Where to begin? Something interesting happened last night. Adam Huber emailed. For those who didn’t read my previous blog post about “Unique Style”, Adam is my webcomic idol. He’s the sole creator of Bug and one hell of a funny fellow. If you haven’t read Bug comics then shame on you!

Honestly I’m surprised he found my comic already. I only average maybe 35 viewers per day so I thought it’d be a year or more before he stumbled upon Stick Dinosaurs. I NEVER expected he’d be the first person to email my stickdinosaurs e-mail address.

Don’t worry, fans. The e-mail wasn’t negative. He complimented my writing and arts and such. He just pointed out one of my bigger fears that the comic heavily resembles his. He didn’t ask me to change it or anything. Just asked if I was ok with imitating his comic as much as I seemed to be. Truth is, I’m not ok with it. Get ready for a LONG post, folks.

The art style is very similar to Bug. I’ve even described Stick Dinosaurs to a friend as “Sort of like Bug but with dinosaurs”. It may be unavoidable. I needed an art style that I could do easily so I can still update 5 days a week. I work full time 6 days a week and only have two evenings free for making comics so they have to be easy to draw. You have to admit Stick Dinosaurs is less than complicated. Now, that said. I do already have an art style. You can see hints of it at anything colored in the comic but most of my other drawings look like:

As you can see. I use lots of color and curved lines. The more color the better. My previous webcomic that actually made it to the internet was Not About Rabbits. It, too, had a lot of color. But it took too long to draw. I went from updating 3 times per week to once a month. Part of it was lack of dedication but most of it was time. Here’s an example of a Not About Rabbits comic.

I chose this one to show you because it also explains why the writing is similar to Bug. I like having multiple jokes per comic. Why should it take 4 panels to make one gag? But I didn’t know how to properly go about doing it. The first frame in the comic is the setup up box while the second frame (giant open mouth) is the corresponding joke. Then I tried to add more jokes with the bad teeth puns. It never occurred to me to add a second or third or forth setup panel like the first one. By using the Narrator Box in each panel, I can setup a new joke for every drawing. They might not always land as intended but the attempt is still there.

As much as I like drawing big comics with full color, I’ve been drawing the stick dinosaurs my whole life. In fact, I tried to work them in as reoccurring characters in Not About Rabbits but as the webcomic didn’t last, only one was made. It was my first attempt to add color to the dinosaurs. It didn’t work.

I wrote many more that I never drew but this was the only one to make it on the site. You’ll notice that again I used a Setup Panel as well as a Narrator Box in this comic. I think my Stick Dinosaurs are funnier than my Not About Rabbits ever was. For that reason the writing will remain the same. I never copied Bug in that regard. I used Adams art style because I knew my writing was already similar and he had figured out a way to use it that I hadn’t. Even in Deadpool comics, the funniest quips are directly related to Deadpool talking to the yellow narrator box.

So what will change with Stick Dinosaurs? Possibly nothing. Maybe everything! Ok, not everything. I’m going to spend a few days playing with the format of the comic and see if I can change it enough to make me happy with the art as well as differentiate it from Bug. I’d love to add more color but time is always an issue. I would like wider panels though. I can’t fit the Stegosaurus and Long-Neck-asaurus into the same frame as it is now. The T-Rexasaurus will always be my main guy but I like the variety of other dinosaurs.

Stay tuned for Big Changes! (or no changes).

Michael Ward

P.S.
Adam, I still love Bug and will continue to read it every day.