Perhaps the best part about doing this comic is learning so much about how to make a comic actually work. We’ve stated before about how this is our first web comic, but we had been tackling the idea of making our comics four years ago.
At the time, we were bouncing ideas off each other and doing a lot of experimental comic layouts and stories. What we quickly learned was how hard it is to make just a plain old comic. Basically a lot of stuff we were coming up with just wasn’t ready and was lacking certain essentials. Things like gutters, panel size, word balloons, font style, font size, character space, texture, thickness of line, eye flow, hierarchy, focus of composition, word choice, build up, punch lines, pay offs and visual jokes are the sorts of things we never took the time to consider until we tried doing them. And we are still learning as we go. But it’s really fun that way because we are learning the rules and tying different things here and there.
Characters also take a lot of effort and time to develop. And we are definitely not masters of the trade. Good characters can be placed in almost any situation and deliver delight to the audience. We felt confident about the personalities of Emo Caveman and Chillaxasloth by the time “What Dreams are Made of” came along. The surreal juxtaposition of Emo Caveman as something he would never be (a successful business man) and Chillaxasloth as his wife is an image that begs to be seen. I don’t know why this scenario works for these characters but it just does.
Originally this particular strip had Emo Caveman waking up out of bed smiling and then meeting wife Chillaxasloth in the kitchen. Later this was changed to having him getting ready in the bathroom and watching his own reflection, smiling confidently. There was a desire to avoid confusion from the reader when Emo Caveman wakes up from bed. We didn’t want people thinking he was smiling for a different reason (ahem). It was also important that we see that he’s smiling because he is excited about the rest of the day, so the mirror and the bathroom were more complimentary to the story. Although there is the chance we might have sacrificed a neat parallel between Emo Caveman waking up in the first panel happy and glad and the dismay he expresses in the final panel waking from what he believes to have been a nightmare.