Hello all! I am alive. I was sick last week and on vacation over the holidays.

I hope that you are all enjoying the new strips!

First off, we have to apologize. We had re-sized the first two strips down inadvertently. I just fixed that and re-uploaded strips one and two. We were off by 161 pixels in width! OOPS! Looks a lot better now!!!

Also, as it is Tuesday, we have something NEW for you.

Click on that “BTS” link up in the menubar and take a look at how we go about creating these strips!

I have a feeling that we will add more to this page as we go on.

ALSO ALSO, we have moved the wallpaper that was posted last Tuesday over to the Goodies page.

Enjoy!


If this is your first time here since it was posted, please check out the second page of Reboot to the Head!   Now, on with the blog.

Dave and I have never really worked with a backlog.  Towards the end of “Towne Pub Classic,” which I am coming more and more to think of as “Towne Pub vol. 1,” as the strips got less and less frequent and updates were farther and farther apart, it was not uncommon for me to have several pages in various stages.  Mostly I would work on the pencils on one strip, but I would have some panel in a future strip that I really wanted to draw, so I’d skip ahead, and lay that strip out, just so I could draw that cool panel.  I had a deleted scene fully penciled, and the first panel inked by hand, sitting on my desk for about 2 years.  The next 2-3 pages after that scene are also penciled.  I may post them someday soon (perhaps as a Tuesday update).

But I never had strips completed months before they actually went live.  I mean, sure, Dave was putting the final tweaks on the color of this strip right up until Tuesday or so, but it’s been more or less in a finished state for a month or two now.  I’m extremely proud of this strip.  Much more so than the first one, which I also like, particularly the third panel, just not as much.   Still, I’ve been staring at the first 3 or 4 strips in this new series for a really long time.   Having strips “done” for so long allows you to obsess.   It can be great.  It can let you fix something that bothers the heck out of you weeks after you’ve declared that the strip is “in the can.”  But it can also lead to constant, endless tweaking of minor details here and there in an endless pursuit of perfection when you, and your readers, would be far better served with time spent on the next unfinished strip.  From minute to minute I fall into and out of love with this strip, and all of the others we’ve created.  I hope you guys like it.

I rarely do splash pages in TP.  In fact, off of the top of my head, I can think of only one other from the entire previous run of the strip.  I know that it can perhaps be frustrating to get the equivalent of one panel this week, but I’m hoping that the artwork, the mood, and the atmosphere established here are worth the wait.  In future strips, I hope to increase panel density.  I’ve never been comfortable with drawing small.  That’s why most of my strips are 3 or 4 panels, and usually there is at least one large panel that is 1/3rd or more of the page.    Working digitally, however, allows me to draw roughs at a size that makes me feel comfortable, and then I can scale the images to fit any sized panel.  Obviously this doesn’t always work: taking a very large 8.5×10″ image and trying to make it fit in a 2×2″ panel results in a tremendous loss of detail.  There is a lot of trial and error involved.  I always “ink” at the final size so that the inks are consistent from panel to panel and don’t look like they’ve been scaled down.  This allows me to potentially fit 5, 6, 7 or more panels onto a page fairly easily.  To me it feels like a lot, but if you flip through a comic on the news stand it’s rare to get fewer than 8 or so panels on a page.  At any rate, next week’s strip, and the next several strips to follow, will include much more panel density to get the action moving along.

Now, onto my next subject.

The biggest motivation for the relaunch of Towne Pub was my wife losing her job in September.  She was laid off (part of the 5th round of layoffs at her company last year), and, after the initial panic started to fade, we both realized that some serious belt tightening was in order.  http://www.towne-pub.com had been hosted by Time Warner Cable Rochester for years.  Maybe as many as 8 or 9.  In fact, Towne Pub was one of the original pilot sites used to test the new service when TWC started offering business class web hosting in Rochester.  But the hosting fee was $25 a month, and I hadn’t updated the site in 2 years.  It was an obvious candidate for savings, but I didn’t want to lose over 100 strips that Dave and I had worked on over the course of seven years.   The decision to move to a cheaper host seemed like a no brainer, but at the same time…why put all the effort into it to move old content and then let it sit there and continue to collect dust?  We briefly talked about it and decided that we were both hungry to work on new strips.  The discussion about whether or not we wanted to pick up where we left off was ridiculously brief: a resounding and unanimous “no!”  The first idea that I had was to redo the very first strip, except have Savage narrowly miss the portal and land on the floor instead of falling through, and a punchline about what could have happened to pay homage to the original “Valley of the Dudes” story arc.  I even digitally penciled the first couple of panels of the remake.  Dave was on board.  I had absolutely NO idea what I wanted to do for a second strip, though.  Not a good sign.

Then, one night, playing video games on my PC and drinking a little too much, an idea hit me.  I’d tried my hand at writing a “Towne Pub” novel a few years back.  The opening chapters, about 60-70 pages or so, were actually some of the best prose I’ve written in my life.  Dave loved it.  I loved it.  But the rest of the book floundered and went no where and I eventually abandoned it.  But man, that opening segment was like the novelization of a Towne Pub movie.  Action.  Humor.  All of the stuff I love about the characters and the universe.   I’d often toyed with the idea of doing variations of the novel.  A graphic novel maybe?  Or put the prose into an illustration-heavy format like Terry Pratchett’s The Last Hero. In fact, my friends on Facebook can see a sketch that I was working on at the time my Wacom tablet died last year that should by now look fairly familiar.  I decided that I would try to capture the feel of the novel in the relaunch of the strip.  Feeling a little drunk, I turned to my laptop and wrote the script for the first two strips, heavily based on my failed novel but with a slight change in setting, and I sent the script in an IM to Dave.  It clicked.

So, there you have it: how Reboot to the Head was born.  I hope you’ve enjoyed the new strips, and will continue to enjoy the new ones as we post them in the coming weeks and months.   Dave and I have certainly loved producing them.  As always, we encourage people to post comments!

Coming up on Tuesday: behind the scenes of strip 2, and some insight into how Dave and I work together.


Extremely brief update here because I need to shower and get to the gym on my way to work, but…

Please check out the second Reboot to the Head strip, freshly posted this morning.  Dave and I have some particularly enlightening/amusing behind the scenes stuff involving this strip that we will put together for an update on Tuesday.  That is, if Dave survives

I’ll try to post something more substantial later this morning.  In the mean time, I have to run!


It’s a little late in the day…OK, evening, but here’s your Tuesday update.  You may recall that I mentioned we’d like to do a major update every Friday with a new blog post and a new strip, but we’d also like to update every Tuesday with some extra nugget of goodness.

Today it’s a new wallpaper (yay).  It’s based on the last panel of the first Reboot to the Head strip.  We’ve got it in two different sizes, which I will link now:

Reboot 01 Standard Wallpaper

Standard 4:3

16:10

Widescreen 16:10

I plan on adding thumbnails and links to the new wallpaper on the Goodies Page.  Unfortunately, Dave is sick as a dog today (as he has been for the last few days) and I…uh…can’t seem to find the goodies page on the new site.   Oops!  I’ll be putting links in there as soon as I can…figure out…how…to.

In the mean time, make with the clicking, and enjoy if you should choose to do so.

Update: I forgot to mention that there are now several categories (glance below in the column on the left) into which the various strip updates have been organized.  The “Ye Olde Towne Pub” category is a “catch all” that will show you everything posted to the site.  The other categories are more refined.  ”Pub Classic” contains all of the strips from the old TP storylines.   “One Shots” contains various one-off strips and shorts.  ”Pub Art” contains art (sketches and concepts, mostly) by yours truly as well as some fan art.   From this point forward a new category will be created for each new storyline to make jumping to specific chapters of the Towne Pub saga easier.

Dave will also be working on making navigation simpler and posting new strips more prominently on the front page.  At least he will if he lives through his current plague.


OK, I’m still learning the ropes here.  There IS a new strip.  If you look just over there…to the left…you’ll see that the “Latest Comics” in the sidebar lists “Reboot to the Head 01.”  Go ahead.  Make with the clicking!

Or, if you prefer, here’s a permalink: http://www.towne-pub.com/strip/reboot-to-the-head-01/

Now, ideally, the post accompanying each new comic would appear right here to let you know.  But…I can’t seem to figure out how to make that happen.  So, for now, I’ll link to the new comics here.

Regardless: enjoy!