Friday, 21 January 2011

Episode 22, + Weekly FAQ

Script by MGHC & TMJ --- Artwork by MGHC


And now, the Fort Paradox Weekly FAQ, #2

(An actual question from the audience this week!  Courtesy of hannahlikessheepbaa.)

Q: How do you decide what format to do each episode in, as in hand drawn, computer, colour, b/w, etc?
A: Now that's actually a harder question than you might imagine.  I can think of some guiding principles which explain a lot of our choices, but for every principle there are some glaring exceptions...
  • "strips with complex visual humour are more likely to be hand-drawn" - mostly true, but last week's strip bucked that trend
  • "if there are lots of panels to be drawn that are all very similar, they're more likely to be done in the computer" - this held true for the recently-published 'Bubble-07' scene, but not for the snails' introduction back in the first fortnight of publication
  • "colour makes creating the artwork more complicated, which is basically the only reason some episodes are black-and-white" - more or less true, but considering the existence of the user-friendly 'bucket fill' tool, this doesn't explain why Darlan failed to be green in the already-mentioned scene with 'Bubble-07', which stayed black-and-white apart from that little red 'REC' icon because that's the way Bubble's own, short-lived strip was drawn.  Which reminds me...
  • "when we introduce a new character, we tend to use the same art style as their native film or webcomic" - true in many cases, but not for Darlan, Forkley or the Bookworm
In fact, our artistic decision-making for Fort Paradox mostly consists of a long string of whims and hunches, and the oft-repeated question "what would be cool that we haven't tried yet?", hence the fact that I've just finished illustrating a six-episode scene using only black, blue, green and red biro, and I've made noises to Tim about using a mock-heiroglyphic art style for an upcoming chapter.

And another closely related Q: Just realised the tag at the bottom of [Episode 21] says 'microsoft paint'. Why did you choose microsoft paint?
A: Because it's quick and simple to use, and it was already installed on the computer.  We might go for all-digital episode creation in some other, more advanced software someday, but that's not a definite plan.  Yet.

Before I sign off, here's a quick run-down of some other questions which we're planning to answer in the near future (in no particular order):

  • Q: Why avocado smoothie?  Why not banana?  Because bananas are good.  Always take a banana to a party... *cough* sorry, getting sidetracked there.  (from hannahlikessheepbaa)
  • Q: Which snail is which?
  • Q: Can I join in?

Hope that was enlightening, or at least entertaining, or something.  If you've got any more questions, however esoteric, please ask.

- MGHC / The Colclough (on behalf of itself & TMJ & SRJ)

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