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I Am Afraid Of Everything - Then and Now [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
J. Jacques

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Then and Now [Jan. 12th, 2010|07:48 am]
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As you may know, I'm currently working on putting the first QC book together. It will comprise the first 300 comics, in full color, and should be on sale in the first quarter of 2010 if everything goes according to plan. Part of the process of making the book is re-drawing old strips that I'm missing the original, high-resolution artwork for- probably 15 or 20 out of the first 300 comics. The plan is to have the re-drawn comics alongside the original, low-resolution versions, to provide a sort of comparison between what my art looked like then and what it looks like now.

The first five comics are among these, and this morning I finally went back and re-drew the very first Questionable Content comic I ever made. It was a surprisingly emotional experience- revisiting something I did six and a half years ago, reflecting on where I was then and where I am now, and this crazy goddamned career that began as nothing more than a means of blowing off creative steam after long days at MY job as an "office bitch."

Anyway, I thought you might like to see a comparison of the original versus the re-drawn version:





Here's the uStream video of me drawing it.

I'm pretty happy with the new version, and it was a lot of fun to just draw a comic without the stress of having to actually write it first. And for those of you who like seeing the originals and how my art's progressed, don't worry- I won't be replacing anything in the site archives (as much as I wish I could).

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[User Picture]From: elfy
2010-01-12 12:52 pm (UTC)

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I love the comparison :D
It was funny, that when I discovered QC only a few months or ... a year or so ago, I read my way through all the comics in a few days and this way pretty much noticed the stylechange :)
[User Picture]From: misskass
2010-01-12 12:54 pm (UTC)

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I did exactly the same thing when I first discovered the comic, which is why I actually really like the old-style ones still being on the site. If they were redrawn it's like Jeph popped up from nowhere with this talent, at least now we know that QC is a big long learning process, which makes it far more awesomer. 8D
[User Picture]From: miztresslynz
2010-01-12 12:53 pm (UTC)

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Wow. As much as I love the original, this is great!
[User Picture]From: ladyinsatin
2010-01-12 12:54 pm (UTC)

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Oh my gosh! Awww, Pintsize's old chassis.

It is a really amazing difference, Jeph. Seeing how you've grown as an artist reminds me of how much I've grown too. I started reading your comic as a undergraduate student in Kansas five years ago, and now I'm a graduate student living in NYC. Amazing what a handful of years can do to us, right?

We're all proud of you and your hard work, keep it up!

Edited at 2010-01-12 12:58 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]From: lushieaciid
2010-01-12 12:59 pm (UTC)

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Are you still battling with depression?
[User Picture]From: my_real_head
2010-01-12 12:59 pm (UTC)

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I don't know why, but that is kinda creepy.

[User Picture]From: adam_0oo
2010-01-12 06:39 pm (UTC)

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I feel the same way.
[User Picture]From: pockyandkoalas
2010-01-12 01:01 pm (UTC)

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Nice to see the comparison more directly. I remember when I first started reading it and saw the current page (I think it was in the 600s somewhere) and then the first page, I thought it was one of those comics with multiple people drawing for the same webcomic, but it's been great to see your progression in style and skills.
[User Picture]From: lewin6
2010-06-25 01:05 pm (UTC)

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[User Picture]From: jamestarke
2010-01-12 01:01 pm (UTC)

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Totally amazing. <3 It was great watching you draw it. Even if it kept me up for 3 hours. D:

Also, can one of the 15 or so comics be one featuring Pintsize's laser? xD Pretty please?! :D
From: tobylurio
2010-01-12 01:02 pm (UTC)

It's like...

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making a crappy illustrator and a great illustrator draw the same comic. Seriously, I can hardly tell it's the same person drawing it.

Will you remake more?
[User Picture]From: writingday
2010-01-12 01:03 pm (UTC)

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It's such an amazing thing to see the old comics in the way of your new style. I've just been re-reading QC from the beginning lately. I noticed the obvious difference even more than before, not only in style but in the overall design of the comic. It also brought back a lot of memories from the time I discovered the comic.
When I imagine to see all the early comics re-designed I just can't wait to buy that book :D
[User Picture]From: darth_tigger
2010-01-12 01:05 pm (UTC)

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Will the book be available in the UK? If so, I'm sorted for ideas for birthday presents for the next year!
[User Picture]From: a1057soul
2010-01-12 01:06 pm (UTC)

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Every time I suggest the comic to someone (and i've added about a dozen people I know to your horde of admirers), I say, "the old comics are a bit rough, but the writing is great, and it's awesome ho you can see the evolution of Jeph's style over the course of a couple years."

and it's totally true. the original is great, rough in style but there are nuances there too, don't want to think I'm ribbing you man), but the new stuff is truly awesome.

:o,
Dan
[User Picture]From: n02t4lgi4
2010-01-12 01:06 pm (UTC)

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It looks great Jeph!!
This is also the first time i've seen/heard a webcomic artist do this,
And its fantastic, I'm sure even you are like, when did i get to this point in drawing!?
[User Picture]From: misskass
2010-01-12 01:15 pm (UTC)

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Not sure if you read it, but Least I Could Do are in the midst of redrawing their early comics, too.
[User Picture]From: lindorm
2010-01-12 01:06 pm (UTC)

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I only found your comic two-three years ago, so for me the transition into your latest style went fast, over a few days in sick-bed. Just wanted to say thank you for all the fun! Looking forward to your book!
[User Picture]From: unicornluvr
2010-01-12 01:44 pm (UTC)

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See, I just ignored all of my work in college and spent something like two or three days going through all of your archives in 2006 or 2007. It's so awesome to watch your art change and your writing stay so consistently fantastical!

I too look forward to the book.
[User Picture]From: rebecca_roll
2010-01-12 01:07 pm (UTC)

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awww, i feel nostalgic! this is monumental! how wonderful! you've grown and developed as an artist so much! *tear*
From: rpants
2010-01-12 01:08 pm (UTC)

an alternative

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[User Picture]From: sharnjilraedan
2010-01-12 04:52 pm (UTC)

Re: an alternative

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This.
[User Picture]From: leiascully
2010-01-12 01:08 pm (UTC)

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Nice.
[User Picture]From: catsmeat
2010-01-12 01:09 pm (UTC)

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i swear pintsize isn't usually that fat.

...what has he been eating?
[User Picture]From: shelleyleo
2010-01-12 01:38 pm (UTC)

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It's his former chassis, I can't recall when he got the upgrade or why, but he started out rather round. I do remember that the new chassis is a government model that they had to remove(?) or disable the laser on...with government...intervention.
[User Picture]From: devinhoo
2010-01-12 01:10 pm (UTC)

Redrawing

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Wow! That is really amazing!

But now I can't go on about when my comics start to look as good as your first ones. :P


Question: were you at all inspired by Lar deciding do re-do the first 127 LICD strips with Sohmer?
[User Picture]From: lewin6
2010-06-25 01:04 pm (UTC)

Re: Redrawing

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[User Picture]From: lunathecat
2010-01-12 01:13 pm (UTC)

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Wow that's a pretty amazing transition. As an early reader, it's not only nostalgic, but really exciting to see the old stuff redrawn — I'm so glad you are planning to put the original side-by-side with the redraw!
From: bhappy182
2010-01-12 01:17 pm (UTC)

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That is quite an improvement.
Looking forward to the release of the QC book. I certainly want to buy. Keep it up Jeph, I love your work. :)
[User Picture]From: bloodmoonrising
2010-01-12 01:23 pm (UTC)

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I think it's cool that you want to keep things uniform for the print version & it does look really great!
Echoing (many) above sentiments, part of the online QC reading experience was seeing your style/skill develop with the comic.
[User Picture]From: reme
2010-01-12 01:27 pm (UTC)

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this is so awesome! I know we're random internet strangers and everything but for reals I AM SO PROUD OF YOU.
[User Picture]From: shelleyleo
2010-01-12 01:44 pm (UTC)

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Excellent work Jeph - it really is incredible seeing the side by side differences in your old drawing style vs the current style. You really have come a long way, but I'm sure it's emotional redrawing the old ones.

The originals should definitely stay in the timeline or the archives, but a secondary section to see the reworked art ones for those interested would be a great thing too - particularly as an archive of the side by side compares. On their own, the new ones aren't "as impressive" if you're current on reading the comic and are familiar with your current art style - but when you look at a side by side...it's just absolutely amazing.

And I have to second (third, fourth, whatever it's up to now) the "I'm proud of you" - it's so true, I don't mind repeating the sentiments of others.
[User Picture]From: nightfall404
2010-01-12 01:54 pm (UTC)

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Heh. I only recently went back to re-read the archives so I got the contrast shock then. It'd be cool to see the whole thing at this quality, obviously, but then where do you draw the line about where to redraw to and at what point do you say "yes, this will be what the art looks like from this point forward".

That and it might take a bit to do =P
From: rienoupas
2010-01-12 02:00 pm (UTC)

old vs new

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You know, I think I like the old one better, if only because it fits Marten for that point in his life. Back then he was alone, with a miserable job, no band, no girlfriend, no Faye, etc. So it fits that he was a skinny dork. It's kind of funny to see modern, muscular Marten bitching about how much he hates his job.
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