Ask me something

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Re: Ask me something

Postby Serge Stiles on Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:28 pm

rcmonroe wrote:
Serge Stiles wrote:Are you a fan of Hergé's work? :)


I like his art, but for some reason I've never actually read a Tintin story. That's a huge piece of comics history that I've overlooked. Probably the most famous comics feature that I "know of" but have never really "experienced." Asterix and Obelix would be a contender for that as well. I probably never saw either of those two comics in English during my formative years, that's really the only excuse I can come up with.


Oh? Well, I would certainly recommend diving into his stuff if you ever get the chance! :) I grew up watching the show (because that's my generation mostly) and then finally dove into the comics myself. And then the new movie came out and got me all excited all over again for Tintin, haha. They're really quite clever and inspiring and he has such awesome simplicity in linework, and yet so much emotion and movement. Reminds me of your work! :) Like Tintin and John... they both just have dots for eyes and yet you can read their faces perfectly.
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Re: Ask me something

Postby diddledop on Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:09 am

I'm surprised I've never asked this before but - what do you draw or paint other than Out There? Do you paint? Landscapes, still lifes, buildings, people? I don't know - is the plural of Still Life Still Lives or Still Lifes?

Would you care to post a sample some day of something other than Out There? Thanks!
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Re: Ask me something

Postby rcmonroe on Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:19 am

diddledop wrote:I'm surprised I've never asked this before but - what do you draw or paint other than Out There? Do you paint? Landscapes, still lifes, buildings, people? I don't know - is the plural of Still Life Still Lives or Still Lifes?

Would you care to post a sample some day of something other than Out There? Thanks!


I haven't drawn anything other than Out There for the past 6+ years, and I hadn't drawn anything at all for about 15 years prior to that. As far as visual art goes, Out There is all I do—at least for now.

Painting interests me, but I don't have time for it, and I really don't know how to paint. It's something I'd take up if I had limitless time. But the last time I did any painting was in college, and that was in the 80's (so basically, a lifetime ago).
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Re: Ask me something

Postby diddledop on Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:39 pm

I've tried to get into painting but I can't stand needing all the tools, paints, equipment, etc. I don't have enough room in my one bed place for all that stuff. A single painting is quite a commitment. It's like you could draw a hundred sketches of something but the minute you bring out the tripod, canvas and paint - well, you're stuck with that one sketch. Not for me. (And it really needs to be a hundred percent right, too.)
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Re: Ask me something

Postby rcmonroe on Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:27 pm

diddledop wrote:I've tried to get into painting but I can't stand needing all the tools, paints, equipment, etc. I don't have enough room in my one bed place for all that stuff. A single painting is quite a commitment. It's like you could draw a hundred sketches of something but the minute you bring out the tripod, canvas and paint - well, you're stuck with that one sketch. Not for me. (And it really needs to be a hundred percent right, too.)


I hear you. You can throw away a pencil sketch. The time and money you put into a canvas makes it something you're obligated to hang.
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Re: Ask me something

Postby diddledop on Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:46 am

Yeah, and with a painting, you have to believe it's really something special. I occasionally like things I draw but for the most part, they're throwaways. I had an art instructor once who said that once when she threw her stuff away, she discovered that dumpster divers were taking them (and continued to at her next deposit). So, apparently, although she discredited some of her stuff, others did not.

Your throwaways and discards may actually be someone else's "found" Rembrandt, Picasso, Dali, etc.
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Re: Ask me something

Postby diddledop on Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:20 pm

Is the caption "Roomate (misspelled) With A View (Wk of 6/17/12)" ever going to change?
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Re: Ask me something

Postby rcmonroe on Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:55 pm

Am I my brother’s copy editor? If people want to fix their spelling mistakes, I’ll leave that up to them.
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Re: Ask me something

Postby diddledop on Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:17 am

Sorry about that. It was not your spelling error. The actual title in the archive guide is spelled correctly.

However, my real question is: When will the Roommate with a View theme be replaced by another theme? At this rate, Book Seven isn't going to have many chapters. Snapshots had 16 of them if I've counted correctly.
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Re: Ask me something

Postby rcmonroe on Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:17 pm

Another few weeks and a new chapter will begin. This was a long one, to be sure.
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Re: Ask me something

Postby diddledop on Sat Nov 24, 2012 7:00 am

Something I've thought about for a long time:

I consider you to be a top-notch artist who captures facial expressiveness very well. I've often wondered how you do so without live models/actors present. Do you simply see these things in your head and then sketch them? But here's something I'd really like to know: How are you at drawing kisses? Most toon kisses lack something in terms of passion. They're generally kind of flat and very linear looking even when the couple is supposedly madly in love. It's like the sketch lines to depict a kiss are simply straight or slanting and kind of dull or very uni-dimensional. Much of the time, faces are obscured in the process so that you're kind of seeing almost featureless profiles welded/pressed/pushed together (with eyes/noses almost totally cropped out). But - you - I hold out this belief that you might be the artist who can convey passion in a "cartoon kiss."

But - can you? That is the question. A subjective response from you in terms of yes :D or no :( really wouldn't answer the question.

Don't know if you'll ever attempt one in the strip or not. But I'd love to see what you'd do with something like that. I simply ask of thee this: Canst thou sketch the "hot" that would make a cartoon kiss hot?
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Re: Ask me something

Postby furrykef on Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:50 pm

There's this very early one. I don't recall any other big kisses since them (though that doesn't mean there weren't any, just that I don't recall them).
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Re: Ask me something

Postby rcmonroe on Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:08 pm

diddledop wrote:Canst thou sketch the "hot" that would make a cartoon kiss hot?


I've drawn a few liplocks: the Miriam and Chuck strip referenced by furrykef was the first; since then there's been Miriam and Clayton, Miriam and John, Sherry and Chuck, and Ari and James. The fact that nobody here seemed to remember any of those probably answers your question.
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Re: Ask me something

Postby diddledop on Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:31 pm

Yes, I recall the two fiery hot Ari/James osculations. R des dos? :shifty:

http://outthere.keenspot.com/d/20110226.html

http://outthere.keenspot.com/d/20110310.html
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Re: Ask me something

Postby DANinNY on Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:50 pm

rcmonroe wrote:John has been by far the most difficult to write, probably because he’s the least realistic, in my view—I mean, nobody’s that good. It’s always a challenge to keep him from sounding self-righteous. If he didn’t have that wry sense of humor and the ability to turn a phrase, he’d be insufferable.

The rest of the characters are easy to write because they’re all at least as flawed and worthless as their Author.


Hello. This is my first post. I went on an archive-binge after I ran across the page at TVtropes. I actually was going to ask a question about John, since at first I was intrigued by his 'mysterious past,' but then I read this thread here, and was amazed to find out that there was no actual 'mystery' to him.

As to the issue of him being realistic, well I find him very realistic. I realized he is very much like my brother Lenny. Lenny presents himself as having somewhat of a Buddhist outlook, and often prefers the spotlight not be on him. I never found John to be unrealistic.

Lenny acts like a good man-- I suppose he is, he's not a bad guy-- but what he actually is, is a coward, in all the ways that matter.

He won't run away from a fist, but he'll run from a girl, run from being in relationships, run from his own desires, run from achieving anything. Lenny might be seen as like John by the people in his life in Vermont, but as his brother in New York (a state he ran away from), I know the past he came from: he once asked out a girl, she laughed at him, and now he's vowed to never experience the pain of rejection again. He's had women physically throw themselves at him, and still rejected them immediately so as to avoid a future that might never happen. And so I see John like this.

John hasn't written, called or visited home in 6 years. (Even Lenny has.) John could be in a relationship. John could be a doctor or a lawyer. John, with his political views, could be a community leader of some sort. At the very least, he could be running a restaurant of his own, as in-comic it is mentioned that he is both good at running Sherry's bar and is a good cook. But he is none of things, because he is hiding from life, or at least hiding from the pain of rejection and failure. He won't even talk about himself out of the aloof fear that he might somehow be judged or disapproved of. It's a matter of control.

If this sounds far-fetched to anyone, remember that Miriam does a mild form of this herself when she breaks up with people like Chuck. And Sherry was closed off after she was hurt. Some men are just more sensitive, because they were raised in a 'boys don't cry culture' so can't work their minds around their own feelings. To me, John fits the bill. He's hiding from some part of himself. It might be bisexuality, especially if he comes from a religious family that never accepted him. It might be he's related to an alcoholic. (There's nothing concrete in the strips, but someone we meet who is 1) walking and 2) averse to drinking ... might be showing the world he's better than a father or brother who keeps racking up DUIs.) It might be something that to the rest of us is so minor and inconsequential, we should shake our heads at it. (He wasted $1.00 once on a lottery ticket that lost, for example.) Whatever, now he's atoning for it, hiding from it, making up for it, or whatever.

Cowardice is behind many decisions people make. It seems to be a running theme in "Out There," too. (Miriam's continuous attempts to overcome her fear of change and commitment is why she's the protagonist, after all: she's at least trying.) Quite a few people have ruined relationships through either fear of initial rejection or through fear of commitment. So this is why I think it is plausible for John to simply be a stronger case of a meek man finding spiritual reasons to justify never again trying.

No question in any of that. Just my theory. I would never ask you to agree or disagree, or tell me if I'm wrong or right. John is the way he is. Why he is that way doesn't matter; whether he started off as a quitter/coward or was always meek and mild mannered is irrelevant. I've just known people like that, so I never found him unrealistic. He's exactly like the other people in the strip, except that they kept getting back up on the horse after they fell off.

********************

And now my question: are Chuck and James related? Thinking of myself and my brother Lenny, it did make my remember two friends of mine who lived together in their own apartment who were siblings.

Bonus question: did Clatyon know Sherry's uncle?

-- DAN

PS After the heroine, Aracelli is my second favorite character. I hope we continue to see more of her friends and family. There's not a character she doesn't connect well with; you could have her and James meet Wally and Rebecca Green and it would be entertaining.
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Re: Ask me something

Postby rcmonroe on Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:35 pm

DANinNY, these are some very interesting observations.

I'm intrigued by your main point, although I disagree completely with it.

I don't see John as a coward at all. I actually see him as the opposite, someone who is so committed to living according to his principles that he is completely unfazed by the outside world’s opinion of him. He sacrifices the things most people assume are a part of a successful life—a stable relationship, financial security, career “accomplishments”, etc. John’s not afraid of these things, nor is he afraid of trying and failing to attain them. They’re not even on his radar. John’s “purpose” is to serve others, not to rack up personal achievements.

Perhaps now you can see why I find him unrealistic and difficult to write. I don’t know anybody like that. I’m not sure anybody like that is out there for me to know (I don’t know your brother, obviously; but if you’re correct in your evaluation of his motivations, then he may appear outwardly John-like, but is actually nothing like him at all).

DANinNY wrote:Cowardice is behind many decisions people make. It seems to be a running theme in "Out There," too. (Miriam's continuous attempts to overcome her fear of change and commitment is why she's the protagonist, after all: she's at least trying.)


Maybe we’re just dealing with semantics here. I don’t define cowardice as fear; I see cowardice as the state of giving in to one’s fears, allowing them to control one’s life. The struggles of Miriam—and to a smaller extent all of the rest of the cast, save John—to effect positive change in their lives is THE theme in Out There. The fact that they’re trying is, to me, the opposite of cowardice. If they were cowards, they wouldn’t be trying to overcome their fears, they’d be resigned to them.

DANinNY wrote:John hasn't written, called or visited home in 6 years.


John’s past is an unwritten chapter in Out There. It may be that he has no “home” to write, call, or visit. It’s also possible that he has written or called, and we haven’t seen it. There are things that I “know” about the characters but have not yet presented in the strip, and then there are thing even I don’t know yet. John’s past is one of them.

DANinNY wrote:And now my question: are Chuck and James related? Thinking of myself and my brother Lenny, it did make my remember two friends of mine who lived together in their own apartment who were siblings.


Their past is unwritten as well (and therefore subject to change!), but I see them as two guys who have known each other a long time, but are not related. Maybe childhood friends, maybe college roommates.

DANinNY wrote:Bonus question: did Clatyon know Sherry's uncle?


Clayton was already a regular before Sherry took over the bar, so the answer to that would probably have to be “yes”, unless Sherry’s uncle didn’t actually work at the bar, but was more of an absentee owner. More unwritten history.

DANinNY wrote:PS After the heroine, Aracelli is my second favorite character. I hope we continue to see more of her friends and family. There's not a character she doesn't connect well with; you could have her and James meet Wally and Rebecca Green and it would be entertaining.


Ari is one of my favorite characters, too. She actually did meet Rebecca briefly once. At some point I see Wally and Rebecca visiting Portstown, it’s almost a certainty they’ll cross paths with Araceli then. But that’s far in the future.

Thank you for your thoughts. There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to view the strip. Once it pops up on your screen, it’s yours—and your interpretation is as valid as anyone else’s.
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Re: Ask me something

Postby DANinNY on Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:16 am

Thank you for answering my questions. I have a few more related to Ari, but they are plot-related and I'm happy to wait to see what happens next.
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Re: Ask me something

Postby diddledop on Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:43 pm

I wonder this profoundly: Is the Year 2013 silence thus far on this Forum due to fan disapproval of the forthcoming marital scenario? Let's assume this true. If so, would you continue their trip to the altar or would you thwart it? Put it this way: if your fans snubbed their noses :grumble: would you in turn try to give them roses and change your story line? :nervous: In other words, wheren lieth thy preponderant loyalty - to thine own self be true - or to the particularly persnickety plebiscite who perhaps silently protesteths thy preponderant loyalty? Do you dare reveal your thoughts on this issue?
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Re: Ask me something

Postby rcmonroe on Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:57 am

diddledop wrote:I wonder this profoundly: Is the Year 2013 silence thus far on this Forum due to fan disapproval of the forthcoming marital scenario?


Yeah, I'm sure that's it. Because normally this forum is such a hotbed of activity.

diddledop wrote:Let's assume this true. If so, would you continue their trip to the altar or would you thwart it? Put it this way: if your fans snubbed their noses :grumble: would you in turn try to give them roses and change your story line?


Normally, no; I do not change my plans based on reader reaction. It really depends on whether or not it’s something I care deeply about or not. I choose not to confirm or deny at this point whether or not Sherry and Chuck’s plans are going to come to fruition, but the decision I’ve made is made—I won’t be backing off due to handful of people telling me they don’t like it.

Or, as the case may be, one person.
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Re: Ask me something

Postby diddledop on Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:42 pm

I really think the forum fan base has collectively and wordlessly agreed to stage an odd silent protest because they are not maritally minded. I think they've unwittingly chosen January 2013 to initiate their protest because of its significance as representing the onset of a new year. They are essentially silently and dimly making a statement by making none at all. Their proclamation is "hear and heed our non-statement." Yes, this Forum is generally a "hot bed of activity" as you so forthrightly put it. I could not hope to improve upon your choice of phrase. The fact is that a protest of nothingness by mute people renders words moot and meaningless. I ask you, RC Monroe, do you not hear the lips that do not move, the brains that flat line, indeed, the pulse that does not beat? Yes, it is this profound absence of input which states quietly, equivocally and dimly: "Hear our silence!!" This forum is like the lull before the storm, the umbrella before the rain, the duck before the quack, the soup before the crackers, the wisdom before the sage, the draft before the wind, and finally, the great whatever before whatever!! If my message does not make sense, well, I would weakly argue that it makes about much sense as does the silence on this Forum in the month of January of the year 2013!!! Ipse dixie. :nervous:
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Re: Ask me something

Postby furrykef on Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:07 am

I think diddledop is full of bunkum. ;)
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Re: Ask me something

Postby rcmonroe on Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:19 pm

furrykef wrote:I think diddledop is full of bunkum. ;)


I think I agree, pending the definition of the word “bunkum”.
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Re: Ask me something

Postby diddledop on Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:51 pm

To elaborate a bit further, I am actually full of Ghost :o Toasties and Hostess Twinkies :lol: . Improbability, however, is my "bunkem" and I thrive upon it. I believe fervently that the implausible :cry: is the most likely explanation for what is not expressed :-| in this Forum. :smug: :shifty: :grumble:
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Re: Ask me something

Postby Serge Stiles on Mon Apr 01, 2013 1:31 am

I have not been silent because of this marriage thing. I have been silent because I read the comic and then I click to another website, forgetting to go to the forum. Reading Out There is part of my weekday midnights, but I don't have to pull a comment about every frame out of my arse. I'll poke in with something happens that I do have something to say about. :) Like the website change and the future plans that I am excited about!

I am interested to see where Out There goes, loyally waiting to see where it will end up and letting myself be surprised by things I don't see coming, but also brace myself for what will actually happen as opposed to what the majority may be assuming is going to happen. There was a proposal, sure, but does that mean it's actually going to happen? And if it does, will it last long? And if it lasts long, will it be an interesting plot/fact to have another married couple (other than Wally and Rebecca) as the start of a new bundle of possibilities and new perspectives? New married couples can be very interesting and amusing to write and read about in a comic!

I love Out There because it's spontaneous and hard to predict. I don't keep reading to expect to see exactly what I want to happen, I keep reading to see what will happen in the story as it moves along exactly the way it wants to - and is supposed to!
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Re: Ask me something

Postby DannyBoy on Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:08 am

I'll join in admiring the site redesign. :rootbeer:
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