January 15, 2010

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While I'm Thinking About It

I love Webcomics Drama(tm)

But this post isn't about Keenspot or Webcomics.com. While I enjoy watching trainwrecks in progress (especially since, 98% of the time or so, I really have no dog in the fight), I think I'm content to let other people provide the color commentary.

This post is about telling a longform story, and the pitfalls that lie in combining the story withone-shot gags.

Wednesday's strip was a fairly simple one, one of my old standbys--customer doesn't listen, suffers the consequences. A pretty good variation on the theme. Until I had it printed out and ready for artwork.

Which reminds me, one of these days I should try documenting my process for anyone who's interested in seeing a webcomic done in completely the wrong order. But I digress.

The problem is the C.A.R.D. unit, that handy little plot device that has almost as many useful functions as a sonic screwdriver. We've seen Bob use it to help a customer before, there's no reason why he wouldn't do the same thing this time.

Unless . . . did he decide the customer didn't deserve it? No, we wouldn't see enough of the customer's antics to make that believable.

But what if didn't use it because he didn't know he had it?

So, while I spent the rest of the week letting Jack do the audience's job and call him out on it, I also worked on figuring out how this fits with what's gone before, and writing the next couple week's worth of strips.

And events like that are why I've been saying I have "probably a couple years' worth of story left" since 2003.



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