Wednesday, July 20, 2022

The Sincerest Form (or A Behind-the-Scene's Look)

Once upon a time, someone said imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. That someone was Oscar Wilde. The full phrase, for those that don't know, is "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness". It definitely gives a slightly different spin to the maxim.

If there was something of which I, as a budding comics artist, was guilty, it was imitation. As I've said previously, I based the characters' initial use of thought balloons on the fact that Jim Davis had Garfield (and all of the vocal animals in his strip) speak in thought balloons. And while I did develop my own style of story telling as the strip went on, it wasn't the last time I would imitate a famous work.

I think that I had a hard time, as a young artist, telling the difference between being inspired by something, and the wholesale copying of an idea. Fortunately, I never had to worry about intellectual property issues, since no one outside of the readership of a few hundred people actually knew that Furble existed at the time. Had I been syndicated, I certainly would have run afoul of legal action, or at the very least a stern talking to from my editor.

This will become quite clear next week, especially if you are a fan of Calvin and Hobbes (as I was and still am).

So, while I am very proud of my accomplishment over the course of just over three years, it didn't come without the help of others' greatness.

Strip 77/166 - Attack of the meat cleaver!

Although it's not obvious, the punchline for this strip is definitely inspired by Garfield. Davis was known to occasionally end the strip with a character (usually Garfield) using such exclamations after particularly stressful incidents. This is pretty much the only time that it happens in the strip, so it's hard to assign it as a character trait of FC. Just a brief imitation.

Strip 78/166 - Snarky FC is the best FC

I really do like snarky FC. This is a legitimate character trait that comes up often. Snark is fun, as long as it isn't over-done. I don't think I was guilty of that, at least.

The next group of strips represents a major shift in many respects, not only for the comic strip, but for how I was cleaning them up to publish in the blog. So I thought it would be fun to give a "beyond-the-scenes" look at how I am remastering Furble.

Here's a link to the YouTube video if you can't view the embedded video above -

See you all next week for significant changes to the strip going forward.

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