Is Momo strong enough to drag an unconscious Marigold to the bed by herself, or did Dale have to help?
How do you feel about Failure reuniting?
Can Hannelore be asexual, please? A lot of people read her as such, and think that she is, and it’d be pretty cool to have a canon ace character in something as well known as your comic. Maybe you’ve accidentally written an asexual character? I mean, you of course have control over your comics and everything, but… just putting that out there.
I’ve been getting an increasing number of questions like this lately, so here’s my best attempt at an answer.
While I think it’d be great to see more representation of asexual folks in comics, Hannelore isn’t asexual. She’s severely inhibited by her neuroses, but if they weren’t there, I’m pretty sure she’d want to Do It With Boys. And I’d hate to portray her as asexual instead of inhibited, because that would paint a very inaccurate picture of what asexuality is (as far as I understand it, anyway).
Have you ever considered the addition of an asexual character to the comic? I know a lot of writers will shy away from “adding X character” because it’s too easy to write a bad character around that one characteristic. You’ve done so well with diversity, historically, that I just wanted to know if it’s something you’d ever thought about or wanted to do, even if it’s not something you can immediately do now.
I don’t have any ace characters on the drawing board, but who knows. Maybe someday!
Why do webcomics folk so rarely leave the northeast (aside from huge events like SDCC, C2E2, and the like?
Because plane tickets are expensive.
I’m a long-time guitar dabbler and I’ve recently been trying to learn to play metal/metalcore, and the only electric guitar I’ve ever owned is a Squier Strat. I’ve heard for metal I should really have humbuckers, and I picked up a friend’s cheap (I think) Dean and the difference was striking. I want to get another guitar more suited to metal, but I don’t feel like I have the proper experience to judge them. Should I stick with the strat til I improve? Get a cheap metal axe? An expensive one?
If you want to learn metal, playing on a standard strat will be frustrating, which will make you enjoy playing less, which will make you play less. I say take the plunge and get yourself an affordable “metal” axe. ESP/LTD and Schecter are my go-to brands for good, cheap guitars, and make excellent higher-tier instruments if you want to drop some extra cash.
I’d also recommend getting yourself a Line 6 POD. When it comes to practicing and recording on a budget there is literally no single piece of gear you’re better off spending money on.
You hear about the new D’Addario NYXL strings that are coming out soon? I just got a beta set, and I’m liking them a lot so far, just gotta see what they sound like after a week or two.
I’ve always been an Ernie Ball man but I’m willing to try new things!
As someone who earns their income on the internet, what do you think of bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general? Is it something that you would consider ever accepting as payment for your merch or music? Or is that kind of thing left up to topatoco?
I don’t particularly like Bitcoin (unstable, prone to pyramid scheme-esque manipulation) but if something that took its good aspects came along I’d probably support it.
can you give any advice to a recent college dropout that wants to make a webcomic but doesn’t really have the means (nor necessarily the artistic talent) to do so?
Just start drawing! Paper and pens are cheap. You can get a Wacom for like 90 bucks. Scanners are cheap too. Make it fun!
Just got my download of Permanence, and it’s awesome. Are you still planning on re-recording Advances, and what is the timeframe for that?
If all goes according to plan, I’ll actually be laying down the basic tracks for Advances this week! It will be a more prolonged process because my engineer is having a baby literally any day now, but it will get done.
Faye is getting hammered less often one way, more in another *snort*
Last week I received my new Cintiq Companion, Wacom’s first truly portable drawing apparatus. I’ve been making comics on it for a week now, so I think I’ve had enough experience with it to share my impressions with you.
I opted for the Companion and not the Companion Hybrid because I wanted a full-fledged PC in addition to the tablet capabilities. It came with Windows 8 preinstalled, and while I had heard lots of bad things about the OS, it has been a better experience than I was expecting- especially when I updated it to 8.1. The tablet functionality is quite good, actually. I like the onscreen keyboard a lot more than iOS’s.
As for the hardware itself, I am impressed. The Companion feels really solid, and the various buttons and switches etc are responsive and useful. It’s compact enough to easily fit in a computer bag, and came with a nice neoprene case that also holds the stylus case (which itself is really cool). The power cord is plenty long enough and the transformer box is surprisingly compact. All in all it’s way more portable than the smaller Cintiq and perfect for travel or working in coffee shops or whatever.
The most critical thing, of course, is how it does at actually making artwork. The surface is a nice balance between smoothness and toothiness. It feels like it might be a little gripper than my big Cintiq, but I may be imagining that. The stylus is excellent. Due to the smaller screen, there is a noticeable discrepancy between the tip of the stylus and the cursor when you get to the edges of the screen, but proper calibration was easy and went a long way toward correcting this. After a week of use I hardly notice it anymore.
The overall drawing experience is good. It took me a few days to get used to working on such a small screen as I’m used to my 24” monster at home, but it was just a matter of adaptation. Pressure sensitivity is excellent, and the Companion has enough RAM to handle huge Photoshop files without any hitches. I attach a USB keyboard because I use lots of keyboard shortcuts when drawing, but if you use the express keys on the side of your cintiq you could probably work without an external keyboard. Due to the high screen resolution and small display size, user interface buttons are pretty tiny, but not unusably so.
Battery life is truly impressive, in my opinion. I can draw for three hours and only use up half of a charge.
Thus far, my only gripes are with the software, not the tablet itself. Photoshop is buggy as hell on Windows, at least compared to OS X. And Windows 8 is better than I expected, as I said, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a “good” operating system. Its kind of a mess, organizationally, and the disconnect between the (pretty cool, IMO) tiles interface and the standard Windows desktop is really, really clunky. The design nerd in me hates the OS, but the practical side of me says “at least it works.”
So what’s the final verdict?
I’m glad I got my Companion. It makes working while I’m away from home an absolute breeze. If you’re a professional artist who travels a lot I think its a great purchase despite the hefty price tag. It won’t be replacing my 24hd as my main work tool, and I think people looking to jump into the Cintiq pool would be better served by purchasing one of the less expensive non-tablet Cintiqs. But on the whole, I’m pleased with the product and expect to do a lot of work on it in the future.
Since you’ve been sober (congrats!), are your characters are drunk less often? Do they follow you in not self-medication using alcohol?
Nah, they’re still pretty much drinking like they used to. Faye seems to be getting hammered less often.
What is your personal opinion of drum circles and/or hippies?
they’re all right
Are you going to stay with the new comic formatting? I don’t think I like it as much, but maybe that’s just because I don’t like change.
Yes, I think it is way better and makes drawing comics more fun.
Since time in the comic progresses so slowly relative to the real world, it sounds like your life has moved quite a bit further along than the characters’ lives have over the last few years—marriage, house, yadda yadda. Has it gotten more difficult to write for them as your own experience has diverged farther away from theirs?
My perspective has certainly changed- a lot of the problems they deal with seem a little silly to a guy in his early 30s. But that makes it easier to write, if anything- I can see past things they can’t.
Jeph- I have depression as well, and though I see a therapist, take medication, and am doing quite well, I still have days that I feel depressed for no reason (I call them “sad days.”) Do you ever have days like these? And if so, how do you work through them?
Yup, I think that’s pretty normal. You just gotta power through and do your best, and sometimes you just have a crappy day and have to take a mulligan.
Is Hannelore asexual?
Not to the best of my knowledge.
Back in the early days of QC was there anything special you did in the way of promotion to bring readers in? Or was it just a word of mouth thing? I know my main priority should be producing quality content, which it is, but do you have any general advice on how to get your name out there?
Most of it was just doing quality work, but I also posted on message boards for other comics I liked, just to get involved in the community. I think a lot of folks first found my comic that way. I never spammed links to it or anything, just had it in my signature. It seemed to work well.
“Get over it, people. Get over the Internet. Go outside. Get off this website. Make friends. Meet them in a bar. Buy someone you love something warm or nice to drink. Go to the park. Breathe in the air. Take in the outside. Look at the tiny flying things in the sky and wonder how they sing a song without overanalyzing every action, without eating each other alive. Watch how they eat only for sustenance, how they hoard only for others. Find a friend. Go to the beach, in the cold. Pick up a real thin rock at low tide and watch it skip, skip, skip and then descend. Watch your friend do it. Think about how satisfying it is, watching it float like that in between hops, then how silly it is that we do anything at all. Look over to your friend and watch him skip that fucker, satisfied, and forgive.”—
Rub your butt on a gourd. Play harmonica on a train until someone asks you to stop, and then buy them a coffee. Tell your dentist how you REALLY feel. Clean your belly button in front of your significant other. Yell at a balloon. Get a tattoo and tell people you have no idea how it got there. Get angry when they assume you’re joking. Go outside and look at some birds. Look at those little fuckers. So self-satisfied. Fuck them. FUCK THEM. I HATE GODDAMN BIR
I made a double, which in hindsight was too much. One is enough.
Step 2: Oatmeal
I used Cinnamon & Spice because I thought it would complement the espresso nicely.
Step 3: Make mistakes
THAT’S RIGHT, PUT THE OATMEAL IN THE ESPRESSO AND STIR
Step 4: CONSUME
[image removed at request of public health authority]
It was tastier than I expected. The sugar and spices from the oatmeal sweetened the espresso, and the espresso did a fine job of preparing the oatmeal. It still came out slightly bitter, but if you like espresso (I do) it was a pleasant bitterness.
Just a friendly reminder my good friends, we are in the safe zone for gift orders, but time flies! So our friends at Topatoco have broken down shipping times to give you a sense of what is safe to ship when:
Hey Jeph, I just started on Cipralex and the side effects (nausea, headaches) already have me feeling shitty. In your experience, how bad do an antidepressant’s side effects have to be before it’s no longer worth it?
It’s a personal choice, really. If you’ve only been on a drug for a week or two, I’d say stick with it and see if the side effects subside (they often do). But I’m not a medical professional so I recommend you talk to your psychiatrist about it.
Hi Jeph, I was going to tell you that your banner ads were displaying adult oriented stuff again, as I know google doesn’t like that at all, but it seems to be back to normal. hope all is well!
Yeah, I talked to one of my ad networks and they cracked down on some of that junk, it would seem. Which is good!
What subjects do your characters have degrees in? I know you’ve mentioned this information for a few of the characters, such as Faye, but what about the others?
is marten based on you?
He was when I started the comic, but over the years we’ve become very different. I wouldn’t say we’re anything alike, at this point.
As somebody who has NEVER BEEN to Massachusetts, how faithful is QC’s version of Northampton to real life (aside from obviously exaggerated bits)?
I think it’s pretty faithful, although some of the geography in the comic is different than reality.
I know you graduated with a music degree, do you still make any compositions for fun?
I could go into this a lot more indepth, but frankly; don’t you think it’s time to start moving to fewer updates with more comic book style paneling to allow for a higher density in story content?
So I’m thinking about finally getting a tattoo. Do you have any tips for a first-time tattooer? (Tattooee?) Esp. someone with anxiety, because I know you’ve dealt with that and I don’t know if that impacted your decision or not when you first got tattooed, but I’m mainly just curious if you have any advice for me.
Assuming you have a design in mind, make sure you eat something before your session and don’t worry too much! It will be uncomfortable for the first 5 minutes and then the endorphins will kick in and you will feel really neat! Unless you’re doing something crazy like tattooing the back of your hand.
Are there people on Mars in the QC universe? Will the main cast ever go to Mars?
more like YOU’RE on mars
When I was younger I’ve always wanted to do comics. How do you get the faces to be so exact on each panel? It’s probably just practice, but I can never perfectly replicate what I’ve drawn.
practice practice practice practice
How do you approach having your characters fall into a relationship? Do you kind of just let it happen because it felt right to you, or is their fictional-love a carefully planned out story of romance, and facekiss? MartinxClaire, MartinxEmily. Darigold/DalexMarigold I feel are developing nicely. Never5get tho, they all bang in the end. Also, Samantha arc next forrealz.
Not a single “indie” band on the list this year. That might be a first. I’m just tired of things that sound like Pavement I guess!
10. The Range- Nonfiction
A lot has been made of The Range’s sourcing of mysterious audio clips from YouTube to feature in his tracks, but that tends to overshadow the refreshingly unadorned melodies and beats on this delightful album. If you’re into Tycho, Discuss, or really any sort of melodic, groovy electronic stuff, this record is for you.
9. DJ Rashad- Double Cup
Full disclosure*: I am almost completely uninformed when it comes to footwork as a genre. That being said, “Double Cup” is a tremendously accessible introduction to the style, and it stands on its own as a stirring example of an artist transcending a sound to create something more.
8. Jon Hopkins- Immunity
Shoegaze has thoroughly infiltrated electronic music. From Apparat to Fuck Buttons to Jesse Somfay to, yes, Jon Hopkins, the gauzy textures and buried vocals are everywhere. Hopkins spices things up with thoroughly chopped percussion, muscular bass where necessary, and his own haunting piano melodies (he’s a classically trained pianist, and it shows). Opening track “We Disappear” and closer “Immunity” are the standouts, but the album is strong all the way through.
7. Daniel Avery- Drone Logic
After a stellar contribution to Fabric’s long running “FabricLive” mix series (he did #66), Daniel Avery has delivered an absolute mission statement of an album. Throbbing acid and old-school house beats demand your attention, and constantly shifting subtleties reward close listening as much as they beg you to dance.
6. Machinedrum- Vapor City
I completely dropped the ball on Machinedrum’s first album “Room(s).” It sat almost unlistened in my music library for months, only for me to rediscover it and become utterly addicted. “Vapor City” is a worthy followup, melding breakbeats, dubstep, footwork, and a host of other touchstones together to create something unique and immensely engaging. The best track on the album also has an absolutely killer video.
5. The Field- Cupid’s Head
The Field has been a mainstay on my top album lists since his debut. For his latest, Axel Willner goes back to basics, forgoing the live drums and bass of his last two records. He also takes a considerably darker tack than we’ve seen previously, with standouts “They Won’t See Me” and “No. No…” melding his trademark blissed-out samples with an almost Boards of Canada-esque menace. It’s another refreshing change of pace from Willner, and hints at yet another previously unexpected direction for his work to go.
4. Fuck Buttons- Slow Focus
Fuck Buttons’ last album “Tarot Sport” was an absolute MONSTER. But where that LP found the duo employing their bewildering array of circuitry to evoke a sense of triumph, “Slow Focus” finds them exploring aggression, anxiety, and darkness. Album standouts “Brainfreeze” and “Hidden XS” are absolutely punishing, trading the Olympian peaks of their last album for Stygian depths.
3. Russian Circles- Memorial
Instrumental metal mainstays Russian Circles are going black metal. From the frigid album artwork, to the searing tremolo-picked guitar lines, to the theme of grief, loss, and remembrance, this is the blackest they’ve ever gone. It’s also the best album they’ve ever written.
2. Daft Punk- Random Access Memories
What is there to say about this album that hasn’t been said already? From the crafty marketing to the retro mission statement to the crazy guest list to the fact that it’s A New Daft Punk Album, nothing released in 2013 has felt like this much of an Event. The sound is gloriously warm and retro. The pop hooks glimmer like nothing I’ve heard in years. NILE. FUCKING. ROGERS. “We’re up all night to get lucky:” congratulations, now that song is stuck in your heard.
Hey, I was just wondering if you ever use the QuestionableContent Wiki, and/or if the articles therein generally conform to your own understanding of your universe. -JK
Never used it, but it seems decent enough I guess?
Do AnthroPCs store everything that happens to them in long-term memory? Or are they programmed to forget things, like humans do? The reason I’m asking is that they have emotions, and if they have perfect memory of every painful experience in their lives, how can they stand it?
This is a good question! BUT I think it would be better addressed in the comic itself. A lot of the questions about the sci-fi aspects of my comic are things I know the answer to, but would rather incorporate into the comic than toss out elsewhere.
I suddenly want to see your take on different art styles, especially realism. (It’s Gordon McAlpin’s fault, he did that horror movie arc and the style change was so weird I want to see other people try.)
I wish I had that kind of skill, but my current abilities basically range from “how I draw the comic” to “how I draw the comic, but worse”
I hope this has not been asked too often before but, do you speak german? i stumble across the occasional german phrases and ask myself if you know what you write or if you have just looked it up on google translator :D i liked fickenfreude the most :]
I studied it for three years in high school, but have forgotten 98% of what I used to know. It’s a really fun language though so I like to throw little things in auf Deutsch where I can.
Hey Jeph, I saw your tweet about being one year sober and wanted to say congrats! I think you’re a lot more inspiring than you realize. Have a great day. :)
Thanks :). I can honestly say I don’t miss it at all, and that’s a really good feeling.
I want to do a webcomic, and my drawing is okay (I need to find more time to practice) but my biggest problem is consistency. I can't draw someone twice and have it look like the same person. Do you have any pointers on getting better at drawing characters consistently? Do I need to just fill a notebook with fifty bazilionty drawings of each character until my eyes cross and everything looks the same?
Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice
Now that you’ve expanded your universe so much, do you find it difficult to write for Marten? How has your perception of him changed against the backdrop of other characters?
I don’t find him particularly difficult to write, but as the scope of the comic has broadened he has naturally become less of a focus. Plus, Marten’s got shit to deal with, and there are no instant fixes for him, so it’s gonna take time. And that definitely factors into how I write him.
Dude, does ear cheese really actually happen? Is that for reals a thing? I’m asking cause I want to stretch my lobes and need to know what to expect. Can this be avoided by thorough, daily cleaning?
All you gotta do is wash your ear-holes and it goes away. It’s gross but not a big deal, just a hygiene thing.
Hello! Big fan of your work! I have a question: In the Acknowledgements section of Holly Black’s newest book, “The Coldest Girl in Coldtown,” she credited Jeph Jacques as being a friend. Is that actually you?
Yup, I have been pals with Holly for some years now! That book is really good, thank you for reading it and supporting her.
I really enjoy how Dale doesn’t seem to be easily intimidated by Faye like how other people usually do. This isn’t so much as a question, I know, but I really wanted to say something about it because it is a nice change and makes me think Dale has faced tougher shat to not be so affected by Faye or something. Not saying that Faye’s ability to automatically strike fear into the heart of her enemies (and friends) is a bad thing, but another part of me hopes this thing with Dale doesn’t change.
Dale is pretty chill
sooo in comic 2550, why do Tai’s pants change from being full-length in panel 4 to capris in panel 5?
In the event of your demise, are the final pages of QC drawn? If you were rendered unable to continue QC, I believe the final arc should be put up and the in-between should be left to the imagination.
I have thought about writing a text file called HowQCEnds.txt or something in case I get hit by a bus, but I’ve never gotten around to it.
Besides, it’d probably just say “AND THEN THEY ALL FUCKED”
You probably have been asked this before, but what kind of drawing tablet do you use/recommend?
I use a big fancy Cintiq but all the Wacom models are completely fine. Yiynova apparently makes good ones too but I haven’t tried them.
So I was waiting to get paid, so I could back the Deathmole kick starter, but then I missed the final date! How will I go about buying the album to support you after-the-fact? And will you put up any of the cool Deathmole gear for sale? Because I totally want a patch!
The album will go on general sale once it’s done and backers have received their copies. I’ll probably sell some of the other swag as well.
I know you have quoted both Kiyohiko Azuma (I’m reading through the complete Azumanga omnibus right now, my college library is so cool!) and Iain M. Banks as major influences on your writing. Are there any other authors who have particularly influenced you as such?
Charles Schultz, Bill Watterson, Berke Breathed, Frank Herbert, Alastair Reynolds, Danielle Corsetto, Sam Logan, Jeffrey Rowland, Rich Stevens, John Allison, Ryan North, Jerkcity, the guy who did Lucky Star whose name escapes me
why do anthropcs store their personalities in their physical units where they’re vulnerable to any damage they might incur? it would make much more sense to have a big computer somewhere which stored their minds and communicated wirelessly with the bodies, presumably with multiple backups elsewhere in the world just in case some natural disaster ruined the place.
bandwidth concerns, also cock latency
That “what flavor of trans?” question is horrible and as a trans* person, I’m deeply offended by that asshole. Thank you for not even trying to answer it and for making Claire a complete character, and not a cliche.
But I did answer it! She’s a redhead!
Around how tall would you say Dale is? Hanners has always struck me as a pretty tall girl and I noticed he seems to have a good amount of height on her
Dale is a pretty tall dude
Hopefully you have not been asked this 100000000 times already, but what are your thoughts on applications like Comic Life? I’m in a Writing for Graphic Novels class this semester, and we’re required to use it. At times it seems pretty neat to me because it has a lot of drag and drop functionality and simplifies putting everything together, but I’m worried that it’s either A) making me lazy or B) negatively impacting the quality of the product. Just wanted some thoughts from a pro that I admire!
Never used it myself. Tools are tools, it doesn’t matter what you use as long as you constantly push yourself to do good work and improve.
So are the Permanence tracks on Bandcamp now just demos or what?
I hesitate to call them “demos” since I’m quite happy with how they sound, but they’re not as good as the finished album is going to be. So I think of them more like “early versions” even though that’s largely a matter of semantics.
Would you ever consider a separate QC tumblr that updates with the comics at the same time the main site does? (It was a really pleasant surprise along my dash, and could see a lot of people getting behind it. Could expose the comic even more, due to reblogs and such, as well. Just a thought.)
If there was a simple way to automate this, sure. But I already have enough trouble remembering to keep the RSS up to date.
some of these aren’t questions but WHATEVER I DO WHAT I WANT
Which panel from which QC strip are you most proud of?
Generally a random panel from whichever comic I drew most recently. I can’t look at my old stuff.
Any suggestions on a decent-but-relatively-inexpensive software I can use? Preferably looking for something I can do multitrack editing with, but not looking for high-end ProTools type stuff. Thanks, and rock on! XD
I don’t really know much about recording software on PC, but I love love love Logic Pro X and it isn’t ridiculously expensive. If you need to go even cheaper, Garageband works well and is easy to use.
I recently named my two pipes Faye and Tai. Faye is metal and has a cool clear purple center and looks badass as hell, and Tai is blue and has a rainbow swirl. Do you mind? Would they mind?
Tai would be flattered, Faye would probably make fun of you for naming an inanimate object.
This is kind of random and out of nowhere, but I was kind of wondering what flavor of trans Claire is? Cause I’m curious.
She’s a redhead
Occasionally when you talk about how someone’s new album sounds, I look for it and find it hasn’t been released yet. HOW DO YOU DO IT, this is an important question.
hey mr jeph sir person, love QC have for years etc, slightly unhappy about something. The link to Oglaf is no longer on the QC homepage. Have you lost your liking for it? Pls respond
I had to take it down to comply with Google AdSense’s “no linking to adult sites” policy. AdSense is a significant portion of my revenue and I couldn’t afford to lose it. Which is a shame because Oglaf is really really really good. :\
You should record your other album here: Earth Analog Studios (www earthanalog com) It’s Matt Talbot’s studio in Tolono,IL just south of Champaign.
That studio looks amazing and Matt Talbot is literally the reason I started playing guitar. But honestly considering how much of my work is digital it would be kind of a waste of resources. Maybe someday if I get an actual drummer.
I first read the sign in the piercing place as: “You must be 18 or have a Canadian present” and thought it was funny! Good luck at SPX!
Shit, that WOULD have been funny
Unsure if this has been asked and answered before, but what kind of power supply do anthro pc’s have and how do they recharge?
i noticed for the deathmole kickstarter, nobody pledged enough for the “lunch with you” tier. do you feel relieved? I certainly would have breathed easier knowing i wouldn’t have to have lunch with a stranger haha
That tier was basically just so that we’d have SOMETHING ridiculously expensive, I didn’t really expect anyone to go for it.
So I just moved to Northampton a little over a month ago and I’m FREAKING OUT because I can actually recognize the backgrounds in QC now! Like in the first panel, they’re right down the street from Faces (where I work!) And Lucky’s! And ASDKFJADLSKFJAKSDL. Sorry, this is super exciting to me. I’ve been reading QC for about 5 years and I even met my best friend because I had a Math is Delicious bag. It makes me feel like I moved to Hollywood or something.
It’s only a matter of time before I inadvertently draw you in the background of a panel somewhere
you play Shadowrun too! it’s such a brilliant game! what character type do you play?
I’m playing a stealthy cat shaman, which is a nice change of pace because I have never played a caster or a support character before in a tabletop game!
How difficult was it for you to offer the $5000 reward tier (dinner with you) on your Kickstarter, given your social anxiety?
See above answer, and Ativan exists for a reason.
I just gave you a dollar so I could look at a picture of Marten’s butt I don’t even know anymore okay
Hello Jeph, I am a huge huge fan and you are the main inspiration for getting me back into drawing. I wanted to ask, do you ever have any plans for doing prints of your actual comics?
This is one of those things I keep meaning to do and forgetting about/not having time to implement. Maybe someday!
Hello! I was wondering if you ever thought about changing your panel composition in your ten years of QC? If you have answered this question before, please direct me in that direction, as I am a newly indoctrinated reader! I believe I read all of QC to date in about a week and a half. Fell in love from the get-go. Thanks for a lovely comic.
I’ve thought about it, but I really like the advantages of the vertical panel format and I’m comfortable in my drawing routine, so I doubt I’ll suddenly go all Dresden Codak on you guys.
So David Willis has decided against having a bowl of cadbury and cream eggs with milk with me, supposedly for the sake of his health. Would you like to sit in front of him and eat them with me and try to entice a crowd into chanting “butts”?
Man I can’t even eat one of those things without feeling like I’m gonna die
I’ve been seeing a lot of that “You Obviously Like Owls” being ripped off all over the place, the latest offender being a magnet by Spencer’s Gifts, and obviously not licensed by you. Just thought you ought to know, buddy.
Yeah, I know. I can’t really prevent it and don’t have the time to chase down and C&D every single uncreative asshole out there.
Hey Jeph I need some writing advice if you’d be kind enough to give it. You’ve been writing your characters for 10 years and really seem to enjoy them, but everytime I write a character I always get so sick of them to the point where I’ve abandoned about 90% of what I’ve written because i cant stand the characters. Is there some sort of solution to this i can work toward with writing or would you say this is probably more a personality sort of issue?
If you’re “getting sick of” a character, there’s something wrong. I don’t know any specific advice to give you, but one of the advantages of having such a large cast in my comic is I can shift focus whenever I feel like a certain character is getting a little stale or overexposed. I guess I’d say just keep writing until you find someone you really like? Writing is weird and hard.
Do you name your guitars?
Nah, I don’t name inanimate objects.
Hey, so, I think one of my closest friends might be depressed, and I’m not really sure what to do to help her. According to her mother, she does have some family history of it, so it would make somewhat more sense if she did inherit it, if that’s possible, I mean. I know I could just find some internet doctor online or something for advice, but I look up to you and you’ve got firsthand experience, so I figured you might be able to give me some tips?
I think the best thing you can do is let them know you’re there for them, and will always be happy to talk. You can recommend they seek professional help, but I wouldn’t get too pushy about it.
Whenever May says anything outside of the “Master…” bit, I imagine it’s the voice of an aging man who smokes cigars, drinks cheap beer, wears wifebeaters all the time and has entirely too much body hair.
This is going to completely out me as an anime nerd but I imagine her to sound like the voice actress for Akira from Lucky Channel, only speaking english.
As you may know, I spent 50 hours in a recording studio this week, working on Permanence, the new Deathmøle album I recently had a successful Kickstarter for. It’s the first time I’ve been in a proper studio in 12 years, and the first time I’ve ever been in a studio working on one of my own projects. I was pretty nervous coming into it, but the entire process was an absolute blast and I’m tremendously pleased with the results. Here are a few things I learned in the meantime:
Abandon your preconceptions. I’ve been working on and living with these songs for a year, and had a pretty strong idea of what I wanted them to sound like. But since the whole purpose of this project was to bring in a skilled professional to improve on my work, I went in with an open mind. If Justin (my recording engineer and an absolutely stellar guy, both personally and professionally) had an idea, we’d talk about it and try it out. And 9 times out of 10 it worked, improved the song, and never would have occurred to me on my own. This leads in to the next lesson:
Trust your engineer. If you’re at a good studio and working with someone who knows what they’re doing (which is ideally the case), you have to be able to take their word for it sometimes. When recording the guitars, they sounded way too midrangey to my ears, but I had faith that Justin knew what he was doing and it would sit well in the mix. Guess what, he was right. If I had spent who knows how long trying to get that starting tone to match what I THOUGHT it should sound like, it wouldn’t have worked at all in the final mix. Knowing when to take your hands off the wheel and let your engineer steer not only saves time and stress, it results in a better final product. That being said, you can’t disengage entirely- these are YOUR songs, after all. And that brings us to the next tip:
Trust your ears. My hearing is actually quite seriously damaged due to a lifetime of loud music, health problems, and congenital hearing loss. So I was concerned that I wouldn’t be qualified to make tough judgement calls about the sound of the record. On the other hand, I’ve been playing guitar for two thirds of my life and have been recording instrumental metal songs for 8 years now. As it turned out, not only was my judgement far more sound than I had expected it to be, it proved to be essential. I caught things Justin didn’t hear, he caught things I didn’t hear, and it balanced perfectly in the end. Because of that, I have a record that I’m happy with and am confident Justin is happy with, and that’s the best possible result.
Anyway yeah, recording was super fun but MAN I am glad it’s done, 50 hours in one week is a pretty brutal schedule. I’m looking forward to mixing, and hope you guys will enjoy this record as much as I do when it’s done.
How much money does Dora’s shop make? The average barista gets like 20,000 yearly, and the cost of keeping the shop running could be expensive. With like four employees, Dora has to be paying them around 17000-22000 (around 80,000). What are the revenue, wages, and expenses for the shop?
I’ve done the math but I’m not gonna share it because while it’s important for *me* to know it’s not important for readers to know. When you’re worldbuilding you should only show your audience what’s absolutely necessary or it gets needlessly cluttered.
When you record your Deathmole stuff (which is fantastic, by the way), how do you do the drums? I seem to recall you saying you used EZDrummer; do you hammer on a MIDI keyboard?
I lay down the basic patterns with a MIDI keyboard and then go in and tweak stuff manually with the mouse later.
Would you ever consider doing a Deathmøle tour, perhaps also Kickstarter-funded? I understand that you’d need a backing band in order to do it, but I’d really love to see you play live.
I’ve considered it, but it would be prohibitively time-consuming. The kickstarter is already going to require over 200 hours of work, and that’s not even counting the minicomic stretch goal.
I know you had said you were cutting back on the convention appearances, but are you going to attend SPX this year?
I will be at SPX, I really like that show. I’ll be at the Topatoco table as usual. I might bring a guitar.
Hey, sorry if this is out of the blue, but I wanted to thank you. I’m not exactly curvy, but I have a big butt, and I was really ashamed of it for a long time. When I read QC, that was the first time I encountered characters who thought big butts were awesome. Umm, embarrassing as this is, QC made a huge difference in my self-esteem. Thank you for that. Really.
butts and I cannot lie
Will you ever come over to the UK so that us Brits can bother you? QC is my favourite webcomic and it would be really awesome to meet you. Though I’d probably end up a bumbling idiot
My old man went to Gencon, I didn’t have enough excess cash to go with. He got me your first volume which you were nice enough to sign and I wanted to thank you for that. Also, how much did it cost him, because he won’t tell me and the least I could do is pay him back.
Twenty bucks, and you are a good person :)
Hi Jeph! For someone just starting with digital art and comics, would you recommend buying manga studio, or starting with photoshop? And what do you think is a good starter tablet?
I’d probably recommend Manga Studio at this point, it’s got a steeper learning curve but is better for doing comics. Make sure you watch some tutorials. Any Wacom you can afford will work just fine.
I saw in your Kickstarter video that you had Logic X open. How do you like it so far? What did they improve / worsen from Logic 9?
The UI is a little more confusing but once you figure out where everything is it’s actually more convenient. Seems a bit snappier too.
My girlfriend is a trans lady and I just have to say a huge thank you to you for how you’ve handled Claire. Her storyline isn’t about her enduring abuse or dealing with discrimination, just about her finding acceptance with a group of friends and I think that is really important for women like my girlfriend to see! She has a character she can relate to in fiction without having to be constantly reminded of how shit the world can be and that is a wonderful thing. Seriously, thank you.
Thank you so much, this is exactly what I am going for!
"I hate drawing hands!" "Hands are so hard to draw!" "I can’t draw hands!" This sort of thing is probably the #1 comment I hear from aspiring artists.
I love drawing hands. They’re probably my favorite part of the human body to draw (other than butts, of course). And while I’m certainly no Da Vinci:
…I do think I’ve figured out a decent cartooning shorthand for drawing them. Here are some basic tips!
First, here’s a quick doodle with the basic shapes and joints marked off:
Notice that the fingers, joints, and knuckles all form an arc- they don’t go in a straight line. For men, the ring finger is usually longer than the index finger. For women, the index finger is usually longer than the ring finger (thanks to amywhipple for reminding me about this!). The little finger is always shorter than the index finger, and the middle finger is always slightly longer than the ring finger. On my hands, my thumb is about as long as my little finger, so I use that as a reference.
The shape of the palm often throws people off, because it SEEMS like it’s just a rounded box, when it’s actually more of a pentagon (or a rounded box with a triangle sticking out of it, like I show here). When fully extended, the thumb sticks out separate from the rest of the hand.
That’s the quick and dirty way I draw the back of the hand, and I’ve found the simplest way to differentiate the palm from the back is to add a few lines that evoke the creases on the palm:
So that’s the basic structure of a cartoony hand! The next thing to tackle is LOOSENESS.
One of the most common mistakes cartoonists make (and I’m certainly guilty of it myself) is to draw all of their hands super stiff, with no relaxation or bend in any of the joints.
In real life, people’s hands are almost always more relaxed than this! Which means you gotta start thinking about where the fingers bend, how the hand bends at the wrist, and where that goddamn thumb is.
Fingers have three joints counting the knuckle, and the thumb has two:
While it’s generally a good idea to draw all three joints of each finger, sometimes for the sake of simplicity you can get away with only two:
This can be a bad habit to fall into, so I recommend avoiding it whenever possible!
On to the thumb, the peskiest of digits. The thumb is weird and difficult sometimes because it can move in a totally different plane than the rest of the fingers:
It will often overlap the palm and fingers from some angles, and it likes to “hide” in others:
When hands are relaxed, the little finger tends to have more of a “bend” in it than the other fingers. In fact, that’s generally a good rule of thumb (hah) for most hand positions, unless the ring and middle fingers are specifically being extended for some reason.
The most complicated part of drawing hands is figuring out how all the digits overlap in a given position. I’ve found it’s best to try and get as tight a sketch as you can, drawing each digit where it should be, and don’t worry about the overlap until you actually ink the drawing:
The BEST PART of drawing hands is that you probably have two right on the ends of your arms, and you can rotate them to almost any position you would ever need to draw! It’s even better than photo reference.
Anyway, I think that’s enough for now. We’ve just barely scratched the surface when it comes to drawing hands- things like anatomy, musculature, foreshortening, shading, and detail are beyond the scope of this post but DEFINITELY things you should study if you want to improve. But if you’re just getting started and find the entire prospect intimidating, I think this is a pretty decent place to start!
Hopefully you’ve found this useful- like I said, I’m not the greatest artist in the world, but I have gotten to the point where I’m confident I can draw hands in just about any position I need to. And it’s really fun!
how loud do you usually listen to your music when drawing? do you use headphones?
90% of the time I use headphones. I don’t know how loud exactly, but probably too loud.
I know that ad-blocker limits your revenue, but on Chrome I have plugins need to be clicked-on to be enabled. Many ads on your site are flash based and so do not appear to me. Does this also prevent you from getting this revenue?
Presumably yes, although I have no idea how I would measure it.
Jeph, I’m in love with the freckles on Claire’s upper arms. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone draw a freckly character and remember the shoulders. It is delightful.
Thanks! It’s really fun to draw all the little details on Claire.
In strip 467, when the shop got plants, and Raven tried to wear one of the pots as a hat — was that your way of saying Raven is a pothead?
No, Tai is a pothead.
It’s been days since Dumbing of Age posted that comic of Dina’s family standing silently in an elevator. Why is it taking you so long to make and post a fart joke version?
Dogg sometimes I got better things to do than improve Willis’ comics with ass noises
Do AI’s have any inherent concept of gender, or does that just get attributed to them by human society when they choose their chassis/holo-manifestation/whatever?
I did a little bit of exposition about this WAYYYYY back in the day with Pintsize and IIRC it still makes sense. Basically they’re free to choose a gender if they feel like it. They are also free to be a purple robot spider if they feel like it.
You’ve said you tire pretty quickly of the AI-centered storylines, so how attached should we get to May?
This story has managed to hold my attention thus far, probably because it’s basically all written in advance.
First off, I love QC. Definitely my favorite webcomic. Secondly, some time ago you mentioned that you use an axe fx for your deathmole stuff and that you mostly use the presets rather than make your own, if I remember correctly. I’m also an axe fx user and I also play djenty metal stuff, so I was wondering what some of your favorite presets were. Thanks!
Actually I do make my own! Although the stock presets can be good starting points. In the current firmware my two favorite high gain amps are the 6160 and the Herbert channel 3, and I’ve always used the V30 cab with the R121 mic. For medium-gain stuff I love the AC30 model, and I just put together a bass preset I really like that’s a combination of an SVT and the FAS Modern.
As someone who plays a lot of tabletop games, I was wondering if you had ever played any besides 4th Edition D&D. It gets a lot of shit talked on it; I was wondering your feelings on that, if you have any (and although it’s probably my least favorite D&D edition, I don’t hate it like a lot of people; powers are just a bit uncomfortable). Currently, I play the Pathfinder RPG, which is based on D&D3.5. If you’re not familiar, you should check it out if you ever feel like mixing up game night.
I’ve tried a couple other systems and am currently playing a hoary old version of Shadowrun with some friends. I think 4E gets way more hate than it deserves. Power creep is definitely an issue at higher levels, as is enemy scaling, but it is really easy for newcomers to get into, and every class feels like it *does something* even if you’re not a long-time player.