Our lucrative deal with United Feature Syndicate had to come to an end sometime. I only wish it had been a little bit later and before I was trapped in a mortgage on a mansion I can no longer make the payments on. Can I get a bailout here? Please join us in celebration of our return to form (both in content and poverty). I present to you, dear reader, our newest thing.
Last week I was contacted by United Feature Syndicate. Apparently there has been quite a bit of interest in Sunday Smash running in various publications as a regular comic strip! Their one stipulation was that we had to tone down the violence, video game humor, depravity, and make the comic more accessible to a widespread audience.
On the one hand, I deeply value my artistic integrity. On the other hand, I am also a fan of fat paychecks. It was an easy decision. UFS wanted an example of a strip suitable for a broader audience, so I present to you the first of the new, friendly, violence/depravity-free Sunday Smash! I hope you enjoy my musings upon fruit.
The best part of this new deal is that now that we’ve signed away all of our rights, Sunday Smash can continue long after Marc and I are deceased. Our comic has joined the pantheon of lurching, hideously irrelevant newspaper comics. Huzzah!
Riot Games’ League of Legends remains my game of choice after many months of frequent and obsessive playing. My champion of choice is Kennen, the ill-fated purple ninja hamster who appears in today’s comic. I play him often with stellar results when I play with my friends. When I use the random matchmaking service to create a team, my performance varies.
I’m pleased with the end product of this week’s comic, although this may have been the worst week to choose this one. Drawing six characters I had never drawn before is hard enough on its own, but Tuesday I was struck down with an awful migraine that lasted a couple of days and caused me to avoid looking at a screen outside of work until Friday. What I am saying is humor me and read this one an extra time.
He really is on vacation in Ireland and he really does hate Guinness. I don’t have a whole lot to say about this, so please read the comic and let us know what you think.
I think that for a comic strip created by two graphic designers, we have done remarkably well with holding back on complaining about how completely backwards the freelance world is. My cohort has decided to try his hand at the world of freelance, and so I wanted to take an opportunity to warn him precisely what he was getting himself into.
It turns out it isn’t pretty.
I have worked on some freelance in my time as well. Fortunately, the majority of my experience was positive, but that was only because the bulk of my freelance work has been for family or friends. On the rare occasion that I have done design work for people I did not have some sort of relationship with, it did not end particularly well. Let me explain via humorous anecdote.
Shortly after graduating college, I was given the contact information for a woman who wanted to hire a freelance illustrator; I spoke with her over the phone about her project. At the time, I was still a fresh-faced idealist who believed in the goodness of the human soul, and as such, I did not demand her signature upon legally binding paperwork requiring that I be paid for my work. I submitted illustrations to her via e-mail, and never heard from her again, despite repeated attempts to get in touch with her. The truly tragic part of this tale is the actual subject matter. She wanted anthropomorphic animals. By that I do not mean animals that act like humans. I mean animals that walk and talk like men and voluptuous, massive-breasted women.
I mean Furries.
I learned a valuable lesson. Now the only time I do freelance without money changing hands is when I know it is going to be free in advance and the job meets two of the three following criteria:
1. You are my friend.
2. Your project is fun and/or incredibly rewarding in some other fashion.
3. It will take me less than 10 minutes to complete.
Many designers complain about the general public not valuing design, but I find designers themselves to typically be the biggest problem in this area. Numerous times I have been copied on a mass e-mail along with many other designers and artists announcing a logo contest for a company or organization, promising a $100 cash prize for the winning design. As soon as I see an e-mail with the word “contest” in it, I delete it without ever opening it. This is insanity. By this logic, if I needed a physical, I could just go to a doctor for a physical and then only pay the doctor who gave me the most favorable results. Go on, tell me I’m physically fit, incredibly muscular, and that on the day I was born, God lifted his hands high and said, “Behold, my most wondrous creation!” That wouldn’t go over well in the medical field and it shouldn’t go over well in the graphic design world either, but it does.
Shifting subjects, Marc and I have both been playing quite a bit of the Nintendo 3DS, despite our claim last week that there was nothing worth playing at launch. I won’t speak for him. He can type up his thoughts later if he chooses too, but personally, I’m greatly enjoying the new handheld. We both played Super Street Fighter IV against each other online this week with minimal slowdown, and I’m convinced that the brief slowdown we did experience was only due to my failing wireless router. The perfect frame rate returned as soon as I stepped closer to the router. The 3D is quite impressive and not gimmicky like I was initially concerned it might be. It is something you need to take breaks from, which I discovered after a four hour marathon right out of the gates. The battery life is pretty low as well, but other than those two complaints, I’m very pleased with the system. I played around with Street Pass a little bit at a LAN party yesterday and had some Miis transferred from other peoples’ systems. The games I’m really excited for aren’t coming for another couple of months, but I’m having enough fun with it right now that I feel good about the purchase.
Perhaps you’ve heard a little about this product. As massive Nintendorks, Marc and I have been greatly anticipating the release of the 3DS ever since E3. We both pre-ordered, which is something those of you who are long time readers might recall that we never do. At long last, I picked up my handheld at midnight, and Marc picked his up this morning, the very second his local Game Stop opened and made them available. We were initially enthused about the launch titles, then a little disappointed by the games we were interested in being delayed, which inspired today’s comic. Marc decided on Ridge Racer 3D, and I went with Street Fighter IV.
I’d give you my initial impressions now, but I have yet to get a chance to play! I’m going to leave you now, play some games, and we’ll let you know how it is. Check back throughout this week for our thoughts. Read our darn comic, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook. You know the drill.
With the myriad of humorous jpegs related to my employment that Sunday Smash has uploaded in our year and a half on the world wide web, one might get the impression that I am some sort of vile monster loathed by virtually everyone I interact with. Such is not the case. I am actually a good deal more mild-mannered than my avatar, who serves as therapy with every line of dialogue I commit to word processor for him. The true-to-life Kevin who sits in his cubicle listening to his iPod, avoiding conversation with anyone unless absolutely necessary is a good deal less amusing, though.
Except the whole male lactation comment really did happen. That one earned me a loud offended gasp. So mission accomplished, or something, I guess.
The common stinkbug has a myriad of practical uses for practical jokes. If you intend to sabotage your friend’s romantic endeavors, look no further.
To anyone who has never encountered these minuscule, malodorous vermin, consider yourself fortunate. Once they have invaded your home, try as you might, even a moment’s reprieve is an unattainable commodity. They fly clumsily about the room, taunting you with their low buzzing, and should you lash out, they bequeath upon you a most pungent wrath.
One of the vile creatures found its way into my pants pocket a couple of weekends ago. As I reached into this pocket for my cell phone, I felt something that was decidedly not very phone-like. Something burst, and slime immediately covered the tip of my index finger. As I removed my hand for inspection, I noticed an oddly familiar brown carapace stuck to the tip of my finger. Then that smell hit me: an unrelentingly powerful stench. I was in the middle of operating the sound board at church, and could not leave my post, so for the next 15 minutes, I stood at my station dry heaving and gagging during the sermon as the vicious smell assaulted my senses again and again and again.
As soon as I was able, I darted into the bathroom to wash, but it was too late. My skin had absorbed the sweet essence of the bug, much in the way the quilted quicker picker upper (Bounty!) is purported to absorb spills. No amount of hand soap could right this wrong. Upon my return home, I tried numerous solutions. A shower, concentrated grease-cutting dish soap, and laundry detergent, all to no avail. It wasn’t until I resorted to scrubbing my hands with vinegar that the smell finally diminished. Hours later, I could still detect traces of stink bug emanating from my hands, continuing to haunt me as the memory does even now.