Tag Archives: comic-strip

The Ultimate Far Side Comic Strip Set

Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

I am a fan of both comic books and The Far Side, so purchasing this collector’s set made perfect sense!

Gary Larson calls The Complete Far Side, the massive two-volume collection of his Far Side cartoons, an “18-pound hernia giver.” Sure to give any coffee table a solid workout, the handsome and heavy 1,272-page “legacy book” is a must for fervent fans; over 4,300 single-panel comics with more than half in color and 1,100 that have not appeared in any book form before.

If you know of other cool or geeky comics I should own, please let me know!

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video:

Site Advice: BitStrips

I believe BitStrips.com will be acquired quickly, if another site doesn’t come along and provide a better (cleaner) user experience first. Out of the gate, they grabbed my attention – it’s easy enough to use, but it could do more.

  • I understand the social experience, but it’d be nice to easily export my creations to Flickr, Picasa, etc.
  • Once you create a character, and a person claims it – that character’s identity should be transfered to the new owner, not remain in your control. As it stands, I now have two Ponzi’s – and a few abandoned characters.
  • I need a random character generator. There are times when I need to choose “someone” for a gag, but don’t want it to be tied (necessarily) to someone’s social profile on-site.
  • If you didn’t already realize it, usability is somewhat of a mess. Controls are a bit clunky, and not always accurate. This is acceptable for now, since you’re one of the first sites to do something so… amazing. Watch out if a design-centric team comes along and trumps your toolset!
  • If you don’t want me to export images, and since you’re already based in Flash, why not animate through the gags and export video to YouTube? Let the artist define stop / focus points, then output the sequence to an MP4 that looks as though one created an entire Flash animation.
  • Send much more descriptive emails – why do I have to come to the site to see where I’ve been featured? Embed the strip within the email itself – you’re sending HTML email for other things. It’s a small pet peeve, especially when most of the comics my avatar is featured in aren’t all that creative or funny.
  • Have you considered private labeling your comic generating platform? I’m guessing quite a few big names would be interested in what you’ve got – but only for their own marketing needs.

The toughest part of using BitStrips is… being witty enough (the onus is most certainly on the writer, not the software). I’ve been waiting for what seems like 34 years for a tool like this.

How to Put Yourself and Friends in a Comic Strip

Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

I have always loved comic strips. However, there’s a problem. I cannot draw! Thankfully, I found BitStrips online. I can now easily create my own comics… for free! Bwana joined me on this video, and let me create “him” in cartoon form! Feel free to add me as a friend and use me in your own comic strip.

  • Imagination. The creator of a Bitstrips comic must have an imagination, to be able to create weird and wonderful comics. This imagination will help them to design new and different comics that are different than all the others. Without this key feature, the comics you create will probably be dull and boring, getting you no laughs or good comments.
  • Characters. Once you have taken the plunge and created a Bitstrips account, you will want to waste no time in making yourself some characters. I think it’s a good idea to create a lot of different characters, so that you can include new ideas quickly and easily. I also think that each character should have a main focal difference to the other characters you have created. This could range from a hat to a beard or maybe the hair style. Just remember to keep your characters cool, different and original.
  • Good story. This might seem an obvious point. Some people take too much time making new characters and giving them good poses and props. They then forget to make their comic funny and witty. A good idea would be to test it out on your friends and family before publishing your comic strip. This way you can gauge their reaction, and get feedback on possible improvements, prior to uploading it to the Internet.
  • Respect. I think this is one of the most important points. You must respect other people in your comics. There is no point in putting racially offensive content in your comic. No one will find it funny, and you will probably have your account banned. It’s best to keep your comics nice and clean.
  • Last but not least… enjoy yourself. That’s the whole point of making comics. You must enjoy yourself. If you follow these tips and have the same passion for comics that Chris and I both have, you will no doubt have a lot of fun on this site.


Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video:

Addicted to Comics

I couldn’t find proper sponsorship for bLaugh – and because of that, I haven’t been able to do a lot of things I had wanted to do with it. Brad is such an amazing artist, and without financial support – the comic’s publishing schedule relies largely on Brad’s time. We have close to 10,000 subscribers for it, so… we’re just trying to figure out where to go from here.

What attracts people to comics – on the Web, or otherwise? Is it the writing? Is it the artistry? Is it a perceived value? Is it a combination of all these things, or something else entirely? Is it timeliness, is it relevancy, is it… what?

Maybe it’s different for everyone.

One thing’s for sure – comic strips aren’t going away. I’m gonna continue to love ’em, I’m gonna continue to embed ’em, I’m gonna continue to write ’em, I’m gonna continue to do something with ’em.

The Real Reason Behind Digg's Bury Brigade

Now, that’s funny. 🙂 I’m not so sure about these others…

Blue Wife of Death


Apple Doesn't Stink

A page from Herstory

How to Create Your Own Comic Strip

One of my ‘Net friends sent me a social network invitation earlier today – but it wasn’t just any ol’ invite. The email came with a ‘Chris Pirillo’ comic caricature inline. I responded to the email asking how he did it – not realizing that it was generated through a site that apparently just launched: BitStrips.com.

Now, you know I’ve always been a fan of ComicLife.com (and yes, Plasq is a sponsor) – but this is a different kind of site / service / content generating application. Within minutes, I was creating my own comics. The advanced controls are a bit awkward, but it really is simple to figure out.

They want to drive traffic back to their own site, but I just downloaded the PNGs and uploaded ’em to my Flickr account. That’s what they should do on the backend, IMHO – because all of my friends already use Flickr. I did these three in succession of one another, after getting a “LOL” reaction from my chat room.


Dopey and Sneezy

Sneezy's Revenge

Ponzi Does Chris

We don’t have blue eyes, but… that makes it all the more creative, eh?

Comic Life for Windows Beta!

I’ve been waiting years for this moment! You can finally download the first beta of Comic Life for Windows.

Comic Life gives you a super-quick and easy way to create astounding comics, beautiful picture albums and enticing instruction booklets to name a few of the many possibilities.

Included are professional and fun templates, ready to drag and drop onto your page for instant attractive photo layouts. Or if you like to be in control, position your photos and panels how you like and save them for later use.

It’s one of those applications that you just… must… have.

My Favorite Portal: Protopage

I can’t think of the last time I set any site as my default “start page” (other than my own, or a local document of collected links and search fields). I was checking referral logs for bLaugh and noticed that Protopage and Netvibes kept popping up. I had visited each of them a while ago, but never really bothered to return to either – portal sites aren’t really my thing.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that our daily comic was toggled as a default widget on the primary Protopage tab! So, not only is Protopage the best designed AJAX portal, but it also has the best sense of humor. Okay, so maybe I’m a bit biased with the second claim – but it’s still incredibly thrilling to see just how many people have picked up on bLaugh since its launch a few months ago. Technorati reports that we’ve moved up to 831 (3,919 links from 1,353 blogs), though Hugh has been around substantially longer and has a insanely better numbers (and rightfully so).

Comic impressions are different than text impressions and/or video plays – just like most Web images (read: banners) have always been better played for branding purposes. For instance, there’s virtually no way of telling how many people read bLaugh on a daily basis through mass aggregation services like Protopage, Google Reader, Bloglines, etc. I can tell you one thing: I certainly welcome the use of our feed and/or API by any third-party. Brad and I have already been profitable with our madcapped adventure – without having to resort to venture comical capital. GoDaddy seems equally as happy! Move over, United Feature Syndicate and King Features Syndicate!

Comic Freeware

When we released the bLaugh API, I was hoping that some enterprising developer would use it to create something fun. Mike from Singer’s Creations just unleashed Comicazzi tonight. Essentially, it’s a desktop app that will let you drag and drop bLaugh comics onto your current wallpaper. If that doesn’t sound very exciting to you, I’ve suggested that the interactive comic viewer eventually include other Web comics – hence, the generic “Comicazzi” title. If you would like your comic to be included in the app, you’ll have to talk to Mike about it (and give him an easy way to access the images). I’ve also suggested that Comicazzi eventually call on the Flickr API to help people build dynamic wallpapers from Flickr iamges, too. Fun times! Download it!

Is This Offensive or Funny?

Okay, so… Brad and I released this comic on bLaugh today:

Another Explosive Situation

Should be chuckle-worthy, though it wasn’t the original strip. I showed another image to friends, with some of them suggesting that we hold it indefinitely – and others suggesting that we run it immediately. If you’re offended easily, you don’t want to see this: the comic we chose not to run.

Did we make the right decision in not running the original version? It’s culturally offensive (playing on stereotypes), but so are countless political cartoons these days. I personally think we did the right thing by going with the ski-masks. Last thing I’d ever want to do is incite an interracial (or international) incident.