The change is a little jarring, I think, but it’ll ultimately make sense. (Because that’s what I’m always shooting for–barely cogent!) Christ Rusche lamented that I did not have a panel one joke about the mean streets, and I regret it a little, but ultimately, these I think the Ramen Empire characters would take their movie a little too seriously for a more overt joke like that.
The funny-ha-ha of this next section will have to restrict itself to my being in drag with an absurd red wig.
I’m loving writing this. Every time I think about one of the characters, I think of something *awesome* I can do with them. And I’m getting to make all these really, tiny connections that I got trained to like in college. It makes me wish I had a more active comment section, because if I talked about these things, it’d look conceited, you know? But I love loving my own comic again. It’s a good feeling.
Also, have some first person pronouns. They’re on the house.
You know what you want to do? You want to help support Ramen Empre. You know the best possible way to do that? Pick up our new CMYK T-Shirt. There’s a limited window to get the shirts, and we’re not sure if we’ll ever sell them again.
Super sorry for the late update. We had a metric fuckton of commissions fall on our heads at the same time as we agreed to take on a week of Sho–a project for a friend. In retrospect, I wish we’d taken a short hiatus after Afterglow ended, but we actually didn’t have that work at the time, so… 20/20 hindsight.
We’re going to change out the pencils for a real comic tomorrow sometime. In the meantime, I decided that it was better to show you guys a preview and let you know that we still had a pulse than to let an entire update cycle slip past. It also gives me a shot to show off Zach’s pencil work. It gets hidden pretty easily, but I think there’s something fascinating to seeing the bones of a comic. YMMV.
Also, hey! I’m a writer for The Contemptor now, so I now have a place to channel all of my Lewis Black-esque rage. ^_^
Got it finished. See you guys back next week at the regular Wed / Friday update schedule, promise!
So, we made all of this week’s Shotgun Shuffle comics, if you want to see what we’re up to over there, and perhaps also behold the digital-paintings-disguised-as-comic-panels that are Chris Rusche’s work, if you scroll back far enough. Further than that. Way back. Yeah, we basically took over his website. Such is conquest. He is part of our glorious empire, now. Muahaha.
That’s irony, incidentally, since everyone reading this is basically from Chris’s site. Or from Girls With Slingshots. Hi GWS readers! I wuv you!
There are still twenty or so days left, so pick up one of Sera’s CMYK shirts. You’ll be actively preventing me from getting evicted! Woo!
Want a hi-res version of today’s comic? Check it out on Patreon – it’s free – and consider dropping a few nickles in our bucket.
I’m going to start filing The Doll With The Tiger Teeth under Noir Comic, because I spoke with the gentlemen at Screenwave Media and they told me (very politely) that my SEO was abysmal, and I’d like people who are not directly connected to my friends to be able to find my comic.
Noir Goes Nothing.
The Ramen Empire characters made a bad Twilight movie, and I wanted to focus on “bad.” But they’ve learned from their mistakes, just like Zach and I have, and now that they’re making a noir piece, they’re going full tilt into it. We’re embracing the “noir” part of this, and noir embraced skewed camera angles and sketched characters who were outside the list of acceptable movie tropes.
Looking back at Afterglow, our regrets aren’t that we were figuring out how things worked. The early comics are rough because early comics in anything are rough, unless you’ve got a team helping you get that Disney polish. Our regrets are that we did not have more fun and take bigger risks with the idea that these guys were making and were invested in their movies. A huge part of this is because we were worried that we wouldn’t be good enough to pull off a double life for a character — having Mei Li be conflicted about her cheesy vampire on camera, and her awkward rainbow-brite director off camera seemed hard to write and we weren’t sure anyone would get what we were doing.
And in retrospect, we ended up making a comic that a lot of other people could very easily of made. We aim to rectify that in this go around. Part of the joy of this project is that we get soft reboots whenever we finish a story.
I know the broad strokes and all the twists of this story, but not the minutia–for instance, how Langney-Skyler might actually solve a situation like this. I didn’t want the bartender to step in. Knowing what I know about that character, it would make sense, but also, Skyler don’t need no saving, and she wouldn’t play a character who did.
I’ve told Zach over and over again that one of his strongest abilities as an artist is his command of perspective, and I think a noir comic is showing that off really, really nicely. He’s really nailing the whole “camera askew” element, a stable of noir films, and he’s even making sure that the stuff in the background is just a touch out of focus–noseless goon, linework changing colors as it goes into the middleground and background. I’m pleased as punch how these are turning out, and I hope you guys are, too. Make sure to check out the high res file on Patreon, if you’re interested in a closer look at Zach’s artwork.
Also, I’d love to hear where you guys think the story’s going!
Zach wanted to peel off script to tell a joke. It’s the sort of thing that happened to us when we filmed stuff, and I chuckled when he explained it, so why not–spontaneity is the spice of life, right? If you write a punch into what you’re doing, make sure to bring ice packs to the set. That’s all I’m saying.
Also, this is, I supposed, the formal introduction of Professor Hardwick, who is playing the pop-eyed thug, since he’s technically here both in and out of character. He’s super important in the Patreon-only comic, but less-so for this one. I’m not supposed to talk about that, though, since we haven’t launched it.
Did noir detectives sucker punch people? I know they got sucker punched sometimes, but I’m having trouble thinking of instances where the inverse happened.