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Questions for Jeff Darlington of GPF comics? - UPDATED!!!

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:07 am
by The Layfield
Episode FOUR of Keencast will have Jeff Darlington of General Protection Fault on the show, so if you guys have anything you want to ask him (I know its a bit last minute) please put your question here and I'll pick some to ask on the air!!!!

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:04 am
by KillerFish
Hmm, "Did you base Nick off yourself or somebody you know?" springs to mind initially.

"If you could build your own Mutex, where would you go?"

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 4:58 pm
by DarkShive
1. Why are there so many character artistic style variations within GPF?

2. What or who are the inspirations for the main characters?

3. Who would win in a programming competition, Fooker or Nick?

4. What would a slime mold sound like?

5. Why is moldy old food better for slime molds than regular food?

6. What is the air-speed velocity of a European swallow?

7. What's the real deal behind Trent's nose (ignoring that cheesy explanation that hack Dan Shive came up with)?

PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2006 8:07 am
by mikejcpt
DarkShive wrote:7. What's the real deal behind Trent's nose (ignoring that cheesy explanation that hack Dan Shive came up with)?


But I like Dan's explanation.

1. Congrats on the upcoming addition to the Darlington family! (OK, I know that it isn't a question, but it simply had to be said.)
2. When will we next get to see Todd?
3. What is the Alternate Fooker's nickname?
4. Will Wallace T. Bruin be at the reception to give a toast?
5. Any upcoming crossovers planned? Nega-Nick could really help the Boss from Help Desk get back on track.
6. How much wood could a woodchuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Would the woodchuck chuck wood?

:tfgun:

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 6:32 am
by jtdarlington
If you haven't already noticed, the February 13th show... isn't there. For those who care, my interview has been rescheduled for February 27th, so I will have myself locked up in a big metal box and buried in the back yard to try and keep myself from answering questions here on the forum.

Must... answer... questions......

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 10:04 am
by The Layfield
dont answer!

PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 3:21 pm
by 10.0.0.1
There are a few things I would like to know like.

1. how far in advance is GPF written?
Jeff Darlington maintains a consistent 7 day update, which is rare in webcomics.
No matter what is happening he always strip ready so he must have a buffer of some level.

2. If the buffer is of significant length, does he ever rewrite buffered strips? If so how often?

3. Where do you draw the inspiration for your very dynamic characters from?
I admire the characters of GPF because they are not flat, Ki has the Sam horror and even Trudy has the Providence story.
Even you secondary characters have quite a bit of depth like Dr. Akhilesh Seghal who gave his a provocative and enlightening backstory.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 3:40 pm
by DarkShive
Just be sure to ask my #3 question; I will go MAD without an answer! :o

Seriously; I've been wondering about that one for a while, and there's no way I'm going to ask Jeff myself, as that would be far too easy.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 4:41 pm
by 10.0.0.1
DarkShive wrote:Just be sure to ask my #3 question; I will go MAD without an answer! :o

Seriously; I've been wondering about that one for a while, and there's no way I'm going to ask Jeff myself, as that would be far too easy.

DarkShive losing his mind? :o Yes please do ask that question.
We bunnies need Dan's brain working at the current level of odd sanity so he can continue to produce comics.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 6:40 pm
by Jamie
1. You once said that you did not include your Christian beliefs in GPF. What made you change your mind?
2. Someone has already asked if Nick was based on you or not. Are there other GPF characters based on people you know? If so, what do the people think about it?
3. You

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 9:08 am
by chris daily
we've got some good questions. any more for the Resceduled Jeff Darlington interview for tomorrow?

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 9:45 am
by Lonestarn2
Yes where did you get the inspiration for GPF please ask mine i just want to hear something i've said be reapeted by a celebrity of some sort (no offence).

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 11:51 am
by DarkShive
Was Dexter originally intended to be a purely minor character?

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 12:43 pm
by Lonestarn2
DarkShive wrote:Was Dexter originally intended to be a purely minor character?
It's kind of cool that creators of keenspot comics wonder what other creators do to make their comics. 8)

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 1:34 am
by KillerFish
I think it's more than that, Lonestarn. I think it's more that you somehow feel more validated if another webcomic author uses a similar technique or style or philosphy.

That said:

"Jeff, do you draw your strinps out as they appear on the site, or do you composite them together on a PC?"

[edit]

[to self] Clever, Daffyd, real clever. Next time check to see if the Keencast has been recorded yet, you idiot![/to self]

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:16 pm
by The Layfield
Yep, we already did the show. I'm working on it now and it should be up soon i hope.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 7:35 am
by KillerFish
Great, it's up.

You know, I never noticed that "cast" button on the GPF site before ... :D

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:30 am
by Jamie
Yes, Jeff, there is a Morganton, NC. I knew someone from there. In fact she, some gother guy, and myself went there at 3:00 AM to have doughnuts.

Jamie

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 9:34 am
by The Layfield
Jamie wrote:Yes, Jeff, there is a Morganton, NC. I knew someone from there. In fact she, some gother guy, and myself went there at 3:00 AM to have doughnuts.

Jamie


How much did Daily pay you to say that?!?!? :evil:

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 9:30 pm
by mikejcpt
When I started using the username MikeJCPT, I was enrolled in Purdue University's Computer Technology program.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 9:40 pm
by Jamie
Piccolan wrote:
Jamie wrote:Yes, Jeff, there is a Morganton, NC. I knew someone from there. In fact she, some gother guy, and myself went there at 3:00 AM to have doughnuts.

Jamie


How much did Daily pay you to say that?!?!? :evil:


Nothing, but if he gives me a $100.00 I will prove to him that the Bat Cave is in NC.

;)

Jamie

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 6:23 am
by jtdarlington
And now, since I had pre-prepared answers to the questions anyway, here's answers to all the questions that didn't get asked during the actual show:

KillerFish wrote:If you could build your own Mutex, where would you go?


That's a difficult question to answer. Assuming the multiverse cosmos exists as it does in GPF, it's theoretically possible to go anywhere. I'd probably like to see my own characters alive and in person (both GPF and some of my other projects), but I'd probably also like to visit some other places as well. I figure I could save a bundle on vacation travel by going into the MUTEX instead of going through Expedia.

DarkShive wrote:Why are there so many character artistic style variations within GPF?


It's a matter of artistic evolution. I originally designed the core characters to be very simple artistically to make drawing the strip as quick and simple as possible. I knew I wouldn't be able to do something as complex as my super hero work on a daily basis, so I made sure to distill the original style to just the basics.

However, you'll notice my super hero style began to creep back in when I would to caricatures (such as Sean Connery as Moldfinger). I did this to make the faces as recognizable as possible. Then with the bonus story of Book #2, I wanted to stretch my creative legs a bit, so I went with a more detailed style again. This is where I introduced Dr. Not, so I wanted to keep her consistent when I eventually introduced her into the strip proper. This kind of opened the door and I began to mix and match styles more often.

If you look very carefully, you'll noticed that all the characters, include the core cast, are drawn slightly more realistically that they used to be. However, I always make sure their faces remain as consistent as possible.

DarkShive wrote:What or who are the inspirations for the main characters?


Nick and Ki are loosely based on me and my wife, although there are enough significant differences now that we are more like rough templates from which they have greatly evolved. Fooker started out as an amalgamation of several geeky friends of mine, then morphed into the ubergeek we know today. The other characters, however, are almost completely fiction, so I assume that the only place they could have come from is somewhere in my head. This extremely frightening when you try to trace where Trudy came from.

DarkShive wrote:What would a slime mold sound like?


Very squishy, I would think. Like a blob of pudding gooping its way down the stairs. Although I suspect their voices are rather normal. After all, Professor Wisebottom did say Fred has a marvelous singing voice....

DarkShive wrote:Why is moldy old food better for slime molds than regular food?


I suspect it has something to do with their nutritional requirements, like they need conventional mold to break down certain complex proteins and carbohydrates into simpler sugars. Either that, or it's funnier that way.

DarkShive wrote:What is the air-speed velocity of a European swallow?


I'm assuming you mean unladen. Style.org has a great page about this. Their estimate is 11 meters per second for metric folks or 24 miles per hour for Imperial. Don't ask about African swallows; everyone knows they're just stuck up snobs.

DarkShive wrote:What's the real deal behind Trent's nose (ignoring that cheesy explanation that hack Dan Shive came up with)?


Actually, I kind of like Dan Shive's explanation, but it technically isn't canon. But I suppose the real question is why does Trent's nose always seem to vary in length. I could say I'm just lazy and don't bother to be consistent, but I'll take the geeky way out and say it's an optical illusion caused by forced perspective and excessive shine from his copious hair gel. (How else do you think that hair works?)

mikejcpt wrote:Congrats on the upcoming addition to the Darlington family! (OK, I know that it isn't a question, but it simply had to be said.)


Thanks. :D

mikejcpt wrote:When will we next get to see Todd?


We might see him pop up within this year's story. I will mention that I'm still working on a spin-off to Surreptitious Machinations where we find out exactly what happens to Todd and Empress Trudy immediately after SM ends. Unfortunately, I don't have a release date set for this project yet, as I've got a few too many irons in the fire at the moment. However, the script is written and I'm about a fifth of the way through, so I will be releasing it eventually.

mikejcpt wrote:What is the Alternate Fooker's nickname?


I think the February 12th strip explains this clearly enough. (Or as clearly as you'll get out of me.)

mikejcpt wrote:Will Wallace T. Bruin be at the reception to give a toast?


I'm not sure yet. Like Surreptitious Machinations, I intended to bring in a lot of minor secondary characters that have appeared over the years, if only for brief cameos. I've already thrown in some like Butch Kilgore (Fooker's bully) and Adam Sedgewikki (the Code-A-Holics Anonymous guy) in a few upcoming strips. At this point, all I can say is to keep reading, as there may be a few surprises.

mikejcpt wrote:How much wood could a woodchuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Would the woodchuck chuck wood?


One cord per hour, provided optimal wood chucking conditions. And only if he's paid above minimum wage. Woodchucks are unionized, you know.

10.0.0.1 wrote:If the buffer [of comics drawn in advance] is of significant length, does he ever rewrite buffered strips? If so how often?


(The answer to the "how far are the strips drawin in advance" question is of course in the show itself.)

Once I get to the final scripting/penciling/inking/digital editing phase, the strip is pretty much finalized. I may reword a few things or reposition characters for better composition, but usually once the comic is finished and uploaded, it's set in stone. At that point, the only time I'll make a change is to correct spelling or grammatical errors.

Beyond that, the timeline is pretty malleable. I'll rearrange things if needed or if I come up with a better idea. However, I don't really change things based on reader comments or suggestions. I may throw in a more detailed explanation in a later strip of something that happened in an early comic if questions are raised, but I won't rewrite something completely.

10.0.0.1 wrote:Where do you draw the inspiration for your very dynamic characters from?


I'm not really sure. Personally, I think that's my biggest strength: writing dynamic, vibrant, realistic characters. Of course, there are plenty of people who may disagree, but this is the most common complement I usually receive.

When writing realistic characters, it helps to be a good observer of human nature. I like to watch people's reactions to things, and try to get into their heads and figure out why they react the way they do. There could be a number of reasons why someone may do something, and I try to include that into my writing. Ideally, I like my readers to put themselves into the character's shoes and discover for themselves why a character behaves a certain way. To me, that makes the character more real.

Oh, and I was clearly wrong in the podcast: 10.0.0.1 wouldn't be a Class C private IP class; it would be Class A (subnet 255.0.0.0). How's that for egg on my face. :oops: :wink:

Lonestarn2 wrote:Yes where did you get the inspiration for GPF please ask mine i just want to hear something i've said be reapeted by a celebrity of some sort (no offence).


Not that I'm that much of a celebrity (definitely a T- or U-list celebrity at most)....

The story is briefly outlined in the GPF FAQ, but it isn't entirely interesting. I was bored one day at work. While I let a coworker web surf on my PC, I sat in the back of my cube with a notepad and pen and let inspiration run away with me. I don't remember any conscious design process; several minutes later I had these five characters doodled on a single page. I thought they looked pretty cool, so over the course of a few months I began writing random individual strips and short stories with these characters. A few story ideas began to form, so I began to develop a plan to interconnect these stories into something more cohesive. In all, I spent well over a year plotting and planning the first several years of the comic before it went online.

DarkShive wrote:Was Dexter originally intended to be a purely minor character?


Yes. As his cast page states, he's sort of a happy accident. He originally started as a one-off joke in the Code-A-Holics Anonymous story, but then I kept coming up with reasons to use him. Then after Surreptitious Machinations, the fact that Fooker and Trudy were gone left a vacuum in the cast, so I tapped Dexter to help fill in the gap. It was then that he really began to develop. One of my favorite character evolutions is to take former antagonists and turn them into protagonists, and Dex was an excellent candidate for that.

KillerFish wrote:Jeff, do you draw your strinps out as they appear on the site, or do you composite them together on a PC?


I'm assuming what you're really asking about is if I draw the comic all by hand or is it done completely in the computer. The answer is actually a little bit of both. The behind-the-scenes page gives a brief overview, but I draw all the line art by hand, scan it in at a high resolution (600 dpi for eventual printing), and then finish off the clean-up work, text, and coloring on the computer.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 12:45 am
by 10.0.0.1
jtdarlington wrote:
10.0.0.1 wrote:Where do you draw the inspiration for your very dynamic characters from?


I'm not really sure. Personally, I think that's my biggest strength: writing dynamic, vibrant, realistic characters. Of course, there are plenty of people who may disagree, but this is the most common complement I usually receive.

When writing realistic characters, it helps to be a good observer of human nature. I like to watch people's reactions to things, and try to get into their heads and figure out why they react the way they do. There could be a number of reasons why someone may do something, and I try to include that into my writing. Ideally, I like my readers to put themselves into the character's shoes and discover for themselves why a character behaves a certain way. To me, that makes the character more real.

Oh, and I was clearly wrong in the podcast: 10.0.0.1 wouldn't be a Class C private IP class; it would be Class A (subnet 255.0.0.0). How's that for egg on my face. :oops: :wink:

Don