Today’s Art (23rd August 2018)

Woo hoo! This is the third comic in “Damania Doodle” – a slightly “non-canonical” mini series of single-panel monochrome cartoons featuring the characters from my long-running webcomic series. You can find many more comics featuring these characters in the 2016-18 segments of this page. Plus, you can catch up on previous comics in this mini series here: Comic One, Comic Two

And, yes, Rox is both a fan of old computers (Windows 98 in particular) and the classic “Doom” games.

The original “Doom” games from the 1990s can run on so many things that there’s actually a site dedicated to listing them. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the modern remake.

As usual, this comic update is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Damania Doodle – Latest” By C. A. Brown

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Today’s Art (22nd August 2018)

Woo hoo! This is the second comic in “Damania Doodle” – a slightly “non-canonical” mini series of single-panel monochrome cartoons featuring the characters from my long-running webcomic series. You can find many more comics featuring these characters in the 2016-18 segments of this page. Plus, you can catch up on previous comics in this mini series here: Comic One,

And, yes, Roz also likes to celebrate Halloween late too (or very early, depending on how you look at it).

As usual, this comic update is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Damania Doodle – Practice” By C. A. Brown

Today’s Art (21st August 2018)

Woo hoo! This is the first comic in “Damania Doodle” – a slightly “non-canonical” mini series of single-panel monochrome cartoons featuring the characters from my long-running webcomic series (you can find many more comics featuring these characters in the 2016-18 segments of this page).

Basically, this mini series came about because – due to being busy with various things – I realised that I’d have to make a quick & easy mini series this month if I wanted to avoid a comic hiatus. Even so, I quite like how this comic update turned out – hopefully, the other 4-5 comic updates will be just as much fun to make too 🙂

As usual, this comic update is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Damania Doodle – Office” By C. A. Brown

Why Making A Comic “Unfriendly” To Readers Can Work Sometimes – A Ramble

Well, I thought that I’d take a break from talking about webcomics and talk about narrative comics instead. This is mostly because, whilst sorting through some of the stuff in my room, I stumbled across a rather cool graphic novel that I’d forgotten that I owned.

It’s a graphic novel from 2005 called “Silent Hill: Paint It Black” by Scott Ciencin and Shaun Thomas which tells a self-contained story that is based on the disturbing fictional world of the old “Silent Hill” videogames. This article may contain some mild SPOILERS though.

Suddenly discovering this graphic novel was both a cool… and mildly ominous… experience at the same time.

Anyway, one of the most interesting things about this comic is that it is very deliberately designed to be “reader-unfriendly”. In other words, this isn’t the kind of comic that can be read mindlessly in five minutes. And, surprisingly, it’s actually a better comic because it isn’t designed to be easily read.

This decision to make the comic “unfriendly” to readers mostly works because of the context. It wasn’t just a random decision that was made in order to appear “edgy” or “avant-garde”. So, the main lesson here is that context matters a lot when it comes to deciding how ‘reader friendly’ to make your comic. But, let’s look at some of the reasons why it works in the context of this comic.

Firstly, this is a horror comic based on a series of disturbing horror games. As such, the story needs to evoke a feeling of unease in the audience. So, making a comic that can be easily and quickly read without thinking about it too much wouldn’t really work in this comic. By including things like disturbing artwork, an unusual main character, a slightly bizarre storyline etc.. the comic is deliberately designed not to be relaxing.

Secondly, the occasionally bewildering story of the comic works well because it is a brilliant fit with the comic’s main character. The comic follows a homeless artist who ends up travelling to the haunted town of Silent Hill and living there. After a while, it quickly become apparent that he is more comfortable when surrounded by evil monsters than by people.

As such, some of the story’s more confusing and outlandish plot elements (eg: such as the arrival of a bus filled with cheerleaders at one point in the story) work because they make us question whether we’re seeing the “real” world or merely the main character’s anxieties, memories and nightmares. This is also heightened through the use of bizarre visual symbolism too – for example, any visitors to the town of Silent Hill that the main character sees appear as indistinct mannequin-like figures who are dressed in yellow overcoats.

All of this means that the reader also sometimes has to pause for a second to work out what exactly is going on. This approach to narrative is designed to make the reader feel like they’ve been dropped into a strange and dangerous place. If the story was a bit more logical or straightforward, or if the comic explained some of the symbolism a bit more, then this effect would be lost.

Finally, a lot of the art in the comic deliberately looks slightly “unfinished” too (eg: with visible sketching etc..). Not only does this reflect the fact that the main character is an artist but, in a stroke of genius, this “unfinished” art style is also combined with some rather slick-looking digital artwork. This visually-jarring blend of art styles helps to heighten the disturbing atmosphere of the comic surprisingly well.

This is a detail from “Silent Hill: Paint It Black” (2005) which shows how the artist has blended an “unfinished” sketch-like style (eg: the man’s hands and trousers) with more advanced digital effects (eg: the lights in the background)

Yes, the comic could have probably heightened this effect even more by using a more unique style of lettering than the “standard” type of lettering that appears in virtually every print comic. But, this small concession to readability actually sort of works since it focuses the reader’s attention on the events of the story. Even so, a more erratic and/or scrawled style of lettering would have also worked really well.

But, yes, sometimes making a comic “reader unfriendly” can actually work. However, it requires a lot of careful thought in order to get right. Not only do you have to take the context of your comic’s story into account, but you also have to make sure that you have a good reason for every reader-unfriendly thing you include in your comic.

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Anyway, I hope that this was interesting 🙂

The Complete “Damania Resort” – All Eight Episodes Of The New Webcomic Mini Series By C. A. Brown

Well, in case you missed any of it, here are all eight episodes of my “Damania Resort” webcomic mini series in one easy-to-read post.

Although this mini series has a continuous story (a detective story, no less!) that can be read on it’s own, it also follows on from the ending of the previous mini series. You can also find links to lots of other mini series here.

All in all, this mini series turned out surprisingly well. Although there was a very slight dip in art quality in some later parts of the mini series, it was a highly-inspired mini series that ended up being longer than some of my more recent mini series have been. Plus, it has been way too long since I last made a detective-themed comic.

And, yes, this mini series was originally going to have a different ending. But, I ended up rewriting the final five and a half panels after I realised that my original planned ending was both a bit depressing and somewhat out-of-character for at least one of the characters.

As usual, all eight of these comic updates are released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence. You can also click on each comic update to see a larger version of it, if it is too small to read.

“Damania Resort – Jinxed” By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resort – Anarchy” By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resort – Stupor” By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resort – Process” By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resort – Interruption” By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resort -Theory” By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resort -Deficiency” By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resort -Unpopular” By C. A. Brown

Today’s Art (27th July 2018)

Woo hoo! Here’s the finale to my “Damania Resort” webcomic mini series. Don’t worry if you missed any of it, I’ll post a full retrospective here later tonight. In the meantime, you can find lots of other mini series here.

And, yes, this ending was a little bit immature, but it seemed too funny of an idea not to use. Plus, it seemed considerably less depressing than my original planned ending (where Rox was actually guilty, but Harvey basically let her go because he didn’t agree with the constable’s laissez-faire approach to policing).

As usual, this comic update is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Damania Resort -Unpopular” By C. A. Brown

Today’s Art (26th July 2018)

Woo hoo! I am very proud to present the seventh (and penultimate) part of “Damania Resort” – a new story-based webcomic mini series that follows on from the ending of my previous mini series. If you missed any of this mini series, previous updates can be read here: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six,

You can also check out lots of other comics featuring these characters on this page.

And, yes – belive it or not – Rox isn’t really a fan of Linux. Partly because of it’s historical lack of games and partly because of an obssession with one very specific historical operating system.

As usual, this comic update is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Damania Resort -Deficiency” By C. A. Brown