Otter Disaster Designs - Pop Culture Themed T-Shirts

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Context is Everything #33: Amanita Minute

Another horrible pun...I'm sorry.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Four Bitstrips Creators You Should Check Out

I post a lot about comic creation site Bitstrips, and for good reason.  It's a ton of fun to make comics, it's a great creative outlet, and there is an awesome, creative community there.  I try to do at least one strip a week, outside of Major Spoilers Adventures, but am not as prolific as I'd like to be just because of personal time constraints, work, life, writer's block, etc. I've posted a lot of my own comics here, but today I want to show some of the creators that I really like.

This is by no means an all inclusive list of great creators, just the ones that I thought of today as I was putting this post together. Here are four Bitstrips authors whose work inspired, influenced or impressed me along with some of my favorite series of theirs:

1. Playtime with Perko by Uzi Bazooka

Very cool character designs in simple (but brilliant) microadventures. Uzi Bazooka uses a masterful storytelling style with minimal dialog to tell sweet, surreal, and funny tales. Uzi was my original friend on Bitstrips' social networking component.  Always encouraging to new users, he's also one of the site's most prolific creators.  He is also the bane of any trolls who find their way to the site.

Check out just a few of his many, many series: Average Joe (not for the faint of heart or easily offended) and 1-800-LUNATIC.

2. Boom Times By BoomMike

My personal favorite strip by Bitstrips master and all around nice guy, BoomMike.  Mike makes great characters, and uses Bitstrips to it's fullest for really great layouts in all his strips, but it really shines in this series.  The story is really great as well, as Boom is used as a pawn in a surreal and conspiratorial game where he has to learn the rules as he goes. It's very funny and suspenseful too.

The Skiordians from this series were the inspiration for Major Spoilers Adventures housekeeper, Edna.

Also check out Producteria, and one of Bitstrip's longest running and most acclaimed series, Local Patrol.

3. Art House Movie by ogreoregon

A fun little limited series that riffs on noir movies.  Only 15 episodes.  Ogre is a great Bitstripper with an eye for detail, effects and lighting.  She makes wonderful use of the available props to bring all sorts of wonderful things to life.

Also Check out Life in Asteroid City, and Joe's Meat Bar

4. What Makes Acea, 'Acea' by Acea

One of Bitstrips' original bio-comics, Acea tells tales from his youth that made him the person he is today.  Very personal stories, funny and often sad, are coupled with a 'soundtrack'.  Each strip has a song title and artist attached to it that sets the mood of that portion of the tale.  Kicked off a whole bio-comic fad on the site after it first appeared.

Acea has been doing short stories, told in 12 installments. Check out 12 Strip - All Beauty, No Brains... and
12 Strip - I Hate This Comic Shop

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Schoolhouse Rock! Fan Portal: Lolly, Lolly, Lolly Get Your Adverbs Here!

Cafe Press, home of Otter Disaster Designs, is continuing the ABC/Schoolhouse Rock promotion, allowing Cafe Press Shop owners to create designs based the beloved educational cartoons of the 1970s. Here is my offering, a two-sided shirt advertising Lolly's Inc. the Adverb selling establishment in Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here:

Here is the Original Video:

Context is Everything #32: The Write to Refuse Service

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Bitstrips: New Builder Features Fully Pose-able Characters

Early on April 1st the Bitstrips Comic Builder started bringing in characters with nothing but stick figures for bodies.  Upon further investigation it was revealed that these stick figures were pose-able limb by limb outside the standard Bitstrips poses usually available.  A long awaited feature was being unleashed!

Bitstrippers the site over build dozens and dozens of stick figure strips with characters in all sorts of fantastic poses.  I myself created this simple Cowboy vs. Clown strip:

It was done in anticipation of the ability to create decent fight scenes, something that was very tough to do in the then current builder.  Later that day characters started appearing fully fleshed out, and still pose-able!:

As I pondered the possibilities of this fantastic development I began thinking about the importance of body language in communication, and how it is a powerful tool in comics.  Body language can convey a lot of information wordlessly.  I built this simple strip to show some of the possibilities:

I was also lucky enough to have it placed on the Editor's Pick page which hasn't happened to one of my strips in quite some time. I can't wait to exploit this new tool, and give my characters more 'character'.

Past Disasters