Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Stuck to the wall with nowhere to go

It was a little tricky trying to draw this panel. According to how Jeff had the bolt enter Flex's leg, I knew that he would end up a little twisted. The problem was trying to get the view right. So I sketched and sketched and sketched until finally I got a draft that I liked. That, is pretty much the gist of it all. I decided to throw in the pirate as a reminder that there was more to the situation than just the hero, his dog, and a little Cretin. This widens the scenario. Now many possiblities can occur. How will the politics of the situation unfold? Will the pirates try to flee, take advatage of Flex/Klepto, side with the Cretin, or side with Flex? Anything can happen now!
One thing about this panel that I was not too happy about....the hair. It looks fine now, but I liked Jeff's approach to the hair and I wanted to maintain that look. But, it did not work. I am currently dogsitting and have to periodically return "home" in order to work on these comics. No big deal, but that does not leave me with a whole lot of time. So, feeling pressed, I worked quickly on this panel. Then I got to that hair. It almost did me in. Finally, I thought, 'this is dumb, I have to go. I have a dog to take care of and I need to get to bed. It's already late.' Feeling fairly frustrated, I put everything down and left. I forced myself not to work (overwork) the panel (or redo it altogether, which I have been known to do in the past, time permitting). I forgot all about it and took a look at it in the morn. Mmmm...not so bad. It's kinda funny when you drive yourself insane over a pointless detail that no one else in the world gives a damn about. It's kinda sad that there are so many people who consistently do it to themselves.

- Chew

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Sorry for the repeat on Chew's panel, but the composition of mine makes no sense without it. Out of all of the panels I worked on with Chew, this one was the toughest. It's a small panel to begin with and Chew's arrow really took up a lot of my available space. I could have drawn Flex's reaction as the arrow went rushing towards him but something about that notion just felt ... wrong. Maybe it would slow down the pace? Or heighten tension. I don't know. Just felt wrong. Once I decided that Flex would actually get shot, I had the hardest time making that work. How do I draw the panel and compensate for the huge arrow tip? I thought about putting Flex on the bottom of the panel and showing a different arc on the arrow as it hits his leg but then it would have looked liked two arrows coming at him instead of just one.

I could have had one of the pirates take the arrow. Or Klepto. Or have the arrow just miss all together. Could have ... but didn't.

So there it is. A simple drawing. Not a lot of time spent inking it. But a whole lot of time spent thinking ...

Thinking makes Jeff grouchy. Jeff does not like being grouchy. Jeff is referring to himself in third person. Jeff thinks this is not a good sign. Jeff needs sleep.


- Jeff Tuffenstuff

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Shot heard around the world

So here it is. One of the simplest panels I have ever devised. There was so much I wanted to add into the panel, but it was so small, and I decided to cut back and go the opposite route. Just show the flying bolt. You do'nt HAVE to see the little dude getting prepped to kill, or Flex turning and reacting because...things just happen. The bolt in the air is immediate and details a swiftness of actions. The drama runs through the readers head as they fill in the blanks (i.e. the action, or expressions on the face of the players as this is occurring. Do they even see it? Apparently they all did'nt! And what about the pirates? Are they allowed to express themselves as well?).
This particular box, in the context of the whole page, is smaller than the others. I ended up shrinking the panel even more to give the impression that the bolt might be flying over the entire panel itself. I also wanted the black in the background to be broken up...not a solid. All in all, a functional panel. It will probably end up being one of my least favorites, although here, I'm kinda liking it.
Note: computer is back and running. I, however, am still sick. If you have any spare lungs, let me steal them from you without remorse. I like air.

- Chew

Friday, June 19, 2009

Because Bob said so ...

I have to admit that Chew's panel threw me for a loop. Why didn't he go with the pirates? What the? ... oooh, wait a minute. I get it. Tension. Mysterious figure behind some rocks on the other side ... interesting. So now I get to draw the figure with ... wait, what is that thing? Are those ears?

I actually like Chew's panel a lot. I love the fact that it has no dialogue and yet Flex is still screaming at Klepto. I hear all manner of curses thrown at that poor dog. And Klepto laying on the ground, ears to the floor. Nice.

So what was I thinking when I drew this minion of the "Goddess Bob?" I didn't want it to look like Mickey Mouse. I didn't realize it when I drew this panel that Matt meant for those "ears" to be head gear (I just read his blog!). I thought some kind of liquid respirator would be kind of cool. For a walking fish. Besides, I just couldn't ... wouldn't ... shouldn't let this creature (from the black lagoon) have big ears. Big ears in my mind means cartoon mouse or cartoon rabbit and that's going too far ... too far for a rubber hero and a flying dog trapped inside a hairy transvestite's insides. You gotta have limits, you know. You gotta make this stuff believable.

- Jeff Tuffenstuff

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What evil lurks the hearts of men...and dogs?

Well, here we are again. After a long journey west and back, I ended up catching a severe head cold. This was probably from some schmuck in the airport or on the plane. Regardless, I am here with you and I am still ill (just like the song). As Jeff mentioned, my computer is sick as well. It will be dealt with momentarily.
When this new page of Flex was presented to me, my drug-addled mind would not operate (nyquil, yo). I liked what Jeff did with the pirates hiding behind those broken stone fragments. Heck, I liked the fragments, too! Oh, the mystery! Where are we now? What are those things and how did they get there? Questions Abound! So, as explored in the previous cartoon, "How ah met yer muddah", I went along with my instinct. It told me to explore another avenue that was outside of those lurking pirates. I wanted to deal with them, and I would'nt mind seeing the remaining ones dealt with in some capacity...but, in order to create tension and stretch out that mystery, I opted to add in another figure. One clearly different from the piratical types (notice the fab headgear?). It was for this reason as well that this "watcher" is seen skulking from a direction opposite of the pirates.
Oh, look at poor Klepto. Is'nt that funny when dogs realize that they've gotten into trouble and get that worried look and then drop their heads? Just like little kids. Oh, the shame! How about that. Dogs can experience shame. Cats get embarrassed, too. One time, my cat got a little too comfortable in the sun and just lazed right out of the window and onto the floor. They do'nt always land on their feet! Talk about a mean cat being humiliated. She ran off growling and hid under the bed for the rest of the day!
Mmmm...long day. Despite my rant, I am sad. I think I will go home now to have a beer, finish watching "The Ruins", which Jeff let me borrow, and call it an early night. I'm beat.

- Chew

Bye Jeremy....

Jeremy "Sweetwater" Mullins

I am in shock. I found out today that Jeremy "Sweetwater" Mullins died on Sunday, June 14, 2009. Jeremy was the Sequential Art Professor at SCAD and the host of, the podcast that gave us our very first interview during Fluke. Anyone who listens to the podcast knows that the comic book community has suffered a great loss. To all the students, relatives, friends and fans of  Professor Jeremy Mullins ... my deepest and sincerest condolences.

- Jeff Tuffenstuff

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bad Dog!

Here it is! The first panel for Flex Fantastic 2. I want to apologize for the week long hiatus. Chewt's computer is experiencing problems so it will be a while before he can post anything. No worries. We'll find a way around it.

For anyone who read the first issue of Flex Fantastic, we left several dangling plot lines which we will try to resolve in this issue. I really didn't want to spend an entire issue of Flex trying to find Klepto. We did that in the first one. I thought it would be interesting to play on the "gap" between the two issues and have Flex catch up with Klepto in this panel. Now we can move the story along and concentrate on getting Flex and Klepto back home. I can't wait to deal with Shecky the clown. For those of you who haven't had a chance to read the first issue, Matt and I will offer the comic for sale on this blog very soon.

- Jeff Tuffenstuff

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

You did a bad, bad thing ...

Another office doodle from 2007. There's a whole series of these cute, furry and demented bears, frogs, snakes and turtles doing some really heinous stuff. These drawings served as an outlet for the stress I was experiencing at my previous job. 

Chew's back from California! So you guys should see a post from him real soon ...

- Jeff Tuffenstuff

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bad Heroes

Imagine you're a fat, geeky kid that reads comics. Imagine that you wish for nothing more than having super powers. Now imagine that your dream came true ...

... Now imagine that you received one of the most suck powers on the planet and you couldn't even qualify as a sidekick!

Meet Bor and Black Stake. Escapees from a demented sketchbook. On a journey to the ...

The Thirty Minutes and a Half till Twilight Zone.

Dooo di dooo di dooo di dooo di dooo di dooo.

-Jeff Tuffenstuff

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Katrina Part Two ...

As promised ... the rest of the story (well, almost). 

-Jeff Tuffenstuff

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

In living color ...

Another blast from the past. I started this about ten years ago while I was working on a comic book with Chew and our friend Kennis. Working on our comic book was pretty intense and this little story was my diversion. Whenever I got frustrated, I would pop open my sketchbook and start on one of these pages (Off and on, over a period of one or two years). The funny part: I never completed it. I always intended to, just never got around to it. Two pages. That's it. Just two more pages. Oh well, I'm kind of notorious for stuff like that. The big problem is that I get really excited about an idea, start and then ... lose interest. This Katrina story was supposed to tie into another sci-fi story that I have been working on for the last nine years. I haven't lost interest in that one, it's just massive and, quite frankly, I'm a little scared to tackle it. Ahhhhh ... the power of personal problems. Delicious.

The whole thing was colored with prisma color markers – with the exception of page two, which features a really bad watercolor background. Uhm ... yeah, so that's about it. Three pages for this post and the rest of this awesome incomplete story tomorrow.


-Jeff Tuffenstuff

Monday, June 1, 2009

While Chew's away ...

Chew's on vacation. Yep. Gone for the entire week. He's off to California to meet with some friends, enjoy the scenery and buy stuff (probably lots of music). So, while he's away, I'm taking over and will post for the rest of the week ... Muargh har har ha ... ahhhhh, the power!

First up: Melvin. I did this in 2006, in my office while waiting on my files to save. I was working on a magazine at the time and I was stuck with a really outdated computer with incredibly outdated software. I had to toggle between Illustrator, Quark, Photoshop, and Acrobat to design and format each individual magazine page. I had no access to Indesign and it took forever to save files and convert the pages into PDFs (I loooooove Indesign – bless you Adobe, bless you). My computer would lock up if I attempted to do anything else but distill pages through a program called distiller. Too much information? Probably. To kill time, I would start these doodles ... and this is one of them. It started out with Melvin and, because I was bored, I started cramming more and more type into the picture. I still get a chuckle out of how ridiculous the whole scenario is.

Tomorrow ... the first part of a two part post ... in (gasp) color!

-Jeff Tuffenstuff