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C-Realm Comics
kmo wrote in fotcr
On tomorrow's C-Realm Podcast (#369), I'll be talking about the origin of the phrase "the C-Realm." It involves a comic strip that I did for the Maneater, the student newspaper at the University of Missouri - Columbia in the mid 1990's. The comic strip was called "C."

After I left grad school, I kept doing comics, but they only appeared on the web. You'll notice they do NOT appear on these days. That's because, while I retain a fondness for my characters and for the medium of comics, the actual comics that I created are a source of embarrassment to me now. I just did a Google search for "c-realm comics" and the only actual "hit" on the first page of results is this one:

That's a relief. Those are my characters, but there's no dialog.

I actually have very few examples of my own comics available to me. There was a broken link in the archive when it was up on which kept the spiders crawling the web on behalf of the Internet Archive from archiving most of the comics that I had posted there at one time. Then a harddrive crash sucked my local copy of the archive into the void.

When I look at what's still to be found for those who know how to search, I cringe. The only way I know to dilute the power of those old strips is to swamp them with new material. It seems as though maybe the digital realm, with the introduction of Kindles, Nooks and iPads, is ready for comics in a way that it was not ready back in 2001, which is about the time I quit posting new comics on anything like a regular basis.

I'd love to dust off my drawing skills, gently raise the characters from their long slumber, and make a new offering to the realm of digital comics. For this, I'm thinking I will definitely need a collaborator. Someone who can help with the art (no worries if drawing the human figure is not your strong suit. That's about the only thing I know how to draw and will handle that end of things). I really need someone who loves comics and understands the process of creating content that is optimized for the current modes of viewing comics on smart phones and tablets.

I could do a Kickstarter campaign and raise money to hire someone to do this, or I could partner with a like-minded soul who would be more of a collaborator than a hired gun. My ambition is not to put the material up on the web for free, but to sell it, you know, for money. Money which I would be happy to split with the collaborator.

This is the absolute wrong time for me to try to start a new project. Olga and I are doing the 2013 C-Realm Podcast Couch-Surfing tour in August, and I need to concentrate on getting my presentation in order and on raising money to pay for the trip. It makes no sense for me to throw this particular message in a bottle into the ocean at this particular moment, but the spirit has moved me, so there it is.

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i've always wanted to see your comics. i used to develop comic strips with a friend of mine, although this was pre-internet and nothing was ever published. I still have a few lying around, but many of them were lost while moving. as much as i'd love to be a part of the reincarnation of the c-realm comix, i'm also feeling the time crunch. I've put too much on my plate, it all tastes wonderful and as much as i would love to add more, i always hesitate because i know it will slow the completion of the other things. I can also freely admit to the comics not being very "good" or complete. we rarely did backgrounds, inking, or any of the other things that bring comics to life, and relied instead on humour, preposterous imagery, and improbable situations to entertain ourselves with the comics medium. I've since put down the pencil for the most part, and dedicate myself to creating music.

we mostly read comics from the bargain bin due to teenage budget constraints, and were only able to get our hands on marvel or dc comics by trading. this was never an issue, as the various "underground" comics we found were usually more bizarre and unique, which is what we were after anyway. the closest i came to reading the typical hero comics were the malibu/ultraverse series Freex and Rune. i'm always bummed out these days when i visit a comic shop since the bargain bin is a thing of the past, underground comics are rarely stocked, and many of the comics on the shelves these days are filled with ads.

in any case, i hope someone takes you up on your offer. this would be really neat to see. I wonder also if you'll ever let go of the embarassment you feel for your old comic strips. I keep meaning to use my web-fu to find some, but alas, I'm usually working on other things or it slips my mind. the art style is really interesting. did you pencil the outlines and move to some sort of software for the backgrounds and inking?

In the example in this post, I drew all the images with a ballpoint pen, scanned them, added color in Photoshop, and then ran the cutout filter on them to merge the scribbly lines from the pen into fatter lines. That was forever ago. These days, I don't have a scanner, and I'm not sure how I'd go about moving images from page to screen.

scanning is probably still the most high quality way to go about it, but these days you could probably take a picture with a digital camera (or someone's smartphone) and get a pretty decent image to play with in photoshop. judging by the cover art for the c-realm episodes, you're fairly good with it. :)

it would be cool to see some teasers for the comic concept, or even a new original strip. the art doesn't need to be perfect to illustrate an idea - i'm sure you've seen the fun things (and internet sensation) that xkcd or toothpaste for dinner have created with little effort as far as the visual art. :)

posted a reply and got the message "Your comment has been added. According to this community's settings, it was marked as spam."

hope my comment makes it to a review filter instead of getting deleted automatically. it was probably flagged since i included links. :)

I really admire cartoonists like the creator of xkcd. If the bare idea is funny and engaging, then the "art" doesn't need to dazzle. I think I fiddled way too much with the images when I should have spent more time refining the initial concept and the text.

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