September 28, 2007

In search of the elusive blog post!

Sorry I'm barely able to keep this thing up-to-date lately. There's just not much going on, I'm sad to report. I'm still cranking out comics three times a week, and I think this schedule is going to stick. There's a good balance of uptime and downtime, and since I've pretty much devoted a huge bulk of my free time to the comic, getting new comics done doesn't seem so difficult. Plus, there's the added benefit of working at a job where I can even work on comics here. But shhh. Don't tell anyone.

September 14, 2007

Awwww yeah!

That's what I'm talkin' about! I redesigned the George website today. I think it looks so much cooler than it did before. The only downside is that people using 800x600 resolution will have to scroll to the right a bit to see the entire comic. But honestly, people, if you're using 800x600 resolution, I've got a message from 1999 for you. It wants its resolution back; also, it wants to know how that Y2K bug thing is going to pan out.

September 12, 2007

Fresh George artwork

I've decided to use the new George forums to post new sketches and artwork from time to time that you won't be able to find anywhere else. You don't have to be a member to view anything there, but you will need to register if you want to start topics or reply to them!

September 10, 2007

New font!

I've changed the font for every comic starting September 4 (to coincide with the new style of coloring that debuted that day, you see). I think this new font is a lot cleaner, thicker (without being too heavy), and more readable than the font I've been using for nearly two years. I underwent extensive consultation with a panel of judges to find out what the best font for the comic should have been. Okay, I asked five friends repeatedly over the course of the evening "ok which font do you like better, the first or the second?" It was sort of like when you go to the eye doctor to get fitted for glasses, and he does the ol' A/B switch on you over and over, except this time the letter chart is a comic font, the big machine covering your face is your monitor, and the eye doctor is a very odd and annoying web designer who spends his free time making comics.

September 9, 2007

Forums are back!

The George Forums are up and running again. I was not happy with the board system I was using, so I shopped around and found the Web Wiz Forums and, well, so far so good. They look way more professional than what I was using before. Sign up today and give them a spin!

September 6, 2007

More Big News!

Lately I've been really immersed in the strip. More than ever before. Which is excellent. I've got a pretty big stockpile of comics going and, unlike two years ago, I see nothing on the horizon preventing me from cranking out more and more. And so after much thought and hesitation, I have decided to once again put George on a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule. Since January when I started making new strips again, I've basically tried to update the strip about every three days, but didn't want to stick to a set schedule because I tend to become too frazzled when I set deadlines for myself. But...if I really want to make it in the webcomics world, I've got to push myself, and I've learned from my past mistakes. And, although I don't plan on resorting to this, if I find it's all a bit too much for me I'll just scale it back to Monday-Thursday updates like it was when the strip first started. In any case, I think it's time we got George back on the regular update track!

Headline: George breaks its own modest 1-day traffic record

All the hits have been tallied, and it's official. Yesterday, more people visited George than ever before. The numbers are still modest, though, but about 30% higher than the previous daily record which was set back in January. 105 people visited the site yesterday, and I can only hope that number climbs as the days go on! Thanks to all the new visitors who have stopped by, and all the old ones who continue to drive me to...well, keep making comics!

September 4, 2007

With today's comic...

...comes a new era for George! ...Kind of!

Today marks the first release of a George comic done with the "new" style of coloring I've taken to using. Basically, I used to export the line art from Flash to Photoshop in .png format, flatten the file, use the magic eraser to delete the white background, and start adding color to the characters with the paint bucket tool. When all that was done, I'd add a little stroke around the outside of the characters, and also apply a slight bevel/emboss effect to make them look a little bit "3-D," and finally put a dark offset layer over the top of it to add a little shadow effect. Basically, I wasn't taking a very proactive route in making my comic look good; I just blasted it with Photoshop effects to try to make it look good.

I've realized that if I really want to make the strip stand out, I have to put more time into the coloring process. This means taking more care to be sure that all elements of the characters are COMPLETELY colored in (no little gray pixels here where lines meet color), and adding shadows completely by hand instead of just covering all the characters with a smoky gray layer which robs them of their vibrant color. There are other subtle differences I won't completely go into detail with here, but suffice to say the comics take a little longer to make now, but in my opinion, look much better. Also, I'm allowing the comics to be taller...the panels are 20% taller than before, and I'm going to let talk bubbles float up above the tops of the panels a little if necessary. This will lessen the "cramp" factor I sometimes run into when making strips. All this change is forcing me to really put more time and effort into the strip, and you know what? I'm having a lot of fun doing it. Every comic feels like much more of a creative process now, instead of just going through the motions to push out a new product every few days. I hope people notice the difference. And if they don't...um...well, refer them to this blog post, will ya?