Mark and Jenny Running Commentary by Julie Bihn
1/6/99: Catastrophe page 10
Julie's sweatdrop count: 2
The sweatdrop count is admittedly rather arbitrary, as the highlights in Jenny's hair may or may not be sweatdrops--it's sometimes hard to tell. And I probably miss some sometimes. But it's still kind of fun.
Hey, I never explained the sweatdrop, did I? In Anime if a character is uncomfortable, nervous, etc., he or she will sweat. Somehow this sweat usually congeals as one giant drop on one side of the head. That's all there is to it! Unfortunately, I overuse this trick a bit; the only other Anime expression that comes anywhere near it in my amount of use is the angry bulging veins. (I use blushes a lot too, but those exist somewhat in American comics, at least occasionally, so I don't think they count.)
Panel 3. One of the problems that dog people have with cats is that they don't do tricks. And even I, as a cat person, think it would be great if you could actually make a cat do what you wanted once in a while. (Well, actually, if you train them when they're kittens you have a chance...)
Panel 4. Hope you caught the glue bottle.
Panel 5. And Julie scoffs at human proportion! Scoff scoff!
Panels 6-9. Not well-laid out, but I've seen worse in the Sunday comics. Sadly.
Panel 10. I'm not entirely sure why Jenny's not offended by being thought of as a bum, since she won't take Mark's charity. Probably because it's only a quarter. But it seems a sensible human reaction insist "I'm not poor!"
Julie's thought of the week. Ah, a day late. The beginning of the haphazard schedule I have now. ^_-
1/13/99: Catastrophe page 11
Julie's sweatdrop count: 1
Panel 1. First appearance of Mr. Hoffman. I really should write down his character traits somewhere; he acts too much like Mark. Though he hasn't come up after this arc, so I don't know... The criss-crossed suit is likely that way because I wasn't shading or coloring yet, so that was the only way to give it any type of darkness (besides making it black, of course).
Panel 6. I think Jenny was supposed to be smiling widely. If not, it would've made more sense, at any rate. ^^; Or at least looking surprised, don't you think?
Panel 9. Who would've guessed that Maria would grow to like cats (or at least one cat)? Oh, shut up.
Julie's thought of the week. If you haven't ever played the fortune cookie game, you read your fortune and then add the words "in bed" to whatever it is, with hilarious results. Well, hilarious is too strong a word, but it can be funny. Even if they're invariably inaccurate for me!
1/20/99: Catastrophe page 12
Julie's sweatdrop count: 0
I like some of the bizarre text in this one.
Panel 2. Like the sound effect "stroll."
Panel 3. Not sure what order the balloons were supposed to go in; PROBABLY Jenny's first, since it's at the top. But then, it doesn't really matter.
Panel 4. Almost for sure the number on the dial was inspired by 101.5, KZON, the Zone, in Phoenix. Though "Mark and Jenny" doesn't really take place in Phoenix. Even though it never snows in the comic... At any rate, the Zone plays whatever was called "alternative" a few years ago (I'm not sure what the technical term is).
Panel 5. I'm not sure if that's a funny look on Jenny's part, or that cute little look you get right before you fly into a rage at someone, with the eye twitch. Probably the former.
I am quite good at raising one eyebrow, really. My left's better than my right, though.
Panel 9. Ah yes, the signs. I find this panel pretty funny even now; one of my few panels that almost made me laugh.
1/27/99: Catastrophe page 13
Julie's sweatdrop count: 1
Panel 1. No, I have no idea why Mr. Hoffman lives in a gaudy, vaguely Asian mansion. I do know why Giant Jenny and Giant Maria are about to descend upon it from on high, though. I'm not the best at drawing anything remotely complex. ^_^;
Panels 7-8. They say nature abhors a vacuum. Since Mark's gone, someone has to be silly to the point of near-insanity. Congratulations, Jenny. Or maybe she just really really likes cats... Still, it's an awful big turnaround from her prior stance of 'let the guy take the cat; he'll take good care of it.' Good thing this comic's updated weekly or some of my readers might've noticed. ^_-
I think Furbys were big at this time, by the way. That would be the 'children's toy' reference. I never had a Furby myself, though.
Julie's thought of the week. What? I blamed my art skills on being in a slump? Well, all right. Actually, the comments hint that I didn't bother even planning this page, which is occasionally good (get a vibrant exciting comic) but usually bad. In fact, I advise myself to draw plans for the current strips and then wait a little while so I can change them if I get any better ideas. But since I usually don't have all that time to spare, I rarely listen to myself. ^^;
2/3/99: Catastrophe page 14
Julie's sweatdrop count: 1
Panel 2. A clue? What could this be? Some sort of attempt to have a genuine mystery element? Must be a typo.
Panel 9. Hey, Jenny's not laughing! Of course, if someone's even smiling at your embarrassing situation, you (or I) usually tell them to stop laughing...
Julie's thought of the week. Wow, that's a depressing one. I think I put that Conan O'Brien quote up there 'cuz I was in a bad mood, but the fact that no one wrote me after I put this up to inquire about my mental health proves that I either have a very small, or very uncaring, audience. (Maybe both. ^_-) I didn't notice any bad mood showing through the last few installments, though, did you?
On the up side, reading that makes me less nostalgic for my college days. I guess I just got spoiled because my last semester was incredibly easy...but then, my second-to-last was incredibly difficult (or was it third-to-last?).....oh well.
2/10/99: Catastrophe page 15
Julie's sweatdrop count: 2
Panel 5. Ah, yes, appearing headwear exploited for the sake of humor. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Panel 6. As my online friend Karl called it, "Algebraic humor." Still, I like math jokes. Grammar jokes, too. (At the Renaissance Festival this year the one man told a grammar joke and then pointed to each person who laughed. "English major, English major...")
For the record, I'm not sure that Mark's that stupid. He's weird, sure, absent-minded, of course, but stupid? Well, probably that too. But maybe not. ^_-
It's kinda funny; the last few pages have had some of my worst art (I wish I could find a good paintbrush, even now!) but have also had some kind of funny parts...
2/17/99: Catastrophe page 16
Julie's sweatdrop count: 3
Panel 2. Slam of myself not getting the story anywhere. Of course, if I wanted the story to get anywhere quickly, I'd probably have to go back to having almost 20 panels a page...
Panel 3. The cat thinks they should call the police too. All right, the cat IS smarter than Mark.
Panel 4. Strained smiles.
Panel 7. And now they've both become quite ugly Chibis? What the ???
In Anime, sometimes characters will get "super-deformed" or "chibi" (kind of rude slang for "small") and go around maybe doing childish things. It's kind of hard to explain. But that's what I did.
Panel 9. Sound effect "trudge." But I like how Maria's flying in teh wind as though she was hanging onto a speeding car, not a walking woman's braid...
Panel 10. I think partially meant to illustrate Maria's spitefulness.
Thoughts of the week. I still occasionally get flames in my guestbook...I really should take it down...
Ah, I recall that old dorm carpet. My first roommate bought it, but I stayed in the same dorm and she was moving to a carpeted dorm, so she let me keep it. It got white paint, magenta ink, and black ink spilled on it. At least. It wasn't a bad little carpet, though. I think it eventually got thrown away, though, after I moved out of the dorms...
Now I'm good enough at inking that I can ink over any carpet with little fear. Which is what I have to do in situations like the dorm when I don't have a table to use (just my lap desk). But as of right now I'm back to using a pen like a lazy bum, so I don't fear spilling ink bottles so much anymore.
Oh, and yes, even if I'm inking with a PEN, my hands often get inked up.
::sigh:: Now I'm fondly remembering washing out my paintbrush in the dorm bathroom.....::sigh::
2/24/99: Catastrophe page 17
Julie's sweatdrop count: 1
Panel 2. I've always wanted a cat who would get on my shoulder or head, but even cats that love cuddling won't do it. (And I've never owned a cat that even loved cuddling. ^^;)
Panel 5. They're chibified again (see above), but this time it could be for the reason that it was easier to cram them both into the panel that way, so it's not quite so bad.
Panel 6. Small sound effect 'Stick'.
Panel 9. Long sentences are funny.
There was probably some kind of psychological motivation behind having Maria kick Jenny, though, because I was not necessarily happy with myself for having a 'woman gets stuck in a window' gag, even though Maria's not overweight. But then, I'm not entirely happy with myself for not putting in any overweight characters in my comics. (They're just so hard to draw, and I like pretty things. ^^;)
Er..I did my Body Mass Index the other day and found out that I wasn't overweight, though. Yay!
Thoughts of the week. I never knew one could ink with a dip pen and have it come out SKETCHY. Oh well.
I suppose I've never explained a dip pen, have I? It's a piece of metal, with a point on one end, and split in two much of the way up. You dip it in ink and then write with it until the ink runs out. (The ink goes down the metal, sticking in the split part, and landing on the paper through the tip of the pen.) That's pretty much how people had to write before fountain pens and such. (Before that, they had to sharpen feathers, of course, which I can't even imagine!)
As for the manga presentation, two of my friends and I were in a Japanese Popular Culture (!) class. One of us brought a volume or two of manga (Japanese comics) to class one day. The professor saw this and asked us to do a presentation of manga for the whole lecture, since he didn't know much about it. So we looked up stuff online and did it. Yes, I did most of the talking. (I also planned out and scanned all sorts of stuff for our presentation, but it never got saved on my roommate's hard drive, so we had to wing most of the presentation's examples. ^^;) Kinda fun, though. (I won't mention our friend from the Phoenix area (at the time) who just showed up to the presentation and stood in front with us because she was in Tucson at the time...)
3/3/99: Catastrophe page 18
Julie's sweatdrop count: 0??? (Maybe one in panel 3.)
Panel 1. The feminist movement in this country has very nearly become the lesbian rights movement, and there's a lot of stereotypes about short-haired women being gay. That's where all that's coming from.
I guess the proper thing to do would have been to remind readers exactly WHO was stuck in the window. Oh well.
Panel 7. And I harbored the illusion that this was moving the story forward why? ^_- I apparently actually put a little effort into drawing the doorknob and lock, though. Crazy.
3/10/99: Catastrophe page 19
Julie's sweatdrop count: 1
Panel 2. Chibied again.
Panel 7. Did I ever say that I really don't like cell phones? They can come in handy, admittedly, like when you're supposed to meet someone and you're trying to track them down, or when you're in an emergency situation, but people using them usually drive poorly and often talk loudly on the phones in public settings. To say nothing of their ringing.
Would you believe I actually saw a guy driving and talking on a cell phone make a U-turn? One-handed, nonetheless, because he was holding his phone with the other hand! I was SOOO angry (one-handed U-turns are quite slow!).
Panel 8. Utterly uncalled-for chibification. Probably put in only because I'm that lazy and it made it easier to put Jenny's whole body in. She does have a sweatdrop...
Thoughts of the week. Midterms at the U of A (and most colleges, I assume) really aren't that big a deal. I never had one that was worth more than 30% of my grade. I mean, yeah, that's a lot, but if you fail it you can still pass the class...
3/17/99: Catastrophe page 20
Julie's sweatdrop count: 5
Panel 1. Note the foreshadowing. Maria's planning to meet someone who isn't Mark, and has to insist that Mark won't mind...
Panel 3. Presumably, the more bulging veins, the angrier the person is. ^_^; Sometimes in Anime a character's head will get really really big and they'll look about ready to murder someone and everyone else is frightened.
Panel 4. Note Mr. Hoffman holding a white cat, a la James Bond-esque bad guys.
Panel 5. I think this was a cheap excuse to get Jenny and Maria into cat-ears. Again, in Anime (like Kenshin) occasionally characters will randomly sprout ears and look cute or perhaps grin wickedly. (In Rurouni Kenshin, the doctor Megumi is occasionally likened to a fox--because she's crafty, I assume.) But even I couldn't justify giving them ears without any reason or logic (no matter how obsessed with Anime style I was)...
Jenny's plan is Mark-like in its stupidity, I think.
3/24/99: Catastrophe page 21
Julie's sweatdrop count: 8
Panel 2. Yup; this guy's way too much like Mark. Interesting hallway there. Note even Cat has a sweatdrop.
Panel 3. Hard to read who's whispering to whom. Maria's talking first; Jenny, second. Come to think of it, I'm not exactly sure what Mark would DO with a catgirl. Probably about the same thing Mr. Hoffman does.
Panel 7. Wow, another dark-ish arc! Well, OK, not really, but implications of bestiality are never good, even if the accused denies it...
3/31/99: Catastrophe page 22
Julie's sweatdrop count: 4
Panel 3. Note the randomly appearing bristling tail. Yeah, yeah, I argued that I can't have ears appear from nowhere, but then I give Jenny a tail...oh well.
Panel 4. Again, a reference to the story dragging on FOREVER.
Panel 6. Not sure if the dark stuff's supposed to be pavement or grass--but I'd assume pavement.
Panels 6-7. I think the connecting line between these panels is unnecessary...
I think one of my problems with brush inking is that as I got more proficient at it, I also got sloppier and lazier. So I didn't take much time brush inking--making the results even worse than when I was starting out with a brush.
Another mistake, of course, was taking the "Mark" out of "Mark and Jenny." Jenny was initially the straight guy (no pun intended at the expense of a certain cross-dresser ^_-), but when she was paired with Maria, she had to become silly. I don't think she's ever gone back to being purely serious...
4/7/99: Catastrophe page 23
Julie's sweatdrop count: 3
Panel 1. I probably should've put some seats or at least benches in the background. But that would've involved work...
Panel 2. Another handcuff reference. (See here for the other instance.)
Come to think of it, in high school, I had a couple pairs of trick handcuffs; we used one in a skit in Spanish class. That made everyone else quite suspicious...
Panel 4. Did Jenny's ears just disappear?
Thoughts of the week. Ah, yes, the brush pen. I know some companies theoretically make brush pens that are good, but the only ones I bought I think were from the otherwise adequate Sakura company. The idea is that the pen has a fine tip so you can press harder and get a thick line or use less pressure and get a thin line. Unfortunately, the tips are basically like a giant felt-tip pen--a little more sturdy, but not much. So the pen loses its fine tip VERY quickly, resulting in something about as bad as a regular paintbrush.
And yes, it was the one-year anniversary of the comic (give or take). 52 pages, one every week. What happened?
4/14/99: Catastrophe page 24
Julie's sweatdrop count: 1
Panel 2. A cat picking up another cat and throwing him wrestling-style. And all semblance of reality goes flying with the poor beat-up cat. Of course, I don't know enough to know how cats really fight. Probably just as well. At any rate, you could ALMOST train cats to cat-wrestle. ALMOST.
Panels 4-5. Where's my trusty solid black lines when I need them?
Panel 6. Too sketchy. Darn you, brush pen!
Panel 8. I know it's technically actually considered GOOD comic form to have action going on while someone's discussing a plan or anything else that's incredibly boring to watch people talk about. But this was just plain too distracting; I've looked back at the comic three times in the past few minutes and each time asked "What plan?" Actually, it was one of the Gargoyles comics (I think Marvel did them) that had Bronx chewing bubble gum (!) while someone was explaining a plan or their past or something. And to this day I don't have an inkling of what was being discussed. So even if it's "good form" to have action over dialogue, I can't condone it because it totally obscures what is being said...
Thoughts of the week. Actually, I think it was still a bad inking job. I hate that brush pen.
4/21/99: Catastrophe page 25
Julie's sweatdrop count: 2
Panel 3. Wow, even Maria's feeling some guilt about leaving. And even Cat thinks she's a coward.
Panel 5. Mark's first hint of liking Pokémon. Now, why a James lookalike is hugging a Kero-chan (Card Captor Sakura) lookalike is beyond me. I'm not sure if I had seen Card Captor Sakura at this point, even, but the head design is a fairly standard Anime bear... This was back when I was doing parody and not outright references to said series...
It was probably over Spring Break of 1999 that I started to like Pokémon, though it might have been as early as Christmas break 1998-99. I doubt it was any earlier because I don't think I could see it in the dorm. (The local cable affiliate didn't get WB 58 for quite a while. I had to resort to trying to put up my crummy antenna in strange positions, just hoping it would be able to tape the Sunday morning episodes of Pokémon. It usually failed, since my VCR insists on just going to blue screen, without sound, if the signal's too bad. Quite frustrating.)
Panel 7. I don't know why Cat's hissing at Mark. Probably jealous.
Thoughts of the week. Lettering with a brush pen was a bad idea. Actually, my lettering is generally rather too large; it has to be larger than regular comic books to make something scannable, granted (if you try scanning in a comic book at 72 dpi, the letters are usually very hard to read!) but I usually letter way too big...
4/28/99: Catastrophe page 26
Julie's sweatdrop count: 1
Panel 4. Cat has claws. I don't think Hun does.
It was horrible when we got Maggie declawed. (I didn't even want to do it, but Mom did, and, well, Mom gets what she wants. Me and Dad even had to take the cat in to have it done. -_-) Anyway, I think that's a good deal of what made poor Maggie clumsy...
Panel 5. Yes, Mark DOES like catgirls. Part of that's an Anime thing, though. I never understood why catgirls are supposedly so sexy (outside of the furry crowd, anyway), but whatever...
5/5/99: Catastrophe page 27
Julie's sweatdrop count: 2
All that hatching with a paintbrush was an interesting idea...
Panel 2. Few things irritate me more than not being listened to. Note also the giant Pokéball, as it comes in later.
Panel 7. See, Mark's not stupid; his reaction time's just slow. Uh-huh. That shouldn't be much of an excuse, though....
I think at this point I needed some reason why Mark didn't panic at (or at least react to!) the idea that Jenny was kidnapped. I mean, he's not so bright, but he's still nice...
5/12/99: Catastrophe page 28
Panel 1. Interesting that Maria managed to presumably walk back from Mr. Hoffman's house but they had to drive to get back. Eh, she probably called a taxi. I wonder if Mark gives her a credit card for emergencies...
Panel 5. Nice of Cat not to use his claws.
Panel 6. Oh, no, Mark and Maria are being attacked by giant squiggles!
Actually, I hear that in Japan, manga artists have an assistant to draw the backgrounds for them, so they can focus on the characters. I would soooo love that...
Probably most of the people who would bother reading the commentary know the story, but the reason I drew my own comics in the first place (aside from "Fox Tales") was becuase I tried and tried to find artists to draw my scripts but no one cared to. So I gave up and tried it myself.
Panel 9. Mark and Maria have been together long enough that to refer to any instance of them going out together as a "date" is probably not accurate. But I liked the line anyway.
Thoughts of the week. There's still few things that annoy me more than when the Internet connection I have goes down, especially when I had prior engagements with people online, uploading, or the like.
Having my Internet connection refuse to work when I'm meeting with a friend online annoys me even more than not being listened to!
5/19/99: Catastrophe page 29
Julie's sweatdrop count: 2
Panel 1. If anyone doesn't know, "Muerte" is Spanish for death. I'm not sure if some other Latin-based language has "Muerto" as the word for death or not. But adding an 'o' at the end of any name, in my twisted brain, automatically makes it masculine. Not that there's anything wrong with lady cat wrestling.
Panel 4. I like the word "crud." Sounds classier than its nearest soundalike.
Panel 5. Mr. Hoffman's a friendly guy. Again, a lot like Mark. And he looks like Andrew from JIXO.
Panel 7. Come to think of it, Jenny probably could've fought Mr. Hoffman and escaped. Oops.
On the up side, Jenny's back to playing the serious one to the crazy weirdo she knows.
Thoughts of the week. Wow. I remember the Great Hard Drive Crash of 1999. My hard drive was acting up so I ran an old copy of Norton Utilities on it. Unfortunately, it froze my computer sometime in the middle of whatever I was doing--I think it was rewriting my hard drive in a more efficient manner (no empty blocks of space between files I still had; those blocks are caused by files you delete...). Anyway, it corrupted all my data and I had to reformat. Fortunately, my old Mac had a disk drive, so some documents had been saved, and 'most everything that was REALLY important was actually already on my webpage in some form. So not too much was lost. Still enough to really make a mess for a while, though. There's still stuff that I'm missing from that crash...
Of course, I was home for the summer by the time I attempted to play with my hard drive. I'm not so stupid as to tinker with my computer while I'm in school and rely upon the computer to write papers on.
Well, except for that time when the power button broke so I opened it up and then went with my roommate to 7-11 at about 11 at night to get some superglue to fix it. It worked, though! (Now I have an iMac, which I doubt I could tinker with so freely. My old UMAX computer had a THUMB SCREW--that's it--to keep you from getting into its innards...)
5/26/99: Catastrophe page 30
Panel 2. The cat on the left is saying 'Oro,' the cute nonsense phrase often uttered by the title character of "Rurouni Kenshin" when he's not being all serious. The writing is in Japanese. I think I was showing off my nominal skills. ^_- (That and a cat speaking in an alphabet that most Westerners have no grasp of seems a little more sensical than a cat speaking in English letters.)
I think the cat on the right is black with white paws. I always think that's so CUTE! I got a stuffed animal black cat with white paws from my grandparents (I think it was them--they came to Tucson with my parents and they all handed me stuff) and I had it in my bed in the dorm (and even the house I lived in after that) for about two and a half years, I think. I even drew plans for a comic with a black cat with white paws in it, which I later turned into a 30 minute play for my playwriting class.
Panel 4. Mr. Hoffman's comment still implies that there IS such a thing as a professional catgirl.
Panel 5. Come to think of it, I wonder if Mr. Hoffman goes to furry-cons...
Panel 7. Actually,often, the only way to get me to gamble is to give me money that I am to use exclusively for gambling. When I went back to Ohio for a couple weeks several summers ago, my grandfather gave me a dollar to bet on blackjack. I bet it, won another dollar, and walked away! I usually don't win gambling, and if you can't win, don't try. ^_-
And I love almost all cats. But I can't see why Jenny would think the striped one was cuter than the one with the eyepatch. Unless she just thinks a two-eyed cat will fight better. Heck, $1000 is so much money to her, I'm surprised she'd bet at all. Guess that's why she's just betting half of it; she's still made a clear profit...
Next time. I should have realized far before this point that trying to write what will happen next week, when you don't have a physical plan for it, is a very bad idea.
6/2/99: Catastrophe page 31
Panel 2. In case you haven't seen Pokémon, Team Rocket is generally represented by Jessie and James, a pair of bumbling crooks (accompanied by a cat Pokémon, Meowth) who seem to enjoy putting on a show as much as actually commiting crimes. James really acts a lot like Mark, and Jessie isn't very nice (like Maria...). Their slogan is:
Jessie: Prepare for trouble!
James: Make it double!
Jessie: To protect the world from devastation!
James: To unite all peoples within our nation!
Jessie: To denounce the evils of truth and love!
James: To extend our reach to the stars above!
Jessie: Team Rocket, blast off at the speed of light!
James: Surrender now, or prepare to fight!
Meowth: Meowth, that's right!
Yes, I DO have it memorized.
James often carries a rose with him when they recite the motto, but Mark has a daisy in his teeth instead.
Panel 3. The lines on Jenny's face are sometimes used in Anime or manga to indicate--I don't know, disgust? I think it's related to a pale face. Great how I use Anime conventions I don't fully understand myself!
Panel 4. Mark just pinned 'R's to his and Maria's chests. Actually, I think a few months earlier than this, I made myself a makeshift James costume, which also involved safety pins... Not pretty, I know, but it sure was fun.
Panel 5. Jenny's "Maria! Mark!" is a takeoff of the "Jessie!" "James!" part in the Team Rocket motto.
Panel 6. Mark releases Hun out of her Pokéball. Hun even replies, "Hn?!" In Pokémon, most of the creatures known as Pokémon can say only their names, and variations thereof. Pikachu may say "Pikachu" or "Pikapi" or "Chu?", or any strange combination of the syllables of its name.
Thoughts of the week. Ah, yes, the beginning of the end of regular updates.
I had a job that summer, working as a receptionist in the four-person office where my mother worked. Incredibly boring. Drove me crazy. Even though I had a LOT of time there with nothing to do, I had to stay behind the desk in case someone came in (happened about twice a week) or called (happened about twice a day). My computer had an Internet connection but my mother pretty much forbade me from using it, for fear that I'd get in trouble and/or make people think worse of her. I frankly wasn't needed there, except the company wanted to hire someone for the position permanently when the new fiscal year started (or something) so they needed someone to fill the position for the summer, so they could convince everyone they needed a receptionist/secretary. (Who would have actually been assigned work sometimes.)
Enough complaining; it's over now. Er, unless I get a job as a bored receptionist again. ^^; In the current economic situation, though, hopefully fewer companies will hire people for useless jobs...that boring job left me so drained I couldn't even draw comic plans while I was "working..." (Having to get up at 6:30 AM and not getting home until 6 PM or later did not help.)
"Gomen" is Japanese for "sorry."
6/12/99: Catastrophe page 32
One of my sloppiest inking jobs yet. (Worn out brush pen, says my thoughts.) No backgrounds either. I hate drawing backgrounds.
Panel 3. Actually, many self-proclaimed Anime fans HATE Pokémon. It seems rarer to find an Anime fan that doesn't think Pokémon is evil, than who does...
Panel 8. Why Cat is hissing at a man who was never mean to him, I don't know. Perhaps Cat needs therapy.
Thoughts of the week. Jobs DO get more bearable once you get used to them. Unless you get bored with them again, and then they get bad again sometimes. ^^;
I was doing "A World Without Shoelaces" for a person who had a call for non-professional comics artists to send him submissions. 6 pages and a synopsis, to be exact. He promised personal feedback but I never heard back from him.
6/20/99: Catastrophe page 33
Julie's sweatdrop count: 3
Panel 1. Presumably Maria (or maybe even Mark, given his grin) called the police. I guess.
Panel 4. Reminds me of the Simpsons episode where Homer gets cable TV illegally, and the police come and ask to watch too.
Panel 7. The guy on the right is presumably one of the police officers.
Thoughts of the week. I bought a Game Boy Color and Pokémon Blue over the summer, to play during lunch and while I was riding to and from work with my mother. It was the highlight of my day. Well, that's a little strong, but it was my main amusement. Still is sometimes. It's a lot easier to play Pokémon than draw comics. And you can play Pokémon while watching TV and feel like you're kind of accomplishing something.
6/28/99: Catastrophe page 34
Panel 3. Maria's comment was likely inspired by the fact that cockfighting is generally illegal and considered immoral.
Panel 5. Mark's comment seems rather cryptic, but I believe it's related to the about one time I had watched any late-night TV wrestling at that point. If it didn't have prostitutes in it, it at least had women who acted like them...
Thoughts of the week. Gomen nasai is also "I'm sorry."
7/12/99: Catastrophe page 35
Julie's sweatdrop count: 5
Panel 3. The obvious joke is that Mr. Hoffman's nuts. Of course, Mr. Hoffman is a lot like Mark...
Panel 7. Why Jenny's so embarrassed about having dressed as a lady of ill-repute, I don't know. (There's probably a lot of blackmail photos going around...^_-)
Thoughts of the week. My first hiatus. And I think the only formally declared one. (Then again, that was the last summer I was employed for more than three days...^^;) In fact, re-reading my depressed comments was probably rather a bad idea to do before I look for a job. Or maybe a good idea because I need to find a job that's less irritating than my last one. (Oddly enough, the job I got for the summer right out of high school was actually a pretty good one--the best one I've had yet by far. Alphanumeric data entry, but I was so fast I had a lot of spare time when no one could find anything for me to do...) Wow, this isn't cheering me up at all.
8/27/99: Psychoatry page 1
Panel 1. I'm gone for a month and a half and that's the best perspective I can do? Well, backgrounds were never my strong suit. Nor were dynamic poses, detail...
Panel 3. When I was younger I used to LOVE Reader's Digest. Most of the articles were pretty interesting, there were some good real-life type jokes, etc. They've actually changed the format somewhat in the past year or two, making it a LOT worse. They have three pages of jokes in a row (the max used to be two) and the articles they pick just aren't as good. They even abandoned the art piece on the back of each cover in favor of a crummy photo of people featured in an article they have inside. (The articles inside, of course, all also have photos of the people featured!) I'd probably be better off going antiquing and finding old Reader's Digests, then actually buying the new ones. They're that bad.
Panel 4. First appearance of Dr. Dora Schlagel. I don't think she's a real doctor, actually.
I've never been to a psychiatrist or psychologist, so of course I had to make up most of her actions. Which is pretty much what most writers do anyway. ^_- No idea why I started this arc, except for to show the relationship between Jenny and Samuel, and maybe make some other people give up secrets too. Probably not the best way to accomplish this. Oh well.
Panel 5. A cheap "Mark's dumb" joke. Interesting how Maria's fonder of Jenny now, it seems.
Panel 9. Mark, of course, is a bit too entertained with technology. He must be an easy sell for traveling salespeople.
Website I stumbled across this week. I was trying to find genuine vintage Reader's Digest logos to use on the old issues.
I seriously did used to fear spontaneously combusting.
Website to avoid. Hey, now the Reader's Digest website has one of those annoying pop-up windows that comes up in the corner of your screen so you don't notice it popping up ads on you every so often, even after you've left the site! My rancor towards said site grows.
9/3/99: Psychoatry page 2
Panel 2. The second thought bubble is Jenny imagining Dr. Schlagel getting squished by an anvil. The third is a guillotine.
In high school we had a mock trial and execution of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. It was a lot of fun. I was a Jacobin (death to the monarchs!).
Panel 4. Part of making Maria and Jenny catgirls temporarily, I suspect, was so that I could make them sprout ears randomly later and it would be OK. Didn't take, really.
Panel 7. Yes, Samuel has, let's call them "issues." I'm not sure why Jenny loves him so much, unless she really does want a knight in shining armor to spirit her away, etc. At any rate, Samuel actually does half the housework, so it's a rather better deal than a lot of wives who wind up working part- or full-time and also doing most of the housework and child care...
Panels 8-9. Yes, Dora playing with her pencil could be interpreted in a Freudian manner.
My former roommate (she was my roommate at this time) was kind of obsessed with Freudian references, though she strongly disliked the man himself.
Thoughts of the week. I don't recall which Creative Writing class I was in at the time; presumably, the Intermediate Creative Writing class. Yup, that's it. A lot better than my Introduction to Creative Writing class, but still not too great. Of course, my main problem with the Creative Writing program at the University of Arizona is that it strongly encourages (perhaps forces) you to make stories with no plot at all. I still maitain that the ideal "modern short story" would be if a young adult opened a cereal box, the toy came out, and through it, he had an ephiphany about God. Seriously. Have you ever read Raymond Carver's "Cathedral," about a literal blind man who literally teaches the seeing man how to see? ::shudders convulsively:: It's the kind of story that the Creative Writing department holds up as ideal. ::shudders again::
On the other hand, it taught me to perhaps fear criticism slightly less (maybe--but I still fear it an awful lot!) and taught me how to eloquently tell people that their work is a piece of garbage.
Website I stumbled across this week. No, I really don't care for Elf Life (didn't care for it much when I put up the link, either!) but I still thought it was amazingly cool that the author put up my negative comments (most put up only positive comments). (I believe I complained about how I wasn't exactly sure what the series was trying to be, how the "funny" things were predictable and not funny at all, etc....) Hopefully I complimented his art style, at least; it's strange and sometimes even hard to understand (at least in the earlier ones--this was 1999) but definitely unique, and Filis is adorable.
Wahoo!, I just fell in love with because, well, this was still pretty close to the time when I was promoting my comics like mad, everywhere and anywhere I could find. It's a yahoo (I HATE yahoo) for comics.
Like yahoo, Wahoo! has now overexteneded itself and turned into a gigantic conglomerate with no real purpose. So, so slow to load...
9/10/99: Psychoatry page 3
Note the new templates, giving Jenny longer bangs and being inked with a paintbrush.
Panel 1. Dr. Schlagel scares some of my readers. But I think she's right to think Samuel has some outdated notitions...
Panel 7. Some kind of clock would not have been amiss here...
Panel 9. I think the potato chips were inspired by some sort of Japanese snack. Not sure which, though. Or maybe they're British. I don't know.
Panel 11. Beware the giant door, Jenny!
Website of the week. I've since given up trying to summarize all the Pokémon episodes. I still occasionally work on the Chansey Trainer website, though. Occasionally.
9/17/99: Psychoatry page 4
Panel 1. The fact that I tried to use dark space is good. The execution is not so good. (I usually try to outline anything that's dark on dark in white. Often it doesn't show up.)
Panel 2. Dr. Schlagel suddenly turns evil.
Panel 3. Which probably isn't as odd as Jenny suddenly wearing pseudo-football gear.
Panel 4. I like the eye-makeup, though. (I'm sure there's a fancy word for when football players wear it under their eyes, but I don't know it.)
Panel 8. Dr. Schlagel probably should've argued that Mr. Hoffman wasn't stealing cats. But this was quicker.
Thoughts of the week. I still kind of like Gloom. Cute little ugly thing. Bellossom is just VERY cool, though.
Website of the week. I remember there being some cool stuff there, but since I'm currently on a connection that does about 28.8 when it's LUCKY, I don't dare actually visit.
Next time. I like to leave things as cliffhangers, actually. Maybe annoying for my readers, but it encourages them to maybe return soon. ^_-
9/24/99: Psychoatry page 5
Panel 2. Jenny has a broom tied to her leg and a kid in her arms. "Sweep" is almost a real sound effect.
Panel 5. Jenny actually does see her inability to have children as some kind of failing on her part, even though she knows it's technically not her fault.
Panel 6. I like the interruptions going over Dr. Dora's cartoon balloons. Too bad Jenny's balloons aren't all connected to one another.
Panel 11. Wow, that really is a powerful kick.
Panel 12. Samuel and Jenny can't even afford a car.
Thoughts of the week. Now my website costs $15 to maintain. But I take great joy in it, really. Usually.
Then again, I spend a lot less time on it now than I used to... I still get about as much feedback for my Anime reviews (and a lot more for my Outlaw Star page!) than for my comics...
10/1/99: Psychoatry page 6
I'm not sure what's up with the panel lines on this one. I think I drew them with a straightedge in pencil and traced without using a ruler (and probably using a paintbrush instead of a pen!) just to see how well I could do. Answer: poorly.
Panel 2. Another one for the stunningly bizarre use of perspective category.
Panel 4. And another confusing set of balloons. Dr. Schlagel's is first.
Panel 6. The obvious trauma that would have made Mark want to fight crime is the death of his parents. Not to say that no one's lost a parent so everyone should feel really bad for poor (rich?) Mark, but it would be very rough to lose one's parents while in high school. Especially for a homebody like Mark. (Yes, he's vaguely extroverted, but he cares deeply about his loved ones...)
Panel 8. Old joke, but I like it.
Panel 9. Which explains why Mark does too. Interesting how Dr. Schlagel's writing instrument seems to change a bit (it was a pen a few pages back, or at least a dark stick, and now it's a pencil again...). Bad paintbrush.
I write exclusively with mechanical pencils. Well, not exclusively, but I took my high school and college notes in pencil, took tests in pencil, wrote in-class essays in pencil when I could get away with it... I hate ink because it's permanent. It makes comics look a lot better, though.
Panel 12. Not surprisingly, Dr. Schlagel is partially corrupt.
Of course, Mark was supposed to finally and eventually learn that having a lot of money won't necessarily solve all of life's problems, but I never had the heart to do it to him. (He has always known that money won't bring his parents back....that's something, I guess...)
Thoughts of the week. Again, I'm not always mildly compulsive in looking for feedback. Of course, now I have a very small core of readers that I know reads my comics much of the time, which helps a little...
Random links of the week. The foxes one was because someone I was going to work with on "Fox Tales" suggested I draw cute little foxes having adventures at the bottom of the Fox Tales pages he was to draw once I scripted them. I did draw some sketches. They were cute and stylized (which is what I do best). I believe they were going to be mute, too. Tough for someone who relies on dialogue...
10/8/99: Psychoatry page 7
Panel 2. To blatantly illustrate Mark and Maria's inherent compatibility.
Panel 9. It would be pretty irritating to have to lay on a psychiatrist's couch wearing a short skirt... From what I understand, few psychiatrists use the couch anymore. But Dr. Schlagel's not a very good psychiatrist...
Maria's last sentence is in parenthesis. I have trouble expressing those in comics, and I don't think I've ever gotten it down quite right.
Panel 12. That's supposed to be a blush on Dr. Schlagel's face.
Panel 14. Readers had a week to mull over the significance of that last statement there. Someone's not quite in love...
Thoughts of the week. I miss costuming...
Random link of the week. I love online tests--personality tests and such. I think that link's dead though. (Hopefully none of the people who got bad scores on the crime-probability tests are though. Yes, that was a transition worthy of Phoenix newscasters in its poor taste.)
10/15/99: Psychoatry page 8
Panel 1. Amazing how they boarded up that wall. Convenient, though; we wouldn't want Mark overhearing...
Panel 13. I'm not sure that Maria's logic is faulty, either, which is sad.
I'm sure that Maria's parents want her to stay with Mark, though.
She was probably enamored with him earlier in her life. Maybe even not just because he's rich. And later it all ends well.
Thoughts of the week. Nice paintbrushes are expensive. But either I have more money to spend, am desensitized, or am going to crummy art stores, because the prices no longer look unreasonable. I think it's all three.
Some mechanical pencil leads they sell are softer or harder than others, so some are harder or easier to erase...
Of course, none of the problems I was ranting about seem particularly evident in the finished comic now.
Random link of the week. Of course, the young lady mentioned isn't my roommate now, since I'm out of college and in another city...
10/22/99: Psychoatry page 9
Panel 3. Wow; Dr. Schlagel actually gets something right. Probably from reading enough trashy novels, eh?
Panel 9. Some professors at college apparently answer their students' cell phones when they ring. If I were a professor I'd do that too. Or maybe just bring my own cell phone and some class period where I was telling the students what to expect on the exam have someone call me and talk in class for five minutes on the phone, and if any students said anything at all while I was on the phone, I'd tell them to be quiet.
I'd be a horrible professor, though. ^_-
Panel 11. The poorly-drawn blocking-someone-by-holding-them-at-arms'-length.
Panel 14. Yeah, it's not really a comic until you have an incest-storyline. ^^; (I think I will blame Utena for that portion, even though Maria and Carson aren't blood-related in the least.)
10/29/99: Psychoatry page 10
Panel 1. Maria's magical color-changing phone. I'm guessing Mark pays the bills for the cell phone, so if he looked over the bills he'd notice a lot of long-distance calls maybe. Of course, even if he did, Maria'd just say they were from her brother, right? And this is Mark; he'd never look over the bill!
Panel 4. Dr. Schlagel probably should've been eagerly taking notes. But maybe there's some lines of scandal even SHE won't cross.
Panel 5. Oh. Never mind.
Panel 6. Had to dig out the original for this one. Dr. Schlagel's notes read: "Plot outline--meets girl (heart shape) with h--" Then there's a space, and then she wrote James Cameron. (Director of "Titanic.)
Panel 7. Having ...'s in word balloons (as the ONLY dialogue!) is more acceptable in manga (Japanese comics) than US comics.
Panel 10. Still, there's something infinitely creepy about Maria insisting on referring to Carson as her brother, even though she's kind of in love with him. But Carson needed a family, I guess.
Panel 11. The text (in Carson's handwriting; all caps) reads:
I don't even know if you'll get this, but it's me, Carson.
How are you? I'm fine. Yeah, it's really cold here, but I dress warm.
I really miss you. I know I'm the one who left but I really think that we--
Pretty eloquent for a juvenile delinquent...
Panel 13. "Screenplay," of course, a reference to the James Cameron thing above.
Random links of the week. I'm not so hooked on Botan Rice candy now, but I still enjoy it. (It was my substitute for Mentos after Mentos commercials tried to get "cool"--and therefore, were crummy. Now they're back to the retro Mentos commercials, though, which pleases me.) Speaking of which, on that website you can find the elusive licorice Mentos...
11/5/99: Psychoatry page 11
Panel 3. Way to point out hypocrisy, Maria!
Panel 7. I think Dr. Schlagel's motivation here is that she's enough of a legitimate feminist that she doesn't believe in women using men for their money. Not even if she wasn't giving Mark any....er...loving in return.
Panel 8. Yup, Mark's madly in love. (On the other hand, his overconcern for Maria is probably partially due to him thinking she's relatively helpless. If Jenny gets in a bad situation she can kick her way out of it, but Maria probably can't. That and Mark's generally overprotective...)
Panel 15. Excellent relationship-column advice.
Panel 16. Although I highly doubt Mark would return to see the therapist who advised his girlfriend to break up with him. Unless he was seeking revenge. But I doubt he'd beat up a girl. (And I doubt he's strong enough to beat up Dr. Schlagel anyway.)
Random links of the week. Ten Minutes is the comic/manga similar to Gilbert.
11/12/99: Psychoatry page 12
Panel 1. I thought Maria was already leaving. Oh well. Have to reitterate what's going on for everyone, I guess.
Panel 3. The ever-popular name announcement.
Panel 5. I'm not sure why Dr. Schlagel thinks Maria's a feminist. Except for the short hair thing.
Panel 12. Unlike Mark, I don't like macaroni and cheese. Although I DO like spiral pasta with cheese sauce, and I think good homemade macaroni and cheese is pretty good. (Regular stuff made with the powder is OK; the stuff with the creamy cheese packet is, IMO, rather worse.)
Panel 14. I think Maria eventually got Cat fixed too. Much to Bob Barker's delight. ^_-
Thoughts of the week. No clue what this "difficult paper" was. Oh well. As for the Chansey top, I got one.......
.....it kind of involved politely asking the lonely guy who worked at Burger King.......
(see next week)
11/19/99: Comparison Model page 1
Ah, yes, the big grand arc to break poor Mark's heart. But one kind soul saw it coming and whined, and I just didn't have the heart to do it. Seriously. See, if you give me feedback it can change whole story arcs...
Panel 5. I think having a crush on Johnny Carson is probably almost as bad as having a crush on your brother. ^^; (I never did like Johnny Carson when I was younger. I liked Jay Leno, because compared to Johnny Carson his jokes were young. Around the time of the OJ Simpson trial, Leno started to seem mean and now I don't like his show anymore either. Still like Conan O'Brien, though, even though he's sometimes over-the-top offensive...
Panel 7. A reference to how long she knew Carson and how she feels about him. Smooth, huh?
Panel 10. That wig suddenly appearing is kind of spooky, in retrospect.
My former roommate and I did go to 4th Avenue (shopping/drinking area near the University) to find a long red wig for her to dress up as Jessie....
Thoughts of the week. Heh...when I left my JIXO pages, the lonely guy who worked at Burger King retrieved them for me (they probably have a lost and found type thing)...so I was pleased about that. ^_- (That's actually the best thing about doing comics that aren't beautifully drawn; they're a lot less likely to be stolen...in any sense of the word...)
Random link of the week. I still love NewsRadio. I have all the episodes on tape (well, each is missing a few minutes because of cuts made on A&E...oh well...).
11/24/99: Comparison Model page 2
Panel 3. Now, why Mark and Jenny go out on patrols at all, when they could likely be more efficient if Mark set up some strategic cameras and watched for crimes, or even set up a cell phone number like 911 for people to call in case of emergencies, I dunno...
Panel 8. Apparently Jenny shouting through the window, but the glare makes it look like her hair's not black.
Panel 9. I'm pretty sure Jenny's mistaking her for a boy. And yeah, forgot to fill in her braid again.
Panel 12. Wow, Mark climbed through that car pretty well!
I meant for this to be an itty bitty little arc to show Mark solving problems with money. And it became...exactly that.
Thoughts of the week. I always lose when I enter contests. I seriously don't recall any I've won, though I'm sure there was one. So I was kind of happy to have everyone win in my "Mark and Jenny" contest. But kind of annoyed that I only got, what, 11 entrants? Oh well.
12/3/99: Comparison Model page 3
Panel 1. A reference, of course, to Mark's stupidity/having a short attention span.
Panel 3. They're girls too. Really. Girls are sometimes as mean as boys...
Panels 6-7. After-school special-type talk gone wrong. (Kind of a cliché, but what are you going to do?)
Panel 13. I still remember when my friend found $20 randomly half-buried in our desert-type yard. I thought she was SOOO lucky....when you're young enough, $20 (or in this case $50) is a LOT of money. Now I have a $100 Savings Bond that I recently found and it seems like nothing. I wish my parents had let me cash it when I was little and it seemed like a fortune...
Panel 14. I don't care how much money he gave them; no kid would call an adult sir in this day and age, I don't think. Certainly none would call Mark an adult. ^_-
12/10/99: Comparison Model page 4
Most obvious change, of course, is some semblance of shading! All shading was accomplished by scanning at a high resolution (150 dpi or, more likely, 300 dpi--I don't remember) and then filling with a paint bucket. Not in grays, but in black-and-white. Like the paint bucket with the black pattern with a few white dots in it, the white pattern with a few black dots in it, and so on. I don't know if any modernish paint programs even have such a thing; Graphic Converter doesn't really have it anymore, even. Then I would shrink the page down to 72 dpi (making it gray) and put it online. I wanted them all to be 300 dpi (so I could print them out--I loved to make hard copies of my comic, but if it was shaded on the computer I couldn't make a hard copy unless I printed it out...). Using JUST black and white (no grays) in the 300 dpi version was so the printer could print it, so it could in theory photocopy better (you get moire or something when you photocopy black patterns, though, even screentones...) and so my computer could handle it; if I would've tried even 16 grays on my old 200 mHz, 32 MB of RAM computer, it wouldn't've been happy. (Though I think I tried it later...)
This one was also lighter than I would have liked.
Panel 4. The joys of working retail. ^_-
Panel 5. Mark shirtless. Mrow. Shows off my talent at drawing the male physique. ^_- (I wonder if the reason I don't like muscle-bound guys is because I can't draw that....nah.)
Panel 6. See? Maria's parents don't like Carson at all. I think they really like Mark, though. Yes, I know I'm repeating myself.
Hey, did I mention I HATE asymmetrical clothing? I don't know if I hated it with such a passion when I drew this page, but I sure do now. Those new shirts for women that have no sleeve on one side and a long sleeve on the other? I HATE them! A little asymmetry in formal wear is a BIT more acceptable, but most designers take it too far. (Well, a slit on one side of a skirt is OK....)
Panels 9-11. Got crooked. I don't know if that was on purpose or not.
Panel 13. Apparently Mark knew Maria before his parents died. Yet another reason he desperately clings to her--he does that with every aspect of his life that he can keep from before he lost his parents. We're probably lucky he hasn't insisted on staying in high school for the rest of his life. He's rich enough he probably could pay the school enough to make an exception...
Panel 15. Mark has a bulletin board in his bedroom? How lame is that? Wait a minute; I have one too. I don't use it though; right now it's covered with my Utena wall scroll...
Thoughts of the week. Hey, maybe I should read my thoughts of the week before boring my readers with repeating the same information, huh? Well, I spent so long typing it I'm gonna keep it. Nyah.
Random link of the week. Princess Mononoke was a good film, but I like happy films. My Neighbor Totoro is officially my favorite Studio Ghibli film; it was the sweetest and most joyous thing I had seen in quite a while. (Some of my Anime club liked it; some hated it.) I hope Disney actually releases it, preferably sometime in the next ten years.....it's so darling! (And that's a word I don't use often. ^_-)
I actually did like Lady Eboshi in Princess Mononoke (and it wasn't just the cool voice). But she was kind of an early feminist in that film. ^_- (Interestingly, my wolf-loving friend who wanted to dress as San didn't hate her, because of what happened to her in the end...)
12/17/99: Comparison Model page 5
Panel 3. One of my classic badly-done looking-down shots. I still haven't perfected those.
Panel 15. Did I mention I hate cell phones? What's even worse, a lot of people who claimed to hate cell phones now have them and are those annoying people talking on cell phones in public settings. So there's no one left to complain about them--the few of us left who don't have them are so outnumbered... I might even get one myself once I get a place of my own, since the phone line fees out here are so outrageous...
Thoughts of the week. I love breaks from school. As for getting an 'A' in a Creative Writing class, well, no, it's not impossible, but I tried my hardest and got 'B's in two of them. (Okay, I had no respect for the fiction teacher, and I probably am not a very good poet, so one was deserved and one was bad luck...)
I think I'll let the rest of the thoughts stand; they're long enough. ^_-
Random link of the week. Julie usually means "youthful." Not completely wrong, given my immaturity.
12/24/99: Comparison Model page 6
Panel 1. That's the third different color for the cell phone, I think...
Panel 7. Mark's generous to a fault. Making him the best kind of rich character.
Panel 8. Terminal 3 is one of the terminals at Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix. I don't know if they get flights from Alaska, but Carson probably had a connecting flight or two anyway.
Panel 13. See, Mark's nice and half-blind. Can come in handy, I suppose.
Now, how Carson's supposed to fit in a Corvette...oh well. Remember; Mark has a magic Corvette that can fit one person in the back.
Thoughts of the week. Disneyland was nice over Christmastime but VERY crowded; kids were off from school (I assume) and Disney had just started heavily advertising their Christmases. Christmas used to be a great un-crowded time to go to the park but now it's not.
Random link of the week. Used to be something that I would just stumble across, come to think of it. I need more friends; then I could just link to a new cool page every week. ^_-
12/31/99: Comparison Model page 7
Panel 1. A very uncrowded baggage claim. Darn it, I'm lazy.
Panel 3. First live appearance of Carson.
Carson was an Alaskan fisherman, hoping to make money. He did pretty well for himself, actually. He was supposed to steal Maria's heart away..... He's also supposed to be muscular, but I can't draw that. I figured I needed a long-haired guy. ^_- (I don't really find long hair attractive on a guy; I prefer short. Carson was supposed to be attractive, but Mark's just so lovable, Carson couldn't do a thing for most of my female readers, I suspect.) Carson's not a bad person, at least.
Panel 4. Zombie Maria about to strangle Carson. But they're both happy. The hard-to-see duffel bag probably contains all his worldly possessions. He literally dropped everything to come see Maria. Of course, I have no idea what time of year this was, or if he was busy fishing or not. Of course, if he WAS busy fishing, I doubt he would've had a phone on which to talk with Maria.
Panel 5. Eh, even if I had managed to draw them close together (I'm VERY bad at drawing characters close together!) it wouldn't've looked like more than a friendly hug, I fear.
Panel 7. I don't think he smells like fish anymore.
Panel 8. I guess Mark could've mistaken Carson for a girl, given his long hair. Oh well; that's a cliché too.
Panel 9. Carson's quite strong from all the fisherman stuff he did in Alaska.
Thoughts of the week. I think that lame "Millenium Pre-Game Show" was my first at-length exposure to World News Now. I don't even remember who they had hosting; I think it was the guy who's on CNN right now who migrated from World News Now and Alison (sp?) Stewart (sp?), the popular female who left recently. (I don't think I care for her replacement much.) There's still some good things on World News Now, though. The polka rules.
The M.O.M. entry I spoke of was Ten Minutes.
As for the year 2000--I actually was a little afraid that all the computers and whatever would crash and cause problems and maybe even power outages. But once the other side of the world got through it fine I figured we were probably OK.
And with that I end this year's commentary. Click here to go on to next month's--but the best idea of all would probably be to at least go to the next comic page to look at it before you read the commentary. ^_^