ADDANAC CITY comics and news

March 25, 2009

ADDANAC CITY comics~ On The Move!

hank-tvADDANAC CITY is continuing to do well. I started AC with 3 updates per week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. After a few weeks of meeting those deadlines, I upped the ante to five days a week. That didn’t seem so difficult. I love creating my comic strip and I hope that it shows in the final results. I’m updating the popular comic strip series seven days a week now. A lot of folks are eagerly awaiting to see when the ol’ boy will burn out from such an intense schedule, but I don’t think it’s gonna happen (I hope).

I worked on countless ADDANAC CITY comic strips long before I ever designed the website. I didn’t want to be just another webcomic that fizzled out because the creator only had ten strip ideas and was overly-optimistic about the concepts pouring in. I wanted to make sure that when I opened “my doors” to the public, I’d be able to carry it through and give them something fresh that will last for a long time.

The reason I’m updating seven days a week is because most syndicated cartoonists do so. They create six daily strips plus one full-color Sunday edition. ADDANAC CITY is full-color all seven days. It’s a little more work, but I think it makes the strip look nicer. A few of you will agree with me.

Every webcomicker has desired to be syndicated at one point. We wanted to be the next “Peanuts”, “Calvin and Hobbes”, or “Bloom County”. We soon found out that it’s not that simple to break into an industry where there only two or three new hires out of over three thousand applicants per year.

However, we can publish our comics on the ‘net. And we can do it unedited and uncensored. We’re tha boss and what we say goes. That’s not always a good thing, though. I imagine you’ve encountered many webcomics that should have taken somebody’s advice on content or even concept. Hopefully, those comics will find their audience no matter how niched.

What I am doing with ADDANAC CITY is seeing if I’ve got the cojones to do like the syndicated cartoonists out there. I wanna see if I can run with the big dogs, so to speak. I may find out soon that seven days a week is too much. It does sorta limit one’s social life: “I can’t go to the movies tonight! I’ve gotta post the new strip!” For the time being, it works for me. I’m glad I enjoy what I’m doing, cuz I’m doin’ it all the time. I just like watching the little world of AC as it grows and improves over time. If I discover that I can’t swing seven days a week or that no one else cares for a daily dose of ADDANAC, then I’m man enough to admit it and drop down to a more reasonable schedule. We’ll just have to see what transpires.

ac-store-logoNEWS ITEM: I’ve just opened up the official ADDANAC CITY STORE.
So far, I’ve got a few t-shirt designs on there. I’ll be expanding the products in the near future. If there’s some Addanac City graphic that you would like on a shirt, just let me know and I’ll see if I can’t get ‘er done for you.

AC 88

March 13, 2009

When I’m not drawing ADDANAC CITY…

Filed under: Idle thoughts — George @ 11:39 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Most of you on the web know me best as “that guy who draws the ADDANAC CITY comic strip series“. Although I totally love Hank and his pre-adolescent gang of dysfunctional misfits, I’m an artist at heart and there are other things that I do in the visual realm.

A few years ago, I became involved with my local theater group, Halifax County Little Theatre. These nice people gave me an opportunity to act for the first time (I’ll have to blog about that on another occasion). I played Walter Lee Younger in Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin In The Sun”. Anyway, being that I am a well-rounded artist, I enjoyed my time as a thespian (no, I don’t have a lisp). Also, being that I am a controlling megalomaniac, I had to design the playbill, too.

I began a wonderful relationship with the directors and producers of these plays and they started requesting my artistic skills to promote their performances. One recent project that I worked on was designing something eye-catching for “Escanaba In Da Moonlight”. This was a play originally written, produced, and directed by Jeff Daniels (yeah, that Jeff Daniels). “Escanaba” is a play about a man and his three sons who journey to their camp for the opening day of hunting season in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan. Strange things happen during their excursion. I came up with a pretty nifty design that they loved. This is it.


I stopped by the rehearsals with my trusty digital camera and took photographs of all the actors in the production. I wanted to create something that was true to HCLT’s unique performances, so I made each character resemble the respective actor. I think I did a competent job. Most of the organization’s play posters are printed in black and white, so I had sorta limited creative freedom. It was different without having all of the magnificent, vibrant colors that I get to play with while creating my ADDANAC CITY comics.

How do you think I did with this piece? Be gentle…I bruise easily. 🙂

March 9, 2009

ADDANAC CITY Comics~ Tidbits & Such…

Filed under: Idle thoughts — George @ 9:37 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Addanac-City-Comics Graphics and more!
Click here for more Addanac-City-Comics Graphics!

If you’re reading this blog, then chances are you’re one of the many thousands ones who read ADDANAC CITY faithfully every posted update. AC is in the running for votes on the Top Web Comics website. The site has a ranking system for just about every comic strip on the web today. I don’t expect to hit the number one spot, but I do yearn to get somewhere in the top (or lower) hundreds.

So, if you could, dear reader, would you pleeeeez cast your vote for ADDANAC CITY? It only takes a second to vote. Plus, there’s no personal information for you to give nor is there anything to sign up for. All you have to do is type in 3 letters that denote the graphic you will see on the voting page. You may vote once every twenty-four hours if you wish, but all I’m askin’ for is just one lil’, ol’ vote from ya. Every vote counts.

You can vote for ADDANAC CITY by clicking here.

Thank you. I do appreciate it.

Now, on to some comics!

I’m always reminiscing about something (it’s a habit us old folks have). As a kid, I was a big newspaper comic strip reader. I read nearly all of the classics: Peanuts, Beetle Bailey, Family Circus, For Better Or For Worse, Hagar the Horrible, Hi and Lois, Cathy, Dennis the Menace, and even Ziggy (ugh…no offense, Mr. Tom Wilson).

I loved anything that would make me laugh. As I have stated in previous blog postings, I did not have access to newspapers often, so I had to make do with whatever comic pages I could procure. Most of the time, a relative saved the funny pages for me until I visited (it made going to see them a bit easier). Old folks smelled funny to me, but I could deal with ’em in exchange for a few minutes of uninterrupted comic euphoria. That’s why I loved the gag-a-day comic strips: I didn’t miss anything pertinent. If I didn’t see Tuesday’s paper, I could still get a joke when I resumed reading on Wednesday. Heck, weeks could go by, but when I returned, I could just plunge in where I left off and laugh myself silly at Charlie Brown trying to kick a football that Lucy held.

Sure, a lot of these comics(the majority, in fact) were formulaic. You knew Charlie Brown was gonna get played by Lucy. You knew Sarge was gonna wax ol’ Beetle’s @$$. You knew Mr. Wilson was not gonna appreciate Dennis’s antics. For me, that was okay. These comics were familiar to me, they were dependable. I could count on them every edition. So when I hear someone say that ADDANAC CITY isn’t doing anything that hasn’t been done before, I don’t fret. Sure, there have been other “bad boys” in the comics before, but nobody has ever done it quite like Hank.

Addanac-City-Comics Graphics and more!
Click here for more Addanac-City-Comics Graphics!

I adored those type of comics. Give me something to laugh at and I will be back. That’s what I try to accomplish with ADDANAC CITY. The joke may seem familiar, but I always try to execute it with a fresh approach. Plus, someone else may not have heard the set-up or punchline before. Think of it this way: We’ve all heard the joke “why did the chicken cross the road”, right? It’s a moldy-oldie. But, remember, there are people (kids, even) who have never heard that joke. Somebody has to school them of the classics. Somebody has to tell it to them so they can groan 20 years later at the staleness of it. Nostalgia always returns. We’ve all seen Scooby Doo, but they’re makin’ babies every second who’ll see Scoob as something brand-new to them.

One thing I didn’t like in the comic pages were the serials (or soap opera-style stories). I’m not saying anything was wrong with them, it’s just that I didn’t care about these characters or stories. Mary Worth could take a flying leap as far as I was concerned. Maybe if she had snappy patter or told a joke or two, I would have taken her more seriously (or sillier). I didn’t understand why the newspapers had such serious-type comics in their paper. I believe that, as a kid, I couldn’t truly appreciate what those cartoonists (storytellers?) were attempting to do.

So, I figure Hank wouldn’t understand it either. I thought this would be a good strip illustrating my point. I would read Doonesbury when I was younger, too, and not comprehend one iota of it. Loved the art, but considered Garry Trudeau’s creation to be somewhat over my head. It was only until I got older that the series started making sense to me. Doonesbury is freakin’ hilarious now in reflection, but it didn’t do diddly for me as a kid. The following AC comic is a tribute to those who felt like I did. Enjoy.

AC 93

March 6, 2009

ADDANAC CITY News~ Guest-Strips pt. 2

I created a guest-strip a few weeks ago for another cartoonist friend of mine, Matt Stout of Big Sandy Gilmore. BSG is an hilarious series that features some of the funniest animal characters to come along in a while. I was glad to be able to help Matt out during crunch time.

Here’s my guest-strip.

You can catch Big Sandy Gilmore every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I believe. Tell Matt I said “hi”.

Another webcomic series that I’ve been reading for a few months comes from a guy who started on the internet around the same time as I. Tommy Pritchard’s comic Relative Truths features a family who lives together, loves together, and sometimes gets on each other’s nerves. Sounds like a real family, huh?

Tommy needed a break to devote more time to his lovely wife and children, so I pitched in for an inning. This is my Relative Truths guest-strip. Check out Tommy’s comic series every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

I would like to say “thank you” again to all of the wonderful webcomic people who have allowed me to crossover my characters with theirs and make an attempt to continue the fun and zaniness that drew me to this medium in the first place. My hat’s off to you!

Addanac-City-Comics Graphics and more!
Click here for more Addanac-City-Comics Graphics!

March 5, 2009

ADDANAC CITY News~ Guest-Strips

When I was a kid, I absolutely loooved comic strips and comic books. Being an only child, I could never get enough of them. I cared immensely for those iconic characters that graced those sweet-smelling pages of newsprint. I didn’t know who the artists were and I couldn’t have cared less at the time. I just wanted my comic fix.

As I got older and started developing my love of art, I began to take notice of the varying cartoonists in the field. I had my favorites in the different formats: Steve Ditko, John Romita, Jr., Ron Frenz, Charles Schulz, Mort Walker, Dik Browne (now, that’s a moniker), and many others.

These artists, with all of their various styles, helped make these characters come alive for me. They created a world where I could escape and enjoy a few hours of relaxation. They didn’t draw alike. They had their own unique vision and style. I once heard that, when it comes to art, the definition of style is: “The mistakes that an artist makes”. I think that’s true. If everyone drew perfectly, all art would look alike, wouldn’t it? It’s our slight errors that make our artwork our own. I don’t draw like anyone else, and they don’t draw like me. However, I can appreciate all styles of art.

One thing I have always loved about comics is The Crossover. I enjoyed watching characters from other companies and universes teaming up or duking it out. A few years ago, Image Comics had a switcheroo month where the creative of teams of certain books took over other titles under the company banner. It was so captivating for me to see Erik Larsen tackle Spawn, or to see Jim Lee penciling Savage Dragon. I love the original creators’ styles on their own respective books, but it was like a trip to another planet being able to see them draw other characters. That’s one thing I adore about making webcomics.

We web-cartoonists get to traipse around in each other’s playground sometimes. There are many reasons why there are guest-strips. Sometimes a webcomic’s creator needs to take a sabbatical. Updating can grow daunting, and a creator sometimes needs room to breathe, reassess, and come back fresh. Sometimes, %$# happens: illness, job duties, family necessities, etc. Oftentimes, if a comic isn’t seeing regular updates, the readers will move along to something else, thus resulting in a drastic drop in viewership. No cartoonist wants to build up a loyal audience just to lose them altogether due to “life” occurring.
That’s why it’s good that we can hit up our peers/friends and get a guest-strip from ’em. These gracious guys are saving our necks and giving us an opportunity to supply our readers with fresh product.

I haven’t hit the point (yet, knock on wood) where life has thrown me a curve ball, and I can’t get my comic updated, but I do have a good relationship with some amazing web-cartoonists. One guy in particular, Bearman, sent me a guest-strip the other evening featuring my Addanac City characters, Hank and Christie. I enjoyed seeing him “playing with my toys”. I draw Hank and the gang all the time, so it’s fascinating to see how other cartoonists view them. This is Bearman’s Addanac City comic:

Bearmans Hank Guest-Strip

Bearman creates an hilarious and thought-provoking editorial cartoon blog at Bearman Cartoons. Check out the rest of his amazing, poignant stuff. Thanks for the strip, Bearman! I’ll have to do something nice for you real soon.

I’ve created a number of guest-strips for other cartoonists also. I contributed an unsolicited strip for Mike Freed’s Unemployed Dad comic. Michael’s innovative take on the trials, tribulations, and even celebration of unemployed life is refreshing and original, especially with today’s turbulent times. Every now and then we need to be able to laugh before we pick up the pieces. Read my Unemployed Dad meets Addanac City guest-strip and check out the rest of what Michael does with his amusing creation.

In December, I contributed to The Guest Strip Project. That project was intended to gather a lot of web-cartoonists together to create a storyline for these pre-existing characters from a police force. For each installment, one cartoonist would pick up where the last one left off. That meant that the story could meander anywhere. No need to worry about quality in story and art, though, because these guys gave it their all. Each cartoonist was credited with a link to their own sites plus a chance to help the Make-A-Wish foundation which is a worthy cause in my opinion.

This was my contribution:

Hank Guest Strip Project

Be sure to go thru the archives of the Guest Strip Project to read the entire story.

I have a few other guest-strips finshed and a couple more to complete. I’ll let you all know when they come out. If any of you cartoonists out there want to take on Hank and/or the other characters in Addanac City, just drop me a line and let me know. My door is always open (I gotta get that thing fixed). 🙂

March 1, 2009

ADDANAC CITY~ Getting Reviewed

Filed under: Idle thoughts — George @ 2:54 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

For most webcomickers, getting reviewed is exciting. Somebody outside of your little, insulated world has taken notice of your humble creation and has decided to broadcast their opinion of it throughout all of the internet world! You are so filled with glee that you can barely contain yourself.

That is, if you’re getting a favorable review.

I’ve been creating ADDANAC CITY off and on, in one form or another, since 1992. The strip started in my local paper, then expanded to a comic book line that lasted for seven issues and sparked a line of t-shirts and other product tie-ins. However, ADDANAC CITY has only been on the internet since August 2008.

When I first began AC it was strictly a regional sensation. My readership extended from Virginia(my home state) to North Carolina and Maryland. I had a few readers from places like New York and Florida, but that was only because someone from VA informed them of ADDANAC CITY’s existence and sent them a copy or so of the comic books (most likely an autographed edition. I try to stay accessible to my faithful readers. I’m not a snobbish celebrity. Yet.) 🙂

Anyway, I yearned to expand the lil’ world of ADDANAC CITY and share it with the rest of the world. The interent seemed like the perfect avenue to do so. The sad part is, I’m not that internet-savvy. I don’t know html from a .php. All I know how to do is make cute little drawings and place them where I want them to be. I don’t have an art staff nor someone to erase my many pencil lines (yes, I still draw on paper. Remember paper?). I also do not have a web-support staff. Everything you see on my official ADDANAC CITY website has been laid out by yours truly. I know my archive section is somewhat difficult to navigate, but it can be done. That’s the only way I know how to do it at this stage. Rest assured, I’ll find a way to make my lil’ slice of web-heaven resemble everyone else’s but, for now, it is what it is. I hope that all of you who check out Hank and his gang of misfits don’t hold it against me too badly. I will improve it one day when I devise a suitable solution.

Now back to getting reviewed….

Since I’ve only been doing this internet thing for about six months, I was so hyped to hear that I was getting reviewed. Now somebody will spread the word that Addanac City is da bomb!!!! Yay!!!

I’ve gotten a couple of positive reviews (some more positive than others). Delos from Art reviewed AC in November and had some constructive criticism for me. Overall, I think he appreciated what I was trying to achieve. To read his review of Addanac City, click here

Another review AC received came from Web Comic Herald. You can read what he had to say here

My most recent review came from Julie at Online Comics. The review was short, but I was pleased to be noticed. Catch Julie’s review here

Everything seemed to be going lovely for this cartoonist. I was finally getting recognized for my endeavors. I was on a roll here, folks. Yeah, I had to email most of these reviewers to even make them aware of Addanac City’s existence, but drawing the strip is only half the battle. Garnering reader support is the hardest part. Webcomic artists can easily spend more time promoting their comics than actually creating them. The key is not to let your creativity suffer in pursuit of readership. You can advertise all you want, but if what you’re pushin’ is crap, then you’re still floating up that infamous fecal creek. I really try to balance good comics with good promotion.

So, lest I really digress, I contacted one reviewer to give her a heads-up about my comic. Admittedly, I had forgotten that I had already written her and proceeded to send her another email that was practically identical to the previous one. Her response was that AC would be slated to get reviewed on her next upcoming posting. My heart was fluttering with excitement! “I’m gonna get another fan!” I screamed inside of my head. Yippee!

At least, that’s what I thought. When I clicked on her review, this is what I read
Check it out, then come back here.

Needless to say, I was flabbergasted like my gast has never been flabbered before….

I paced my tiny drawing area, spouting terms that would have career sailors looking for a book of colorful expletives. After an hour (or so), I calmed down and tried to analyze the review diplomatically. Then I started cussin’ again.

The next day, I wrote the reviewer back (I didn’t flame. There’s no need for that. I requested what I got.) I simply thanked her for taking time out of her hectic schedule to give ADDANAC CITY a looksee. The day after THAT, I realized what she was basically trying to say and I went back to my site and began to make changes that would benefit me in the long run. If she felt the way she did, then perhaps others felt the same. I don’t want to alienate my readers nor distress them. So…I made a few changes. I haven’t heard whether people like them or not, but I kinda do. I hope the site looks better now.

Reviews are a two-edged sword. They’re magnificent when they’re positive, but they hurt like heck when they’re not. That’s par for the course, though, people. No matter what you do or how many hours you invest in crafting something, there’s always a chance(no matter how slight) that somebody somewhere will not like it. That shouldn’t cause you to give up. Criticism is necessary. Nothing is perfect no matter how much we wish it to be so. All we can do is listen to the opinion of others and take it for what is: an opinion. I don’t like every album or movie that comes out, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t good. Somebody may like it. Hopefully, my opinion won’t turn them against it.

With that being said, I hope to get more reviews for my ADDANAC CITY comic. Reviews can make potential readers discover AC when they may otherwise not have done so. I want to share my creation with everyone. Some of you will hate it, and some of you will be indifferent to it. But, some of you will absolutely love it! And those are the folks whom I toil day in and day out, jotting down ideas and inking narrow lines, and learning html. I do it because I love ADDANAC CITY. I’m not getting rich off this. I’m doing it for the “love of the game”. I hope you’ll continue to ride along with me.
Whew! I’m glad I got all of this off my chest! Thanks for letting me share. My name is George, and I’m an alcoholic a cartoonist.

And for your patient reading, here’s a free ADDANAC CITY comic strip for ya. Enjoy!

AC 97

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