I want to clear up the whole thing about this arc that I’ve been going on. Inception, development, connotations, whatever, the whole nine yards, because I feel I need, and want, to explain it as this whole thing might have came off as a bit of a left veer from the usual barely decipherable in-jokes and laconic dry wit that people might have been expecting out of this admittedly “meh” web-comic.
It’d be easy to just write off the whole thing as an “I am bored with doing game humor and dry wit” , but if I were to be honest with myself, this is an exercise, and an exorcise.
When I started Updated Tuesdays with Rob, WAY back before I knew better than the massive time-sink it actually turned out to be, I really didn’t have a goal with it, no overarching style or tone guide. Nothing, just me, rob and the vague goal of doing a web-comic. Then about two, three comics in, I came up with a female character. No explanation, no introduction, just existed. You can see where a problem might arise if she weren’t given some character.
Well, that was a problem, actually is a problem at large with the whole thing. None of the characters had identifiable traits, aside from some aesthetics. For a long time I’ve wanted to give all three of the main cast- Toadie, Rob and Niia-proper character traits. I’ve tried a couple of times previously to infuse these into the strip,but I’ve either found better material at those times, or like the League of Deadly Gentlemen, I began to not “feel” it shortly in and dropped it fast. Really this is the second serious attempt at it, and by sticking to it rather than interspersing with quicker, more time-relevant strips, I’ve been able to focus the Juju into a cohesive beam on a character that sorely needed more than “You’re just Toadie’s opposite, a bit of a bitch and a ball-breaker” as a definition. I mean she’s still sort of that, but, you know.. she’s more than that now.
The second was a serious attempt to write the comic. Tying into that first aspect, I really wanted to get UT to be something that was given more than jsut the weekly funnies/4Koma treatment. I wanted to try writing narrative, which is something I don’t think is one of my stronger suites. I don’t plan ahead, and as such you get that hodgpodge effect that a lot of game-ish web-comics suffer from . So I gave myself a direct goal – Narrative, organised and somewhat scheduled. I was set to this, and with the vague idea of making Niia her own character, I made/am making it happen. I wanted to see where I could take my blatant Manga influences and whether or not I could indeed write characters properly, and bring them to fruition through both dialog AND presence in art.
Juries still out on that last bit, so throw me your two cents on it.
The third is personal agendas, multiple.I’m a complex being, why not multiple axes to grind?
THe first of which is to portray my homecity of Perth somewhat realistically- bogans and all.
Perth has actually been undergoing a bit of a change the last 5 years, but was, and still is, and will still foreseeably be, a quiet backwater city in the world, where nothing REALLY happens thanks to the sheer geographic isolation. I guess under it all is a sort of ironic patriotism of living in a global Cul De Sac – it’s quiet, but that’s the way I’d prefer it.Sort of like how my influences use Visual elements of life in Japan, from mere colouring to full setting, I wanted to bring in the colour and feel of Perth into the comic. I’m not sure I’m fully delivering on this agenda yet, but I really feel I’ve started, and I intend to explore it more.
The second bone on the pile is the romance plot. I’ll openly admit that this year has not been GREAT one for me socially, and despite being quite literally more busy than I think is actually possible for a person without actual employment (University study does not count as employment I’m told), I’ve been getting so little out-of-Internet and out-of-tutorial socialising that I think small bits of my psyche died when I was made redundant from work, only to be informed not a month later that the guy who made me redundant did so to grind his own bone with my former employer and that my redundancy was for naught. So this is bit of a “walking my loneliness on a leash” for a bit. I’m exorcising that in a way I HOPE doesn’t actually come off as either directly insulting to women, particularly gay ones, and isn’t rushed. My intent was neither, though ,like before, Jury is still out.
So- what’s in store for the rest of the arc? One and half more pages, methinks. than an epilogue. Then a break for New year. Which will bethe ACTUAL anniversary of the conceptual reboot in the making of UT, as marked by the Niia picture ( still in the old style) that featured in a panel on P45.
The break will be good methinks, Big year ahead, big ideas.
So yes, that’s uh.. the why and how of this. I really wanted to put this to paper for fear of being misconstrued. I’d really appreciate feed back if you felt like giving it, I’d really like to know what I’d doing right and wrong by people here.