Thursday, September 29, 2005

Amazing! A Comic!

I got around to actually making a comic for Friday. It's uploaded and shall update as per usual at the appropriate time. Sorry about the delay this week. Hopefully there won't be anymore gaps in comics, even if I do shift gears and work on something non-Crooked Halo.

Anyway, thanks for the patience and well-wishes. I'm going to get through what's going on, even if it isn't easy.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

More Filler

Yeah, I know, more filler. I apologize, but real life is taking precedent right now. Some major things are happening and I'm having trouble being funny or creative. You're probably lucky you're even getting filler.

I'll try to have a comic up Friday, but no promises. This isn't looking like it's going to be a good week, I'm afraid.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Zendariel Filler

Sorry about the filler again today, but I spent most of last night chatting with an old friend from college whom I hadn't spoken with in awhile.

On the plus side, we have reached the effective end of the Pirate Choir storyline. I might have one or two more comics for it to tie up any loose ends...if I can come up with something to do that. We'll know Wednesday, I guess.

Oh, Serenity comes out this Friday. Go see it, or I'll kick you in your ruttin' unmentionables.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Sea Shanties

My brother Clif (the real-life Clyde) sent me an email with a few real sea shanties in it. I thought it might be interesting to share them.

"Maid of Amsterdam"

Mark well what I say
In Amsterdam there dwelt a maid
In Amsterdam there dwelt a maid
And I'll go no more a-roving
With you, fair maid
A-roving, a-roving
Since roving's been my ru-i-n
I'll go no more a-roving
With you, fair maid.

This one's about the Cirmean War, so only other history majors will really find it of interest:


The Crimee War is over now
Sebastopol is taken
The Crimee War is over now
Sebastopol is taken
So sing, Cheer, boys, cheer
Sebastopol is taken:
And sing, Cheer, boys, cheer
Old England gained the day
The Rooshans they was put to fly
Sebastopol is taken
The Rooshans they was put to fly
Sebastopol is taken.

The last one is just pretty damn creepy, we think:

They call me Hanging Johnny
They call me Hanging Johnny
So hang, boys, hang
First I hung my mother
First I hung my mother

So yeah, sailors were not particularly nice people to be around. Interesting stuff.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Talk Like a Pirate Day

Today is actually Talk Like a Pirate Day, appropriately enough. Honestly, I didn't plan to be running this series during this particular holiday (if TLaPD can indeed be referred to as a holiday), but it works out in a way which amuses me.

Dunno how much longer this particular story arc will last. Ages ago, when I had free time and long stretches of creativity, I'd plan and sketch out entire storylines in one go, occasionally throwing in a comic on the fly as the mood struck me. The Yellowstone Saga was done that way: the majority of it was planned out in advance (based in large part on the first incarnation of the Saga, which was actually written while I was in Yellowstone), and I occasionally tossed in an extra comic or two if I thought a particular plot point needed more development or I came up with a particularly good gag I wanted to use.

But lately, I've been writing everything and drawing it the night before. I'm not ahead by any stretch of the imagination. And this annoys me to an extent. I like having things roughly mapped out ahead of me in the comic. I'm not saying I want to know exactly what comic I'm going to do every day for the rest of Crooked Halo's existence. That'd be boring and wouldn't leave any room for improvisation and spontaneity, and those are key to keeping humor fresh. But I also don't like sitting down a few hours before I post the comic to decide what I'm going to write about for said comic.

Part of the problem's been my schedule and available free time. I've currently got three jobs (one full-time and two part-time), and haven't really had much time to think about stuff other than getting to work on time.

The bigger part of the problem, though, remains my creative slump. I just haven't felt the groove lately, whether in the writing or the art. Both are serviceable, I think, and it's all still better than when Dim Bulb first went up, but there's a spark missing from it, and I find myself less than enthusiastic about drawing each time. These make a recipie for disaster in any sort of creative endeavour, really.

I'm not sure what to do to kickstart everything. In the past, I've radically altered the style of the comic: going from the smooth, clean lines to the sketchy back right before the Boy Band storylines, for example. Other times, I've just done very challenging comics that require me to stretch my skills and abilities to their limits. But I don't know if that's what's needed here. Everything feels kind of stalled, I guess, and until I find a way to break out of it, things will remain serviceable but not entirely as I'd like them.

In positive news, I am rather pleased with how this storyline has progressed so far. I like the idea of it, and only wish there were some sea shanty hymns I could have them sing. That would be perfect.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Sorry folks, but no new comic for 9/14/05. Three jobs is just killing me (even if it's only been a couple of days of it), and I'm gonna have to figure out a better system for getting comics drawn and posted on time than doing them all the night before like I've been doing it.

Instead, enjoy this fanart from Tim of Alt Delusions. I've had it for...well, for a damn long time, to be honest, and I keep meaning to update all the fanart and stuff we've received ('cause we have received some), I just (1) keep forgetting and (2) don't really trust myself fiddling around with things on the site. That's why I keep Adam around (well, and Zaene, though I dunno if anyone's heard from him long time. Maybe he's dead? Can you even kill a cyborg?). Anyway, it's a funny little drawing courtesy of Tim, and I take this opportunity to thank him for it ('cause I'm not sure I ever did when he originally gave it to me, making me one of the worst people on the face of the earth).

Crooked Halo will resume as normal on Friday, I promise. Please don't throw anything at me.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Totally Employed

The Cricket now has a full-time job. And two part-time jobs. The Cricket is suddenly very busy.

But fear not--it won't interfere with the comic! Oh no, in fact, it'll probably provide fuel and fodder for the comic. That's what work is for (aside from the piles of cash money. Work's for that, too).

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Songs of the Week

Here are the songs I can't stop playing on the guitar this week.

1. Bob Dylan, "Changing of the Guard": Dylan is my personal songwriting hero. The man takes a song with three or four simple chords, strings those chords together in a way you wouldn't have thought of, and makes an interesting tune to go along with his surreal lyrics. This song I've never been able to really figure out (granted, most of Dylan's songs are like that for most people), but there are a lot of references to what I've read is actually Joan of Arc--a girl whose head is shaved at the age of sixteen (Joan of Arc's head was shaved when she was sixteen, right before she was burnt at the stake), all the military imagery (palace guards, dog soldiers, and a captain), and things like that. Still fun to play, though.

2. Bob Dylan, "Isis": Yeah, I know, two Dylan songs in a row. But hey, I figured out that you could play these two songs with chords I already knew if you just capo'd in the first fret (ah, the capo: friend to mediocre strummers everywhere!). This is one of those great story songs Dylan does so well, and the chord progression is this great circular thing that just keeps looping into itself, becoming a part of the story itself.

3. U2, "Hawkmoon 269": Another song that I figured out is really easy to play capo'd in the first fret (hey, who knew songs in Ab were so damn easy to play if you just capo'd?). It's got this great incessant rhythm to it that just builds and builds throughout the song. Also one of Bono's more restrained vocal performances (well, except for the end, when he starts kinda screaming into the microphone, but I usually don't sing it that way, 'cause I'm not Bono).

4. Creedence Clearwater Revival, "Who'll Stop the Rain?": Everyone who plays the guitar ought to know at least one CCR song. At least. I mean, they're just a great band. Hell, I'm of the impression that their Chronicle CD ought to be required listening for anyone who has even the slightest interest in popular music. Their ability to craft a rock and roll song is second to almost none (I mean, obviously the Beatles are the top, but these guys are still pretty damn good). This song, like so many of CCR's, has a sense of foreboding and doom that just permeates the whole thing. You can't help but shudder, really.

5. The Minus 5, "I'm Not Bitter": It's just a damn funny--and rather meloncholy--song about trying to move on. And failing. Miserably. And being in denial about it. And it features the line "I walk around the block to avoid you/And that's when I'm in a social mood." Also, "Bitterness is reserved for stupid people/Not for someone intelligent like me." The fact that the song features Wilco and is just damn fun to play helps, too.

And finally, though it's not a song I can play (I haven't been able to find the song yet, unfortunately), I think Bob Dylan's "Where Are You Tonight (Journey Through Dark Heat)" is an underappreciated gem. Dylan tosses a song or two like this on every album, even the mediocre ones: a tune that just gets under your skin and gets its hooks in your soul and won't let go. This particular tune is about the deterioration of the world around our protagonist and his amazement at the fact that he continues to survive, even despite all his scars...mostly because it doesn't seem right for him to be alive without her. It has this excellent buildup throughout the song, a chugging and undeniable push towards the final verse. Everything gets more and more tense as the song progresses, the music gains power and volume, and everything explodes at the end of the final verse in a terse, powerful electric guitar solo. That solo, that payoff, makes the entire song worth the wait.

Okay, that's enough musical musings. to some Dylan. Now.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

And It's Up

Monkey's comic is now up. Dunno what was up with auto-updating, but it's there. Enjoy.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Day Of Rest

Happy Labor Day, folks (or Labour for our non-US readers. Personally, I'm with you guys, but that may just be the result of reading too many English history books and being a complete Anglophile, which has nothing to do with an unhealthy obsession with angles, before you ask). It's a day off for those of us around here, though really I don't do much on days when I do work, so it's not all that much different.

Comic-wise, of course, we're not taking a break. We here at Dim Bulb don't stop for anything (well, except for a broken hand...and then we just cut and paste)! Part of me feels I need a bit of a break, 'cause it's been tough bringing the funny of late (though I am pleased with the comics I've done...just seems more like work than fun of late, y'know?). Might take a break after the next storyline...or I might find something that jumpstarts my creativity again and just plow straight through. I don't like the idea of drawing feeling like an obligation, 'cause I feel my work gets subpar when that's the case, but at the same time I don't want to go on the dreaded hiatus (a word anathema to the webcomics community, if not necessarily to all webcomic artists). Anyway, we'll just have to see.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Holy. Freakin'. Geez.

Take a look at this and tell me it doesn't astound you.

As of the time of this writing, the sketch was going for $7,600. It was only $5,400 when I first looked at it five hours earlier.

Honestly, anyone who doubts the power of Penny Arcade need look no further than this. All the proceeds from the auction are going to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. There's plenty of other evidence, of course: PAX, their successful gaming expo (which just completed it's ridiculously successful second year), Child's Play, their annual Christmas toy drive that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in videogames and systems in the past two years...these guys are just a presence. I actually saw a PA shirt earlier when I was at Borders. The only other webcomic shirt I've ever seen out in the world was a guy at OU who had a Diesel Sweeties t-shirt.

These guys are powerful, and not only have they made a living playing games, talking about games, and drawing funny pictures, they've shared in their good fortune. Whether you actually like PA or not, you have to admit they've got their act together and are definitely using their influence in some positive ways. My hat is off to them.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Money Blues

So I was looking at my finances (which didn't take nearly as long as one would hope), and discovered that I am, for all intents and purposes, really broke. Like really broke. And I don't get paid by either of my jobs until the beginning of October (a month away for the calendar-challenged among you).

This is, as you can imagine, something of a problem. I know my roommates would really appreciate it if I gave them some rent money sometime in the future. They'd prefer it if I gave them rent money in the near future, actually. Like before October. But I don't see how that can happen.

But I had an idea. Not one that will raise enough for me to pay all my rent, of course, but one which ought to net me a little money (maybe) and at least allow me to make a down-payment on rent: commissions.

Admittedly, I'm not even sure if anyone out there would pay me for something I've drawn. I did caricatures at Ozarks once at an organization fair (we had a Dim Bulb table...this was back when Dim Bulb was still a monthly print comic, mind you, and we'd distribute about 100 copies of it free to the small Arkansan campus in the space of a few days) for a couple bucks a pop, and those seemed to go over well. I like to think my art has improved since then.

So I figured I'd see if anyone was interested in this sort of thing. If so, drop me a line (crookedhalo42 @ We can discuss what you want, price, etc.

I know I can't make a lot of money at this--after all, we're only a very small webcomic in a very large internet--but maybe I can make a little extra. And as difficult as it is to survive without a paycheck, every little bit helps.


Song of the Moment: Pink Floyd, "Money"