Need to fix some things. Site will be back to normal soon.
Need to fix some things. Site will be back to normal soon.
So it’s been a while since I’ve talked about Hoops, and probably for the best. But I haven’t updated in a while, so I figure I’ll post some more embarrassing drawings to get me motivated. And these next few are pretty fucking embarrassing. Funnily enough, these comics are actually more recent than the past few comics I’ve shown.
So I forget how things got to this point, but it looks like I gave up on that whole “go to college” thing, since I think they finally got there. But I realized I don’t know anything about college, so now they’re vagrants, wandering around the United States and getting into all sorts of random trouble.
Like this little storyline. If you remember from my past posts (here and here), Hoops and his friends are bullied by three generic-looking assholes called The Bullies. Well, it seems that the Bullies are moving up in the world, as they’re now generic-looking mobsters. And they have small bits of individuality – Al is the leader who looks generic, Cal is the guy with an eyepatch, and Bone is the guy who never speaks and always carries around a suitcase (fun fact: say their names in that order really fast – wasn’t I so clever???).
So now the Bullies, with their new mafia status, decide that the best thing to do would be to kill Hoops and his friends instead of bully them, and they challenge them to a fight. Why, I don’t know. I don’t know what the events leading up to this comic were, but I’m pretty sure that Hoops and his friends were just goofing off and not doing anything to the Bullies. I guess it follows with the Bullies’ character – they are assholes, therefore they must fuck our heroes up.
And they’re joined by a team of mercenaries – Hockey, Scorch, Charge, and Scary Bob. No, those aren’t codenames – that is literally the sum of their character.
Oh, I forgot to mention, the battle takes place in a power transformer. I’ll admit that location isn’t too bad to have a fight in. But I could have the battle on the sinking Titanic while it’s on fire and it wouldn’t change the fact that I only drew a couple of background images for the whole 23 panel battle.
I remember when I drew this I was thinking “This is so EPIC!”
I don’t know why the hell one of the characters is standing on a skateboard during the fight. Is he going to grind on someone’s face? Is there a Cage of Doom that he and a mercenary have to skateboard in?
Also, it is sort of disappointing that Hockey (the guy with the dark face/hockey puck) doesn’t have a hockey stick or even dressed up like Jason Voorhees. I would totally pay for a mercenary who dresses up like Jason Voorhees and goes Friday the 13th on someone’s ass. But no, the Bullies have to go mercenary-recruiting in the fucking locker room, because apparently all sports stars end up becoming hired killers. I mean, look at Football (the guy with the football head). He’s all set to fight this guy. And apparently, neither of them thought to bring any weapons. I mean, the spiky-head guy (Scorch, who’s head is supposed to be a flame) brought a flamethrower.
Oh, and of course, Scary Bob vs Hoops. Scary Bob can’t beat him because Hoops is an idiot. HA HA HA HA HA! SO! FUNNY! (uggh)
Note to everyone – if you want to discredit whatever you have to say, simply use the word “idiot” in the description. Examples include “I’m here to point out how some people are idiots” or “I talk about idiocy.” There is no faster way to make yourself look like a pretentious asshole than including a derogatory word like that as a description for your opponents or for certain aspects of society. And even using it in situations like this comic just makes me groan because you always have to have a pretentious character to show that the “village idiot” isn’t the intellectual average. Just…don’t use the word. Let’s just all retire it to the wasteland of socially-unacceptable words.
The climax of the battle! And what a climax! The Bullies pull out a rocket launcher and Hoops decides to throw his explosive friend (he has a bomb for a head) into the path of the rocket. It would be kind of badass (but still heartless) if the rocket had not exploded four feet away from Hoops and had actually resulted in some sort of explosive stalemate. Seriously, how does this make any sense? Is Hoops invulnerable to a certain kind of explosion? Why are the Bullies firing a rocket launcher at Hoops at point-blank range? How does a massive explosion that should destroy both parties end the battle with one party being victorious? In fact, why does neither party get injured and the Bullies just seem to walk away from the battle?
It’s really pointless to ask these questions, though, because it won’t change the fact that these stupid comics exist, and no amount of writing will get rid of them or change their content. In the end, Hoops and his friends succeed, they make friends with the mercenaries who tried to kill them, and then they drive off into the sunset, er, snow. All is well for our basketball-headed hero and he continues life as if nothing happened in the first place.
I once heard that you have a thousand bad drawings in you that you have to get out of your system before you can draw good drawings. I’m glad these are out of my system.
Hey everybody! Remember this thing down here? The blog? Me neither, since I update it pretty infrequently. I’m considering getting a Tumblr blog, but I’m not sure what good that’ll do. Maybe I need to redesign again since I don’t like how the sidebar looks. It seems cluttered, and I need to get a link to my twitter put up (and maybe remove some old links to my LiveJournal and my Blogger, since the content is somewhat old and embarrassing). Maybe some more images would be helpful, to create a sort of unified design, and to hide the WordPressy look that I’ve grown to despise since it makes my comic look like all the other comics on the web.
What was I saying? Oh yeah, Flattr. In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve recently put up a button that you can use to Flattr me. Basically, Flattr is a type of micro-donation system that, in a way, combines the Paypal donation button and the Digg button. When you get an account, you pay a small monthly fee of about 2 Euros or more (I ended up paying 3 dollars because of the exchange rate and since Paypal takes a cut of your transactions) and you go around and click on Flattr buttons of things you like and, at the end of the month, the money in your Flattr account is divided amongst the things you Flattred. Apparently, it’s been pretty effective, and some people are making more money off Flattr than they are off of ads.
For all of you comic nuts out there who’ve read any of Scott McCloud’s books like Understanding Comics and Making Comics, you may recognize the concept behind Flattr as micropayments, which is described in his less popular book Reinventing Comics. In Reinventing Comics, McCloud believed that a pay-as-you-go method of reading webcomics was a great idea (like paying a penny each time you want to read a new comic in the archive). Many creators rejected this method since they were doing so well off of T-shirt sales and believed that all web content should be free and accessible.
The reason that I find Flattr interesting enough to try is because it keeps content free but leaves the option of paying for content. Have you ever wanted an album but decided to buy it off iTunes instead of pirating it since you would have felt bad taking it from the creator? Or have you ever been in a bookstore and decided to buy a book that you know you’ll like because you’ve read it before and you’d like to own it? Keep in mind, Flattr is created by the same people who created Pirate Bay, a site where you can download free content.
With Flattr, I feel like its possible to accommodate both sides of the argument between free content and paid content. It keeps content accessible and you can receive payment for your content rather than for products that relate to your content. And the price is small enough that you can give to multiple creators that you like without breaking the bank.
It is important to be realistic, of course. A lot of people can’t afford to pay for content, and many people just don’t want to pay at all. And it’s not like Paypal donation buttons are anything new. People still want something for their money. Sure, the price for Flattr is low, but how many people really want to go through the hassle of setting up an account? And even with an account, Flattr buttons are mostly on German and other European sites, and browser translations aren’t perfect.
Still, I’m going to give it a shot. I like the idea, and it may catch on over here in North America. Plus, it may give my comic more European exposure, which would be nice.
So as a way to motivate myself for not having updates, I’m going to post some bad, embarrassing old comics on my blog each time I miss an update. Now, if some of you remember, I said in my last blog post about my old comics that I would post something a little more recent than Hoops, but my god, there is just so many of these comics. I can’t believe I did so many and got through school with good grades. I flipped through the piles of notebooks and picked out a few for the chopping block. Here’s one:
The reason they’re in Chicago is because it’s part of the big story arc where they try to get to college in Dallas but the Bullies blow up their car so shenanigans ensue as they try to figure things out instead of calling home because apparently they’re all orphans. Considering that Hoops and his buddies are from Montana, the Bullies must be some kind of Montana-based gang if they’re willing to blow up a car.
So our TV-head hero, Sid, is running from a cop, carrying a bag of stuff he’s presumably stolen. Our clever protagonist then ditches the cop and hides behind a lamp that apparently someone left in the middle of the street. City workers are must be pretty lazy and don’t feel like putting streetlights up anymore.
Here’s a good question: What makes the characters with the inanimate objects for heads different from the other inanimate objects? And why do some characters, like our cop, have regular heads (with correct proportions if normal people had watermelon-sized heads) while some guys have random shit for heads? Why is no one calling them out on this? Is the cop trying to beat our tube-headed friend because he’s different than everyone else? Who knows? I certainly didn’t care, apparently.
So anyway, after evading the cops by hiding behind the shittiest-drawn lamp in the world, Sid gets abducted by aliens. In the middle of the city, apparently. Aliens just don’t give a fuck anymore, they’ll just abduct anyone they like in broad daylight. What’re you gonna do about it? They’re aliens, they can blow shit up from the sky. I’m assuming its broad daylight because I don’t see any stars/black dots on a white background. Then they start chasing Sid on their spaceship. The lamp, however, doesn’t make it.
Here’s a couple more in the series, when Hoops leaves Chicago and goes to Las Vegas.
So Hoops’ love of his life, Jessica, is driving in Chicago for some weird reason, and Hoops decides to blindly follow her. I looked a few comics back, and she was in Montana, with no plans of going anywhere. And now she’s in a convertible in Chicago. Why??? Why is she even here? Does she have the ability to warp in front of Hoops?
This is a problem I still feel I struggle with: writing a convincing female character. It doesn’t matter so much to me on Pretty Jeff (obviously) as it does on other projects like Fencing Club Adventures. Although I still feel like I’m floundering around, I have improved, because Jessica is flatter than the paper she is drawn on. She’s nothing more than a bunch of stick figure breasts hopping around, enticing Hoops at every turn with her poorly-drawn hair.
So in the next comic, Hoops has apparently driven blindly to Las Vegas. From Chicago. And didn’t even know it until pigskin-head pointed it out. It’s a 1,758 mile trip! There is no way anyone can drive there without knowing it. And to top it all off, I got an A in Geography class when making this comic. You have failed me, Toledo Public School system! All we did was watch “Finding Nemo.” We learned NOTHING about where shit is in the world!
And here’s another thing: If his buddies didn’t want to go to Las Vegas, why didn’t they take the wheel from Hoops? Throw the idiot out and move on with your lives. It’s funny that I’m pointing this out, because having an idiot with some unwilling but still loyal friends is something that other webcomic artists do. Guys, listen, you have to give a reeealllly strong reason that people would hang out with a dangerous idiot before you start your comic. Trust me, I’ve done this before. I’m a professional.
Oh, here’s a funny thing I noticed. Apparently, Vegas casinos just give you cash when gambling instead of using that whole chip system. Looking back at this with about 6 years more experience and countless hours of CSI: Las Vegas (or should I say, the only good CSI), this is just plain embarrassing.
Alright, that’s enough self-flagellation for tonight. If I miss any more updates, I’ll try to throw together another one of these posts. Or if I just really want to rip into more of my old comics.
But of course, a moment of silence before I end this post.
So the site design is going to be going through some changes in the next few days. I’ll be cracking open my book on CSS and working on revising the design. Probably best to change it now, with the comic being a year old. No idea how to sync up my site files with Dreamweaver so I’ll be doing the changes directly. So some weird things will be happening. One moment, you’ll be reading a comic about my problems with stress, and as soon as you press the Next button, the entire site as you know it will be transformed into Stinky Pete, the journal comic about hardcore Halo fan Pete who can’t stand all the noobs he has to deal with online. All of his comics are stained with Cheeto dust and Mountain Dew.