Kenny Chronicles turns one year old today!
One year ago today is when the first Kenny Chronicles comic strip was posted, in English AND Spanish. A month later, I started telling people about it. I wanted to have an actual archive before getting visitors, and April 2008 contained a 4-comic storyline that couldn’t have people coming in the middle of it. My first comics were done with India ink on bristol board. Hand-lettering with a quill is tedious.
In July 2008, I experimented with drawing a month’s worth of comics in 12 hours(with my new Wacom tablet!), and unfortunately a different color scheme. Too much time investment for the color scheme. This is why a month-long buffer isn’t always great. I got negative critique on the colors when I had a full month of it yet to show. Another problem with the buffer, I got too comfortable with it. When you get comfortable with your buffer, you run it out. I haven’t had a buffer since then.
Overall, that experiment was a success and I plan on doing it again this July, but with traditional black and white. For the months following the “Doggone Dailies Of Summer”, I considered going 100% black-and-white, and tried a few times, but I just can’t stop adding color to my comics, especially if I plan on drawing more raves. I even considered having color Mondays and b&w Thursdays. Without a buffer, that really throws off the workflow so I ditched it.
From August-December, all the comics were 100% drawn on my tablet, including the lettering, which was just traced from the Arial font(with slight variations). In December, my hand started hurting and I was tired of hand-lettering. The lettering was the only part that strained my hand, so it had to go. First, I tried the font I’d been using for the Spanish version, but that didn’t look right and never made it to web. I found a new free font for the English version(Ashcan), but kept the old font for Spanish because of international letter support(“ñá!” says the Anime Ace font). I liked Ashcan, but it was too different from the Spanish font, in that I had to make HUGE changes to the sizing and spacing when I translated. Also, it was fun, but sometimes I preferred a more professional look. On January 1st, 2009, Comicraft put their fonts on sale for $20.09 and I found the International version of Los Vampiros for 80% off. Love at first sight, and 12 hours of deliberation if I wanted to spend $20 on a font. I’ve turned down fonts for being that price before, after all. This font, however, had things even my Spanish font didn’t have… like upside down punctuation. Until this switch, the Spanish version was actually a mish-mash of 3 fonts. Much time saved.
Then, in March 2009, I finally replaced my 12″ iBook G3(circa 2000 or 2001) with a brand new laptop with a 17″ screen. My lines finally appeared at the same time as when I drew them! Also, I can run iTunes and Photoshop at the same time(and unfortunately, YouTube).
I have some exciting things planned for this month, including a site redesign. I hope I find enough time to finish it before the end of the month. Also, the current storyline will fill in some blanks regarding the setting and the characters. If you have any questions about the comic, go ahead and ask them in the comments section. I’d like to know if there’s anything else that needs clarifying.