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READER'S DISCUSSION:

Reply The_Hankerchief, December 22nd, 2013, 3:23 am

It is for this reason I wish I could have a tape recorder running near me 24/7. In addition to other uses, I'd never forget a brilliant idea again.

Reply mitchellbravo, December 22nd, 2013, 8:44 am

@The_Hankerchief: Plus, once you're wealthy and famous and decades have passed, you could auction away the tapes, either for charity or to boost your own wealth!

Reply The_Hankerchief, December 23rd, 2013, 2:50 pm

@mitchellbravo: True, but be careful what you say. Richard Nixon tried to do that, and it backfired horribly on him.

Reply mitchellbravo, December 23rd, 2013, 5:23 pm

@The_Hankerchief: Good point. I made my sister laugh the other day because she had never heard about his "bad list." She found it even funnier that Elvis was on it.

Reply Oly-RRR, July 28th, 2014, 6:02 pm

Awww, Tony! I lost too many one-liners that way and I always try to carry a notebook with me! I know we all have mobile phones these days but honestly I scribble faster than type on small keyboards.

This makes me wonder if Tony will continue writing - especially poetry. It seems that a lot of people write poems around high school but few continue doing it later. I know my writing went from poems to prose to comic scripts only in the span of late teen years.

Reply mitchellbravo, July 28th, 2014, 6:22 pm

@Oly-RRR: I'm the same way! It's for that reason I learned to just keep a bunch of pads of paper and sharpened pencils next to my bed, since most of those hauntingly good ideas seem to come to me right as I'm too tired to get up and put them anywhere else. The problem is that I only jot down a few key words to help me remember, but sometimes the prompt doesn't work and I'm left with this strange word salad I can't make sense of XD

That's really interesting! For me it worked a lot the same way. In my preteen-early teen years I did a lot of writing what were intended to become novels. I think doing Loud Era was a big catalyst in changing that though, because it's really the only thing I devote myself to creatively anymore so if I'm going to bother writing anything it ends up being a comic script form!

Reply Oly-RRR, July 28th, 2014, 7:28 pm

@mitchellbravo: Haha, sometimes I end up with word salad too! Or really weird thumbnails - I was re-working older thumbnails last night and there was a tiny doodle next to a bigger thumb which WAS SUPPOSED TO MEAN SOMETHING about composition but I still don't know what it was. XD Oh well, I try to think that if something got lost in time it means I can come up with something better but it's funny how sometimes we can't seem to communicate properly even with our future selves.

Yeah, I think most people who keep doing something creative end up picking whatever they are more comfortable with. I took an online class on writing fiction a few months ago over at Futurelearn (they offer free classes and stuff, I gotta sign up more!) and it was fun but I understood that I generally prefer telling stories visually. There are a few things that are easier to do in novels (like the unreliable narrator thing - if Cop Story were a novel EVERYONE would be an unreliable narrator :D) but generally comics have more upsides for me personally.

Reply mitchellbravo, July 28th, 2014, 8:09 pm

@Oly-RRR: LMAO YES. Sometimes on my thumbnails or even on just the vague sketches I'll leave arrows that are supposed to indicate "character's head needs to be made bigger/smaller" or "move the panel border so you have more room" but I tend to process it as "CHARACTER NODS VIGOROUSLY" and "CHARACTER GOES WHOOSHING ACROSS THE ROOM"

Hahahaha I think you're right- Cop Story through a novel would have to be one of those ones where every chapter is told thorugh someone else's perspective :P Loud Era actually started off as a novel, and I can't really remember why I switched it. I think it was a combination of everything I wrote for it sounding disgustingly overwrought and pretentious, and I just had this really strong mental image of- and I know this will sound weird- Joseph standing in his underwear by a kitchen sink, looking pissed off out the window. It never became a canon scene in any sort of way but it was like, I *saw* him and *knew* what he looked like, and then had to draw all the characters what they'd look like, and somehow that transformed it to just being a full-on comic instead. The fact that I've stuck with it pretty much since spring of 2008 makes it the only drawn project I've stuck with for longer than a year or two. I guess that's a sign that it's something I'm meant to be doing for now at least :)


edit: A bit odd that on this page titled "Inspiration" I ended up telling you that whole last bit there XD

Reply Oly-RRR, July 28th, 2014, 9:35 pm

@mitchellbravo: D'awww, yeah, sometimes it just... happens. Like it's a lot of things that are almost accidental and then it seems so right and meaningful like it couldn't have been any other way. I know Cop Story could have gone in many other directions but it didn't and it feels good, at least right now.

Also with stories set in certain periods of history it's tricky to figure out if the writing itself should be stylized to fit the era or can be more modern and comics don't have this issue for some reason.

Pfff, haha, I am SO SORRY IN ADVANCE but you know how when you see some text you end up reading some words before you read it all properly? For some reason when I looked at your comment I saw "Joseph standing in his underwear on a kitchen sink pissing out of the window - it never became canon..." and now I'm just so happy about that mental image - it's a butchery of a meaningful talk about inspiration but I have a feeling you might appreciate it. :D

Reply mitchellbravo, July 28th, 2014, 10:35 pm

@Oly-RRR: I remember you saying the story was originally to be called "Time Cops" - what was that going to be like? The name makes me think of that cartoon "Time Squad" that used to be on in like I think the early 00's?

Yeah, that's an issue I've struggled with. I know there's some inauthenticities in the dialogue but I try to make it so that modern readers don't need like a glossary to accompany the comic, while still maintaining a bit of the different "sound." The dialogue wasn't even the worst part of the old written-out Loud Era, it was the narrative. Like, I'll have to go find where I have some orts of it written down because it's so embarassingly *DRAMATIC* and is trying so hard to be heartstring-pulling that it just f a i l s s s s s s s

HAHAHAHAHA! You know as I typed it I changed the order of the words because I originally typed "Joseph in his underwear pissed off" and I was like ew that is a disturbingly strong stream I need to make it not say that XD XD

Lmao, the Loud Era comment section, happy home to discussions of peeing, smeared poop, vomit, and dog dicks.

Reply Oly-RRR, July 28th, 2014, 11:37 pm

@mitchellbravo: It was "The Time Police" - it had a time machine which was also a wheelchair! XD The owner of the device is in the current plot though obviously he lost his time-travelling perks and changed his residence from Newton to London after some re-writing. After I finished scripting the first episode I realised I had no use for time travel further in the plot and it seemed too important to just drop mid-story and I was kind of lost when I started thinking about Nutter's life before he came to Newton. Then Chance happened and everything started to click. There was one rocky moment where I was tired of negative comments about disabled characters. Readers who stick with Cop Story are very supportive but otherwise I've heard "too depressing", "why do you need another disabled character, isn't one enough?", "if I were in that situation I'd kill myself" and so on from people both irl and online and at one point it got to me and I tried to re-write it as a usual "badass" cop story. Luckily I realised what was happening before it went too far and I guess I needed to go there to learn to stop paying attention to that kind of stuff. :P But uh, it's amazing how much bullshit comes from people when they are not facing real people but discussing fictional characters - I mean I realise there are things in Cop Story that can be argued about but "is it okay to make a story about these people" is not one of them.

I think Loud Era dialogue sounds good (I'm not an expert but I like it)! But yeah, I can imagine narrative being harder to handle.

For some reason I imagine it to be a second floor window - and the rest of the main cast in the yard looking properly shocked. :D

And a clandestine buttsex committee! XD Whoever decides to scroll this far down will be either rewarded or punished for curiosity, depends on how they look at it! :D

Reply mitchellbravo, July 29th, 2014, 10:20 am

@Oly-RRR: Aaah that sounds like a neat idea but I think it worked out well that the story gradually changed to something slightly more mundane! And Chauncey swoops in to save the day :D LMAO what the fuck is the matter with people??? And all I bet from people who've never had to deal with anything of the sort personally and have never had anyone close to them with a disability either. And I usually *NEVER* say it because I loathe this expression, but couldn't they see that your comic *was* going to be about people other than just the "standard" able-bodied and use a little of the good ol' fashioned "Don't like, don't read?" Well I'm really glad that you decided to stick with it as-is- even now as stories have started to at least pay lip service to racial/sexual/gender diversity, even the most open minded people tend to leave out a pretty decent sized group of people in their Wonderful Inclusion World.

LOL. And Joseph screaming profanities at everybody- maybe he got a bad batch of the pain pills he takes xD

Hahahaha I hope that years down the line someone comes along to read it all first thing in the morning before they go to work and it sticks with them all through the day XD

Reply Oly-RRR, July 29th, 2014, 11:53 am

@mitchellbravo: I think the weirdest reaction I ever got from anyone was around the time when I was working on the earliest pages of Cop Story - mum's friend was over and I wasn't even working on Cop Story, I was colouring a commission with a bunch of characters including one guy in a manual wheelchair and she started going on about how I "shouldn't draw freaks". The weirdest thing about it is that I know her niece (or a kid of some close relative at any rate) is disabled and like you said, I can at least see how the flawed logic of people who never had to deal with anything like this works, with that woman I just don't know. ._. But honestly she has a lot of extreme opinions while not being cruel in daily life, like she rescued a cat and such. Like you said some time ago, it's kind of wrong to call people "evil" because everyone combines good and bad qualities.

Yup, I don't like saying "don't like don't read" either but I think it's a very reasonable attitude when it comes to comics, shows and so on. I don't enjoy a lot of stuff either but I don't think the whole world has to have exactly the same preferences as I do.

I'm okay with stories not including EVERYONE because each story has its own logic, lineup of characters and so on so it's impossible to fit in every possible kind of character but yeah, there is some kind of totem pole order when it comes to disabilities with blind characters or characters that heroically lost a limb (sorry Chance, nothing personal) on top, mentally ill characters in the middle and characters with severe developmental disabilities at the bottom. I can sort of see how it happens, people think "what can this character DO?" but that thinking comes from lack of research or imagination - I've been adding some new characters recently and honestly by now I think the only kind of character that can't move the plot is a character in a coma (and even then you can do something - one of my top favourite shows ever, Life on Mars UK, rotates pretty much around that)...

Pfffhahahaha, now I imagine a primary school teacher or a manager coming to work, going on about their usual day and then suddenly breaking down mid-sentence going "BWAHAHA smearing poop dog dicks buttsex!!!" XD

Reply mitchellbravo, July 29th, 2014, 1:56 pm

@Oly-RRR: Well, she sounds like a real interesting type :| I don't even know how else to respond to that! What did you end up saying back to her, if anything? Yeah, everyone exists in a gray area, good in some ways and bad in others. It's because we all come to have our own worldview and priorities and values that get reflected in the choices we make. The world sure stays interesting that way, anyhow.

Exactly. And in your case it's not like you "roped anyone in" with like this story of everyone being "normal" for hundreds and hundreds of pages only to have them suddenly get in an industrial accident and then spend the rest of the story watching their brutal recoveries and/or deaths, you know? You're not hiding the fact that these are issues your comic is going to deal with and there's plenty of other comics, like 99.9999999%, that don't touch on disabled people at all for all these complaining folks to read :| Or my personal favorite which has started really taking off- people with Special Powers or some very mild visual difference (usually not even what could be called a deformity) used as a stand-in for gays/the disabled/transgendered people that seem so proud to be dealing with very basic social aspects of "being different" without ever delving deep into the issues other than "So and so is MEAN and closed-minded and thinks I am bad because I look different and woe is my life I am alone in my tragic uniqueness" and it's just like, c'mon people at least up the stakes a little bit :P

I think you're spot on with that totem-pole. People with visually subtle disabilities get favored (OH MY TRAGIC SCAR UPON MY CHEEK, I WILL FOREVER BE UNLOVED. OH MY TRAGIC TWO-DIFFERENT-COLOR EYES, HOW WILL I MANAGE.) and then mental illness kind of gets that trainwreck appeal because again, it's usually not visually apparent and has that *dark mysterious* quality that people tend to treat as a freak show as opposed to empathizing with. Characters with significant disabilities are ignored because it makes people too uncomfortable, and I guess for a lot of people they either, like you said, don't think there's any story to be told with them or in a lot of cases are probably afraid of offending someone with the material.

Lol, at first I read that as "the only character that moves the plot is in a coma" and I was like God damn that is some brilliant writing XD

LOL. You just reminded me of another poop story that has to with my old work at the portrait studio XD It was the holidays and on the weekdays, the morning and early afternoon tended to be busy but not off-the-hook packed, but then when it got toward after-work hours things would pick up so intensely that you'd be running from one session to the next with literally no pause in between. Anyway, it was like around lunchtime, a couple brought in their *six day old baby* to get pictures taken. First of all, what, stay home. lol. So we take all the pictures and one kind of specialty thing we'd do for babies is to take a close up of the baby's hands holding dad's finger and a close up of the baby's feet with mom's hands around them in a heart shape. Now I'm like exhausted at this point because it was smack dab in the middle of December, we'd been doing 12-14 hour days basically every day and getting one day off each week (and which day off it was would shift so sometimes you'd go ten, twelve days without a break), everyone there was complete zombies and more or less physically falling apart.

The family and I have the pictures on the computer now and are deciding which ones they're going to buy. The parents are looking over the hand and feet pictures and suddenly the dad goes "Wait- is that poop on her foot?" And we all lean closer to the screen. There was just this tiny dab of poop on the side of the baby's foot. It took literally every ounce of strength to not die laughing right there in the presence of the customers, and I'm trying to finish the session with them but you know how the times you *aren't* supposed to laugh are the times it's hardest to keep the triggering thing out of your head? I can only imagine the strained faces I must have been pulling trying to not think about this poop-foot baby. Finally, they leave, and the huge post-work influx of people really starts coming in. I take care of a few more families and it gets to be like, probably 8 or 9 at night. I'm with this one family in the camera room and I'm moving the prop couch or whatever and suddenly I REMEMBERED THE POOP AND STARTED UNCONTROLLABLY LAUGHING, like unable to breathe gasping, tears welling in my eyes. I think I ended up confessing to the family because they were chill and I felt bad for freaking them out- like imagine from their point of view, this scraggle-haired, wasting-away, gray-skinned woman getting ready to take pictures of your family suddenly without any prompt whatsoever folding over in the middle of the shoot with hysterical laughter.

Reply Oly-RRR, July 29th, 2014, 6:26 pm

@mitchellbravo: I already don't remember what I said exactly - I was kind of too angry to come up with something good. I mean that's some nerve - both to say something like that and generally come to my home and tell me what I'm not supposed to draw. I think I asked why it bothers her so much but she's one of those people who think They Are Always Right and it ended with my mum changing the subject. Now I don't leave sketchbooks lying around when she visits - I generally don't hide anything about my art but when I know someone has a weird attitude it's just easier to keep the distance than getting angry about it.

But yeah, people are weird. It took me a lot of time to start understanding it - someone can have appalling views but be kind to everyone they meet in person or be nice on words and a total jerk when it comes to actions or something in between.

Yeaaah, I notice that Special Powers stuff too! And discrimination based on green hair or differently coloured eyes or cat ears. :P And mental illness in comics just makes me headdesk because whenever people have any kind of psychiatric institution in their story it's either Arkham Asylum with everyone being an axe murderer in chains or a secret clubhouse where shy teenagers (without any signs of mental disorders) fall in love and talk about their feelings (and again, buttsex). And then really weird fetish comics on DA with characters wearing diapers like a fashion accessory - I don't think diapers are "unmentionables", I mean it's just body stuff but I'm pretty sure that people who have to use them beyond early childhood don't show them off like scout badges or constantly discuss them.

I can sort of understand that people can be afraid to offend someone but I think this situation with whole groups of people missing from fiction is more offensive than some poorly researched stories can be (especially since poorly researched stories exist already anyway). Generally I think the only really offensive thing is writing any character flatly, "that creature" instead of someone the readers can possibly emphasize with, everything else I can think of can either be fixed with more research or just explained by character's personality and circumstances more than anything (I mean I don't think most cops would get offended by the messed up stuff my cops do so I guess it should be the same with any other group of people).

Though recently I've been thinking how exactly to write non-verbal characters interacting specifically in comics - I'd have no issues if it were a movie but comics make it slightly more difficult. But I'm sure I'll figure out something.

Hahaha! But really, in Life on Mars the character that moves the plot the most IS in a coma - it's not a big spoiler and is mentioned pretty early on. Of course the show is not two seasons of real time footage of him being on life support but still. XD

Oh gosh, LOL - I'd laugh too! Honestly I can't even listen to funny songs on my headphones when outside, I end up grinning like an idiot in the middle of a street - I'm impressed you fought it off until the first family left at least! And really, why did they have to do that to barely a week old baby? Sometimes parental adoration takes really strange shapes. :P

But honestly I'm the kind of person who goes portrait studios only to get a photo for documents taken, I'd be awful for business! And that reminds me - I don't know if they did it at your studio but I've seen a few local studios that put samples of their work in their window or next to the office door and it's weddings weddings family photos class photos SUDDENLY SOMBRE-LOOKING MEMORIAL PHOTOS OF DEAD PEOPLE weddings weddings family photos again. I get that dead family members are no subject for laughs but it always makes me think that if I ever get kids and end up writing a will I'd like to make sure they use a photo of me grinning and ideally in big shades and maybe giving a thumbs-up for this kind of stuff.

Reply mitchellbravo, July 29th, 2014, 11:05 pm

@Oly-RRR: Yeah I don't blame you for moving stuff out of sight when she comes. Some fights just aren't worth fighting with people like that and you just gotta let it go :/

Lmao YES. Psychiatric problems are used as like a weird fetish or way to make a character seem deep and compelling without actually putting any work into it. And it's like people are afraid to give their character a "real problem" because I think some people do have a problem relating *to* people with actual problems. I think of it the opposite way- you write a character with a condition and it kind of gets you more sympathetic to people with that condition, like when parents have a special needs child and suddenly the Wonderful World of Special Needs is opened to them :P

Oh my god the diapers are one of the weirdest fetishes. It's just always so weirdly depicted, like you said with them showing them off to each other, in a way that literally only makes sense within the context of the fetish-based world. Oh well... for the most part it seems a harmless fetish, and I guess it takes all sorts to make this world turn XP

I think you're right about exclusion being worse than misinformed inclusion. I never really thought about it before, I always think of the comics that are purportedly about gay people but the characters are flat stereotypes that aren't relatable as people, and always thought "If you can't write a realistic gay person, don't bother." But now you've got me thinking that the shitty writing may give way to the better writing. Maybe someone who reads a comic where [whatever underrepresented minority] is really poorly written, and it inspires them to come up with a better story that they then contribute to the world. I hate to use the term "white knighting" as I think it's often overused, but I think there's a lot of cases where well-intentioned people of a majority group feel they're looking out for the best interest of a minority group by trying to censor dialogue about them, only for members of that minority group to welcome the discussion in fact.

Re: non-verbal characters, I'm sure you'll find a good way to do it. The way you've worked it for characters with significant speech impediments has worked at least in my opinion so far. Then again since I'm a native speaker it's really easy for me to "hear" what you've written and figure out what the characters are saying (much better than I am IRL when actually interacting with a person, unfortunately). Either way you've handled other things very well so I figure you'll find a way to make it work!

Hahaha my spontaneous recollection of things that are devastatingly hysterical is going to be my downfall at some point. Even though I'm pretty sure everyone experiences it, it's never easy to explain to someone why you're laughing about something that isn't funny at all. (Which actually happened quite a few times to me when I was answering the phone at the old job, but I've saddled you with enough stories of that wretched place for the time being I think XP )

LOL THAT'S SO GRIM. We never had anything like that mostly only because we weren't allowed to display any of the shoots we actually did ._. The windows and interior walls were full of the **Ideal Perfect Corporate Photoshoots** and then we had a tiiiny binder at the front of the store where if you really liked a picture you did, and the family gave you permission, you could print an 8x10 and toss it in there, but the company actually even had a policy that you wouldn't be allowed to use pictures you took there in any portfolios or anything like that going forward. Hahaha are you like me and want to have really chipper and uplifting music at your funeral also? Although I guess they don't want you to play happy songs at your funeral because then they'll be ruined for anyone who listens to them and misses you in the future XD

Reply Oly-RRR, July 30th, 2014, 1:06 am

@mitchellbravo: Oooh, I never thought that people can have trouble relating to people with problems but in a way it makes sense. I'm of the same opinion as you though - writing Cop Story sort of makes me understand people better! I mean I still am quite awkward and generally don't start talking to anyone first unless I suspect it's wanted but it's the way I am with anyone I don't know well, not any specific group of people.

I never thought much about "white knighting" until I was looking up Adam Hills' skits on youtube and some of them had comments about how they are rude and he shouldn't joke about disabilities. What those people didn't know is that Adam Hills is an amputee, worked as a commentator for the Paralympics and definitely met more disabled people than most or all of them. :P That and "write what you know!" followed too zealously can end up with everyone making basically autobiographical stories about them writing those stories. I mean definitely any topic should be researched properly to write about but someone like Jarvis is very unlikely to make a webcomic just for physical reasons so we're going to end up with some non-disabled people writing about disability no matter what. I mean honestly Cop Story happened after those bad times I had and mum said that if I made an autobiography comic it could be interesting and I was thinking about how nobody besides my parents, a couple of friends and some medical professionals and such knew about my issues and that random people I see in the street also might have something in their life I can never guess, a mental illness, a disabled kid at home, something I just can't guess at all and I thought "screw my personal sob story, that's boring, I just want to write about everyone that doesn't get written about much" and I guess it took a while to put that idea into any particular shape but eventually... So my point is, even after that I can't possibly know people with -all- conditions mentioned in Cop Story personally, let alone have all those conditions myself. :P I did learn to research stuff from as many sides as possible so that helps.

So I kind of apply that idea to other writers and try to hope for the best, like even worst stuff might be a first step to better stuff or like you said, push someone else in that direction - but yeah, some of the worse examples make me want to reach through my screen to those writers and do that throttling thing Homer Simpson does to Bart (or did to Bart, I stopped keeping up with the Simpsons a long time ago). :P

I'm glad you think speech stuff works so far! It's pretty hard to find balance with speech impediments - usually I want the impediment to be obvious in written form but also to get at least key words across. Like you said, it depends on the readers too so mileage may vary. :]

Yeah, it's weird how something is funny sometimes! Some stuff just has a lot of context, like inside jokes. Sometimes I start laughing at something and realise that I don't know anyone who'd get it for sure so it's like an inside joke with myself which seems almost literally crazy. XD And then sometimes you explain a joke and explaining it somehow makes it less funny and sometimes it keep being funny? Humour is a weird thing, trying to define it might be even weirder.

Ooh, I never thought about shoots not being allowed for displaying for privacy reasons but honestly I have a feeling that those samples I see are either random actors posing for samples or maybe some old pictures nobody claimed (which seems strange but can happen I suppose).

Haha, I listen to a weird mix of really sad and really happy music - from something actually targeted at children to stuff most people I know find depressing like Eels. Honestly Eels have some songs literally about funerals, let alone a lot of stuff that would work at a funeral mood-wise so I have a feeling I already have too much possible material for that.

Not Eels but speaking of songs of weird sad-but-uplifting sort that might be literally about funerals I am going to link this because it's both a song I like a lot, it has a perfect music video and if Cop Story was a show it would fit great in the soundtrack if not as the theme song - http://youtu.be/uJET0Rf_fQo I am honestly not sure if it's more uplifting or sad and if playing it at a funeral would ruin it for anyone because it's sort of supposed to make you think about missing people but in a good way?

Also I really enjoy when you mention songs that played when you were drawing the page and were fitting or just are just fitting in general - I do it TOO MUCH myself, I enjoy leaning about Loud Era kind of music. X)

-EDIT (at the risk of making this text wall impossible to get through)-
I went to bed but we have a heat wave here and it's impossible to sleep and I was thinking about what I said about Jarvis not making webcomics and then I thought of Houston and then I thought "...damn, Christy Brown." I am almost sure that if Christy Brown was born around the same time we were he could have been making awesome autobiographical webcomics by now. But I guess the reason Christy Brown is relatively famous is because he was good enough to compete with non-disabled creative people on a professional level, not just doing art and writing as a hobby (though there's nothing wrong with doing something as a hobby). Bottom line: Christy Brown is awesome, I need to get one of the teens to make webcomics so there's A WEBCOMIC INSIDE A WEBCOMIC and I'm a boring sleep-deprived person with a compulsive need to keep everything I say as accurate as possible. :D

Reply mitchellbravo, July 30th, 2014, 4:23 pm

@Oly-RRR: Yeah, I'm sure there's some psychological word for whatever it is that makes people feel that way about distancing themselves from people whose lives seem "too serious" or something like that.

I agree with what you said about "write what you know," as well. I've made the analogy before but it's so dumb how nobody has a problem with people writing about mass murderers and sexual deviants or anything like that, but present a "controversial person" and all of a sudden it's whoa hey there better slow down buddy!! Are you sure you want to be writing that kinda trash?

I'm glad that you decided to write about this topic instead- not that autobiographical stories aren't good or compelling, but like you said it's nice to see a focus on a group that gets literally overlooked a huge amount of the time. There's a lot I can't directly identify with in my characters because their lives aren't carbon copies of mine, but it's about being able to find empathy and draw comparisons to find shared humanity, you know?

Heehe at least with the people writing the bad stories, there's a chance that some day they'll get knocked on the head and figure it out and be really embarassed about what they did and get reinspired to do something better the second time around XP I'm sure it happens at least in 2% of the cases...

Hahahahaha I get those weird internal inside jokes as well XD like if it's a combination of jokes I have with separate people or something makes sense because I happen to know a word in another language that makes it funny but only in a context that I understand.

Yeah, I can't speak for other studios especially privately owned ones that don't have a corporate rigor-mortis grip over anything creative happening within its walls XD You'd be surprised some of the things people wouldn't come to pick up. We had a lot of people who would travel ages to get to our store, and then one of the *specialties* that came with that special the dog lady always bought was usually a personalized mug or other item with the picture the family bought, and it had to be manufactured at THE WAREHOUSE so people had the option to check off whether they wanted it to be shipped to their house for usually between 5-7 dollars or whether they wanted it to ship to us for free to be picked up next time they came or whenever they were in the neighborhood. It was really boggling how many people picked that second option when they were going to pay more for gas/fares to trek out to us than just having the damned thing sent to them. And as a privacy requirement, if people didn't come to pick up pictures of their kids we had to literally CUT THEM UP WITH SCISSORS and the personalized mugs and stuff would have to be smashed so there weren't just these creepy pictures of people's kids sitting around ina dumpster somewhere D:

I've never heard of Eels before, I'll have to look into them- I need to get some new music, I've stagnated a lot with that :P I realized I don't have nearly enough angry music and other specific "sad feeling" type genres that you sometimes need when working on a particular scene. A lot of my music is old-timey stuff that's great for whistling along to while I'm drawing, but as far as packing an emotional punch, let's just say it's really music built for whistling and not for feeling strongly moved :P

Awww and now I'm all choked up!! It took me longer than it should have to figure out what was going on there since I think I'm a little slow at these things. That would be a good Cop Story theme! I can picture Chauncey easily playing the part of the main guy there.

Loud Era to me at least gets https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9ZiZ9p2aDo this for a theme song- pardon the silly cartoon, while semi relevant it's more the song itself that draws me to make the connection :P The album this came from actually tends to serve as an unintentional soundtrack when I think about upcoming storylines and such.

Hahahahahaha even if you are literally the ONLY person on the face of the earth who likes my song yammering in my comments I am content XD XD Sometimes it's just too cosmically perfect not to share, you know?? And I like to throw in a few of the actually chronologically correct stuff too, since so much of my iPod is 20s-40s stuff (which I realize isn't actually technically correct but pre-1920 recordings are kinda difficult to come by) it makes up a fair amount of what I listen to :P

I'm sorry to hear about your heat wave!! We actually are having an oddly temperate summer here right now- like today it was so nice I walked a whole bunch around town doing little errands and didn't even get sweaty and I'm THE SWEATIEST PERSON so it must have been perfect! Christy Brown, now there's a name I haven't thought about in a few years!! Ohmygosh if you make a webcomic-making character I hope you give him a name semi-referential to Christy Brown :D Just to see if anyone catches it, you know!

Reply Oly-RRR, July 30th, 2014, 5:49 pm

@mitchellbravo: Yeah, I guess we just agree there in general - writing being a way to sort of understand other people better rather than making other people understand you. I guess both are pretty close when it's done well, just general... understanding, but too many people make a single self-insert character and then painstakingly describe how brilliant that character is and how everyone around is mean to them (like you said, "oppressed" characters with differently-coloured eyes). :P

Haha, I can sort of understand not wanting kids pictures in a bin but they could have dished out an office shredder for that at least! As for mugs it seems a shame, it would be hilarious if they were used as office mugs... "Oh, who's that kid on your mug, a relative?" "Hell if I know..."

And yeah, some people have this idea that SHIPPING THINGS HOME IS A LUXURY no matter how much it actually costs. I suspect the same people commute to the other side of their town because THAT store has something on sale this week.

Re: Some Better Day, I usually think music videos just shouldn't be distracting but that one has a pretty good story, yeah! And yeah, if Chance ends up as a ghost he would be that kind of ghost. :]

And ooh, The Real Tuesday Weld! :D I haven't heard all their songs but I generally like them! If I listen to music when I work I tend to listen to similar stuff, nothing too loud or angry (though stuff like Bowling For Soup works great when drawing Teague, haha).

I wasn't sure if I should link Eels or not because I know there's always a couple of songs on each album I don't like much and then some songs I like a lot and each person has different preferences so it's hard to guess. The funny thing is that I stumbled on them because the guy who's pretty much the only constant part of the group is the son of the scientist who came up with Many Worlds theory (basically a scientific explanation of how parallel universes can work) and he and his family had an interesting and troubled life so it was a bunch of topics I find interesting intersecting suspiciously neatly. But anyway, they tend to have that sad-but-uplifting Chauncey-ish vibe too like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdrQUqeUMV8 or just uplifting stuff or something goofy (they have a song called I Like Birds, seriously) but if you need REALLY SAD songs to get in the right drawing mood I'm pretty sure Eels should keep you covered for a while. I know it's not for everyone and I wouldn't listen to something like that daily but there's a lot of songs out there that sound very dramatic about trivial life stuff and I guess I prefer songs that sound trivial about actually dramatic stuff, like when you heard some really sad news and you get numb and end up thinking something stupid and inappropriate like "I forgot to put the kettle on", you know? Again, I warned, sad songs -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEB-4d2RQQc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvvvL_7vPFg (it's a cover but pretty accurate)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPfz_bCwhYo

I keep thinking readers will assume Houston is a reference to Christy Brown because they have very similar impairment but honestly it's a coincidence - you know, people have four limbs, I have a lot of characters with CP, it was going to happen at some point and while Houston is a kid with active imagination he is definitely far from the brilliant stubborn moody guy Christy Brown seems to have been. So yeah, probably would be nice to make a separate reference at some point, especially since I've been thinking about an arc involving art issues anyway. I never wanted to do something like "a murder mystery with artists" but the teen part of Cop Story seems very fitting to mention art since art therapy is a thing and I kind of want to write that situation I see online with someone doing basically finger-painting that gets ridiculously popular by some luck while someone diligently works on crazy landscapes that people just don't notice much (haha, typical social commentary for artists). And I always wonder about the line between over-praising and trampling artist spirit and something tells me that people are more likely to go "YEAH, THIS IS THE BEST DRAWING I HAVE EVER SEEN" if the kid who drew it is disabled (except if the kid wants to seriously work as an artist, then they'll be like "you have no chance!") so this is just something I want to work on at some point. :D

And hopefully the heatwave should lift soon, it rarely lasts for more than a week without breaks. I just end up drawing late when it's cool enough to sleep and when I'm sleepy enough it's already too hot so I'm more tired than usual but it should pass eventually. XP

Reply mitchellbravo, July 30th, 2014, 9:29 pm

@Oly-RRR: I've never thought about it that way, actually, writing to understand instead of writing to be understood. Even though I've said things along those lines I never realized how kind of, I guess, unusual it is. Lmao, I will now put you on my "unconvincingly oppressed characters" mailing list XD

LOL. The good thing about the mugs was they came with Ghirardelli chocolate squares in them, so after a certain amount of time had passed, we were allowed to open the packaging and eat the chocolates >:D It was dumb though, we'd sometimes get people coming in for Christmas pictures and being like "Yeah I was here 3 years ago for mother's day, can we pick up our mug?" No, you can't, it's smashed and in a landfill, bye.

It was also fun when it was your turn to do "phone duty" and go through all the unclaimed merchandise calling up the customers asking if they're going to come pick them up ever -_- "Oh yeah yeah of course I am! I'll be there uh on Saturday yup" ok thanks for the chocolates

Real Tuesday Weld happened to find me at just the right point in my life, and although some of their songs are a little eh, the album "I, Lucifer" where the song I posted came from is, I think, my favorite album in the world and I truly enjoy each song on it, which is very unusual. I mean nowadays who listens to whole albums anymore but to my obsolete paradigms it's still a good metric for quality :P Hahahaa Bowling for Soup is another great one as well.

I'll check out the songs you posted next time I'm working on a sad-type page! I have to be careful with what I listen to because I'm really easily moved and can get pushed to choked up tears quite easily- there were a few songs I listened to almost constantly in the summer right after I graduated high school in the month leading up to and following my Pop Pop passing away and even now if I listen to them, I don't necessarily think of *him* but they pull me back into that exact emotional state. Very useful for finding the appropriate drawing mood at times but not good for much else XD

Since we're on the topic of music, I'll throw out one more band/album that I've found to be a really great muse- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_at_Carnegie_Hall_(Renaissance_album) This was a favorite of my mom's when she was I guess about the age I am now, and I've listened to the shit out of the album since I was probably about 10 or 11 or so (back when we had it on cassette tape and all :o ). If you like things that are a bit more instrumental and that are operatic but still pretty down-to-earth and with a driving rhythm, you might enjoy it. I haven't listened to anything else of theirs which I suppose I ought to look into :P

Yeah, what I know of Christy Brown, at most Houston and he would have a similar impairment but I feel that their personalities and relative levels of optisimim and such are divergent enough to make it clear that Houston is not a take-off on Christy. I mean, not that Christy was a miserable stick in the mud or anything, but I picture Houston with kind of a sunny personality and Christy being more Edgar Allan Poe :P

LOL YES. "This is terrible. OHMYGOD WAIT YOU'RE DISABLED THIS IS SO GOOOOOD YOU'RE SUCH AN INSPIRAAAAATION" You even see this happen sometimes when someone finds out the artist is relatively young- that's another great chestnut, "You can't criticize this art!!! What if the artist is a twelve year old and you DESTROY THEIR BLOSSOMING SOUL???"

The heat hasn't been too bad this summer, and our air conditioning is terrific so unless we get a power outage it's rarely unbearable, but having the house closed up all the time to keep the cool air in makes me feel like I'm not alive :[ Lately we've had weather the type we usually don't see until September, which while comfortable also makes me feel like I ought to be doing something productive with myself despite wanting to just sleep in the grass in the yard :P

Reply Oly-RRR, July 30th, 2014, 10:02 pm

@mitchellbravo: Chocolate makes everything better! :D But yeah, what do those people think - that you have several warehouses where all their mugs are preserved for 50 years? XD

It's weird how some music fits just right in - either you don't stumble on it or it just doesn't seem any kind of memorable until the right time. I need to listen to Real Tuesday Weld properly, as in full albums not just separate songs and I'll try to find Live at Carnegie Hall (and ooh, according to wikipedia there's a song based on One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich - I don't remember much of that story by now but I'm curious how it can be referenced)! I was sharing music tastes with my parents instead of my age group nearly all my childhood so I enjoy some older music too! AND OH GOSH CASSETTE TAPES - they bring such memories but I don't want them back instead of mp3s!

And yeah, the reason I linked sad stuff separately is precisely so you can get to it when it feels right - sometimes music can get the right mood for comics, sometimes it just makes you too sad to do what you planned. And songs tend to bring up memories associated with them surprisingly well, so I understand!

Houston is as sunny as it gets (maybe even too much at times) so yeah!

Ahaha, THE WORD "INSPIRATION" HAS BEEN SAID - it's funny how all this conversation is happening on a page called Inspiration but until now I forgot how annoying that word gets when mentioned in a disability context. XD And yeah, it's one thing not being too harsh (especially if it's something drawn for fun) but flat out lying is another thing.

Ooh, good air conditioning is nice! :D I only have a weird old fan that's built from old computer fans. It's not too bad when the sun is down but as soon as it's up it gets hot and it slows me down. But I think you're more productive than me so far - I'm still getting through the same page and some random art (but at least I got on top of work, unless something unexpected happens).

Reply mitchellbravo, July 30th, 2014, 10:46 pm

@Oly-RRR: If there's one thing I've learned from anything, it's that people are really, really, really bad at anything to do with what should be common sense logistics :P

Yeah, I've had that happen quite a bit as well! Albums where I'd skip over certain songs for *YEARS* and then suddenly fall in love with it because it was the right time in life. Ah yeah- that's a really strong song! The ending is a little weird because it seems like it's going to stop and then picks up REALLY hard unexpectedly and I'm always like "Come on, again?" even though I know it's there :P But good nevertheless. One of the songs was also used in Dr. Zhivago but I forget which part, guess I'll have to watch that movie again- oh woe is me!!

Omg, I'd still listen to cassettes regularly if I hadn't seemingly killed all of the cassette playing devices in my possession. The walkman I had was particularly distressing- it got to where even with fresh batteries, for a few seconds of play it'd be normal, and then slow down into this satanic WOBBB-WOBBBB-WOBBBB sounding horror D:

LOL. The pages are controlling us!!!! It's hilarious when people do that sort of bait-and-switch backhanded compliment and don't understand why the person isn't instantly sated with their concession. It comes back to people thinking they're doing others a favor merely by acknowledging them, I guess!

WHY AM I LAUGHING SO HARD AT YOUR SAD FAN??? I feel you though, the heat makes me sluggish as well. When I was at college I was friends with & lived with the creator of http://finalarcanum.smackjeeves.com/ this comic (that's how I ended up at this site, actually!) and one thing that was tough for our apartment was she flourished in warm weather while I did better in the cold. Like she'd get so cold her hands would shake and she wouldn't be able to draw D:> The only drawback for me in the heat is the handsweat draggin over the page, but with proper air circulation (or a scrap of paper under my hand) it's not really that bad to deal with most of the time.

I've been lucky lately that I've been motivated to keep sitting down to the drawing table, but the sad thing is the motivation wave tends to only hit when it's late at night. And a lot of the time I get so sleepy I just go to bed :( Like, if I can bypass the sleepiness and sit down at the desk, I can stay up working for as much as a few hours. But more often I succumb to laziness and just go to bed anyway :(

All told you're probalby more productive than I am just with all of the outside drawings you do! Honestly I hardly ever doodle or draw anything that isn't direct canon Loud Era pages. I'm sure it would only be good for me to try to draw more "extracurriculars" but it seems it's so rare I get into the drawing mood I shouldn't waste it on anything that isn't THE COMIC. Definitely somethign I'm hoping to change, going forward, you know?

Reply Oly-RRR, July 31st, 2014, 12:07 am

@mitchellbravo: Haha, common sense is not so common! :D

Now I wonder if my walkman is still alive - I remember it dying at some point but I think it was resurrected at least once...

Yeaaah, it's the same kind of logic that some people display when they ignore disabled people and explain it "I just imagine myself in their place and I feel so sad for them that I can't handle it so I try to pretend it's not happening!" and it's like, okay, hang on, is it you justifying putting your sensitive feelings in front of everything else or am I missing something? (It's another thing I heard because of Cop Story, someone explaining their attitude like it's a completely justifiable thing showing how caring and gentle they are.) But then I guess people who are like that aren't a very good company to anyone so much loss for anyone there...

Haha, it's a weird fan, I need to take a photo of it sometime! But yeah, people have different preferred temperatures - I also feel worse in hot weather, like these days I have sweat gathering BETWEEN MY FINGERS and I didn't even know it was possible (though I remember a couple of summers worse than this so I guess I just forgot the details)!

Sometimes it's hard to just do something - I just end up taking too many breaks these days and then I'm still tired.

And heh, I keep meaning to cut down on outside drawings and make comics more so this story is less random and I can stop avoiding spoilers so I think we both have some tweaks about drawing process to make. Oh well, it'll be fun either way, I hope! :D

Reply mitchellbravo, July 31st, 2014, 10:19 am

@Oly-RRR: That tends to get lumped in IMO with a mentality some people have which is "The most offended/upset person is also the most correct." Can't you see how strongly I feel about this subject??? Isn't it clear how much I care and therefore how strong my argument must be??? Really what would be of use is if we started teaching rhetoric and argumentation in schools again, but I am also literally hundreds of years old so I'm probably not the best person to ask about school reforms XD

D: D: D: The sweat in unexpected locations is THE WORST. Especially on the hands because they're so sensitive and aware it's just like auuruurughghhgh XD My memory's all blending together but I think a summer or two ago we had it REALLY oppressive- the type where you put food in the microwave and the pitch of the microwave's humming is muuuuch lower and quieter than usual because the entire neighborhood is trying to suck up as much air-conditioner energy as possible. The winter we just had was the first time in my life where I actually got tired of it being so cold for so long- we had snow higher than I can remember it being since I was a kid. And of course this all happened the first year I had my own car which is parked on the driveway narrowly along the side of our house, that was fun to dig out and tend to each time it snowed again XD

Yes that's true- as long as we're enjoying what we're doing, that's the biggest factor toward keeping doing it. I think in my case I just need to get better at certain things so I can get them right the first time, take less time to draw them, and therefore enjoy the process better.

Reply Oly-RRR, July 31st, 2014, 3:59 pm

@mitchellbravo: Yeaaah, teaching people to recognise flawed logic would be useful... When it comes to school reforms I am constantly wandering between "WHERE DO THESE KIDS WHO KNOW JACK SHIT OF BIOLOGY AND GEOGRAPHY AND THE WORLD AROUND THEM COME FROM, WE NEED MORE SCIENCE IN SCHOOLS" and "oh shit, just let the kids be kids and have fun, there's too much homework and drilling useless information into their heads".

Gah, that's a lot of snow! D: Winter is always more tiring when it comes to commuting for me (I shouldn't be complaining though, I mean if one has mobility issues they are often just LOCKED IN AT HOME when it snows) but weather-wise I like it better than heat waves... When it's cold I can just wear an extra sweater or stay home, I mean there's only this far you can undress. :P

Reply mitchellbravo, July 31st, 2014, 6:50 pm

@Oly-RRR: Hahahaha YES. Working in the school system, even though ours is fairly decent as far as I"m aware, has made me very very grouchy about the world of education. Of course, being "just a substitute" I have no actual clout in such conversations, so I've kinda gotten to where I don't bother discussing it unless I know the other person is receptive :P

It was high enough that when I stood on the front walk we had shoveled, I could lift my hand to elbow height and that was the exact height of the snow D: I agree with you, it's more tiring physically but it doesn't drain me so much as the heat does, somehow. Yes!! That's the argument I always make as well! I'm always one to have a jacket or blanket on hand. It's weird, I think I have a problem regulating my body temperature, because I tend to overheat really easily if I've exerted myself at all, but if I sit still for more than a few minutes I always want to have a blanket over myself. Yesterday that I was walking around outside in just shorts and t-shirts LIKE A NORMAL PERSON was the first time I can recall offhand that I felt perfectly comfortable for more than ten minutes without having to add/remove a layer!

Reply Oly-RRR, July 31st, 2014, 7:41 pm

@mitchellbravo: Haha, yeah, some topics are like that and too many people are so angry about their opinions.

Body temperature is weird - like during summer I can walk around in a t-shirt when it's already chilly but when it's early spring and someone opens a window to let some fresh air in I feel like I'm about to freeze.

Reply mitchellbravo, July 31st, 2014, 8:44 pm

@Oly-RRR: I always love, at least around this climate, the difference between 60F in autumn and 60F in spring... in autumn that's pants & jacket weather, in spring it's sundresses and nothing-shoes :D

Reply Oly-RRR, July 31st, 2014, 9:36 pm

@mitchellbravo: Haha, yeah, some of it seems to depend on if you think of it as hot or cold! :D Though some people just have some kind of magical body temperature - middle of winter, I am shivering, someone walks past with no hat or worse, in a mini-skirt and I feel like I'm freezing just from looking at them. XD


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