One Swoop Fell

Well, apparently the creator of One Swoop Fell took the ten bucks I donated to buy some advertising banners on other webcomic sites, for example on Sandra and Woo (at least there is one at the moment). I guess he got my “subtle” hint of calling his page views “pathetic” in the donation comment. 😉 That said, you should totally check One Swoop Fell out since it is marvellously drawn and it has a cast of likable characters, including the cutest squirrel girl ever put on paper a computer screen. The main heroes of the adventure story are the friendly bear Topo and his new friend, the “aviatically challenged bird Swoop. One Swoop Fell only updates once a week, but often with a full page.

– Novil


More webcomic tips

Sandra and Woo updates only twice a week so I guess some tips for other worthwhile webcomics are always welcome:

  • Edmund Finney’s Quest to Find the Meaning of LifeEdmund Finney’s Quest to Find the Meaning of Life is a very promising new comedy comic strip which started on 8 March 2009. On his trip around the world, Edmund makes random encounters with even more quirky travellers or natives. The archive consists of only 20 strips at the moment, but additional cartoons are occasionally posted on the main page.
  • Bear Nuts is the very pretty offspring of Happy Tree Friends and Care Bears. It’s about the misadventures of a nutty Ursus moronis group at the local zoo. The adult-oriented humor of Bear Nuts does not rely on punchlines but on the interaction of the distinct personalities of the protagonists and their silly facial expressions.
  • Calamities of Nature is a comedy comic strip which heavily relies on social commentary as a source of humor. You have probably already seen an advertising banner for it on our website. Calamities of Nature sometimes suffers from the “talking heads” syndrome, which makes the quality of the strips very dependent on the funniness of the punchline.

– Novil


Rejected strip ideas

In an interview Bill Holbrook, the creator of Kevin and Kell, one of the oldest still existing webcomics, gave the following answer to the question “What would you say to a young person out to follow in your footsteps?”:

When I was 23, Charles Schulz gave me the following advice: Sit down and draw fifty strips. Of those, maybe five will be funny. Build on those and throw out the rest. Do fifty more. Now perhaps ten will be usable. Repeat this process again and again.

Other cartoonists have said similar things which surprises me because I follow a completely different approach. I prefer to work on a particular idea until it’s good enough for publication. My ratio of rejected strip ideas, which are then moved to a document called Sandra and Woo Trash.odt, is rather one third instead of nine tenths. I’m often working a long time on details like the exact phrasing of the punchline, but I stick to the general idea. I guess there isn’t just one way of doing it and working together with an artist forces you to pay great attention to detail from the start.

– Novil


Comments and the first storyline featuring Larisa

I am a bit baffled that even simple strips like the last two ones seem to constantly get more than 20 comments now. I’m feeling a lot of pressure to get everything right in my scripts since I know that every detail in the next strip will instantly get dissected by several enthusiastic readers. This does not mean that you should stop writing comments, but I can’t say that I’m feeling relaxed when I am reading them. And this despite the fact that almost all feedback to Sandra and Woo has been positive so far… I guess when you are such an introverted person like me you really have to take care to not get overwhelmed by the reaction of the public to your work. This means that I will no longer read all the comments posted on our website in the future, but only have a look at them occasionally. I hope that there are now enough readers so that one of them will be able to answer open questions when I’m not around. Since my mother really likes to read the comments, she will notice me when someone posts spam or inappropriate content.

Having said that, the first long storyline featuring Sandra’s friend Larisa will start next Monday. And it won’t start with a whimper, but with a bang.

– Novil


1984

I wish I were the first one to come up with this catchphrase. I would certainly not bet against that at least one major Western country will develop into a full-fledged dictatorship during the next twenty years. Politicians in practically all countries of the world seem to take every chance they get to introduce new surveillance laws or ridiculous bans. The sad thing is that only a small minority is actually concerned about this development.

Jean-Claude Juncker, the current president of the eurozone and one of the most influential European politicians, gave the following insight how the politics of the EU really works in an interview with the German news magazine Der Spiegel in 1999:

“We decide something, put it on the table and wait some time if something happens. If there is no huge fuss about it and no uprising – because most people don’t have any idea what the decision is all about – we just keep going. Step by step. Until there is no way back.”

Truly a noble defender of democracy.