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TheFunTrain
I hope I can make you laugh! I like drawing, cats, trains, electronics, and various nerdy things.
  • Real Name
    Paul Devereaux
  • Age
    28
  • Gender
    Male
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Glad to have you back, artofjoe. We never really went away. I've just been lurking, reading comics, and not really doing much else for a while now. This comic has had several long hiatuses during our eight years on SJ during which everyone (including me) forgets what is happening. It's about the journey, not the destination. Having said that, this page bores me and mostly serves to bridge the the gap between visual effects. I aspire to make comics for people like me with short attention spans.
We may or may not have recorded such a set of principles for comics based on highly limited experience and firsthand observations of a couple of 16-20 year olds. In the ongoing quest to be less of a hack artist, I began not shading with pencil big dark areas until the rest of the page was complete. This works reasonably well as long as I remember to go back and actually shade it in before I scan it and can't be bothered to fix it.
This entire comic has been a 237 page setup for an Abbott and Costello reference. That's dedication.
I almost posted an un-edited version of this comic because I forgot until the last minute and didn't want to wait a full hour for the offline Windows Vista machine to boot up and recognize the scanner. I didn't though. The fan(s) need to see this absurdity in fully rendered glory as the director intended.
Okay, this time I actually have a chance to get the reference, although the original Three Billy Goats Gruff was probably much more violent than the one I heard as a kid. Crate is friends with Charming? I figured he was in some kind of grudging symbiosis where he does all the fighting monsters and Charming does the smooth talking to well-adjusted humans.
Now Back To the Show
Whats this? An update?! Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I committed to rebuilding a small buffer. Let's see how long I can keep the weekly pages flowing this time. If Matt can't be my friendly rival who pushes me to do better in the present, I'll just steal ideas -er, draw inspiration- from him in the past circa 2008.
@artofjoe
I was wondering what prompted this odd medical fact when I finally realized you were referring the the children in this comic.

"Two out of four children look emotionally disturbed; The other two brush with Colgate!"

I was tired.
@artofjoe
No one notices exposition if you break it up with subsurface to air missiles. That's basically how the comic got its name: gratuitous boom in the middle of a page that was getting too talky.
In school, no one wanted to be my partner for anything so I got stuck with the weird kid or the teacher if there was an odd number. One notable exception was when we were learning about circuits and I was partnered with this kid who covered his desk in wire and D batteries trying to blow up a raisin. This is not relevant to the comic in any way, which is a shame.
@artofjoe
Just wait until page 12. In hindsight, it would have been cooler if they said wrong place/wrong time in panel 20. I actually enjoy doing gratuitous action scenes and visual effects more than character interaction and what passes for a story.

Basically, I make Star Wars prequels.
Stolen Identity III
The reference here is to a MAD TV parody of Schwarzenegger movies. After drawing these characters and their escapades for so many years, they become real to us. I couldn't just abandon all that canon, so I decided to roll it in. All the smudged, amateurishly constructed, copyright-infringing comics Matt and I made throughout high school are now in-universe. Well, an alternate universe. Even if they are never shown publicly, it is all part of our comic's history.

I totally planned that title two years in advance and it's not just a coincidence.
This page has everything: Self-aware humor, references to comments not even written at the time, plot confusion, more self-aware references to SmackJeeves. Did several prologue pages come and go? My brain is turning into mush for reasons unrelated, but I could swear some earlier stuff changed.
Compared to previous chapters, you you have indeed made Charming more muscle toned. For a stick figure, this guy's enviably buff - at least in the last panel. Also, I thought Crate was a girl for like 70 pages but apparently he's just got long hair and great pectorals.
Fixed?
@artofjoe
Let's try that again. It wouldn't let me post a comic without a title, but a tile without a comic is fair game apparently. Now if only fixing the substance of this page were so easy. It looks okay to me, but my display settings are 150% scale. Then again, I mainly did that so I don't have to wear glasses. Basically I have no idea what is legible to a normal sane person.
I played around with the settings on this one. It preserved some of the nuance of my pencil shading, but the words are kind of faint. I think I wrote too small here but nobody cares because TEXT IS BORING HAHAHA
The style of these comics was originally intended to be read on a high school cafeteria table less than two feet from the viewer's eyes. I'm still trying to strike the right balance of legibility and not huge pages that flow off screen and eat bandwidth.
Splash Zone
I measure the success of a story arc based on how long it takes to get to the first gratuitous explosion. These comics are meant for attention spans as short as mine.
Prehistoric memes
@artofjoe
That reminds me of a thing from ten years ago: "The research is as follows. Pocket-protected scientists built a wall of iron and crashed a diamond car into it at 400 miles per hour, and the car was unharmed. They then built a wall out of diamond and crashed a car made of iron moving at 400 miles an hour into the wall, and the wall came out fine. They then crashed a diamond car made of 400 miles per hour into a wall, and there were no survivors. They crashed 400 miles per hour into a diamond traveling at iron car. Western New York was powerless for hours. They rammed a wall of metal into a 400 mile per hour made of diamond, and the resulting explosion shifted the earth's orbit 400 million miles away from the sun, saving the earth from a meteor the size of a small Washington suburb that was hurtling towards mid-western Prussia at 400 billion miles per hour. They shot a diamond made of iron at a car moving at 400 walls per hour, and as a result caused two wayward airplanes to lose track of their bearings, and make a fatal crash with two buildings in downtown New York. They spun 400 miles at diamond into iron per wall. The results were inconclusive. Finally, they placed 400 diamonds per hour in front of a car made of wall traveling at miles per iron, and the result proved without a doubt that diamonds were the hardest metal of all time, if not just the hardest metal known to man."
@awsmith
Come for the art, stay for the story? What passes for a story around these parts, anyway. Hopefully our rambling plots hold your interest through to what I consider to be the good part:
gratuitous action, references, occasional commentary on the state of our high school now ten years past, and a heaping helping of plot contrivance.
@artofjoe
Would you believe this isn't the first I'm hearing of your solar system of stick-styled artists? A few of the pageviews on those comics are me. Until now, I didn't think SJ would support the critical mass of comics in this sort of style to keep authors engaged and comics alive. Everything I touch DIES. Still, you might just be seeing me around. Matt has been consumed body and soul by medical school.

Apparently this template I butchered circa 2011 doesn't have a real reply to comment functionality?
Multi-Update
Due to the positive response from the last page, and the fact that my stories haven't really started until at least one person is freaking out screaming, I decided to post a second update this week. Only time will tell if I decide to maintain this pace or stretch out the rest of the buffer over weeks. This week is a rare break from my relentless night work schedule.