For this strip, it wasn’t my confidence in my drawing that abandoned me, but in my writing. I definitely thought, well, this is what I’ve got. Again, the problem of working with no cushion reared its ugly head.
I knew I wanted Mike to be filling out an online survey about his life philosophy somehow, so I sketched him in the first panel in then copied and pasted it in the other panels. I didn’t really have a punch line, though, so my confidence was not high:
I hadn’t really figured out the wording yet, nor had I figured out how Mike would look really in the last panel, but I knew I wanted him at the computer, so that’s where I started. I would then ink each figure separately. I normally don’t copy and paste the inks if I can help it. For some arbitrary reason, at least for Pirate Mike, that’s where I try to draw the line.
I ended up here (as you may well know):
I still don’t think I have a proper “punch” here at the end, but I still find it humorous, though I can’t entirely say why. The fact that I can’t entirely account for why I find something funny really bothers me. Somehow, if it is funny, but I can’t account for it, then it happened by accident. But then again, I tend to overanalyze things and I’ve been told that such overanalysis kills humor. So rather than saying the strip just doesn’t work, I’m going to say that I just don’t want to overanalyze it! 🙂
I think that Pirate Mike’s reaction in that last panel is also me kind of looking into the camera going, “Um, so, uh, funny? Haha?” As was pointed out by faithful reader Dust Bunny Mafia, perhaps Mike should be more aggravated in this last panel. Maybe that’s why he wasn’t. But there’s also an element of, rats, they finally got me!
I’m not really sure how to characterize his reaction other than the way somebody else did: uh oh. I don’t know why, but I really liked him just kind of looking at us in a “can you believe this?” way. It’s also a little bit of “wow, so they really _are_ watching us!”
I think I may have had it in mind, too, the recent news stories about tv sets and computers that are somehow “listening” to us even when they’re turned off! Whoops. Privacy issues galore.
I particularly enjoy the “Congratulations!” portion. I’m often struck by how often I’m “congratulated” by some huckster who just fleeced me: “Congratulations! You’re a sucker! You just bought _another_ overpriced product that won’t live up to our promises!”
I also like that Pirate Mike sees his piracy and mutiny as a philosophy or lifestyle: Pirate Power! I think I may use this again at some point in the future. Perhaps the next time I’m about to buy some stupid product I don’t need, I’ll mutiny in my own little way and leave it on the shelf.
See you Friday for some more new Mike!