Ask me something

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Re: Ask me something

Postby rcmonroe on Mon Apr 14, 2008 9:40 am

Westerberg.

You got the avocation right, though.
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Re: Ask me something

Postby SAGG on Tue Jul 22, 2008 3:22 pm

RC, are you planning to go to the Comic con, and have you been to any, and if you did, how did it help you? :D
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Re: Ask me something

Postby rcmonroe on Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:19 pm

I'm going, I'll be at the Keenspot booth (see prominent ad right above the comic on my home page).

I went last year. I don't know if it "helped" me any; I had a good time, though. I was hoping I'd sell a bunch of books, but that didn't happen. I know now what to expect from it. Maybe some day my strip will be popular enough that I can actually make money by going to the Con; in the meantime, the money I spend on it is negligible considering the enjoyment I get out of going.
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Re: Ask me something

Postby SAGG on Wed Jul 23, 2008 6:51 am

rcmonroe wrote:I'm going, I'll be at the Keenspot booth (see prominent ad right above the comic on my home page).


:oops: I--uh, um (crawls off very slowly)...




:D
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Nitpick

Postby BogusBill on Fri Aug 15, 2008 12:17 pm

Congratulations on an entertaining and well-conceived strip. I have one little issue...

When James uses the term "y'all," he often uses it addressing only one person. "Y'all" is a contraction of "you all," and any true Southerner only uses it in the plural. "You" would be used for the singular. Plus, you often misspell it "Ya'll."

I know there are more important things to worry about, but that's just me. Thanks for a great comic.

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Re: Ask me something

Postby rcmonroe on Fri Aug 15, 2008 2:19 pm

A guy who reviewed my strip awhile back brought up that same point.

I'm aware that Southerners use "y'all" only to address more than one person. But James isn't from the South. He's from the Northeast. James alternates freely between "street" slang and the King's English, and he doesn't care what anybody thinks about it.

As for misspelling it "ya'll", well, that's just because I'm an idiot.

Thanks for reading.
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Re: Ask me something

Postby Serge Stiles on Tue Sep 16, 2008 6:34 am

Have you ever drawn any of your characters in a situation or doing something that they would probably never do or we'd never see in the actual comic?

Usually done for the sake of amusement - in my case. There are other reasons, too, but I guess that depends on the *situations.*[*] And often times just seen by me (and friends who would get it, if there's an inside joke or such involved... Or shown in public for a shock factor).

Also, do you get a lot of fanart? I see a few on your website, but I was surprised not to see a Fan Art section. Been considering doing something myself...
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Re: Ask me something

Postby rcmonroe on Tue Sep 16, 2008 10:41 pm

Serge Stiles wrote:Have you ever drawn any of your characters in a situation or doing something that they would probably never do or we'd never see in the actual comic?


Almost all the time I'm drawing, I'm drawing the strip; either that or some type of promotional drawing like for an ad or for one of the books. I never seem to find the time to draw "just for the fun of it." So basically you guys have seen almost every drawing I've ever done of my characters. Anyway, at least in Miriam's case, what would she not do? She'd do almost anything.

Serge Stiles wrote:Also, do you get a lot of fanart? I see a few on your website, but I was surprised not to see a Fan Art section. Been considering doing something myself...


The fan art you've seen is all the fan art I've gotten. I guess my readers are too busy to do fan art. I can't blame them, I've never done any either. Like I said, I never seem to have time to draw anything other than the strip.

But if you feel motivated, go for it. I'll put it up on the site, provided it wouldn't offend the average grandmother.
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Re: Ask me something

Postby kanthalion on Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:29 pm

Is John Buddist, by chance?

Why didn't you use real city names, it's not like you would risk copyright infringement?
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Re: Ask me something

Postby rcmonroe on Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:06 pm

A few people have asked if John's Buddhist, and a few others have just assumed he is.

I leave it to the reader to decide what John's spiritual affiliation is, if any. As far as I know, his lifestyle would not preclude him from practicing any of the major religions (nor many of the minor ones), so he can be whatever you want him to be.

I chose not to use real city names because I wanted the focus to be on the characters and not the locale. Miriam needed a destination that was far away, so the only decision was whether she was heading one way or the other. I flipped a coin and decided she was heading East. But her story could take place in San Diego California, Portland Maine or anywhere in between.
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Re: Ask me something

Postby diddledop on Sat Sep 20, 2008 11:04 am

I know we've met Miriam's mom. BTW, whas she up to lately?

But --- have we met Sherry's or will we ever?
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Re: Ask me something

Postby rcmonroe on Sat Sep 20, 2008 4:28 pm

I'm planning to have Mir's mom make an appearance again, but I haven't written it yet so it may be awhile.

Sherry's parents don't exist in my head yet, so I can't say if or when they'll show up.
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Re: Ask me something

Postby diddledop on Tue Sep 23, 2008 3:19 am

Thank you.

Siblings for either Miriam and/or Sherry? I'm not even sure if they do exist or if they've ever been mentioned (if only in passing).
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Re: Ask me something

Postby Serge Stiles on Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:23 am

rcmonroe wrote:Almost all the time I'm drawing, I'm drawing the strip; either that or some type of promotional drawing like for an ad or for one of the books. I never seem to find the time to draw "just for the fun of it." So basically you guys have seen almost every drawing I've ever done of my characters. Anyway, at least in Miriam's case, what would she not do? She'd do almost anything.


Well, I guess you could draw her killing someone maybe? LOL.
That's interesting. Never even on like a napkin while you're waiting for your food at a really slow restaurant? Haha.

I had another question, and I read through this so I think it wasn't asked before...

Were there any 'working names' you had for any of the characters? Like you weren't sure of a name yet, so you just used any name? Although sometimes even that random name that's supposed to be temporary sticks, so that could be a possiblity too. Like The Monkey Island series, Guybrush Threepwood's character was just named Guy as a temporary name when they finished designing his character, and when he was saved in the program, it made him Guy.brush - so they kept it. But I digress...

So like any previous names, considered names, or anyone who was more difficult to think of a name for?
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Re: Ask me something

Postby rcmonroe on Fri Sep 26, 2008 1:05 pm

Let's see… Rod was originally named Rob—in fact I inadvertently called him that once or twice in a strip but I caught it and fixed it before you guys saw it.

Araceli was going to be called something else, but I can't remember what it was now.

It took awhile for me to come up with a name for Miriam's mother… although that doesn't mean much to you people since I haven't actually used her name in a strip yet. Next time she shows up, she'll have a name.

It also took me awhile to come up with a last name for Miriam. I think I've used her last name twice. Anybody remember where? (Class Project!)
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Re: Ask me something

Postby Serge Stiles on Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:29 pm

Oh man, I can't even remember if I registered her last name if I ever came across it, cause I don't remember ever reading it, LOL.

I have another random question that seems menial, but I like the details...
...What colour is John's tent? LOL
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Re: Ask me something

Postby rcmonroe on Sat Sep 27, 2008 1:46 pm

Serge Stiles wrote:I have another random question that seems menial, but I like the details...
...What colour is John's tent? LOL


That sounds like innuendo to me, I'm not sure why.

Anyway, lets go with khaki.
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Re: Ask me something

Postby Serge Stiles on Sat Sep 27, 2008 4:16 pm

... LOL, I didn't even think about that. ... (For once)

I just wanted to see if I was right - and I was! Lol.

I have another one... along the same lines. If you drew your characters with something other than black dot eyes, what colour would you have each of their eyes be?
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Re: Ask me something

Postby rcmonroe on Mon Sep 29, 2008 12:36 am

Serge Stiles wrote:I have another one... along the same lines. If you drew your characters with something other than black dot eyes, what colour would you have each of their eyes be?


Let's see…

Miriam—Green
Sherry, Wally, Rebecca, Rod—Blue
John, Araceli, Chuck, James (assuming he has eyes)—Brown
Steven, Clayton—Hazel

Is that everyone?
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Re: Ask me something

Postby Serge Stiles on Mon Sep 29, 2008 1:04 am

I guessed Miriam right, I always assumed she would have green eyes. (Might be because Kim Possible makes me think how much red hair goes well with green eyes.)

For some reason I thought of John having hazel-ish coloured eyes, but brown also fits him, too.
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Re: Ask me something

Postby diddledop on Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:14 am

Why didn't you just make 2 & 3 one panel today?
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Re: Ask me something

Postby rcmonroe on Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:57 pm

Because,

1) I didn't wanna.
2) I'm married to the four-panel layout.
3) I was hoping somebody would comment on it.

(By the way, see panels 2 & 3 here, panels 2 & 3 here, and panels 1 & 2 here. It's my new favorite trick.
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Re: Ask me something

Postby Serge Stiles on Fri Oct 03, 2008 7:09 pm

I was actually going to comment and say that I liked it, LOL. Visually, I always like when two frames line up into one, but still have the divide.
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Re: Ask me something

Postby camidumas on Sat Oct 04, 2008 1:17 am

Miriam's last name is Murphy.

I like this strip a lot. The story is told in a very simple, almost minimalist, Shakespearean-style romantic comedy (two boys, two girls, some friends, some history, some booze, hilarity ensues). Too many stories -- webcomics especially -- gum up the works by throwing in... space aliens or some Tennessee Williams baroquery like suicide, that show their insecurity with the difficulty of telling a simple story. The characters have grown in a consistent and plausible way, instead of suddenly morphing inexplicably into virgins or incest survivors. Sure, this is all Storytelling 101 but it never ceases to amaze me how often webcomics flunk that mama.

I also really like that although John could come across as very saccharine, that he's well balanced and snappy. (I hear his dialogue with the voice of a slightly tetchy Cary Grant.) There's a bit of the too-good-to-be-trueness in his character that does twang wrong every so often but you keep it to a minimum. The pacing is also good enough that I don't get annoyed wondering will-they-won't-they or about John's Mysterious Past (where even Girl Genius, which I consider the top example of the craft online, has suffered a couple of years now of extreme periods of complete pace breakdown).

However, if it turns out either that John's past is simply some Michael Landon-ish thing where he really does just float around angelically helping people, or, the reverse, that he Witnessed Some Tennessee Williams Drama that Broke His Spirit and/or Caused Him Severe Sexual Issues, gosh, those would disappoint the hell out of me. Perfection is boring -- either perfect brokenness or perfect niceness. Neither of these have been that strongly suggested but I'm poison-ivy sensitive to even the tiniest hints because I've seen them completely muck up any number of reasonable webcomics. I suppose the problem is, the characters were conceived when the serial writer was more inexperienced, and by the time the bomb goes off, it has become difficult to face going in and disarming it (where as one who writes complete stories, a novelist or even a short story writer, can go back in time to set things right without anyone being the wiser). It _is_ right to disarm the bomb -- Anthony and Elizabeth should not be married, for example -- if the characters would be destroyed if it went off. But it does take confidence -- which brings us back to the beginning.

So, to ask a question of RC: are you generally happy with how the characters have come out? Do you have a lot more stories to tell with this gang? Have you put in any material you trip over now? Both the trip to Clayton's house and the trip to Oceanic City seemed a bit like you weren't as into them as you were into your other material -- thoughts?
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Re: Ask me something

Postby rcmonroe on Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:36 am

camidumas wrote:Too many stories -- webcomics especially -- gum up the works by throwing in... space aliens or some Tennessee Williams baroquery like suicide, that show their insecurity with the difficulty of telling a simple story. The characters have grown in a consistent and plausible way, instead of suddenly morphing inexplicably into virgins or incest survivors. Sure, this is all Storytelling 101 but it never ceases to amaze me how often webcomics flunk that mama.


I can't even begin to tell you how much I'm with you on this. But to each his own; some people think Out There is "boring" because "nothing happens." I don't begrudge them their opinion or their space aliens.

camidumas wrote:So, to ask a question of RC: are you generally happy with how the characters have come out? Do you have a lot more stories to tell with this gang? Have you put in any material you trip over now? Both the trip to Clayton's house and the trip to Oceanic City seemed a bit like you weren't as into them as you were into your other material -- thoughts?


Now that I have the benefit of hindsight, I can see a dozen things I could have done better, or differently, or not at all. If I were doing this thing over, I wouldn't have had Miriam become instantly intrigued by John and coerce him into riding with her right away; it seems a little too pat to me now. But what's done is done. I'm generally happy with the characters, but I wish I had more room/time to develop some of them more. When I started out I knew Miriam was going to be the star of the show but I thought John and Sherry and some of the others might have their own adventures apart from her. They do, but those vignettes tend to be very short because if they go on for too long then Miriam's tale has to be put on hold and I need for the focus to stay on her, because there's so much more I want to do with her. Now I generally only feature the other characters if whatever they're doing or talking about somehow relates to Miriam. Maybe at some point this will change; maybe at some point someone else will take over as the main character. But for now it's the quirky redhead's party.

I hesitated at first to introduce a gay character, because they've almost become a webcomics cliché; seems like every strip has to have one. But I realized that was as stupid a reason to not have one as it would be to have one. But I didn't force myself to come up with one, because I figured it would show. So I waited until one hit me in the face. Actually when I devised Araceli's character she wasn't going to be a lesbian. Somehow, she let me know that she was.

Some stories fare better than others; I was happy with the all-nighter at Clayton's but less so with the Oceanic City trip. It's pretty subjective as to which stories work the best, and they can't all be winners; that's the nature of the daily comic strip. It's one of the things I like about the form; the challenge of getting something out there every day keeps me on my toes. Some of the tales fall flat, but it spurs me to do better next time.

Anyway, yeah; I have more stories to tell. I'll keep tellin' 'em as long as they'll let me.
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