Frequently Asked Questions

(Updated 2-9-2010)

Movie Questions

How do you know so much about movies?

I actually don’t know that much about movies.  I probably haven’t seen or I’m not familiar with whatever obscure movie you’re about to ask me about.

But you’re like a film student or local movie critic or something right?

No. I’m actually just a regular guy with a regular cubicle job.  I simply enjoy watching movies, and I have a good memory for entertainment and pop culture things.  (You really want me on your team in a game of Trivial Pursuit.)

So how many movies do you own?

Not too many anymore.  I used to own 300 to 400 DVD’s but I realized I didn’t have time to watch all of those movies, and about 50 or so were still in their original packaging having never been opened.  At some point I realized that I didn’t need to own everything since movies are pretty readily available through various other means.  Now my DVD shelf contains about 30 – 40 movies with the criteria that they have to be movies that I want to re-watch.

So what movies do you have that you re-watch?

I’m not going to list them all, but they’re pretty standard movies.  I watch the Lord of Rings Extended Cut whenever I pack to move (and I’ve moved 4 times in the past year and a half).  There are some Wes Anderson movies, The Big Lebowski, Kill Bill, Casablanca, Shakespeare in Love, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc.

Do you have any Blu-Ray movies?

I don’t have a Blu-ray player yet.  I bought my wife Up for Christmas and that comes with a DVD copy, Blu-Ray copy, and digital edition.  So that’s my only one.  Because I let my DVD buying get out of hand in the past, coupled with the fact that movies are easier and cheaper to rent now, I’m going to be much more selective with my Blu-Ray collection. Plus, Lord of the Rings extended editions, the original Star Wars trilogy, and the first three Indiana Jones movies aren’t on Blu-Ray yet, so there’s no rush.

Writing Questions

Are the characters based on people you know?

While the characters and events might have elements of my friends, family, and coworkers, I made a conscious effort not to base them off single individuals that I know.

Are you sure, because (such-and-such strip) was exactly like a conversation we had one time, so Scott must be you, and I must be (other character)?

Not necessarily.  The conversations might have been similar since I make mental note of almost every funny conversation I have in real life, but I assure you that a particular character is not entirely you.

But my name is (character’s name), so they must be me right?

No.  Except for Scott, I came up with the names of the characters by sitting at a hotel with no internet access (so as not to look up names and name meanings).  I scanned the keyboard on my laptop letter by letter until names popped out in my mind.  Then my wife and I narrowed the lists down making sure they were not people we know.  I assure you it was random and took way longer than it should have in the end.

Scott’s name came about because every now and then people call me Scott even though my name is Brian.  When I mentioned this to one of my brothers, he thought that was weird because people sometimes call him Scott too.  So I figured that was a sign that Scott was an everyman character name that would be good to use.

Okay, but Scott looks like you, and Hope looks like your wife, so they must be you two, right?

Again, not necessarily.  Scott looks similar to me, except for the nose, but that’s not saying much since I look like most white guys with short brown hair.  Hope kinda looks like my wife, because of the nose, when she wears her hair curly, but then again, my wife looks like most incredibly gorgeous women with blonde hair and a beautiful smile.

Additionally, Scott is not an outright representation of me.  He’s the main character of the strip, and I write the strip, so my voice comes through him.  But I write all the other characters too, so they all have bits and pieces of my personality traits depending on the situation.

Drawing Questions

So who draws this comic for you?

I draw the comic.  That’s why it has my name and signature on it.

Oh.  Do you draw the border too?

Either my wife or I draw and paint the borders.  We use a stencil I had made to look like a large piece of 35mm film to outline the border with archival ink pens on a piece of Bristol board.  Then we fill it in with a paint brush in permanent black ink.

Why don’t you just create the border on the computer and print it out?

I eventually want to be able to sell the original art from the strips to the readers.  While the computer would make a cleaner line, most printer ink will fade over time.  I want to be sure that I’m inking these in archival ink so that whoever eventually buys a strip will have something that lasts.  Also, all the little mistakes and boo boos in the border give it more character.

Is that the same reason why you don’t do the lettering of the computer?

That is exactly why.  When I sell an original strip, I want the reader to have a complete comic strip, not just the artwork.  So I hand-letter all the strips in the same archival ink that I use to ink the artwork.

What size do you draw the strip?

I use a 5.5” by 14” piece of 2-ply Strathmore 400 Series Bristol Vellum paper, and the 35mm film border is about 5” by 14”

What pens and pencils do you use to draw it?

I pencil the letters and artwork with a generic mechanical pencil.  I then ink the letters and art with a Sakura Pigma Micron 05 pen.  I sometimes use the Sakura Pigma Micron 08 if I need a slightly thicker line. If I need to fill in a black area, I use a Faber-Castel Pitt Brush Pen.  I go back and erase any pencil lines with a Design Kneaded Rubber Eraser.

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