I shouldn’t post this but I will

November 17th, 2007 | Sketch Diary

I was just winding down from work by taking pictures of my cat with the PhotoBooth thingy on my computer. Then I started fooling around with “Comic Life,” a program that also came with the computer. This whole thing took about seven minutes. I’m going to start doing DTWOF this way.

life comics 11/15/07

76 Responses to “I shouldn’t post this but I will”

  1. Frannie says:

    Even at this you’re a good storyteller!

  2. Nato says:

    Too cool! I’d seen a similar jokey photo comic on another blog, but I didn’t realize it came from an off-the-shelf app.

    I think this is a wicked intriguing vector for you to pursue. You already have all this experience with self-portraiture that you use in the process for your real comics. Not to mention that you’re, well…uh…Alison Bechdel.

  3. Ginger Mayerson says:

    Go fumetti! Did you ever see the Alien Loves Predator webcomic? It’s fumetti and I think very funny; even though I don’t live in NYC.

    Y’know, it’s one thing to talk to your cat…it’s another when they answer. Very cute kitty, by the way.

  4. lt says:

    No No Allison please – come back from the dark side!!

    prefabbed DTWOF comics – aaaah what a nightmare 🙂

  5. 'Ff'lo says:

    Funnnny!

  6. Lizzie from London says:

    Having tried to take decent photos of myself with Photoboot and ended up looking like something from Night of the Living Dead my sympathies are with the cat. I love that feline disdain.

  7. Jaibe says:

    Very David Reese

  8. regis says:

    but … i’d miss your drawing. and your lettering.

    i think of comic life as a less ugly no-animations version of powerpoint.

    i seem to recall hearing that either the default typefont in comic life or some other comic-looking font (comic sans ms?) was inspired by the lettering in “the dark knight returns”

    THAT’S WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS! a dtwof font!

  9. Ellen O. says:

    So, what came first– the photos or the storyline? Did your cat pose or did her actions inspire the story? (I like that you and she are similarly foul-mouthed.)

    One weakness in the program that I see right off is all the white space in the balloons. Your strips fill in the balloons fully.

    Which makes me wonder–what is the origin of “talking balloons,” “thought bubbles” and all that?

  10. Silvio Soprani says:

    ginjoint,

    I just belatedly watched the video of the cat waking up the human that you posted on the previous thread. WONDERFUL. I love the claw action on the bedspread.

  11. Duncan says:

    That’s amazing! Very funny too. It might, at least for a while, be the sort of thing you’ve been looking for, to loosen up with (like the sketch diaries and so on). But you make Jesus cry when you talk like that; it’s soooooo Inappropriate. And Unnecessary. 9-)

    Sure, try it for a DTWOF strip. You and the kitty will have to double up on roles to play all the various characters.

  12. indigirl says:

    omg i love it! i agree w/ nato, the possibilities are endless…

  13. Kat says:

    The comic program is really popular with th 4th and 5th graders at the school where I work. They frequently use it to take the pictures from a class project or field trip and turn them into a comic.

    For stuff like that, I think it’s a pretty neat program. The kids can do it themselves, rather than having the teacher make a poster, or collage, or whatever. Combine fun with saving the teacher time!

    It will never live up to the painstakingly lettered masterpieces that Alison delivers!

  14. Xena Fan says:

    Interesting idea, Alison. You would have to start wearing a striped turtleneck and glasses in order to be Mo. Does your friends look like the rest of the gang?

    Or maybe you could have DTWOF characters drawn on cardboard and pose them (like paperdolls)….

  15. Em says:

    Well hey at least your cat talks in complete sentences, unlike it’s lolcat bretheren;) I CAN HAZ OPINYUN!

  16. NLC says:

    DIY cartoons? Pshaw…

    What I want to know is why no one has yet done a “D2WO4 Puppet Pals” production:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tx1XIm6q4r4

  17. emaline says:

    Your cat can talk. Holy crap.

  18. Em says:

    Oh god… D2WOF Puppet Pals…

    Sydney: Lets go bother Mo!

    Mo:I am Mo, the Whining Master.

  19. Saskia says:

    I think that, in Alison’s able hands, this has some lovely David Rees-esque possibilities.

  20. Speedy says:

    November 17, 2007
    Your new cat has a strong resemblence
    to Mermiak, our cat.

  21. chriso says:

    This is so awesome. Do more!

  22. Tera says:

    so cute!

  23. D.F. says:

    love it! nice framing.

    and… very nice neck, i must say.

    mmm.

    i guess i disagree with the cat.

  24. JayKay says:

    I like the way you worked a nice variety of expletives into the dialogue

  25. LA says:

    At least you didn’t dress up the cat. LOL! The after Halloween sales called to me so I got 3 more items for my dogs – a pair of red yard braids, a cow hood and a tiger hood. I tried them out on my Jack Russell today and was in tears laughing. Poor dog – he humors me. Of course, having come from being a puppy without water or food, chained up outside and a distemper survivor to living with an eccentric fool like me and 3 sister dogs with lots of good chow, dog good, and all of snug in a king size bed at night – he feels it’s not too much to play “Doggie Drag Theatre.” He does a killer “Little Red Riding Hood.” I just have to video tape him some night so I can post it on YouTube as he’s great!

  26. Blushing Girl says:

    I think there’s the potential for some kind of synthesis with your more organic art… Like photos of some of the big pieces dropped into the pre-made frames. It would provide ironic contrast and highlight the plight of the cartoonist as fine artist.

  27. jenny says:

    I like it… it’s “Get Fuzzy”- ish.

  28. marzathugs says:

    how great to be in a Digital Meraviglia Era. But in my small way, I prefer irregular, lumpy-bordered, responsible and hearty. lettering et alia.

  29. Rohmie says:

    “Who knew? Why am I bothering with all that drawing and lettering?”

    Gasp! This means you will be casting! I could play Stuart: I already have the beard. I just need to gain a lot of weight and shave part of my head … and get my Utilikilt back.

  30. Monkeymer says:

    For some reason our cats are also foulmouthed. I mean, when my husband and I use the cats to talk to each other, like people do. (Other people do, right? Right?) Also, the more dignified and aloof the cat is, the worse its language is.

    I think Alison’s cat could play Sydney easily.

  31. Raffi says:

    Digital lettering is becoming quite common in comics. I hate it and I think it is very lazy for cartoonists who rely on it so much.

  32. So UN-PC says:

    Just checking in. I have to say it’s nice to see the usual amount of shenanigans. This was a hilarious break from my increasingly hectic life. I agree that it has real potential. Maybe every time something small but noteworthy takes place, you can make an “Ug-toon” about it. I smell a book…;) Have fun, ya’ll. I’m off to Texas to sell my soul to the military…

  33. Alex says:

    Just reminds me of the photo story problem pages from The Daily Mail only without the erectile dysfunction.

  34. shadocat says:

    If you’re casting, I call dibs on Harriet…

  35. Silvio Soprani says:

    If I went platinum blonde and got a fresh flattop I could play Lois.

  36. Leslei says:

    i want to play Lois’ regrettable one-night-stand.

  37. Ranger Ted says:

    Ha ha! See, this is why we need you! Even that silly kitten can see it. Computers are nice, but they will never be cartoonists.

  38. Deena in OR says:

    …sigh…Shado, I guess I’ll have to be your understudy, then…

  39. Deena in OR says:

    OT–Tintin alert!!! Brief Tintin homage on The Simpsons tonight.

  40. Nickel Joey says:

    [raising my hand sheepishly]

    My roommate and I do that, too, Monkeymer. The cats are similarly foul-mouthed, and for some reason speak in a higher register than the average human male does. They even use their own first-person pronoun: meow (or miaou, if you’re feeling French). It works as both subject and object, as in “Meow’m hungry. Get the fuck off your ass and feed meow now.” Possessive case is, of course, meow’s — “Quit playing with meow’s paws, or meow’ll scratch the shit out of you!”

    And so forth.

    God. And I wonder why I’m single.

  41. Duncan says:

    Um, Raffi, you should be aware that Alison used a computer font in “Fun Home.”

  42. zeitgeist says:

    Ok, your Kitty is saying ‘Hell”! Please don’t make the excuse that she is picking up this language from her friends!!! LOL! I think this is cute, but go back and bother with the lettering and drawings…your work is beautiful.

  43. sillipitti says:

    I don’t know why I am saying this but just had to interject: Lois is *not* platinum, but but straw-coloured blonde in my mind. Why? Because that’s the colour of Tintin’s hair, and that’s who Lois is!

  44. elisgem says:

    what a wonderful way to start my day 😉

  45. Mothra in NYC says:

    Hey, Alison,

    Doesn’t the PhotoBooth thingummy come with different effects, including one that puts old-fashioned Lichtenstein-esque comic-book-print dots on your image? And there’s one that can make you look like a pencil sketch. Sort of. Not really. I suppose if you tried any of that, it might make your poor cat barf at all the pretense …

    Nice twist to use the technology itself to make pointed commentary about the technology. I’m more of a fan of the stuff you draw yourself.

    But I’m always eager to check out whatever you post, so carry on!

    And to everyone: have a good and peaceful Thanksgiving …

  46. up late says:

    Yes, but I think Alison created herself a custom font out of her own lettering….(I think she said this at a reading I attended?)

  47. Hilliard Addison Erskine says:

    Revelatory!

  48. --MC says:

    Ah, but can you use different fonts than Comic Sans in this program? Just a second — yes, you can.
    I’d love to see a fumetti version of Dykes, maybe one discrete and self-contained episode.

  49. Silvio Soprani says:

    sillipitti,

    “Straw-colored” –so much the better!
    Forgive me, being a person of black hair with few blonds in my life, my facility with the terminology is minimal.

    But I WOULD enjoy portraying Lois with her straw-colored hair!

  50. Juliegrrl20 says:

    You should totally gather up a bunch of DTWOF dopplegangers and do a live action strip!

  51. So UN-PC says:

    I think THAT would be just about the greatest thing ever. Creepy, yet awesome.

  52. Jude says:


    Sydney: Lets go bother Mo!

    Mo:I am Mo, the Whining Master.

    *DIES*

    Stuart: It’s NAKED TIME!

  53. Silvio Soprani says:

    Here’s an idea for the future (does anyone have the technology to do this?):

    Live people filmed and then projected on the stage as holograms, but the speaking parts come out of their mouths as cartoon bubbles.

    It combines the best elements of opera and leaves out the worst. (It solves that problem you have at the opera of having to watch the translation screen above and still watch the live actors.)

    Also, graphic elements in the cartoon bubbles could be expressive–colors and fonts could change, perhaps the text could animate.

    Surely I cannot be the first person to think of this? (If so, well done me!)

  54. Raffi says:

    Duncan & Up Late: I am aware that Alison used a custom digital font in ‘Fun Home’, it was one of the small quibbles I had with the book. It just didn’t look right whether it was custom or not. It just looks so phony to have all of the letters look the same!

  55. April says:

    Jude, you kill me with the D2WO4 puppet pals script. Yes yes yes!

    Mo: Lesbos is the best place in the world!
    Sydney: I love to learn.
    Lois: I love lesbians.
    Clarice: I love you Ginger!
    All: Ummm…

  56. April says:

    Re: Photobooth, it saddens me to say I would be Raffi. In my dreams I’m Toni, but the mirror says Raffi.

  57. Rick says:

    This reminds me of these photo telenovela comics they used to sell back in the early 80s, not to mention of the short-lived comics in Barbie Magazine, where they took Barbie dolls, posed them, and then put in speech bubbles.

    I agree with Ellen O about the balloons having too much white space. even if you could scan hand-drawn DTWOF panels and add the dialogue balloons in this way, there’s a chance half of your nifty details would get buried.

  58. Aunt Soozie says:

    I wish I knew the html to make the font in this post really tiny because I’m a little embarrassed to admit it but…uhm, Rick, I do remember that because I subscribed to that Barbie Magazine. Did you?

  59. Aunt Soozie says:

    and Nickel Joey crack me right up…wish I could see that on you tube…along with dtwof puppet pals.

  60. Nickel Joey says:

    Aunt Soozie: Don’t hold your breath for a YouTube debut from me or my cats anytime soon. I mean, c’mon, haven’t I embarrassed myself enough for a week or two? 🙂

  61. shadocat says:

    OK, this is a bit OT again, but…remember our Charles Schulz discussion of the other day? This piece has a strip slideshow—some of them pretty dark and funny. (I gotta get that book!):

    http://www.slate.com/id/2177964/?wpisrc=newsletter

  62. Jude says:

    April: That one put me on the floor!

    Mo: I found the source of the ticking! It’s the Doomsday Clock!

    All: Yaaaaaaay!

  63. (Sir Real) says:

    So, is your aesthetically demanding kitty named “Kitty”, or Piebald or Oddbald, perhaps? As of yet unnamed?

    [BTW Katie, thanks for offering to correct the wierdness wherein my posts won’t register unless I alter my Name – this work-around seems simpler, though!]

  64. Silvio Soprani says:

    Okay, nobody has offered the slightest bit of reaction to my hologram-with-animated-cartoon-bubbles idea. It must have sounded so 20th century because if it was really off the wall there would have been at least a comment or two.

    I liked it…

  65. dicentra formosa says:

    maybe AB is keeping us in the dark about piebald kitty’s name out of respect for her privacy. Or maybe PK hasn’t revealed her name yet. “The naming of cats is a difficult matter…”

  66. Kate says:

    Perhaps AB is protecting kitty’s anonymity. Cats are very private creatures.

  67. Em says:

    Hehehehe this is fun…

    Mo: I’ve got bad news, friends

    Sparrow,Lois and Ginger: Oh no! What is it?

    Mo: The Dark Lord President Bush is destroying the country!

    S,L and G: Oh no! What can we do?!

    Mo: Eh, I dunno
    *slinks off screen*

  68. Feminista says:

    EM–what? do nothing? How about kvetch,rant and march? Educate and agitate?

  69. Em says:

    Why, I’m talking in D2WOF Puppet Pals universe, of course:D

    http://www.potterpuppetpals.com/
    this be what we’re parodying.

  70. April says:

    Thanks Em that was fun fun funny.
    I’ve found my people.
    Sigh.

  71. Jude says:

    My brain is a baaad place, because it’s telling me that making handpuppets of the D2WO4 crew wouldn’t be that difficult…

    MO: I feel cranky and despairing of the world today, and I don’t know why. Grrrrr! I’m going to whine a lot to people I like!

    LOIS: Hello, Mo! What sort of tomfoolery shall we get up to today?

    MO: No tomfoolery today, Lois! I’m sick of your dreadful, speckled mug and your fabulous sex life with no complications.

    LOIS: Why must you hurt me in this way, Mo?

    GINGER: Yeah, what’s your problem, Mo?

    MO: Activism is dead, my life sucks, my girlfriend is sleeping around with withered academic hags, and I’m surrounded by *bleep*ing children and *bleep* all the time. I mean, what the *bleep*?

  72. April says:

    Ha ha ha truly I may say ROFLMAO!

    The imagery of hand puppets is too too nasty, and I mean that in the best possible way. Your brain sounds just peachy Jude!

    I love withered hags though. Well one in particular, but they’re all good.

  73. g-lo says:

    Go easy on the “Comic Life” guys. Yes, it’s ugly. But it’s also democratizing. It’s like when all the typographers got laid off when when Aldus Pagemaker hit the Mac Classic. Visual/literary narrative. The form comes first, then the art.

    Or you can really open it up and hit the Photo Crank.

    http://www.photocrank.com/

  74. g-lo says:

    Ellen O. :

    Regarding historical speculation of speech bubbles and the like…

    Please go to your local library and check out Windsor McCay. There are a few earlier subjects in the political cartoon genre, but Windsor pretty much locked it down for the modern conventions. Very enjoyable as well.