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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 18th day of Celebrating, Yr 19
The Neopian Times Week 75 > Articles > Neopian Comics

Neopian Comics

by 2hot4u181

SOMEWHERE IN CYBER SPACE - Comics. The ultimate merge between art and storyline. But let's skip the introduction. Neopian Times comics have been around since issue number 52 in the old edition of the NT. Of course, we're much more advanced now, aren't we?

Here's a bit of comic history for you. (In terms of Neopets anyway...) Comics first appeared in the ARTICLES section (No they didn't even have their own section at first!) in issue 52. The first comic was "NeoComics" which was written and drawn by Cyaneus. The comics then received their own section in issue number 56 which included only three comics. Now, if we fast forward a little ahead to modern times, you can tell the difference.

Quality

Let's just say the standards for comics have rapidly increased since their first debut. Mr. Shankly no longer accepts, or allows copy and pasted clips of various images from the site. Or even images with different colourazation. In issue number 73 we had 21 comics. Most were hand drawn or rendered on the computer. (And in very good taste as well!) Of course HUMOUR is also key to any successful comic.

Humour
Humour is something overlooked when doing a comic. A comic can't survive on art and art alone. It's humour is like a counter part which equals it. A careful balance and taste is also important though. For example, lucid parts would not be allowed. Nor is cursing. But it's possible. Think in terms of your character. How does he/she see life? Which brings me to the next part of the Comics.

Putting it Together
Push come to shove, it's hard to make way for a new comic in the Times. We have regular strips that most people prefer over new ones. (Such as in real newspaper comics.) Of course it's all up to Mr. Shankly. But how do you perfectly balance, create, draw, edit, and have a successful comic?

Create
What's your comic going to be about? Does it focus on a pet in particular? It's important to establish a cast before you continue. Now that you have a cast, what are their personalities? Are they sarcastic? Silly? Stupid?

Now, what are they characters going to say to each other? Not sure? Here's some advice from Bill Watterson, creator of "Calvin and Hobbes", about how he made his comics!

"The truth is, we hold a blank sheet of paper, stare into space, and let our minds wander. When something interests us, we play around with it. Sometimes this yields a funny observation; sometimes it doesn't, but that's about all there is to it." -Bill Watterson about the writing process.

Play around with the script. Make it funny. Like stated above. Humour is key! (and no chatspeak please!)

Create and Draw
Got your idea? Got it written down someplace? Let's draw! This can be done on the computer (MS paint), by hand (but you have to scan it in!) or completely by hand, have it scanned in, and then submit it. You may sit there thinking to yourself "But I can't draw!". No problem. Have a very artistic friend? Get them involved in it! (There is no shame in coauthoring a comic like Patjade and Izzywizard!)

Edit
Now, before you continue, read this! HAVE A FRIEND LOOK OVER THE STRIP BEFORE YOU SEND IT IN! This is KEY people. If the joke can't be understood, you will lose your ground base for readers.

Interviewing

I Neomailed (and IMed) the well known (and muchly worshipped) oddhatter about the subject of Neopian comics, and she granted me an interview on the subject.

Question: How would you compare comics that we see in The Neopian Times to what is viewed in newspapers?

Answer: I think that it's hard not to be inspired by what's in the newspaper; though I think that there are distinct differences between those in the NT and those in newspapers. For instance, there is a much smaller area of interest in NT comics

Question: Would you say what we see in the NT could be compared to what is in newspapers?

Answer: Nope.

Question: Do you feel Neopian Comics bare any artist resemblance (in terms of style) to strips like "Peanuts", "Calvin and Hobbes", "Zits", "Beatle Bailey", "Hagar the Horrible", "Foxtrot" and many others?

Answer: Hmm...Well, I think there's a resemblance in terms of theme to Peanuts in many of the comics. Basically, the idea of "friends" and "siblings" is rehashed quite often. And "family", of course. For instance, some of the longest running strips have been centered around "families" The Moo Strip and L*U*P*E Blue are both owner-pet strips, as well as The Cheesy Neos. Oh, and might I say that while "continued" adventure stories usually only take up one or two sections of the newspaper, the NT is now rather saturated with them... I mean, I'm one of them, but...still. There aren't enough "one time" things. Gromit51 started the first "successful" adventure/continued strip...and when I did C-Poogle, it was still one of the first few. Now though, there's tons of them, and while I have nothing against them...sometimes, it's good to have a one time laugh without needing back story.

Closing Blah
Well folks, there you have it. A look at Neopian comics, past and present, and a small mini guide to how to create them. Like in newspapers, comics are vital and require a equal flow between the art work and punchline behind it. Now, before you send me mail of hate, please note that this is not to insult, annoy or damage anyone's reputation.

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