Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Cartoons - How Much Do You Need To Draw?

Introduction

As many would agree, we approximate and simplify for lots of reasons. And the same is true when drawing, adding excessive detail doesn't improve the overall image, especially if they're too small to be seen clearly. Similarly the detail might be not visible at all, it may be concealed in darker areas or partially obscured by closer objects. As the artist we know the particulars are there, but we also know the brain does a great job in filling-in the missing parts. So, we tend to ignore the desire to make it "perfect", but not just because it's a waste of time and effort.

Art's all about interpretation, if we wanted an exact image we'd take a photo! But even a skilled photographer will typically reduce the depth of field to blur out the background and remove detail from that part of the image. It's all about instructing the viewer in a subconscious way what's important, and telling them which elements they should be looking at. (Yes, we manipulate!!)

Keeping It Clean

It's quite obvious when cartooning that details are missing, it's why we see so many good examples with just plain white backgrounds. The drawing is all about driving your idea, so if it doesnt support that, or add required context then it's just getting in the way. You need to get your idea over quickly and efficiently, not "turn-off" your reader by making them read or view extra elements that might confuse or detract from the main idea. It's worth considering that you're not just giving yourself extra work if you take things too far!

By way of example let's consider my quick christmas comic that I created the other day..

Seasons Greetings - Area 5.1 From Christmas Day
It's quite a simple idea, but it had a few problems that needed fixing before I could use it. Let's take it apart and I'll run through my thought processes.

Seasons Greetings - Step By Step

1. The most important thing is that the salt and pepper pots are recognisable, and because I'd used the Area 5.1 character colours there was real danger that they looked too much like the LGM's (little green men). The shape is very similar, they have recognisable mouths, but they're just missing limbs and eyes.

After I'd added the mouths, I started to think that pot holes weren't enough. They had turned into simplified versions of the Area 5.1 characters and lost too much of their condiment identity.


Seems to be neither one thing or another
OK, I could have written "Salt" on the left one, and "Pepper" on the right, but that's way too blunt for me. What I needed was context,.. show where they belong and the brain removes any ambiguity. But what should I draw?

The main place you'd expect to see these guys is on a dinner table, but I didn't want to draw a gingham tablecloth in perspective and then have to consider how much of the table should be included. No, I needed a single object that was immediately recognisable to add the missing reference point.

2. I started out trying mustard pots and gravy boats, but once you'd placed them behind, partially obscured they lost their identity. In the end I opted for the Heinz ketchup bottle with it's traditional bottle shape and it's distinct label. The latter giving me some scope for customisation, allowing me to replace the brand name and alter a few of the smaller details.


The missing context

BUT, I heard you cry, "Surely you're adding details by doing this!!"....

....well that's just the thing, because the brand is so recognisable your brain doesn't focus on it. It tells you "that's ketchup" and then moves on. Hopefully you now see a table because the raised position of the bottle implies perspective.

3. That was pretty much it - I avoided shadows on the table top and kept the shading subtle to make your brain to do more work. Also, I knew I was going to add the speech bubble in ComicLife so I just needed something that screamed christmas. So I added the christmas bells and then considered whether I needed to added the comic title to the image too.

As it was an exercise in brevity I decided to keep it simple. The title (which is the joke), is on the web page only. I'm still divided on whether this was the correct thing to do.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Drawing A Crowd - Christmas Style

Introduction

Well if you remember my Christmas Challenge posting from the other week well you're perhaps aware that I've not yet delivered anything on my promise. But, that's not to say I haven't been working on it. Of course life tends to get in the way but I have (honestly) been drawing a lot more again since I've been in better spirits. And true to my often supressed desires, there's a fair amount of detailed work gone into this one.

OK, I set the bar quite high for myself wanting to put my characters into a room full of Santas, but I wasn't quite sure how to go about it.

Don't Crowd Me!

The first thing you do is look to see how other people do crowds, but it soon became apparent that it wasnt a crowd that I wanted! Take a look at the following..

I found Tom Richmond's article which describes a common way to go about it. It is in this simple example just a sea of faces...
Constructing a crowd scene tutorial
It works quite well, but it just wouldn't work in my cartoon frame because the angle is wrong. Also I wanted to focus on what the crowd was wearing, the faces aren't actually that important. Anyway, have a read of the article because there's some interesting points that will help you get a more natural looking crowd (if that's the style you're after).

What I was actually after was a room of socialising santas with a smattering of elves, just to balance out the numbers. I was going to have to do it the hard way. So before I type much else I'll show you what I produced.

The completed crowd scene

Disecting the Scene

I know we all draw using layers, but it I think helps to considering the concept of simple layer elements as a solution before you start drawing. A bit vague?.. well hopefully this will make sense...

  1. The obvious first layer is the foreground holding our two LGM characters dressed in their festive costume. This is the easy bit, it was simply a case of finding some old artwork and overpainting a santa suit and an elve outfit. (yes I'm recycling 😉)
  2. The next layer back isn't quite so obvious, but it's all the other santas. It's built using a number of overlapping santas (I traced some from examples I found on the web) and added some of my own. I found that the further back examples only required a head or a hat to fill in the spaces, and it soon started to give the impression of a party. Finally to help establish perspective I added the tiled floor to help draw your eyes back and deepen the room.
  3. Next step was to add the columns and the tree layer to balance out the top of the frame and establish a midrange backdrop. It also helps lend the idea that they're somewhere quite grandiose.
  4. Finally after adding a graduated floodfill background, I traced a room outline and selectively thinned out and erased sections of line to reduce its impact. I only wanted it to suggest a shape, not take your attention.

Busy Busy Busy

The problem you can find with a busy image like this is your main characters from layer 1 can get lost in the santas in layer 2. I used two methods to help here...
  1. Choose your positioning of santas in layer 2 so that nothing 'binds' with the details on layer 1. This is more of a problem with the LGM wearing the red outfit. I could have chosen to use more elves behind him, but I wanted the party to be composed primarily of santas. Keep them all on separate layers at first so you can keep moving them around and rescaling them as you build up the crowd.
  2. Thicken the black outline on layer 1. I know it sounds a bit heavy handed (excuse the pun) but in practice it's just enough to help keep the two layers distinct.
Finally because this frame will be used for a cartoon, leave space (or keep detail minimal) for speech bubbles and logos. Here there is space top and bottom where nothing important would be lost.

Update: 28/12/2016 - http://area5-1.webcomic.ws/comics/55/ 

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Christmas gifts #2



 Number two for the Christmas gag challenge...

The idea seemed so obvious, I couldn't believe no-one had done it before. But I liked it so much, I deliberately didn't Google 'santa called while you were out' until after I'd drawn it, and then when I did, I couldn't find anything similar. I'm sure there must be, but if there is, it wasn't a deliberate copy.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Christmas gifts #1

This is the first of my Christmas ideas.

It's riffing on the theme of men thinking it's OK to buy household appliances as Christmas gifts. And lingerie which satisfied his fantasies rather than hers.

It's always difficult to know exactly how far to anthropomorphise these characters (ie the mention of vacuuming and cooking etc is going pretty far) and more importantly being consistent with that. The joke tends to come first and I'm not really thinking about how human they are, what they can do and what they can't. I'm not sure whether all that is important or not.

Also - I'm not sure whether this belongs in the x-rated ones, or the mainstream ones - what do you think?

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

I'm much happier with my jokes but they're not coming as frequently.


 The challenge here was how to set this out. I like to work in one frame if possible. But there's just too much speech for a single frame.

The dramatic pause added a lot, I felt, so I went for it and made three frames. I've used the pause once before, I like it but don't want to use it very often.

I like the joke (the one in the last frame, not the yo mama joke which is only there to set things up) and it's interesting that this is easy to do with a static cartoon (because of the speech bubbles pointing to the speaker - or at least where the sound is allegedly coming from) but wouldn't be possible any other way, animation with sound for example.


Monday, 12 December 2016

Christmas Cartoon Challenge

It's only a couple of weeks to the big day, and I'm sure we can come up with a christmas gag each. And, it's been a month or so since I drew an Area 5.1 so I'm more than due an update.

But as per my halloween cartoon I need to come up with something with an original idea that fits the normal A5.1 humour pattern.

So what have we got to work with:-
  • Elves (that's a possible, they look like small vulcans)
  • Gifts (well it'd be rude not to)
  • Stockings
  • Christmas tree (I always like the idea of showing something identifiable from a distance and then on closer inspection it's something unexpected, so that's a possible)
  •  Santa (seems a little too obvious, but maybe he has to be there even if a cameo)
  • Typical celebration foods and drinks. (turkey or brussle sprouts anyone?)
I think we tend to think of christmas in terms of how our country celebrates, but it might be nice to consider how something like christmas might happen on another world.

OK so there's lots of possibles, are you with me on this Shiela?

Monday, 28 November 2016

In the very first post on this blog, Ricks spoke about shadows, but despite that, for a year my sheep have floated in the air.

At various times I've tried various ways to add a shadow and put their feet on the ground. But nothing's really worked, especially when they had no hooves.

The other day I tried this and quite like it:

It's very subtle but it's meant to be. Hopefully no-one will notice it, but it'll just indicate subconsciously that they girls are firmly planted on the grass.

Does it work? Does it highlight the fact that they only have two legs, and look a bit odd for that reason? Does it look odd that there's a shadow there but nowhere else?



Friday, 25 November 2016

Posting pictures of your dinner

I left Facebook. Maybe I'm a grumpy old stick but I truly believe that no-one really likes to look at pictures of other people's babies, cats and dinners. (Don't get me started on "like and share if..."). Anyway. When I imagined what a sheep's dinner would look like if posted on social media, that made me chuckle because of course it would be just a green square. 

The second panel is obviously a Facebook screenshot with some photoshopping. The first frame is a stock image of two sheep. The speech bubble and frames took no time at all.

The line about something truly remarkable getting 3 likes but a picture of breakfast getting lots isn't original but I saw it done very well recently - can't credit that artist because I don't know who they are, but thank you, mystery cartoonist.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Throwback Thursday - comparison one year on

 This is the second 'throwback Thursday'. I've gone to the very first cartoon, the one that started it all. I was then using pen and paper and scanning that in. They were originally deliberately crude in style (that's my story). They look so different now.

 The style has become more refined. I've experimented with more detail and some colour, but I really like the "cloud on two sticks" style that I started with and don't want to let that go.

 This has a surreal aspect to it (mixing sheepy things and human things for an absurd result) that I really liked, but haven't always kept sight of.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

This is the world we live in folks.

I was pleased to get back to a single-framer.

As far as the drawing goes, it's very lazy, I only had to add eyebrows to a 'stock' frame. I decided to write the word 'sarcastic' into the bubble because I wasn't sure that it was clear enough that she isn't being serious about changing her name. Or maybe that's spelling it out a bit too much? (pun intended!)

This one was inspired by a true story (or at least something I read on Wikipedia). I fell off my chair laughing at the tale of guitarist Rik Emmett changing the spelling of his name after it was misspelled on the cover of Triumph's first album. "...rather than have the album recalled or cause confusion with fans..." That's very accommodating of him. When I told my mum this story, she said "it could have been worse" which made me laugh even harder than I did at the original story.

A search of the web for possible misspellings of 'Yvonne' turned up a page of gaffes by Starbucks employees. I wonder how that Yvonne felt about having Evan written on her cup?

As humans, the lazier of us are pretty prone to making compromises or workarounds rather than properly fixing our own mistakes, hence Maureen jumping at the chance to avoid her paperwork.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Watch & Learn

Area 5.1 Comic - Watch & Learn

I genuinely am intrigued by my Tomtom fitness watches ability to monitor sleep. It has a heart rate monitor that shines a light onto my wrist to pick up blood pulses, but over night this sensor isn't lit. Right now I have no idea how it works.

It's seemed to me the basis of a cartoon, and all I needed was a punchline.

Area 5.1 - Watch & Learn (5th Nov 2016)

To the Punch

My working punchline was,...

LGM1: "It even tells me how much sleep I'm getting, but I have no idea how it knows"
LGM2: "You'd better not wear it at work then"

In retrospect it didnt feel like a very good joke, so I went with something inspired by snoring. And for a watch loaded with sensors I think it's a better idea.

Drawing Style

I'm sticking with the two-tone shading, and this time I went slightly bolder. It gives the impression of them standing in a harsher light. I went with an empty background because it didnt feel important, and it gives it a very clean style. The only difference from a normal set of LGM's was the inclusion of the headband.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Throwback Thursday #1

This is the first 'throwback Thursday'. This is a rework of one of my favourite Yvonne cartoons, not the first but very early. The original is #4, here.
I've not changed the text at all, I really like the joke and I still think it's worded well. The surreal element is a style I really wanted to run with, maybe I've lost sight of that a little. It's the drawing style that I wanted to update here. My early drawings look very crude now. It's been a year, I'm looking forward to looking back on this one in a year's time.

I've also changed the layout. For two frames I used to place them horizontally adjacent, but I've since found that the vertical scroll works well.

Reworking some of the older ones also gives some of the older cartoons another airing. I'm planning to revisit one of the early cartoons each thursday.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Rainbow poop

The lastest Yvonne was inspired by seeing some messy berry-coloured bird-poop splattered around the place. The thought of it coming out of our birds like stripey toothpaste amused me!

My initial sketch had a single square frame divided diagonally. (I still feel an urge to fit each into a single square frame if I can because that was my original vision for this cartoon) But there's something to be gained from seeing the first frame and taking that in, before scrolling down and seeing the 'reveal'.

Drawing trees / hedges bearing fruit using the very simple style I've established was the hard part and It certainly could be better.

Monday, 31 October 2016

Happy Hallowe'en

This is my Halloween effort. I'm completely baffled by the fact that Americans seem to be treating the thing as a big fancy dress party, and any character, however benign, seems to be acceptable.

I didn't want to spend too much time on this, and I'm pleased with the result given that I simply sketched the kids with one eye on some reference pictures (of the actual characters) on another screen. Then lined them in and coloured them. It only took an hour or two altogether.
I can't remember what I originally thought of as the caption - some kind of rant like 'when did Halloween turn into one big fancy dress party?' But then I thought about the kids 'terrorising' people like me who just want a peaceful evening, and the quote from Thriller (read by Vincent Price) came to mind. That seemed to make a new joke, that these 'orrible kids are the new demons of this traditional old feast day. Not a great joke, more of a ranty observation, but that's what 'Observing' is for.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Gone but not forgotten

I've been struggling with this one for a while. I've had the joke written down, but it requires a farmer. (The cartoons have referred to the farmer before, but never human figures). I've been drawing humans for 'Observing' for a while, and getting more confident with all that. But given that my sheep are extremely minimalist (a cloud on two sticks, with a U for a face and dots for eyes) then the farmer had to be almost as basic. After some abandoned attempts, and some Googling for reference pictures I think I've got there. Either way I'm really happy with him.
I'd love to have coloured his wellies green. That looked good, but it also looked odd because his hat, face, bucket weren't coloured. Plus, the joke revolves around his sweater. To have that alone in colour  worked better than anything (a genuine bit of fair-isle pasted in - that looked much better than my attempts to colour the jumper myself).

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Technology

I'm particularly pleased with this one, for a number of reasons
- I've managed 3 Yvonnes and an Observing in one week, without spending excessive time, which is a level I'd like to maintain if possible.

- I'm particularly pleased with the joke. Maybe in a self-satisfied kind of way (no activity on Tapastic so far) but that's ok - I'm only in this to please myself.

- I feel that my drawing is becoming a bit more natural. I didn't spend excessive time, producing this whole thing in an hour or two (ok, it may show - parts could certainly be improved) but I want to be able to get good results without too much mucking about, not spending hours agonising over the details.

- I also feel my drawing is coming a little more easily. This time I traced nothing, just called up some reference pictures on one screen, while sketching on another. I couldn't find Batman at the right angle and used my little wooden mannequin and my own hands for the pose.





Saturday, 22 October 2016

nosey neighbours

It occurred to me that we haven't seen Gerald for a while.

At the beginning, I liked the idea of having a bunch of named characters with different personalities (even though they'd mostly look the same). But that seemed like a lot of thought and I didn't bother making any notes, but it has naturally happened. When the book gets underway, it'll contain a 'who's who'.

Alpaca are often used as guard animals. For that reason, Gerald is the chairman of the neighbourhood watch committee, and he takes his job very seriously. And looking a little geeky (as they do) seeing him being abandoned by his friends is funny in a slightly sad way.
This little story is based on the idea that some people may enjoy the 'watching' part of neighbourhood watching a little too much. Perfect job for a nosey neighbour maybe.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Stuck between two variations

This is the old excuse, "no thanks, I'm washing my hair" when you want the other person to know that you'd rather poke your own eyes out.



In the first, the sheep has just been shorn. An old joke ("I'm washing my hair", when the speaker doesn't have any).

In the second, the sheep obviously has a lot of hair, so probably will be genuinely spending a long time washing and drying it. (those of us who wash sheep's fleece know that it takes days to dry.)

Which is funniest??


SaveSave

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Halloween - Barber'ism

Area 5.1 Comic - Barber'ism

It's a daft play on words I know, but that's the sort of thing to expect from me. Coming up with the title is something that I've always considered to be worth a bit of thought.

My level of work has dropped considerably while my life is in crisis mode, but I still have the drawing bug and work *has* to get out there. I started this a couple of weeks ago aiming for a topical event, but this time I gave myself plenty of time to finish it (rather than thinking of an idea that day).


Monsters -vs- Aliens

Yeah it sounds like a video game franchise, but it occured to me that who's to know what's alien and what's monster! I guess it comes down to point of view and level of fright/fear. So this cartoon revolves around the notion of something that appears to be harmless which then turns into a monster when our LGM's they make the wrong assumption.

Area 5.1 - Barber-ism (18th Oct 2016)

I chose a barber shop because I wanted it to look like a jack-o-lantern had been placed on a false torso as a halloween gag. It made sense that much of the detail should be covered over and I couldn't think of anywhere better.

This comic page link is here --- http://area5-1.webcomic.ws/comics/53/

Mirror Mirror

One of my challenges here was the mirror behind the barbers chair. I ended up taking a copy of the main image, reversing the order of the pumpkin and chair, altering the chair so it looked like the back, and then copying it back into the mirror frame.

I'm not sure I did myself any favours, it was a bit of extra work, but I didnt see how I could show a barber shop without attempting at least one mirror.

Two-Tone Shading

I had a few issues with differing shading styles at first, I've not long since moved from flat colour to two tone shading, and I had a fair amount of graduation shading in the mix (too much in fact). I reworked a lot of it, but there are still elements where the styles don't quite match.

It's still a learning game for me - figuring out how to "two tone" was enough of a problem, and I'm still not confident that I'm doing it right. I imagined a point on all surfaces where a line can be thought of sitting at least 45 degrees to the right of dead front. And then I went over areas where shadows might be cast from arms etc. (But the LGM's still seem a little too flat)

Falling leaves

While watching leaves falling yesterday it was pretty easy to imagine them piling up, covering the ground, thus making it difficult for our sheepy friends to graze. More difficult was coming up with just the right form of words, but this is what I decided on.
As R1ck knows, I'm pretty keen on using pen & paper. But when I started drawing the leaves, I realised that this would have been impossible without copy and paste! (or at least I wouldn't have had the patience).


Tuesday, 18 October 2016

A greetings card

I decided to make a 'well done' card for a couple of people and came up with this drawing
I'm really pleased with the drawing, it was under pressure and done in a few minutes; it's better than what I was doing even a few months ago.

It works very well for the card (and I may publish it as it is on the Cafepress site as a greetings card), but I'm not sure whether I can publish it as it is on Yvonne's page.

The style is exactly as I was drawing in the very early days - some incongruous objects and a short caption. But I do feel I've moved on from that now, I nearly always use speech balloons and a verbal exchange between characters.

The caption was originally 'Overachiever' which was perhaps funnier, but not suitable for the card as that word has negative connotations. I changed it to Above and Beyond which means the same thing but in a much more positive way. Maybe 'Overachiever' works better as a cartoon for the site? Or maybe a funny comment or better caption will occur to me. Feel free to make suggestions.


Sunday, 16 October 2016

Casting

I probably shouldn't post the actual image here, it's the first time I've had to use Tapastic's NSFW filter, which I'm quite pleased about.  (cartoon is here)



It looks scribbled - there are two reasons. I had the idea after watching the particular scene in Game of Thrones, grabbed the nearest scrap of paper and scribbled it in pencil (in order to send to a friend and amuse her). Last night I scanned that into the computer and inked it in. But rather than use the tools I'm becoming familiar with, Im running the trial of Clip Studio and took the opportunity to try using that. It doesn't have SBP's 'steady stroke' tool (which I've come to rely heavily upon) which forced me to draw in a less careful way. My drawing skills still have a long way to go but I like the effect.

As far as the idea goes, after seeing the scene and referring to the book, it amused me that the character's manhood was probably more important to the casting than his face or ability to speak lines (the character is famous for getting by on a single word).


Friday, 14 October 2016

looking back, looking forward

Looking back over some previous posts on this blog, things have moved on considerably in a remarkably short time.

A year ago I was only just setting out on my Yvonne journey, and I've just published #108
Sometimes I've set out wanting to express some kind of message (read: have a rant). This one is unusual in that since drawing it I've been struggling to find my position on the matters within. It started out as a skit on the old sexist 'make us a cup of tea, love' and I suppose for comedy value I looked for the unexpected turn.

I'm not saying that being submissive to bad behaviour should be rewarded, and I'm not having a go at the feminist.

If anything, I suppose my position is that it's good to have principles, but sometimes sticking to them can be counter-productive.

It was very quick to produce; largely a 'copy and paste' job, with a bit of rubbing out and an extra few lines (the heart and the tails).

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Building a Web Comic (Part 1)

This is my first post of the year, so happy belated new year. I've been pretty busy putting together a new comic, which has taken a lot of time and mind-space. But it's been an interesting experience, so I thought it would be good to blog about it.

Coming up with an Idea

The whole thing was inspired by Shiela's Yvonne comic, which is always a single frame with a simple sheep drawing. It goes a long was to show that simple doesn't mean less.

It got me thinking that I should try something similar, and came up with the idea to parody or lampoon the idiocy and non-sense of modern life using aliens. I started out by making a list of the things that annoy me, things I find stupid, or things that I think are just wrong. But it's funny,.. at first I couldn't think of anything for my list. It was as though I was suddenly the most content person in the world. (and I knew that wasn't the case!!)

So I did a few google searches to find what other people find annoying, and all those repressed irritations came flooding back to me. Now when something that happens that makes me angry I make a note it on my phone for later.

Designing the Characters

Initially I set about drawing possible alien designs and we blogged about this last month...

My blog from 23rd Dec
Shiela's blog from 26th Dec

We came up with a few good ideas, but nothing really hit my remit of being really simple to draw. After-all Yvonne was just a cloud shape, with a few lines for legs, and a T shaped head. If I couldn't keep the design as simple as possible the drawing overhead would be too high to sustain.

A week or so later (after a bit more thought), I came up with a really simple design which was really just a face with arms and legs with eyes on stalks. This would enable me to focus on facial expression, dialogue and minimal props.
My initial alien design I drew on my iPad

Developing the Character

At this stage it seemed like I had everything in place to make a start, but it's best to spend a little time re-drawing your character, using different mouths and eyes (because it's mainly these two things that carry the expressions). My idea was that if I put together a "kit" of body parts then either of us could build comics using as standard file and they're look pretty consistent.

Not having done much cartoon work I found some facial expression cheat sheets on Pinterest that really helped. Soon I had half a dozen mouths and eyes which I thought would be a good start.

A selection of eyes

A selection of mouths
And then I added all of the other body parts to see the completed alien, and to check that it all works together.
The completed alien

Developing an Idea

The next bit requires quite a bit of thought... how do you turn a simple list of things you hate into something funny? We found in practice that the existence of the list started ideas bouncing back and forth, initially by email. But ideas were then scattered about emails, so I moved the list to a shared folder in google drive and we started entering comments and counter-ideas directly. (It really helps to have somebody to discuss your ideas with)

For example we'd start out with a simple bullet point...
  • dog poo on the paths 
I then came up with an idea for a series of frames..

2 Aliens walking dog like things - one is clearly huge (you only see the lead running upwards)
1st Alien (with big dog) “Do you ever not clear up afterwards?”
2nd Alien “Well, if nobody’s watching I just leave it”
1st Alien “I find somebody always notices” - Picture a huge dump with legs towering above it. 

Shiela then added her comments in purple..
This is really funny. But the laugh for me was at the start when you described the lead going up in the air implying a massive dog. The line about clearing up is very funny, but then it lost me - I don’t think it needs any more because it’s implied, or people have already jumped to their own conclusion

And then I replied in blue.. 
Yeah, you’re right, it doesn’t need that last picture.

I now had the basis for my first cartoon strip which would consist of 3 frames and the dialogue listed in my original idea. In the next part I will take you through how to pull the idea together, and finalising the design as a comic strip.