So what's the deal with this comic?
Good question. "Nothing to See Here" is, for all intents and purposes, a bit experimental. Most good webcomic artists/writers take the time to figure out their premise and come up with character designs before they even draw a single panel. There's a lot of effort and planning that goes into some of the popular daily/weekly strips out there, which is partially why they're so popular.
This is not one of those comics. :)
When I discovered webcomics in the summer of 2001, I immediately wanted to do my own. But in order to cure myself of that desire, I sat down and tried to draw one. (The result, which I dedicated to my Mom, can be found here.) It wasn't much, it wasn't well-planned, and the proportions kind of sucked, but it took FOREVER. I realized then and there that there was no way I could donate the time to a regularly updating webcomic. The drawing bug, however, continued to gnaw at me, as did the desire to at least promote some of the absolutely great comics out there, so I came up with a compromise.
"Nothing to See Here" did not begin with a plan. (Well, aside from comic #1, it DID begin with character designs. I'm not a total moron.) Nor did it begin with an ironclad premise, and it probably won't stick to one. I'm basically making things up as I go along, and I'm betting that eventually the comic might settle into some kind of storyline. Don't know what, and I frankly don't care much. I come up with the idea for a strip, draw it, post it, and explain it.
Yes, I know it sounds lazy. But there's another reason I'm doing it this way: with all the webcomics out there today, original ideas are few and far between. For every premise I threw out, I could find one or two comics that had already done that and did it better. The horrors of customer service? College/school woes? Life in a cubicle? Fantasy/sci-fi? It's all out there. Heck, if you're in search of some real talent, go to my Recommended Comics page and feast your eyes on some damned good comics.
Um... so is this comic about anything?
At this moment in time, the premise is this: Ex-college student Gwen manages to buy a house. To pay off the mortgage, she rents out a room. Unfortunately, the only tenant she can find with the money who's not psychotic is her little brother Aidan, who hasn't changed that much from high school.
Why haven't you updated? For a comic that started off with a regular schedule, the lack of updates sucks.
Because I tend to spread myself too thin with multiple projects to really throw all my efforts into one thing. I started this comic off with the understanding that it would have to be set aside from time to time, and sometimes I don't even have an IDEA to draw. I also refuse to go into anything resembling an extended storyline without having the entire thing scripted out in advance.
Free time is indeed an issue - I have several things on the back burner as well as the comic - but sometimes, even when I have the free time, I'm bereft of an IDEA to draw.
Can I link to your comic?
By all means, yes. I'll have link buttons/banners up once I get the hang of Photoshop.
Will you link to my comic?
Let me read it first. So far, I've only linked comics that I've read and enjoyed; I may add a section for comics that I haven't checked out. I probably won't refuse to link anything unless I personally find it offensive.
Wait a minute. Some characters don't quite look the same as they used to.
That's because the first two comics were done before I even sat down and did some character design work. Aidan and Irene, primarily, had to be changed because they looked too much like certain Sluggy Freelance characters. I am going to address the change in Irene's case, and Aidan - eh, he let his hair grow out. So there.
Okay, I need to know: What the heck is up with that stupid bang in Gwen's face?
Know how I said Gwen is usually my mouthpiece? Well, we both have a habit that irritates both us and others: incessantly twisting a stray bang in one's fingers. I've had it since high school, and while I've gotten better (I only do it on one side now), it still drives me nuts. If I ever kick the habit, Gwen's stray bang will go bye-bye, but don't hold your breath.
What's with the weird dates?
The dates on each comic are the dates they were originally drawn, not the date I originally posted them. The first comic was drawn waay back in February 2002, while the site itself didn't go up til May 2002. I was mucking with site formatting and learning Photoshop, and the image editing takes FOREVER to do.
You know, it's a real pain to click on "forum," then go to another page, then go to the forum.
I'm working on getting a pop-up free forum scripted with PHP now that I have a provider that allows scripting. Until then, I'm sticking with a free forum. When I change it, all I need to do is change the link on the forum redirect page. Having to change the link on every single comic page would be a LOT more annoying than one extra click for you.
And before you ask: No, I will not resort to scripting for comic updates. I don't update regularly enough.
Where did the title come from?
Randomly popped into my head, and it just stuck. Besides, "Nobody Here But Us Chickens" was too long.
How do you draw [insert object here]?
Practice, practice, practice. And I'm still not that good. As far as art is concerned, I have always been better at drawing from life than I am at drawing from memory. Frankly, if you ask me, it's a lot harder to draw from memory (those who consider life drawing to be "real art" as opposed to cartooning don't know what they're talking about) than it is when you have a model right there in front of you.
I use Adobe Photoshop 5 for image editing (since I gave up on Paint Shop Pro a while ago), and I'm still learning the ins and outs of Photoshop. If you want some good tutorials, check out the comic sites of Dirk Tiede and Jim Zubkavich - both are great artists and have excellent Photoshop tutorials. (Note: if you go to Dirk's site, look for the "PS Tutorial" link in his News section. It's hard to find, but it's there and worth the search.)
For drawing tutorials, you can pick up a book on figure drawing at any art store. Also check out the How to Draw Manga tutorials as well as the excellent tutorials at Polykarbon to get you started. But you've got to keep practicing.
I have an idea for a comic. Will you draw it? Do you do commissions?
No on both counts. I'm not that talented and don't have the time. Geez, do you know how much trouble I have drawing hands??
You're not that great an artist. I can draw better than you.
1) I know that, and 2) that's not saying much.
I don't quite get the gag in a certain comic.
I have a very off-the-wall sense of humor, and my train of thought likes to jump the tracks. So it's probably not just you.