Today's sunday strip was a lot of fun to do although it took me forever.
It's actually a homage/tribute/rip off of this amazing double-spread by Wally Wood (art) and George Belkin (script) from issue #68 of Mad, circa 1962. This is the uncut Bristol board image. Notice I stole one of the jokes!
One thing I decided up front was that due to the proliferation of characters and the much smaller space allowed for Sunday strips these days I had to restrict the numbers somewhat. Thus I only included characters from current strips (no reruns with the exception of Andy Capp and Popeye) and included very few dogs and cats. I skipped the soap and adventure type strips too. Generally I picked characters that might actually work in an office and there is definitely a personal bias in there too. Also, as Dilbert's boss says "no webcomics". The exceptions were people who have included my characters in their strips (Dark SIde of the Horse, Human Cull and Knight Life). Of course I missed a few that I'd include if I was to do this over.
Here's the pencil rough before I started inking.
I was really happy to be able to make a band. Hardest to draw was Dagwood from Blondie. I need to practice that one more. Next up, the Comic Strip Characters Beach party!
Here's the complete list (approximately top to bottom, left to right):
Horace (Dark Side of the Horse), Calvin and Hobbes, Garfield, Travis (the head in the jar from Scary Gary), Jill Kaplan (The Pajama Diaries), Jonathan Lemon (me!), Stephan Pastis (Pearls Before Swine), Alien Admin (from Human Cull), Rory (The Barn), Percival Dunwoody, Idiot Time-Traveler from 1909 (Tom the Dancing Bug), Scary Gary and Leopold (Scary Gary), Buni (Buni), Dilbert, Helen Kudlick (Dustin), Keith Knight (The K Chronicles), Lance (Fusco Brothers), Dagwood (Blondie), Luann, Arthur (Sheldon), Pointy-haired boss (Dilbert), Petey (Cul-de-Sac), Popeye, Lettuce (Rabbits Against Magic), Roger Fox (Foxtrot), Charlie Brown and Lucy (Peanuts), Big Nate, Lio, Tina (Tina's Groove), Beatle Bailey and Sarge, The cloud (Wizard of Id), Zippy the Pinhead, Trixie (Rabbits Against Magic), Jeremy Duncan (Zits), La Cucuracha, Joules (Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee), Rat (Pearls Before Swine), Lamont (Candorville), Duke (Doonesbury), Monty Montahue (Monty), Bung and the Wizard (Wizard of Id), Andy Capp, Schroeder (Peanuts), Hilary Forth (Sally Forth), Poncho (Pooch Cafe), Bucky (Get Fuzzy), Bleeker the Rechargeable Dog, Thatababy, Hammie (Baby Blues), Marla (Retail), Eaightball and Weenus (Rabbits Against Magic), Grog (B.C.), Earl (Pickles), Oscar the Penguin (Arctic Circle), Enos (The Duplex).
Although these are different jokes, I'm stunned by the similarity of these two strips. The camera placement, the two trees, insect hanging in tree. Well done Mr. Tatulli, you made me almost feel like a professional.
Here's a sneak preview of tomorrow's Sunday strip. It's a homage to Hitchcock of whom I am a great fan. In addition to the appearance of Hitchcock himself (bottom center-left) I snuck in some references to Birds and Vertigo.
Here's a list of pens I use to create a Rabbits Against magic strip. 1. Copic Multiliner SP 0.3 (for very fine lines) 2. Pelikan technoliner 0.8 (a good all round backup) 3. Faber-Castell PITT Artist Pen (for filling in and fast brush work) 4. Micron Pigma 08 (for lettering) 5. Micron Pigma Graphic Brush pen (for bold lettering occasional background work) 6. Kuretaki Sumi Brush Pen (my hardest working pen for borders and character lines) and 7. Papermate ProTouch II 0.5 Mechanical Pencil with 2B leads (brilliant for sketching and penciling).
I've been pushing the envelope this past week with some of the strips I've put off publishing due to their potential controversial nature. Well, at least in the world of comic strips which is seen as a family-friendly environment.
First I took on evolution. Got a few negative comments over at GoComics although I don't think I'm really taking a position on anything here. But just the mention of it seems to rile some people up.
Yesterday my napping editor didn't call out my devil worshiping reference. Actually that's what "djävulsdyrkan" means in Swedish. I wonder if the furniture names in the Stockholm Ikea are in English.
Today I got away with an exposed nipple.
Tomorrow? Well I can't decide if I want to insult the prophet Mohammed or address Roe Vs. Wade. Then again, just using the word "suck" is often enough to get you banned from some newspapers, unless you're talking about a vacuum cleaner of course.
Yes, it's been exactly five whole years to the day since I started on this daily comic strip experiment. That's the "wood" anniversary for those who care about such things. So to celebrate, here are all the May 3rd strips through the years.
The very first Rabbits strip from 2008.
The 2009 May 3rd strip was on a Sunday. This was a pretty ambitious strip. I wouldn't attempt a background like that these days.
2010 it looks like I actually remembered ahead of time to do an anniversary themed strip.
The 2011 strip fell in the middle of a series about a ventriloquist dummy, or "figure". My coloring had become a bit more "mature" by this stage and the inking has become a lot more finesse.
By 2012 Lettuce had entered the strip and was already up to her usual antics.
And by pure coincidence, she features in the 2013 strip as well. This is the end of a week-long series where her eyes glow red when she misbehaves. At least that's what I think it's about. Anyway, I'm off to hoist a few brews to celebrate. Cheers everyone and thanks for reading!