Two comic strips I drew when I was 11 years old

Since nobody visits our forum (I’m not particularly sad about that since I’m not fond of moderating forums.), I decided to publish some of my most interesting forum posts on our homepage over the course of the next weeks.

Here you can see two comic strips I drew when I was 11 years old. I was a huge fan of the European Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse comics at that time, but I also liked to read Peanuts, Garfield and Hagar the Horrible. I was maybe better at drawing back then than I am now. I often copied drawings from the comics I read and also created a couple of original comic characters. I rarely drew complete comic strips, though, and my main interest gradually shifted towards PC games and playing tennis. Today, I would be able to post my comics and drawings on DeviantArt, reaching a much larger audience than just my mother. Maybe I wouldn’t have lost interest in creating art with today’s possibilities.

Manfred Stark Nr. 1

Manfred Stark Nr. 2

When I was in my twenties, my interest in creating comics grew again. At least a year before the start of Sandra and Woo, there was a feature on called Time Friends. Basically, you could insert your own dialog into the empty speech bubbles of the template strip you can see below.

Time Friends Nr. 1

Time Friends Nr. 2

Time Friends Nr. 3

Website stats 2013

Sandra and Woo celebrated its 5th anniversary on 19 October 2013. That was not the only reason to celebrate for us, though, since October was also the best month for Sandra and Woo with respect to the number of visits per day (19,963) and page views per day (130,854). Gaia also saw the largest number of visits per day (9,682) so far. Click on the diagram for the full-size version of the image.

Visitors per day on Sandra and Woo and Gaia

I’d like to thank everybody who spread the word about our comics! Putting a link to our webcomic website(s) on your Facebook page, Twitter stream, blog or website is an easy and extremely effective way to support us!

By popular demand

Click on the thumbnails to see the original version:

Oooooooooh! from Sandra and Woo Oooooooooh! from Sandra and Woo

New fanart

I found some new pieces of fanart for Sandra and Woo and Gaia. A thank you from me to all the artists!

Sandra and Woo fanart

Gaia fanart

How not to draw a comic page

Sometimes, the sketch for a comic page has a certain flow to it that is hard to conserve when drawing the final page with clean lines and more details. It is a challenge that every comic artist faces once in a while, and sometimes even the best artists fail. However, it is usually not quite as bad as in the following example posted by the artist of Alex ze Pirate, Tom Preston.

If you check the news archive, you will see that I have never commented negatively about the work of a fellow cartoonist. But I am still puzzled how a professional artist can make so many bad decisions that turn a really good sketch into a mediocre comic page. One also has to think about all the time that was spent on redrawing various parts of the page. Since one can also learn from bad examples and there are lots of comic artists among our readers, I decided to post my observations here.

Alex ze Pirate - Work-in-progress

Here is my opinion about each panel of the final page:

  • Panel 1: The boy’s pose looks much more dynamic in the sketch. Unlike in the finished page, he’s swinging the axe in a sensible way so that it has a considerable amount of momentum when hitting the trunk. In the finished page, the axe also seems unrealistically large.
  • Panel 2: This panel should not have been added since it adds nothing to the story and rather slows down the action. It also takes away valuable space for the swing of the axe in panel 1.
  • Panel 3: The composition of this panel is better in the sketch with the top of the trunk at 1/3 of the panel height and the center of the boy’s legs at 2/3 of the panel width. The different camera distance also adds a little visual variation.
  • Panel 4 + 5: The second sketch is the best version. The progress from a larger to a smaller piece of wood is shown and the boy is pushing the knife with more strength, making the carving process look more natural.
  • Panel 6: I like how the boy looks with pride at his finished creation in the sketch. The artist is thus connected with his creation in a concise way. It also works particularly well together with the next panel of the sketch.
  • Panel 7: I like how the boy casually throws the created piece into the fire with an empty facial expression in the sketch. The contrast to the boy’s expression in the previous panel will certainly surprise the reader.
  • Panel 8: The smile of the woman looks funnier in the sketch. Giving her such a sexy pose in the final artwork also distracts the reader from the punchline. Some people may see it differently, though.