The First (and Worst?) Comic: A Dude’s World #1

Here it is — my very first (and terribly embarrassingly bad) comic.

This was supposed to be the first issue of a series that I envisioned having a long-term storyline that would break off into another comic even as this one, A Dude’s World, would end. It was titled as such because the main character, Jason (last name?) would go by the code name Dude — and that seemed like an okay if cheesey idea until a friend made me watch The Big Lebowski over white russians. Why I am no longer friends with said friend, I will never know (as said film is now one of my favorites). Anyway, that other comic will pop up later this month in a few different ways (both as something I did in the past and something I’m working on now) — but for now, you get to see this first story.

I penciled about the first six issues before I inked them, but after I had made the first two, I decided to use this comic for my final project in an Intro to Drawing course I was taking at the time. It was probably the best art class I ever took — mostly because it was fairly laid back and was held in my dorm with a bunch of cool people — and because I started realizing that drawing was more like seeing than anything else (which changed my style a LOT — imagine geometric shapes masquerading as people — it was THAT bad).
Although, wow, looking back at these pages (and correcting the SHIT out of them) has made me realize both how bad the project wound up (since I ended up sketching with a ballpoint pen for most of it and had to do much of the pages in about a week) and just how much things have changed with technology! I had several places where I initially just accepted that I had spilled ink or smudged stuff or totally over-drawn certain moments. And at the time, all I had was a photocopier and randomly free materials, so that was that (and some white out).
Also, what kind of teacher calls students ‘doll’?
I think the worst part of it is, though, the way I drew bodies at the time. I had just had that whole ‘wow-drawing-is-seeing’ revelation and had been drawing nude models for the first time ever. So a lot of the musculature is over-exaggerated and everyone kinda looks like they’re nude in this first issue. It gets a little better with the later issues (Yep, that’s right, I kept DW going for 4 issues), but not much in my opinion. I have corrected some particularly garish moments — like the above scene, where the teacher had one very large breast and one small one.
I mean, seriously though, what is that teacher wearing!? I laughed a great deal while I was editing these pages — which mostly involved clarifying the text as I had not learned ANY ways of doing text. And, in case you were wondering, NO RULERS were involved the creation of this comic. I think I was offered one by a friend about halfway through, but by then, it was like, okay, let’s see what happens. A lot of letters were unclear, running into each other, or crowded out by lines and stuff — so that was mostly what needed fixing.
As you can see, there’s not a TON of detail involved — but I figured I might as well share what I consider some of my worst comics work before we get to the later, better stuff. At the very least, it’s the longest story I’ve finished so far — though The Great Lakes (a graphical narrative about a werewolf, his girlfriend, his boyfriend, and life/folklore/maybe the apocalypse in said region) is set to be much longer. You’ll see some of that story later. For now, here’s a little more Dude’s World, moving on to Page 6…
Some things definitely still bother me about this comic — but much of it is just that I’ve changed and grown so much as a person. I would never put the lines in the last panel in a story — but there Suzy is, saying it all the same (though I did think it was a good idea for the female clerk to be into Suzy as well — geez, skeezy! Come on imaginary person, she’s in high school).
And then pages 8, 10, 16, and 19, just because they’re some of my favorite compositions from this story — check ’em out. Tomorrow, I’ll bring up the buying side of Great Bear Comics — as I seem to have run out of time (and energy) tonight. (You can now find A Dude’s World # 2 here. )
Check out the ballerina at the bottom! There used to be more to that part, in the form of Jason and Suzy watching the film, which is the ballerina dancing — but at some point, I cut it off and threw that portion away. Sadness!
The composition here was fun, but I clearly got overwhelmed and didn’t really know what to do. It was not until years later that a friend of mine would point out that I NEVER use gutters. So then I started using gutters (despite telling my friend she was crazy and that gutters were just weird or something).
This page is just funny for the lack of any actual structure, or at least any clear structure. I mean it’s there, but wow is it lost in the chaos…
This was my favorite page when I originally finished this comic — and it continues to enchant me. The top doesn’t really end well, but I like the incorporation of the stop sign and the fact that it stops the story in such a way that the next part makes SOME sense (though I totally missed a few lines that are mistakes — d’oh!).
But you’ll have to buy the full version to find out what I’m talking about.
Or, let’s be realistic, ask me nicely and I’ll share a pdf with you…

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