Evolution of an App

I  made this comic for the paper last week. You can see the comic in the wild and read the story by Patrick May on the Bay Area News Group website by clicking here! Mr. May always does great work and it's a pleasure to have my pictures in the paper and on the web, next to his words.

Open in a new window for a MUCH larger image.

A couple of weeks ago Pat gave me a long list -- broken down into 10 steps -- of the process the app creators went through on their project from the moment of inspiration until it was approved by the Apple app approval nazis. I took his list, his writing, his research, put it a cocoon and this wobbly, wrinkly-winged thing struggled free. I wonder if it will fly?

I was told to have fun with it, which I always do, but I don't always feel the fun while I'm actually doing it. This one was fun. I only had one very dark period while making this comic and that was at the beginning, facing that list of 10 steps. And it wasn't the issue of fear of the blank canvas, rather getting it all to fit on the canvas.

There were almost enough words to fill up all of the panels without room for pictures. Much cutting, pasting, scribbling and tearing out hair occurred while trying to break things down. Coming up with one image or "joke" for each step was also perplexing, but that's the really fun part of comics.

Open in a new window for a huge, readable image.

It was strange and exciting to work on this. There are many reasons why I wanted to be an artist, but comics were a big, big part of that, and getting the chance to do this kind of work strikes a bell for me. Ding! I hear it, I feel it. Is it any good? I can look at it objectively and rattle off a list of flaws and I can entertain the argument against its value as journalism; but even if it weren't my work, and I didn't care for the look of it, I certainly would stop and read it and enjoy it and think "Gosh, I wish I could draw comics, too." I do that all the time.

I won't do much of this for my job, but I will do more work like this because there is a joy in it. I haven't drawn comics in a decade or more; well, I've dabbled but never completed anything. I'm out of the habit and I've replaced that habit with other things for reasons that I won't list because they likely sound like excuses. I should just quit worrying about silly things and start doing silly things and enjoy myself.

The End

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