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<   No. 662   2004-11-18   >

Comic #662

1 [banner]: BIG SCIENCE CONVENTION {this panel is drawn with crude stick figures}
1 Scientist 1: I have this cool idea for a new type of DNA that doesn't use any adenine, thymine, guanine, or cytosine!
2 Scientist 2: {also a stick figure} That's my idea! You stole it!
3 Scientist 1: That's a totally baseless accusation!
4 Me: {sneering at computer screen} Man, I hate webcomics by people who can't draw...

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DNA is, of course, the double-helix-shaped molecule that encodes genetic data in living organisms. It consists of two strands of alternating sugars and phosphates, to which are attached the sub-molecules adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine. The arrangement and sequencing of these four sub-molecules is what encodes the data needed to construct various amino acids, proteins, and, ultimately, organisms. The sub-molecules adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine are known as bases.

This is the first time I've tried actually drawing a comic for Irregular Webcomic!. I can, in fact, draw better than this if I put my mind to it, but not up to the standard of mainstream comics.

I learnt that I don't have the slightest idea how people go about preparing a drawn strip for a webcomic. I didn't know what sort of paper to use, what sort of pencils or pens, what size to draw at, what sort of post-scan processing to use on the image... In the end, I just got a piece of bog-standard photocopier paper and drew on it with a black felt-tip pen.

I know cartoonists usually (if not always) draw in pencil so they can erase mistakes and construction lines. But I've always taken the approach with my cartoons that the ability to erase mistakes means you make mistakes. I've been drawing cartoons since I was about 10 years old - I love comics, that's why I make a comic! - and I've always drawn them directly in ink. Unfortunately, nearly all of those old comics are lost to the ravages of time, moving house, spring cleaning, and so on.

Maybe it's for the better. I'd be tempted to scan them all and you'd have to look at them.


2013-12-10 Rerun commentary: I have since found some of those early comics I drew and done exactly that - scanned them.

Here are the first three pages of a parody of Raiders of the Lost Ark which I started, but never got beyond three pages of.

As you can see, even at a very early stage I wanted to do something with this 1930s action adventure genre. This desire would later be realised with Monty Jones, of course.

Also, coincidentally, just a couple of days before writing this rerun annotation, I bought myself a copy of Drawing Comics Lab by Robyn Chapman. I've never had much luck with "how to draw" books, but this one has some cool exercises in it which caught my imagination while flipping through it in the book shop. I'll keep you posted on how I go with my glacially slowly evolving drawing style.

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Last Modified: Tuesday, 10 December 2013; 02:12:39 PST.
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