Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Fans, Planes, and Finding a Way Home

I find it interesting to look back at how ideas developed while I was writing "Furble" as opposed to how I remember having originally envisioned them.

I stated back when the "TV box house" was first introduced that I had originally intended to do a lot more with it. It was going to serve as a sort of base of operations for them, something that they could come back to after each adventure to rest and relax. It was going to be bigger on the inside than on the outside, and have things like a game room and a pool and big screen TV, all the things that I felt would be in a house if space (and money) was no object. But, for some inexplicable reason (at least no reason that I can remember so many years gone) I decided to snuff it.

As I was working on these strips, we were starting to get into the summer months. Which, when you live in an old farm house with a window air conditioner in the living room and nowhere else, forces you to depend on fans to move the air. The fan in this strip is modeled after an old metal circulating desk fan that I had in my room at the time. Perfect for the Tommy Boy gag.

Strip 13/166 - The end of the TV box house

For the record, the fan in my room actually had a cage around the blades. Given that the blades were metal, it was an important safety feature. The fan in this strip was a death trap before it blew anything away. I mean, look at those blades!

Although the fan in my room did move a fair amount of air, it was nowhere near as powerful as this one apparently was. Furble and FC grab their home, trying desperately to keep it grounded. But, alas, it is not to be, and their box becomes not but a crumpled pile of cardboard. And a cautionary tale for anyone who finds an old metal circulating fan sitting outside in the wild. DO NOT TURN IT ON!

Strip 14/166 - Paper airplane pilots!

I've always been fascinated by paper airplanes. It's like functional origami. Well, as functional as a glider can be. I remember watching a show in PBS, probably an episode of something like 3-2-1 Contact or Zoom or the like, which included a segment on different types of paper airplanes. Before that point, I honestly didn't realize that there were any other options other than the standard A4 fold that everyone seems to learn. Paper airplanes suddenly became an endlessly creative physics lesson.

Long before Phineas and Ferb tried it, Furble and FC decided that a paper airplane might just be their ticket home. An unseen, unsuspecting person launches the pair on their flight.

As a side note, my issues with signs continue. That would be a very specialized sign, indeed, to have an arrow, not printed on the sign, but actually cut into the edge. Or, at the very least, separately attached. Why would you do that? I don't know...

Strip 15/166 - Crash and (don't) burn

Well, not unexpectedly, the paper airplane did not turn out to be the conveyance to their freedom from Earth. This started a series of strips (interspersed with unrelated strips) that focused on the pair's attempts to find a way to get off-planet. It began my attempt to expand the scope of the strip. I decided that I didn't want to have the focus on Furble and FC coping with life on a strange planet the entire time. There were stories that could be told about them getting home, even if it turned out to be temporary (spoilers).

Overall, I was becoming more comfortable with my art style. Drawing the main characters was something that I could do without a lot of effort. At this point, the margins of my school notebooks were full of Furble and FC doodles. That level of comfort helped me to be able to concentrate on other design elements of the strip, like figuring out how to draw a paper airplane. Not too bad, if I do say so myself.

You'll just have to accept the fact that the little blobs at the bottom of each pane are, in fact, ants. At least I gave them an ant hill.

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