Monday, May 20, 2013

AlphaBots: P is for Plex

And now in the course of our AlphaBots we come to Robot Number One in my house.

I mean, if you ask my little son who his favorite robot is, he's likely to list Jimmy and R2-D2 (whom he knows from a blinking toy, not having seen Star Wars yet) as well—"favorite" is almost always plural—but his longest-standing robot friendship has to be with Plex.

In fact, I'd wager that of all the robots in my alphabet, Plex is the one I have drawn the most frequently. Just this weekend I was challenged to work him into the background of an Aquabats whiteboard mural. I've drawn him in almost ever medium available.

Crayons are fun.

The odd dialogue in my panel above comes from another "dark whisper." Nothing major—just musing about a character I'm creating for a comic you'll hear a lot more about in a couple of weeks.

Monday, May 13, 2013

AlphaBots: O is for Omnidroid

I'm running a little late on this week's AlphaBots drawing, and I don't have a whole lot to say about it, except ...

1. Really stylish design looks simple and is difficult to replicate. I wish I could have done a better job with this. I'm still feeling rusty.

2. I still really enjoy The Incredibles, which I take to be an allegory about middle age and having an uninteresting job that doesn't tap your whole potential. The Omnidroid has almost nothing to do with that reading of the movie, except as its ever-increasing dangerousness becomes a way to push the limits of potential.

3. If I'd been thinking about this a little longer before I started drawing, I might have tried to ape the style of Tom Gauld. But instead this is what you get.

The word of the day at is melliferous.

See you again soon!

Monday, May 6, 2013

AlphaBots: N is for Nomad

Hey, I'm caught up on AlphaBots! That was fast.

I hope you recognize this little hovering menace. He. Is. Nomad., one of the less convincing bits of mid-twenty-third-century alien (well, semi-alien) technology on the old classic Star Trek show that I love so dearly.

I'm bending one of my rules to include both Nomad and Data in my alphabet. I want every one of my robots to come from a different source, after all. It's possible that some of the same hands were involved in creating both of them, but in my mind Next Generation is really the creation of a different set of writers and thinkers, with different concerns. Nomad shares a universe with Data in only the most nominal sense.

If you object, I could probably come up with another N-bot. But how could I not draw this clunky, inert guy?

The text in this panel comes from another "bibliomantic search," this time of what looks to be a fascinating scholarly study of the apostle Thomas. (Did you realize that the Biblical account actually never says that Thomas touched Jesus's wounds? In fact, it reads as if Thomas is too ashamed at being rebuked by Jesus to go through with his skeptical test.)

AlphaBots Catchup: L for Lead; M for Marvin

I'm going to catch up on AlphaBots this week, but I haven't drawn this week's robot yet. Instead, let me give you a member of an inexplicably under-published shape-shifting alchmico-scientific super-robot team, plus an android from a story near to every nerd's heart.

So, first, L is for Lead, the least shiny of the Metal Men. Having thought about this drawing for two weeks didn't make it any better — there's more fun and more energy in some of my preliminary sketches — but it did get me thinking about the special properties of Lead. I wonder: has Lead even concealed something from Superman's x-ray vision? Has he ever formed his finger into a pencil to write a message? Has he ever formed his hands into revolvers and shouted, "Eat lead, copper?" Since he's not the brightest knife in the crayon pack, does Lead have the sort of homophone trouble that haunts modern college students?

I'm even less happy with this drawing of Marvin, the Paranoid Android. I knew that I didn't want to replicate the movie or TV versions of Marvin, neither of which actually looks very andr-oid. I first encountered Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as a novel (and then shortly thereafter as a script for a radio show, a radio show itself, and a text-adventure video game), so I had some time to imagine what he looked like before anyone showed him to me. I always sort of mixed Marvin up with Neil from The Young Ones, a show I never really watched (we had no cable and thus no MTV) but heard quoted and described to me an awful lot over the phone.

Alas, my skills of robo-caricature aren't up to the challenge. Clearly I'm rusty; the only solution is to draw more.

Oh, here are those sketches of Lead that I liked better than my finished panel:

Dialogue in these panels is "dark whisper" and "bibliomantic search" (an alumni magazine that happened to be on the table).

More soon.

Monday, April 15, 2013

AlphaBots: K is for K-9

This week's AlphaBots drawing is sure to tug at the nostalgic sentiments of some. And he is a faithful, charming, and useful robot by anyone's estimate.

As I have mentioned before, I was never a huge devotee of Doctor Who myself, though I did watch it when I could for a little while when I was in junior high. I even read one paperback novelization of a story arc on a trip to my grandmother's house.

The local PBS station was broadcasting episodes with the Tom Baker incarnation of the Doctor, and I had a hand-me-down TV in my bedroom that barely picked the station up. I consequently think of Doctor Who as a secret, almost underground show, half-masked in the snow of bad reception. I know that's not the way most people received it.

On reflection, though, I realize that those weird, low-budget shows were one of the first cultural products that I found entirely on my own. I don't know whether I even talked to people about it. If someone told me I'd dreamed or hallucinated the whole business, I'd almost believe it.

So, anyway, I remember K-9 with a sort of cobwebbed fondness, but he's not a major part of my contemporary situation like some robots.

(P.S. I actually considered, briefly, doing this other robot, and I'm glad someone else did it better than I could have.)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Alphabots: J is for Jimmy the Robot

I'm not wild about my drawing for this week's Alphabots, but I know I don't really have time to try again. And it's a shame, because I really had wanted to do a nice tribute this time around.

There's been a lot of watching The Aquabats! Supershow in our house lately, because my little son really loves it. And to tell the truth, I like it a lot, too. We sing the theme song to each other at least once a day. (Watch that theme song, and tell me you're not glad that you can watch the Supershow on Netflix streaming.)

I think I've seen every episode a dozen or more times—enough that I can tell you when to look for the secret guy in a fox suit in most of the episodes. So this week's Alphabots choice was sort of a no-brainer.

Jimmy the Robot, the Aquabats' keyboardist with the laser fingers and computer brain, is definitely in my son's top two favorite robots these days. (You'll see the other of his favorites in six weeks or so.)

The text in this panel comes from Paul Muldoon's poem "The Mudroom," which I'm teaching on Tuesday. (I rolled "phrase from your reading.") It's a lot weirder than this sentence makes it seem, I tell you what.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

AlphaBots: I is for IG-88

I think this week's AlphaBots selection will turn out to be pretty popular. There aren't a lot of robots that start with I, and this one is pretty fun to draw.

As far as I knew before I started work on this, IG-88 was just one of a lineup of bounty hunters, like Zuckuss or Bossk, who looked cool but never got a line in Empire Strikes Back: set dressing in the movies; awesome extras in my action-figure collection.

Actually, I never had the Zuckuss figure, and the IG-88 figure was especially lame — I've drawn him with much more bendable arms than the ones I remember. But what a strange sight he was, with that pope-chapeau head and those pipey limbs.

I should have known that, like so many elements in the extended Star Wars universe, IG-88 has a complicated backstory available only to the cognoscenti. He also, apparently, has a night life:

Give that video a couple of minutes. It starts slowly, but around 2:00 it starts to get pretty fun.

As for the dialogue this week, well, I rolled "dark whisper," and that's all I need to say.

Monday, March 25, 2013

AlphaBots: H is for HAL 9000

I went back and forth a little bit about which robot to draw for this week's AlphaBots. In fact, I may still cook up another drawing, but probably not today.

My original idea started to seem daunting to me when I thought about how much geometry would be involved in any decent drawing of HAL 9000 (from 2001: a Space Odyssey): either a bunch of perspective for the memory-core room or a bunch of concentric circles in HAL's iconic camera eye. 

And then I found my drawing compass, tucked away in a box under a few months' worth of books.

Have I mentioned that I find cross-hatching sort of therapeutic?

As for the text in the caption: well, marmoreal was the word of the day for my dictionary app today. I've used it in a poem before, describing the "horned / marmoreal scorn" of Michelangelo's Moses — the poem's in this issue of Hayden's Ferry Review, but it's not the poem you can read for free on their site — but I decided to go in a different direction when pairing marmoreal with some contrasting words. I was sort of thinking about HAL's lack of a humanoid body.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Alphabots: G is for Godbot

In a moment of inspiration I picked up The Nao of Brown, which impressed me mightily when I read it last year. "There are giant robots in Ichi, right? There are robots somewhere in that book." Indeed, they're in there, though they really only appear on one page.

Of course they fell in an awkward spot in the Alphabot alphabet, as I've already drawn one robot for G.

But the design of these robots is so interesting—fluid and blocky, impressive and fragile, deliberate and doodly—that I thought I'd take a quick crack at it after everyone else in the house was asleep.

So, yeah, G is for godbot.

The dialogue comes from a recent tweet by Nick Abadzis, for no reason other than chance.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Transcendental Geology

Did you think I'd given up on "Draw Two Panels"?

Oh, I'm still doing the project. Or is it a process, not a project, since I don't have a terminus in mind?

Anyway, I got stymied, because of a bad first attempt at this strip (I mean, a worse attempt; this set of results is still pretty bad) and because a note that Winter left on one of the other posts made me self-conscious about my plans for this strip.

Well, after much deliberation and a bit of clunky drawering, here it is.

Hopefully I'll be back in the saddle in a few days.

Monday, March 18, 2013

AlphaBots: G is for Gort

This week's AlphaBots drawing is not some old sentimental favorite.

In fact, although I am sure I will lose some nerd cred by admitting this, I've never watched The Day the Earth Stood Still. I'd like to one day, but it's not at the top of my queue.

I've borrowed this drawing of Gort, the massive robot that accompanies Klaatu on his mission to Earth, from the movie poster, which in turn I've taken from a cool book of Classic Science-Fiction Movie Poster postcards that Dover publishes.

I've said before that I think robots are always fun to draw, but Gort (who was mostly a mask on a fairly featureless foam-rubber suit) lacks a lot of the gears and widgets that make technology (and robots) doodleable. Still, I'm sure the past century of science fiction would have looked and felt different without him.

As for the dialogue? Well, I rolled "dark whisper" again, and I know the main anxiety I'm having today is still fallout from the SPX uncertainty yesterday.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

AlphaBots: F is for Flexo

Looking over my AlphaBots so far, you might wonder why I didn't draw Bender, one of my favorite robots, back when we were on the letter B. Part of the answer has to do with the fact that I want my twenty-six robots to come from twenty-six discrete sources, and Futurama has a lot of robots to choose from.

But the fact is that as much as I like Bender, I like his goateed doppelgänger Flexo even more.

The joke about Flexo is that because he's a duplicate of Bender with a goatee added, everyone expects him to be Bender's evil twin. As it turns out, however, although Flexo is prone to japes and sarcasm, he's basically a nice fellow, and our pal Bender is the evil one.

As for the random dialogue this week. Well, I rolled "worry/trouble/dark whisper." Frankly, it was a bad day for the dice to take that turn. I have been full of worries lately. I'm sure Flexo would console me if he were here.

Friday, March 8, 2013

I Gave Myself Too Many Chairs to Draw

Here's yesterday's "Draw Two Panels" strip.

I like the two "drawn" panels (the ones that have appeared previously) enough that I am loath to remove either of them from the deck, even though I could certainly discard either of them now. The warning by "Elspeth Parks" was one of the very first random cards I created for the deck, and I feel like it's trying to tell me that this process has its own built-in pitfalls.

Maybe I'll just keep all four panels from this strip still in the deck.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Fzzzark! Woop! Woop!

Today's "Draw Two Panels" strip introduces not one but two of the robots I have drawn for Alphabots. I suppose that was likely to happen eventually.

It was fun to draw the Cooker again, though putting him into a panel automatically raises the question of perspective in a way that I have to admit I find a little awkward. (I'm not drawing these things in a space where I can get out a big ruler, and the original paper is only 4" by 3", so it's hard to be scientific about linear perspective. Hopefully the way I'm fudging it more or less works.)

Anyway, there are more of these coming up this week.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Stylish Lion Rock Stamp

No new comics today, because I was drawing for a secret project instead of doing "Draw Two Panels."

Instead, a couple of cool stamps that arrived from New Zealand:

The real geological formation does look a bit like Patience or Fortitude.

And you know how I love those New Zealand birds, kiwilike or no.

Monday, March 4, 2013

I Guess That Counts as a Background

Here's another deck-derived semi-subconscious strip.

There's some decent cartooning in a couple of those panels.

I was trying a new method of shading in that second panel, but I think I'd better stick to cross-hatching. It might be possible for long practice to improve that method, but I don't think it's worth it—there's a sort of fundamental conflict between the super-smooth surface of the bristol board and the crayon's preference for tooth and texture.

They're Sort of a Fantastic Four, I Guess

Okay, another of those random deck-driven strips.

Maybe it was a bad decision to take foreground elements from both of the deck panels and depict them as characters. Getting four monsters into panel #2 meant crowding it up kind of a lot. (These panels aren't a good shape for crowds.)

I'll be a little sorry to see the four-armed sea-monster dude leave the deck: I really like his face. On the other hand, I am finally getting to discard the line about the goldfinches that I swiped, perhaps unwisely, from a Patrick Kavanagh poem.

More soon!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

AlphaBots: E is for ED-209

This week's AlphaBots drawing isn't a robot I'm especially fond of, though I do like the moment or scene that I've chosen for the illustration. I mean, don't get me wrong, I like RoboCop 2 as much as I like any of Frank Miller's other forays into film, but that's some pretty faint praise.

The ED-209 is an advanced police robot, designed (if I recall correctly) to build on RoboCop's success and replace the titular hero with a newer and less maverick model. (Update: I did not recall correctly. As my ED-209-drawing brother-in-Alphabots Sam Wolk reminds me, the ED-209 was a precursor to the RoboCop technology, and was visible in the first RoboCop movie, though I totally remember it from the sequel.)

But ED still has some programming glitches and design kinks to be worked out. (If you haven't seen RoboCop 2, please be aware that the clips I just linked to have some over-the-top violence.)

Anyway, ED-209 is not so good at descending a staircase. I really like the gingerly way it tries to position its chicken foot on the stairs; full props to its stop-motion animator, Phil Tippett.

The text caption for this panel came from a randomly chosen page in the nearest book to hand, the dopey pop-psych creativity manual that comes with the Ball of Whacks toy. Next time, I'll make sure a better book is nearby before I roll the die.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Bowie, Pee-Wee, and Dick Van Dyke Walk Into a Bar

The panels that came out of the deck for this strip are in the least common "legal" configuration:

If you look at the rules or guidelines for "Draw Two Panels," you'll see that it's possible to deal the panels into slots #2 and #3, instead of having them separated by a single panel.

My idea for the legal arrangements is this: the strip will go into more interesting territory if the newly-drawn panels don't merely happen in between the panels that come from the deck, but they will be more constrained by the deck panels if you get no more than one new panel in a row.

If no more than one new panel can appear in a row consecutively, and the dealt cards must appear in the order they're dealt, there are only three ways to fit them into a four-panel strip.

Of course, these are only my principles or guidelines. If you're playing "Draw Two Panels" yourself, you can make your own decisions about your constraints.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Your Nimoy/Proust Pun of the Day

My spring break started this afternoon, and I was able to finish inking the strip I had drawn last night.

The first and third panels of this strip came from the deck. We haven't seen the first one before—it was a random-input panel that I drew a couple of weeks ago.

It's been a good month for cartooning here on the blog, thanks to this new process, and a good month for posts. But this February was really nothing compared to Mike's twenty-eight-day Lone Wolf and Cub read-along series. Those were good times.

More soon.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Quick Snapscan of the Deck

Since I didn't have time to draw a strip today, here's a glimpse of some more panels from my deck, including one that I added today. I deliberately excluded most of the panels that came up the last time I did this.

I just think these look cool, and I'm trying to preserve a few of them before the cards get passed along.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

AlphaBots: D is for Data

This week's AlphaBot is a shoo-in. I was seriously into Star Trek: the Next Generation when it was originally on, and I've spent a lot of time reading about the show, thinking about it, and re-watching it.

On my most recent trip through the series, I'll admit that my interest was much more with Picard (and, to my surprise, Riker) than with Data and Geordi, and some of the elements of the show have started to feel "dated" to me, not only for the effects and designs, but for relationship patterns that seemed to make more sense to me when I was around twenty, instead of around forty.

Anyway, even though it's not a kind of dorkiness that I have ever reveled in, I retain a soft spot in my heart for the Enterprise's resident Soong-type android. Thus, D is for Data.

Considering my meager skills of caricature, I think that's a pretty good likeness.

The randomly-derived dialogue on this card is a statement comes from my dictionary app's word of the day, xeric, and some coincident conversation about Australian lizards. It's sort of sad that xeric is now mainly going to mean adapted to dry conditions. There were better days.

Friday, February 22, 2013

So That's What That Symbol Represents

Today's deck-derived strip seems to be going in kind of a dark direction.

The new character, introduced in panels #1 and #3 (which are the new ones this time) has his hair and beard modeled on the young Ezra Pound, though I have to admit I was working from memory and would up giving him too substantial a goatee.

I'm pleased to have been able to give one name to the symbol that has been appearing on and off in the strips for weeks. (If you look at the second panel of this strip, down below the path in the background, you'll see its introduction into the deck.) Of course, the way this process works, it may never be called that again.

See you again soon.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I Did Evade "Devo Dave's Ovid Video Void."

Here's another of the random strips that have been emerging from my "Draw Two Panels" deck-based process.

The first and third panels are new for this strip, and the first one is mainly aiming to amuse Tom Hart.

Is that weird enough?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"Draw Two Panels": How to Play

I have finally drawn up the rules or instructions for "Draw Two Panels," the deck-driven / aleatory comics-making process I have been working on for a few weeks. Here you go:

You should be able to right-click or ctrl-click (or option-click) and download that image and print it out, if you like. If you have any questions, please post comments below; if you want to get a few of my "discards," get in touch with me.

(I have already modified my own rules, at least for the next twenty-three weeks, as I'm adding Alphabots drawings to my deck at the rate of one per week.)

Just to add a little graphic interest to this post, I'll include a sample of my current deck, created by dealing panels randomly onto the glass of my scanner.

I'm having a lot of fun with this project or process, and I'm really looking forward to the day when someone else's panels show up in my mailbox to further unsettle my random deck.

If Blogger's not giving you a large version of the image that contains the directions and constraints, try this link.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bonus AlphaBot: C is for Curiosity

When I drew the Cooker for this week's Alphabots, I was not (apparently) done drawing lone explorers of deserted heavenly bodies within our solar system. 

I could not get myself to go to bed last night without drawing one of my all-time favorite robots, one that has, in truth, more than once brought a tear to my eye, despite being nothing really but a big remote-control toy with some very fancy attachments.

Dear reader, C is also for the Curiosity Rover. You can follow it on Twitter.

It's really up there (or out there, maybe, would be a better word) on the real surface of the real tiny point of light that we call Mars. People put it there.

It's out there to tell us what it finds. Eventually, it will break down, waiting to be recovered or discovered or never seen again. How can your heart not go out to it?

The dialogue was summoned via bibliomancy (and slightly modified), from a poem by Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, as translated by Michael Longley.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

(Seldom Is Heard) a Misunderstood Word

Well, this is a little silly...

...and I'm still not doing much by way of backgrounds. I did draw a panel with three characters in it, sort of implying that panel three (which came out of the deck) also has three characters in it.

But I think this one works okay. What do you think?

AlphaBots: C is for the Cooker

You may know this week's Alphabots robot without knowing its name. If you've ever seen the original Wallace and Gromit short, A Grand Day Out, you will probably remember the clunky coin-operated robot they encounter when they arrive for their cheese holiday on the moon. In you have never seen A Grand Day Out, and you have Netflix, you're in for a treat.

Anyway, I only learned this year that the robot in A Grand Day Out is called the Cooker.

I'm really pleased with the way this guy turned out.

As usual, because I'm using this as a card in my "Draw Two Panels" process, the dialogue is coming from a source determined by random die roll. In this case, it's from a tweet by Katie Skelly

Saturday, February 16, 2013

What Are the Chances?

I'm not sure what's going on with my deck.

I really did draw that same panel a third time in a row. It's possible that the card is a little thicker than some of the other cards in the deck, or a little thinner, in a way that leads it to come up when I cut the cards. Honestly, I was trying to avoid it this time, but apparently my sleights of legerdemain leave a lot to be desired.

I'm still not going to discard panel 1, but if it comes up again next, I'm definitely ditching it (after drawing one more strip with it).

I don't like the way the little demon in this strip turned out, and I'm really not happy with the placement of the speech balloon tail in panel 4. And maybe the joke doesn't "read" as clearly as it ought to. I don't know what I'm doing.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Be Careful What You Wish For

Apparently my deck read my last post and decided to give me the same panel again right away.

I'm going to put it back in the deck again and hope that I won't draw it for a week or so.

Greetings, Archy Buffo, Pratfall King

Well, I'm back to my deck, and back to my aleatory experiments.

I could discard panels #1 and #3 now, since they've both been used twice. But I think I'm going to load #1 back into my deck. That seems like a question I want to ask myself again, at least once.

Stay tuned. One day soon I will tell you what I'm doing with the discards.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Arrivederci, Arturo Aleatore, Gesturist Sublime

Well, I had hoped that Arturo Aleatore would be a longer-lasting presence in my deck, but the card that names him has come up again, so I'm discarding it after this strip. Instead, I seem to be doomed to the visual proliferation of my little buglike alien dude.

But if I could make choices about that sort of thing, then I wouldn't be trusting the aleatory process of the deck.

No idea what will happen next, but at least I drew a background this time.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

One Way to Parse Those Three Left Hands

Here's the first strip in which I happen to use the panel that was my B Alphabots drawing.

I like the way that turned out, though I'm sort of starting to get self-conscious about using cross-hatching in lieu of a real background.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Great Arturo Aleatore

Here's another of those randomly-generated strips.

The two dealt panels, #2 and #4, are both swipes. If I recall correctly, one is from the Land of Nod catalog and the other is from the first trade of Paul Grist's Mudman. This is probably another one of those strips that will look better when it's reformatted out of the 2x2 grid.

As ever, I welcome your comments and input.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

AlphaBots: B is for Bishop

Well, I have managed a second week of Alphabots without too much strain.

If you've seen Aliens, then I'm hoping the image in this panel will be familiar:

That's right, B is for the android Bishop, he of the speedy knife trick.

I had originally thought about drawing Lance Henriksen's Halloweeny face. I'm sure he'd be a lot of fun to draw, even for someone with my meager skills of caricature. But since I'm putting this card into my "stochastifactory" deck, and since characters once introduced there have a tendency to reappear, I thought a slightly more ambiguous close-up would be a better idea.

Also, to tell the truth, I figured other cartoonists were bound to do better caricatures of Lance Henriksen than I could.

As for the text in the panel: well, when I rolled a die, the table told me to use a line from a song that was stuck in my head.

So far, every time the die has told me to use song lyrics, they've come from an episode of the Super Music Friends Show.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

If You Think of the Interlocutor as a Changeling

I'm not sure whether this one works, though I like the point it raises, and I really like the way the demon looks in the final panel.

When I say I'm not sure it works, I mean I'm not sure it really "reads" in and out of panel 3 the way it should. But here we are, and there it is.

Friday, February 8, 2013

And Now, Apparently, Outer Space

The pair of panels that came from the deck this time (1 and 3 below) seemed to pose a real conundrum. I'm not sure this is the best solution.

I'm also not sure about that ratio. How many birds in the bush do you think a bird in the mind is worth?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Random Breath of Optimism

This one has a single repeated panel, a couple of barely-hidden references to Devo, and a monkey.

As always, I welcome your input.

AlphaBots: A is for Astro Boy

I've been trying to decide whether I have time to do AlphaBots. After all, I had to bail from AlphaBooks after the letter Q, and I don't have a whole lot more time this semester, even though I have committed myself (apparently) to a weird new drawing project.

And then I thought, well, what if I combined the two projects? I'm supposed to have a deck full of random drawings; what if twenty-six of those random drawings, over the next twenty-six weeks, included an alphabet of robots, all drawn from different sources?

(The text in my Alphabots panels is still going to come from a lot of random places; this particular one is a version of a recent tweet by Matt Wiegle, edited for brevity.)

Don't see Astro Boy in that panel? (It's swiped from Tezuka's 1967 story "The Faceless Robot," which appears in the eighth volume of the Dark Horse Astro Boy reprints.) Oh, he's just little.

Do you think I'll make it all the way to "Z is for Zhora"?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Are These Strips About Something?

Well, this one has a couple of re-used panels, too.

Maybe I should say a little bit about how I'm making these strips. Each of them has two panels selected at random from a deck, plus two new panels that connect them or make sense of them. That process of "making sense" is what the project is about.

After they're used once, the panels go back into the deck.

And what happens to them after they're used twice? Well, more about that in the days to come.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Another Thing I Wouldn't Have Predicted

I took a day off from the strips to inject a little more random input into the deck from which these panels are being drawn.

I still wound up with a repeat, but that's what the odds would have predicted.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Was It a Shuffling Problem?

Sometimes putting things in order randomly produces the same order twice.

I'm going to try to shake things up a little before the next strip.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Aleatory Investigations Continue

Now this is getting interesting.

I think this means I'll be ready for Phase Three of the project on Monday. Pretty exciting.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Another Aleatory Comic

Here's another of those comics made more or less at random. I'll explain more about these as more of them get summoned up.

If you have thoughts, I welcome them.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Something a Little Aleatory

I'm just going to set this here without explaining it for now.

It's part of a new project or process that I'm working on. I'm hoping to bring Mike in on it, and maybe some other cartoonists too, once I've worked out a few kinks.