "Hush up" or suchlike.<P>No sense offending Widow Churchchoir or Mr. Morningcoffee. Not if you want editors to demand your strip in their papers.
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Postby Scatman on Thu Nov 29, 2001 5:56 am

I'm really not sure how long piehole has been around. On M*A*S*H I heard Hawkeye tell Frank Burns to stick something in his cakehole, so I assume variations have been around since the Korean War. <P>Every generation has its own slang. Maybe I can add some colors to Lester's dialogue if I learn a little slang from his era.
I had Warren looking out at us in panel 2 to appear as if he's just enjoying the unappreciated beauty of a windy day. I also thought that his looking away from Lester would make it more plausible that he didn't notice Lester's dog flying in the air.<P>In any event, my wife commented once that the dialogue sometimes seems too proper for such down to earth characters. I'm trying to make the dialogue a little more convincing. Thanks for the input. Any other thoughts on the subject?
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Postby Throbbin Johnny on Thu Nov 29, 2001 6:40 am

Here's a posible storyline...Lester starts using inappropriate slang that he picks up...from his Grandson! That would explain slang like piehole, and maybe give you a few more days of shockvalue. Just a thought...<P>Also, as far as slang goes, Johnny once did a search for slang sites, relative to Johnny's toon(characters are 20-somethings). Johnny found several, and even one that you can add to. There are sites out there, maybe even for Lester's age group. <P>IJO, start watching old movies, and keep a pen and paper handy, and jot down interesting words/slang. Often, J.Diddy goes through the dictionary looking for words, some Diddy knows about and wants to verify, others to be re-discovered. Just another thought...<P>Well, off to take Momma Diddy out shopping. If Johnny learns any old terms today, will post...<P>"Throbbin' Johnny
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Postby Yupyop on Thu Nov 29, 2001 7:28 am

Comics are all first reaction. The reader spends just enough time to read and react then they are off to read THE BUCKETS. You don't want to think too much about a gag beyond your first reaction. Why is Warren outside? Why doesn't he see the dog? How long is that leash?
I think you had too many panels. Panel One could have had Warren walking into the wind, his head down as he holds his hat on his head. Panel Two would be the punchline, Warren looks up and gets blown out of the panel. But who cares! Wednesday gag was funny the way you did it.
"Piehole" has no effect on Wednesday gag, but having a character do or say something out of character can distract the reader. This is something you can't think too much about. Today's gag exists to entertain the reader, but it's your characters that will keep the readers reading you for decades.
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Postby Scatman on Thu Nov 29, 2001 8:13 am

Yupyop, I really appreciate your last post. Thers are days the dialogue seems to come easily, and days I agonize over the precise wording. The agonizing takes all the fun out of it. I tell myself that cartoonists working on a daily deadline can't afford to nitpick every sentence. Eventually I have to stop reworking one strip and move on to the next.<P>Trying to apply too much logic can also kill an idea. Comics can be either realistic like For Better or For Worse, or completely surreal like Down to Earth or, at times, Dilbert. I never wanted Home Fries to be so realistic that I was handcuffed when I had a far-out gag that I couldn't resist.<P>I think this is just part of the growing pains for a cartoonist and a concept. The characters are still evolving at this point. I hope that as the characters develop, I'll know instinctively what they'd say and how they'd say it. I'll be hearing their voices as if they were real. That's all I need, more voices in my head.<P>I'll start a new thread very soon to address how long a concept should be allowed to develop before it's time to move on to the next idea. There was a thread at toontalk about two months ago that touched on the topic, but I found some of the opinions hard to accept. I just don't want to kill this thread prematurely. This is good stuff. Thanks.<P>
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Postby Scatman on Sat Dec 01, 2001 9:42 am

Thanks, Ronski. One of the nicest and toughest parts about cartooning is moving on to the next strip. It's great when I can let go of an idea that I've struggled with, and tough in that I know a new idea has to be ready to go.<P>On occasion I have a day when the idea comes to me out of nowhere, I get the sketching done on the first draft, and the wording falls into place. I love those days.<P>I know there's a thread at toontalk debating a forklift gag of yours. If you're like me, you're probably surprised at what some people want to debate. But I guess input can't hurt as long as you use your own judgement to make the final call.<P>By the way, I really like the interaction between your characters. Are you using a different process for outlining the colorized toons? They look really good, but so did your black & whites.<P>Johnny & Yupyop, I like the idea of Lester picking up bad habits from Andy, and vice-verse. I especially think it would be funny if Lester was to completely misuse the slang in an attempt to be hip.
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Postby Ronski46 on Sat Dec 01, 2001 12:42 pm

Hey, nice forum, Scott! And I just read through a few of your strips. Very good gags and artwork. The writing sounds natural.<P>Like Yupyop said--in so many words--it's not too good to overanalyze a strip and agonize over every word. Yeah, sometimes a word change or two will help, but if you've got a good story, it'll stand up. There's <I>always</I> another way you coulda did it! But then you have another strip to do, so you have to let that one go and move on.<P>(I say this, but I just went back and redrew the final panel in my last strip, then reposted it on the web. What a liar I am!)<P>I thought the dog in the wind worked fine.<P>Anyway, nice work all around!<P>------------------
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