The Dude in the relationship…
November 18th, 2008

The Dude in the relationship…

Hey guys, I wanted to thank everyone for their kind words and understanding last week.  It made it a lot easier knowing that people understand what I was going through.  So from both my self and Amanda… Thank you.  Anyways, back on track with a brand new storyline I hope you will all enjoy!


  1. Matt

    Good stuff, man, I’ve been on the losing end of the satchel argument many a time. Pony express riders carried them, there’s no way they’re a purse.

    And glad to see you back.

  2. Lou Manglass

    Haha, nice! I have a Mountainsmith bag that I love. It’s great for hiking, it’s great for a summer overnight, it’s great for taking a few books or drawing stuff down to the brewery…But it is a satchel, and I get guff for carrying my “man-purse”. Frankly, though, I’m jealous…Think of all the cool stuff I could carry if I had a purse with me all the time! And women use that space for makeup and tampons…psssht.

    Unrelated note, self-plug…did you hear they answered a question of mine on the new WW? It’s not the one I ever thought they would address, and I’ve asked others I would have liked to have heard their opinions on, but still, it made my day at work.

  3. Rob Lundy

    Hey guys, nice to see you again… Yeah O’m pretty sure that people are just jealous that they don’t have their own pur… I mean satchel. I mean it’s a bag like any other… and in case of a zombie uprising, your bag o’ weapons are at an easy access point at your hip…. I say it’s win, win.

    Sorry Lou, I didn’t catch the new WW…. I’ll have to check it out tonight. I used to be able to download them at work, but they keep changing their servers and I’m sure the tech guys are getting sick of unlocking new domains for me. Which question is your’s so I can listen for it? I remember that my question was…. memorable…. Gawd damn Kurtz….. :)

  4. Lou Manglass

    My question was whether or not they would consider a web cartoonist trade association a good idea. You know, collective bargaining on books, health insurance, conferences on technique and such. However, I didn’t ask it very clearly (I was dashing it off at work and honestly expected Kellett to say “Poo poo that idea, sounds like a syndicate). The end result was that they answered a totally different question…Which was actually more interesting in the end!

    And they made fun of my name and said it was a bad idea. Still got a kick out of it though.

    Man, I miss my satchel. It’s sitting at home with my sketchbook, some colored pencils and my backup erasers and mechanical pencils. Work, by comparison, sucks.

    Don’t forget to update the XBox today. New XBox Experience and all.

  5. Matt

    Actually, Rob, the episode where they “answered” you question was the next to the last one I listened to before dropping them. Near the beginning it was a lot of really helpful information, but it seems like the last wave has just been Kurtz acting like a tool and the other guys bashfully going along with it.
    Coincidentally, though, that episode was also what led me to your comic, so I guess it was worth something.

  6. Rob Lundy

    Ah silver linings…. That’s what I like to hear. In truth I have not been as anxious to hear the newer podcasts the WW lot have been making either. It seems like they are fresh out of the really good tips and they’ve just been producing the Podcasts lately out of some kind of misplaced obligation or something. But still… it’s something to listen to at work….

    Oh yeah and I TOTALLY updated my 360 today…. so far I like the new dashboard… there are some really cool new features…. I still feel like the Avatars have the wrong feel though. Xbox used to have a more “Hardcore” feel but these….. chibi wannabes…. well I don’t feel like they fit very well…. But whatever, I made one anyway. I think that it would be cool if you were able to get a special “creature avatar” with each new game and could choose to use it instead of these things….

  7. Michele

    Admit it guys, a purse is a purse.. potato / potato .. purse / satchel / sac / bag.. it’s all the same!! LOL Nice work, Rob! :-) Glad to have the comics back!

  8. Lou Manglass

    Rob: Yeah, and I kind of listen out of some obligation. I do most of my work (short of coloring) by hand, so there’s not much of use for me anymore…

    Michele: Call it whatever you want to call it. I like my purse. I’m mildly curious about “kilts” (skirts, as you may say) as well. It’d be nice to have some breathing room in summer. Of course, I’m not quite THAT brave. I’ll fight the purse fight for now.

  9. Michele

    Lou, one step at a time .. purses .. skirts .. what’s next? one day are we going to find you in our closets and find out you guys were “curious” about our Victoria’s Secret lingerie?? Haha, just kidding but that would seriously be a good laugh! :)

  10. Lou Manglass


    What? Oh, no, of course not! Too manly for that.

    Back to daydreaming… :)

) Your Reply...


    The Process: Writing

    So week after week I find myself doing something that I never thought I’d spend so much time and effort to improve…. Writing.

    Maybe it comes from my art and programming backgrounds, but I am constantly trying to find some kind of formula or exercise that will make the construction of a storyline an easier process.  Now that may feel like a kind of clinical and antiseptic way of approaching what is very much an art form.  But to be perfectly honest, that’s how I approach my artwork.  Now granted, that isn’t how I always thought of art, but in college I learned that a well drawn character begins with a solid construction from basic shapes, so why should writing be any different?

    I tend to start my writing sessions by recapping what is happening to the characters, what they might be feeling, thinking, what they want to do… just something to get the writing juices flowing.  A little like a warmup sketch.

    The next step is for me to write out a series of Plot Points I want to hit.  I don’t try to fill up every slot in a month of comics or anything, adding in more points between them to achieve a proper pace for the story can come later.  I just throw in anything I can think of that I’d like to have included in the storyline.  These Plot Points can be as detailed as fully fleshed out comic scripts or as vague as a single sentence that gives a loose idea of what will eventually become a script.

    At this point I look over what I’ve got and I just kinda guess at where I need to add another strip or two between the existing plot points to correct the pacing.  This is one part of the process that I don’t fully understand myself.  Pacing is just one of those things that I can just tell is off by looking at it.  I know it’s not particularly helpful, but it’s true.  Sometimes I can just tell that I need to add a strip before a change in location or subject matter, like it needs a transition… I dunno, it’s hard to explain.

    This is the point when I’ll often have a hard time coming up with ideas for those filler strips.  Luckily I recently discovered a writing trick that helps me come up with some new ideas.  It’s a variation of brainstorming I think of it as “the what if game.”  I just make a big old list of what ifs that relate to whats currently happening in the strip.

    What if the car breaks down on the way to the hospital?
    What if Brody discovers he’s allergic to the gel in disposable diapers?
    What if Abbey goes into false labor?
    What if Max breaks his arm and they all end up in the hospital together?

    You get the idea…

    So this list will generally generate enough options that SOMETHING in there will spark my imagination that will eventually become a joke.  You know it’s been said that ideas are cheap, that the execution of those ideas are what matter. This is true for writing comic strips.  I have learned that ANY situation can become a joke, you just need to find the right angle to approach it from.  Humor comes from the unexpected.  Present a problem or situation and then resolve it in a way your audience wont expect and you illicit a humor response.

    The last thing I do when writing a strip is simplify it.  Again with the writing as a formula….  This is the point where I take the joke I have and I optimize the script.  I try to take the most basic essence of the comic and I try to reduce it down to as few words as possible.  Editing down your scripts is important, but there is such a thing as doing it to aggressively.  You still need to maintain the tension in the strip.  By tension I mean you need to build up the tension in your first two or three panels and then release it on the final panel.  That tension can be lost if you edit the script down too far.  But that’s what I mean by optimizing…

    Anyway, that’s my writing process… Hope you guys find it interesting.

    I’d love to hear from you guys regarding your own writing tricks and tendencies.


    Where there’s a whip, there’s a way…

    Sorry about the lack of updates lately guys… I picked up a neat little contract to work on in my spare time and it has completely dominated my time over the last couple of weeks and will continue to do so for a little while longer.  I’m not sure how much I can share about the project at the moment, I’ll have to defer to my collaborators on divulging information on it.  But I will say that it is very much the kind of thing you all might be interested in.

    I’ll be back with some more information as soon as I can.


    Making of… #1

    Cartography for Dummies…

    Hey guys!  Been working a little bit on a map for my next D&D session… thought I’d post some in progress pics.

    Wee Wittle Bawbawian…

    Hey guys… I did this sketch at lunch today and thought I’d share!