Ask me something

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Re: Ask me something

Postby Serge Stiles on Sun Oct 05, 2008 8:24 pm

I can say that I do like extreme drama in comics/graphic novels/anything, or serious things like a crazy past that comes out of nowhere that we know nothing about that just makes your mind go in a whirl, or random near-death experiences, or love relations that you don't expect would happen... But I also absolutely love when comics that are like Out There really work, because it's not easy to do. I would not mind if Out There went a little more dramatic, but I also would love for it to continue as it is. It's kind of like with John's past... I'm really content thinking he's always been like he just because that's the way he is, but then if he had some sort of extremely upsetting past, it also would be interesting as well. So I go either way, so I know atleast I won't be disappointed with whatever I find out, LOL. I did have a random dream about his past that entertains me for the moment, but I know it probably wouldn't happen... But it's fun to let your imagination flourish from things you love.

Although, yeah, something like aliens just doesn't work for everything. And definitely not OT, LOL.

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


And we'll be here to listen! :)
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Re: Ask me something

Postby rcmonroe on Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:08 am

Serge Stiles wrote:I can say that I do like extreme drama in comics/graphic novels/anything


Almost all comics, past and present, feature crazy/fantastic/impossible scenarios, since comics easily lend themselves to that kind of stuff. I think there's room for simpler, down-to-earth stories as well, and to me they have more appeal, perhaps because the overly dramatic and/or outlandish has been done to death, while the realistic has been explored far less often. I'm more of the Harvey Pekar school than of the almost-everybody-else school, but I like some wacked-out comics as well.

Serge Stiles wrote:But I also absolutely love when comics that are like Out There really work, because it's not easy to do.


It's easy for me to do. It would be difficult for me to do something else.

Serge Stiles wrote:I would not mind if Out There went a little more dramatic, but I also would love for it to continue as it is.


What's happening in the strip right now (Miriam's difficulty with dealing with rejection) is, to me, dramatic. It's not space aliens but it's dramatic. I don't shy away from drama but I try to stay away from melodrama, or anything that feels to me like a cheap attempt to manipulate the reader's emotions. It's hard to define. But I've definitely rejected some ideas on the basis of "there's no reason for this to happen except to make people go, 'Awwwwwww!'" There needs to be a better reason for the drama than that, as far as I'm concerned.

Serge Stiles wrote:And we'll be here to listen! :)


Thanks, I appreciate that.
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Re: Ask me something

Postby rcmonroe on Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:07 pm

diddledop wrote: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).


Sorry, I somehow missed this one. Anyway, no siblings have been mentioned as of yet.

As far as I can remember, these are the only times any of the characters have mentioned any of their family members (aside from Miriam and her mom):

Sherry's bar used to be owned by her uncle.

Araceli's parents are proud of her.

And that's it for now.
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Re: Ask me something

Postby Tanzmetall on Thu Dec 11, 2008 7:47 am

When did you decide to make Clayton a writer? Or was he always going to be a writer?

For me, that was probably the most interesting development after Miriam and John arrive in Portstown. And after it happened, it really made a lot of sense. If you listen to him speak, despite his vices and his jadedness, he's obviously intelligent, even witty. So I'd like to know when you figured out that he wrote.

Aside from that, I'd like to know when John's going to decide he needs to find a new bunch of people to help, and move on, but I don't suppose you'd want to answer that, and I don't know if I'd like to read about it before it happens. If, in fact, it does.
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Re: Ask me something

Postby rcmonroe on Thu Dec 11, 2008 4:28 pm

Sometimes I use the characters as my mouthpiece. I try to do it in subtle enough ways so that it's not obvious I'm doing it, and I'm consciously inconsistent about it, so that no one character becomes a self-insertion character. Sometimes they're saying what I think, sometimes they're saying the opposite of what I think, sometimes they're just saying things I have no strong opinion about one way or the other.

I've told very few people that I'm doing Out There, for essentially the reasons Clayton describes in his little spiel after Miriam finds out. He became a writer just so I could write that. It's not exactly the way I feel, and it's a "Clayton-ized" version at that, but in this case, I was using the character to share something about the way I think or feel.

Having made him a writer, it does seem to fit. I have to guard against making him too similar to Mickey Rourke's character in Barfly, (or to the real Charles Bukowski), but it's better than having him seem like a rip-off of Cliff Clavin (character on Cheers; the similarity in names was totally subconscious and I didn't realize it until it was too late to change it).

Answering your other question would be giving the game away a bit, don't you think?
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Re: Ask me something

Postby SAGG on Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:04 am

RC, isn't it amazing how a drawing style can change over time, even when (or if) you're not trying to do so? 8) I've compared your early drawings with your most recent ones, btw. I've seen other webcomics as well. It's simply remarkable. I wonder how and why that seems to happen? :o Is it just a natural thing, or something? :-?
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Re: Ask me something

Postby furrykef on Wed Dec 31, 2008 8:31 am

It's the Theory of Evolution in action. ;)
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Re: Ask me something

Postby rcmonroe on Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:43 am

SAGG wrote:RC, isn't it amazing how a drawing style can change over time, even when (or if) you're not trying to do so? 8) I've compared your early drawings with your most recent ones, btw. I've seen other webcomics as well. It's simply remarkable. I wonder how and why that seems to happen? :o Is it just a natural thing, or something? :-?


It’s not a phenomenon that’s unique to webomics; study the history of any syndicated comic strip as well, and you’ll almost always see a significant degree of change over time.

I can’t speak for other cartoonists, but in my case:

1) the character designs were not fully fleshed-out at the beginning. I didn't spend enough time refining them before I launched the strip (even though at the time I thought I had), so they were still very much in flux while I was working on the early strips.

2) Drawing six strips a week for two and a half years has improved my drawing skills. I'm now able to faithfully capture the design of each character more consistently than I could in the early days.

3) I've imposed higher standards on myself than I had at the beginning. There are fewer "oh, that's probably good enough" moments when producing the strip, and more "that looks like crap, I'd better try again" moments. Essentially, I spend more time on the drawings, so the drawings look better.
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Re: Ask me something

Postby SAGG on Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:29 pm

I know I should look back on this thread before I ask these questions because they've probably been asked already, but I'm too lazy. :lol: Here goes: RC, how long does it take for you to get an idea for the next arc unto a storyboard, then unto the page? Do you keep track somehow on how the arcs are related, and when somewhere down the line they might cross lines, and are they any examples where some story arc might've crossed?
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Re: Ask me something

Postby rcmonroe on Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:00 pm

For me, there are distinct types of writing sessions: the ones where I sit down and write because I’ve got an idea, and the ones where I sit down and write because I need to get an idea.

In the former sessions, sometimes the idea is for something I can use right away, but often they’re for some event that is going to happen later, sometimes much later, and therefore they leave big gaps that have to be filled in later. Sometimes ideas will just come, and filling those gaps is easy; other times, I’ve got to force myself to come up with something to connect everything up.

I don’t know if that answers the question of how long it takes to get an idea. It varies; sometimes the idea just comes to me, other times I have to try to make it happen. The ones that just come to me take almost no time, and are usually better.

I have no real outline, just an idea of certain events I want to make happen at some uncertain point in the future. Some of these events I’ve already written. Some aren’t written yet, but are floating around in my head waiting to take shape. In some cases, I have no idea what’s going to happen in the story before I get to these planned events. And sometimes, the plans change.

Sometimes I have arcs written that won't actually show up for a year or more. There's one coming up in a couple of weeks that I wrote a long, long time ago, well over a year ago. Sometimes I’m drawing an arc that I just wrote a day ago. I’m always way, way ahead on drawing; the last strip I drew is for March 28. That’s why I never miss an update; I’m always so far ahead that I’d have to be incapacitated for two or three months to miss a deadline. But in order to stay that far ahead, sometimes I have to scramble to come up with an idea, and that can be challenging.
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Re: Ask me something

Postby SAGG on Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:53 am

:o Whoa! Impressive answer, RC! You've more than answered my question, dude! Thanks! :o
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Re: Ask me something

Postby SAGG on Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:25 pm

New question, RC: Any future story about how Sherry got the bar? Did she inherit it, or something? :evilgrin: :rootbeer:
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Re: Ask me something

Postby rcmonroe on Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:41 pm

She inherited it.

Maybe there's more story to it than that, but that's all I've come up with so far. No plans at the present time to delve any further into it, but that doesn't mean I won't at some point.
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Re: Ask me something

Postby SAGG on Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:21 pm

Okay, thanks for the link. I wasn't sure then, but now I can see that I had forgotten.
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Re: Linear progressions

Postby diddledop on Sun Feb 15, 2009 4:32 am

Why do the lines in the circles move upward for some threads but not all?

And why do some have stars in them?

Is there a better place to be than here?

When will you start having previews of the upcoming week's episode?

When will you go on hiatus or take a sabbatical?

When will you reveal that you are a transsexual and that this is why you know so much about women?!! (Because you were one once yourself.)
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Re: Ask me something

Postby PBJ on Sun Feb 15, 2009 8:54 am

Hey RC,

I have a question for you-- I like the shirt designs and would definitely consider buying one, but have you thought about doing more items for an "Out There" store?

Sorry this isn't a more interesting or intellectual question about the plots or characters, but I've been dreaming of having a coffee mug with that picture of Miriam swilling from a bottle that you have on your webcomicsinc page.
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Re: Ask me something

Postby rcmonroe on Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:03 am

PBJ wrote:Hey RC,

I have a question for you-- I like the shirt designs and would definitely consider buying one, but have you thought about doing more items for an "Out There" store?

Sorry this isn't a more interesting or intellectual question about the plots or characters, but I've been dreaming of having a coffee mug with that picture of Miriam swilling from a bottle that you have on your webcomicsinc page.


I haven’t looked into merchandising much. Only a handful of people have inquired about it, not really enough to convince me there’d be enough demand to warrant the setup costs. But I’ll look into it. If you have any knowledge of how to go about it, I’m listening.
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Re: Linear progressions

Postby furrykef on Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:38 pm

diddledop wrote:Why do the lines in the circles move upward for some threads but not all?

And why do some have stars in them?


Took me a minute to realize what you were talking about. Looking at the filenames of the icons, the ones that are moving are "hot" (i.e. popular) topics; the ones that don't move aren't. The ones with stars are the threads you've posted in.

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Re: Ask me something

Postby diddledop on Sun Feb 15, 2009 1:52 pm

Thank you!!
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Re: Ask me something

Postby SAGG on Tue Feb 17, 2009 6:04 am

RC, maybe someone's asked this already, but after rereading the thread, I didn't see it: Why did you change Sherry's hair color from brunette to blonde? Are you subtly telling us she'd going to have more fun than Miriam from now on, or it was easier (and cheaper) on your pen because you didn't have to fill in her hair with ink any longer? :lol: :evilgrin: :rootbeer:
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Re: Ask me something

Postby rcmonroe on Tue Feb 17, 2009 2:56 pm

I’ve always felt like I should feel free to change any of the characters’ hairstyles at will—especially the women’s—if for no other reason than real people change their hairstyles. I’ve actually been changing some hairstyles since the beginning—Miriam’s hair has grown much longer, as had Sherry’s until just now, and of course John didn’t even have hair at the beginning and every couple of months or so I’ve added a little more to the top of his head.

A few times after drawing Sherry but before inking in her hair I’ve thought, “actually, that doesn’t look too bad as it is,” and so the temptation to save time every time I draw her has been looming for awhile. As for the haircut, it just seemed like at some point somebody had to have a haircut so I might as well kill two birds with one stone.

Whether the makeover coincides with any kind of change in Sherry’s lifestyle is something I’ll let you all decide for yourselves—if I start telling the story in the forum, there’ll be no reason to read the comic strip.
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A little "typo", maybe?

Postby OzoneSama on Wed Apr 15, 2009 3:08 am

Hello, thank you for the work you did by updating the profile's page of all the cast of Out There.
Maybe there's a little "typo" in John's.

he doesn’t seem to approve of most of her choices and is usually willing to offer her a suggestion when asked, but usually only whan asked.
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Re: Ask me something

Postby rcmonroe on Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:47 am

It wasn’t so much a typo as it was abominable phrasing. I’ve fixed it; thank you for pointing it out.
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Re: Ask me something

Postby furrykef on Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:50 am

Actually, the typo was "whan" ("only whan asked"), and it's still there... ^^;

(Don't worry, it took me a minute to spot it, too :P)
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Re: Ask me something

Postby rcmonroe on Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:06 pm

Fixed. Thanks.
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