First off, it looks like I accidentally deleted the forwarding page that I had left in the place where my old landing page used to be before the site reorganization:
I put it back; sorry about that. I meant to leave it there indefinitely, so anyone who has the old location bookmarked will land on the forwarding page instead of getting a 404/page not found error.
Lately I’ve been feeling insufficiently challenged by drawing funny animal strips. So I’ve embarked on a new little project: following in the footsteps of Rick Veitch and Winsor McKay, I’ve begun keeping a comics dream journal. Here’s the first one:
I’m going to post these when I have more of them, so I had to re-organize the site to support having more than one comic strip. You see, for the past 2.5 years, Hootie was my one & only strip, and that assumption was baked into the software that I wrote to generate the site.
Refactoring wasn’t hard, but I had to move each strip into its own folder, so a couple things were necessarily broken. First, apologies if you are one of the early adopters of the single-click-bookmark button. I have to keep a separate bookmark for each strip now, so your old bookmarks are now invalid. Bookmarks you create going forward will be OK. Second, the landing page http://bloozit.com/comics_index.html has moved to http://bloozit.com/hootie/comics_index.html but I put a funny graphic at the old location that redirects you to the new location. It’s a picture of Hootie with a broom & apron, cleaning up the site.
This morning I realized that the place-saving feature that I just added had a subtle misbehavior. If you bookmark the latest strip and come back two weeks later, the bookmark would take you to the new latest strip. This is not what you want; you want the bookmark to take you to the strip that was the latest strip at the time you bookmarked it, so you can continue reading from where you left off. I fixed it today, but those of you who bookmarked a strip prior to the fix, will find that bookmark non-working, since I had to change the format of the cookie to accommodate the fix. Sorry about that.
Check out Hootie Comics every Sunday
One of the most annoying things about web comics is that there’s no one-click way to save your place. Sure, you can bookmark it, but you have to navigate through your browser’s bookmark menu, save the URL, then delete the old one from the last time you were reading the strip.
One of the joys of writing my own code instead of using Comicpress is that I can quickly add features like these:
Naturally, this relies on cookies, so if you’ve disabled cookies, it won’t work, and if you delete your cookies, you lose your place. But it gives you a one-click way to save your place in the Hootie comics and get back to it later.
A number of people have asked me about how I do this, so I made an instructional video. Principles are the same for Photoshop, but since I use GIMP. that’s what I use in the video. Enjoy.
Look, it’s a Sodie-o-Lantern!
There are good things and bad things about this venerable classic, so I’m going to start with the bad things and end on a positive note.
This is a great book for time-travelers who want to go back to 1975 to get jobs as hack assembly-line illustrators for Marvel. By this I mean that it is full of archaic technical information and artistic cliches–it actually advises artists to draw the same archetypal hero face over and over for every single hero. It also steers readers toward the homogenized Marvel style, so if you take its advice too seriously, you will be a generic illustrator with no personal style, whose drawings are indistinguishable from anybody else’s. And it doesn’t really tell you how to do any of the things it tells you to do. There are no in-depth instructions on how to construct figures such as one might find in Loomis’s book on figure drawing. Instead, it just gives a quick overview and moves on.
At this point, you’re probably thinking that I’m going to tell you not to waste your time with this book, but wait; I’m not done yet.
If you’re a beginner, learning the cliches is actually not a bad place to start. Devices that are overused tend to be so because they work. The book nicely collects, in one volume, overviews on every topic you will need to study more in-depth; anatomy, perspective, gesture drawing, and so forth. This is valuable, because now you at least know what topics to research elsewhere. Lastly, there are some things that Marvel legitimately does do better than anybody. Making scenes more dramatic. Making figures more heroic. John Buscema’s clean, uncluttered drawings make the concepts easy to grasp.
So in the end, I recommend this book to anyone who does sequential art, especially since you can often pick up a used copy for $6. Just take its advice with a grain of salt.
If you liked this, check out Hootie Comics