Hey, have you ever been to Stripcreator?
It is a website which allows you to create comics using preset art assets donated by users and kind webcomic artists. This sounds limited, and it is, but I find it a very interesting framework to play with.
I started out on Stripcreator back in 2005, and latched onto the strange concept of producing serial strips that run for exactly 50 episodes. There is no logical reason for this, but it’s just the way I do it, and again I find this self-imposed restriction highly interesting.
Last night I completed Hexamorpha, the sixth series thus far, bringing my total up to 300 strips. I immediately embarked on series number seven, and then realised, hey, 300? That’s quite a milestone, maybe I should make a note of that… So I am. Here.
I will now summarise my various series in chronological order, complete with a link to an example of each, and from this you can decide whether or not they are worth reading.
– Trilogy 1: Cephalopoda –
This was my first attempt. Kind of all over the place, but it sets some interesting rules and precedents that subsequent series would follow. It mostly tells the tale of two guys and their tenuous friendship, and a girl. Mostly it is about conflict, and as a result, it’s a little dark. Also, an interesting side-story involving a couple of dinosaurs.
Introduces the two strip format that opened up to me after becoming a donor. Follows the story of two friends who, unlike Protosquid, actually like each other. One is a robotic comedian who is unable to correctly parse human concepts of humour, and the other is a green gelatinous man.
At the time, I decided to branch out with this strip, and try something different. This one doesn’t tell a story, but instead presents absurd poetry, that may or may not be amusing. I expect it is difficult to really derive any amusement from this one for anyone other than me. Sorry.
– Trilogy 2: Magnoliophyta –
This one is dark. Essentially an experiment in black humour, this series deals with characters who are mostly unlikable assholes. Two flatmates kick their other flatmate out as a joke, and it sort of escalates from there into, well, an ugly mess. One character in particular here is essentially a bad egg with no redeeming qualities.
I decided to do a little sci-fi story here. It starts off in an obvious Star Trek parody (thanks in part to the characters available) but soon develops into a predictable tale of the dangers of cult religions. Except of course, the cult religion here is Christianity. Edgy, huh? See an incompetent Captain and his first officer take on the President of Earth, meanwhile two Earth-based kids rebel against “The Man”.
Office humour is designed not to be laugh-out-loud funny, but rather to elicit a smile from the downtrodden office folk whose work is entirely pointless. So I took this principle as a starting point. For the first half, it is very much based in that, but then it veers off into stranger and altogether darker territory. It’s about office folk working for a nameless company, just basically trying to get through their boring days.
– Trilogy 3: Unipkaaqs –
Okay, this is my current series. This one was a long time coming, being inspired by James Joyce, and surrealism and absurdism in general. All my strips are surreal and absurd, but this one takes the absurdity away from story and puts it into dialogue. Characters converse in unique and ridiculous manners that I find endlessly amusing, but that, much like Chronoctopus, you are quite likely to not fully understand. Sorry.