Monday, March 22, 2004

3:15 PM - posted by StatusNil:De Brug  --- 0 comments

Another Rant By MeI guess I'll kick off with a bit of news, then.
I finally received the November issue of De Brug, an IT-bulletin published on the Haagse Hogeschool by colleagues of mine (from my paying job) who all dutifully are finishing the education I dropped out of. They asked me to do a comic for that issue, which I did for free (to keep a bit of my integrity) as long as I could put the site's URL in it. You can see the result on Probeersel.com.
It was a wretched thing to write/draw because they had THEMES. Basically, initially they wanted The Grim DotCom. Because it's an issue about enterprising young people who start their own business - I recommended using one of those comics because they're already on the subject, after all. So they wanted one, but black-and-white. Fine by me. Then they wanted it in Dutch. Ok, also doable. They then proceeded to request if the 'dark guy' could be 'taken out somehow' because it was a bit 'weird' for their mainstream publication.
Little reconstruction of that phone call:
Me: "Dark guy ?"
Other end of the line: "Yeah, the one with the hood 'n all."
Me: "The grim reaper ?"
Other end of the line: "Yes. That one. Can you take him out ?"
Me: "Let me get this straight. You want The Grim DotCom, without the grim reaper ?"
Other end of the line: "Yeah. Can you do that ?"
Me: "The Grim DotCom without the grim reaper ?"
Other end of the line: "Yes. That's what I asked."
Me: "I'm sorry. I CAN'T DO THAT."
We negotiated a compromise. As I kind of feared (I was crammed with work for Probeersel.com at the time - well, when aren't I ?) the smartest thing to do was just draw a whole new comic. So they sent me some themes they would discuss in this issue - and lemme assure you, these were BAD THEMES. At least when you're me. I really couldn't work with it.
But I sat down, and sort of drew it in reverse. I figured out how the rhythm of the joke should go, I then threw in general dialogue roughs, polished them into little jokes, decided I was gonna use two Probeersel characters for it since they worked best (I'd be damned if I came up with an ENTIRELY NEW CONCEPT for that) and then wrote the page from start to punchline.
I then proceeded to walk around discontently for two days because the punchline just plain SUCKED. I know the techniques of how to work this way (basic copywriting skills, after all) but it didn't feel right. I normally start out with the joke and then create the page around it, not vice versa. It felt wrong. Until my roommate (you may remember him from One Year In Satan's Purrrgatory) came up with a few ideas that got the big grey mass in my head running in a different direction. The end result is okish. I still look at it like the wretched thing it is. But people seemed and seem to like it, so to hell with it. Who needs integrity anyway ?
So I send it in nicely on time, they publish the mag, and I was supposed to get a copy.
That was November. It's March now. And only after calling around for about the fourth time (and this time contacting someone else who was involved in the creation of this mag) did I get a copy. And it doesn't look half bad.


I still say this page sucks. It's nice exposure for Probeersel.com though - 300 issues were printed and spread amongst enterprising, ambitious young people. And subsequently they were lured to a site where idealist volunteers spend most of their waking hours creating comics to waste their time with. We're destroying the system from within. Let's keep it up.
In any case, this issue of De Brug goes into my nicely growing pile of proof of Probeersel.com exposure. More, more - as long as I don't have to whore myself out for ANOTHER issue of this wretched bad idea.

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