Junior Mad Scientist – Lab Notes

Noble Failure #9, Part IV

October 31st, 2007 by Weber

bad kitty

NF#9: “Big Trouble, Part IV”
(click to download) (948KB)

Mr. Sprinkles finds out what happened to the cat. But what happens to Mr. Sprinkles?

This story is definitely trouble for the fuzzy detective. Big Trouble.

Check back in a week (more or less) for the ending.

And it ain’t a happy one, either.

Posted in 24-Hour Comics, Art, Comics, Stories, Writing | 2 Comments »

Noble Failure #9, Part III

October 11th, 2007 by Weber


NF#9: “Big Trouble, Part III”
(click to download)(1.25MB)

Add another ten pages to the story of Mr. Sprinkles’ search for the Little Girl’s vanished cat.

Fuzzy Noir at it’s finest!

Posted in 24-Hour Comics, Art, Comics, Stories, Writing | 1 Comment »

Noble Failure #9, Part II

September 30th, 2007 by Weber

NF#9: “Big Trouble, Part II”
(click to download) (521KB)

Posted in 24-Hour Comics, Art, Comics, Stories, Writing | 1 Comment »

Noble Failure #9, Part I

September 28th, 2007 by Weber

NF09: “Big Trouble, Part I”
(click to download) (740KB)

Posted in 24-Hour Comics, Comics, Stories, Writing | 2 Comments »

Noble Failure #9 — An update

September 28th, 2007 by Weber

Climb Mount Fuji,
O snail,
but slowly, slowly.

Kobayashi Issa (1763 -1827)

Some teaser art for the forthcoming NOBLE FAILURE #9.

The pages for the September attempt at a 24-Hour Comic are progressing, but slowly, slowly.

The hang-up has to do with working on the computer. The vector graphic program/drawing tablet combo are getting easier to use, however, I find myself tinkering with individual lines for long, long minutes to get the angle of an arm or just the right bend in a word balloon’s tail. I keep telling myself, It’s a word balloon! Let it go! but the program’s 2000% zoom and the ability to infinitely monkey/un-monkey with lines only feeds my compulsive compulsion to obsessively-compulse over every detail until it’s right. Right? RIGHT?!?

Well, that’s my neurosis, not mine (or mine), and clearly defeats the point of a 24-Hour comic.

But I’m happy with the eight pages done so far. It’s not often I can say that about my own work, so that’s at least something.

The wife and kid are off to Minnesota for a long weekend, leaving me here to work on more comic art and to pound away at a middle grade sci-fi/adventure/comedy I’ve been wrestling with.

I wonder which I’ll finish first.

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NOBLE FAILURE #8 (Another 24-Hour Comic)

September 12th, 2007 by Weber

NOBLE FAILURE #8 (August 2007)


(This probably should have been posted prior to my September attempt. Ran into some problems trying to layout the pages and get them converted to decent sized PDFs. Problems solved, thanks to the wife. See below.)

Noble Failure #8, Part I — “Monkeys On An Elevator
(click here to download PDF) (1.34MB)

Noble Failure #8, Part II — “Inter-Galactic Space Patrol”
(click here to download PDF) (1.6MB)

The August comic is — surprise, surprise! — another noble failure. I’m not even sure if they can be considered noble any more, just failures.

Don’t get me wrong: the stories are getting better and art is a little more serviceable, but I’m barely paying attention to the time requirements any more.

When I start these things, it’s with the full intent to do all 24 pages in 24 hours. But man, it’s getting rougher, even with all the household/baby wrangling support from the lovely and talented Stephanie. By hour 18, I’m pretty well fried.

I’m glad I’m doing this little project, and pleasantly surprised with most of the results. I’ll tell you what, though. I’m already looking forward to January.

The August issue started great: ten pages in eight hours. How awesome is that? Frickin’ awesome, if you ask me. Then things started to fall apart: Distractions, my perfection obsession — the usual.

I did get all 24 pages penciled in 24 hours, but then went back and did the inks.

Due to layout changes in the two stories, this issue is split into separate files.

Read. Enjoy. Comment.


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Noble Failure #7 (Another 24-Hour Comic)

July 19th, 2007 by Weber

NOBLE FAILURE #7 (July 2007) — Super Samurai Special!


Revenge Of The One-Arm Samurai
(click here to download PDF) (1.8MB)

The ink on this comic makes all the difference. The story was good in pencils, but with the heavy blacks and strategic use of wash, it’s SO much better. I’m sure you’ll agree.

This month’s effort is a comeback after my breakdown on #6 is already one of my favorites, second only to The Pancake Tree.

Along with narrative improvements, you’ll notice the change in presentation: no more clicky-open-X-to-closey for viewing each page. Now the comic is all there in one easy-to-ready file.

Why the change, you ask? Blame it on my dead grandmother. The PDF format worked so well for that story it seemed smart to try it on a longer one.

Yeah, yeah, there are still a few technical issues to work out. Even so, this may become the standard presentation format for any future comics, including the five 24-Hour ones left for 2007. Let me know what you think via the comments section.


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Noble Failure #7 — Super Samurai Special!!!

July 6th, 2007 by Weber


This month’s 24-Hour comic came out better than I expected.

Due to a number of weekend commitments this month (e.g., the upcoming L.A.T.E Ride though downtown Chicago, and the San Diego Comic-Con), the latest attempt was started at 6AM on the 4th and, within a mere 20 hours, 24 pages of comics were scripted and penciled.

Alas, no cover.

During the time it took to ink seven of the pages came the realization that there was no way to finish this book and make it look any good. So yes, another “noble failure”, but I’m happy with it.

And right about now you’re wondering, “If it’s so damned great, where are the pages?”

I’m probably going to catch a lot of crap for this, being how it’s against the official rules, but I’m going to finish inking the pages. The story warrants it. Besides, the pencils are illegible as scans.

Patience, my friends, patience. The finished inks should be up by next Thursday. They’ll be worth your wait.

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Noble Failure #6 (Another 24-Hour Comic)

June 14th, 2007 by Weber

Noble Failure #6 (June 2007)


Apologies for not posting last Thursday night/Friday morning; I was deep in the throes of this month’s 24-Hour Comic. And it wasn’t going well.

This one feels less like a “Noble Failure” than a Miserable one, though I did learn more about my process and what it might take to make a successful one next time. Things such as:

  • Don’t make a day-start after 7AM or an evening-start before 9PM
  • Do a couple of pages of art first, then move to a script session
  • Don’t script for more than 90 minutes
  • Do draw and ink the longest story first
  • Don’t waste time calling ComEd about the power being out
  • Do a good job of lettering sound effects
  • Don’t rush the art; you’ll regret it
  • Do schedule more than two weeks between 24-Hour Comics

As you’re bound to notice, the Mr. Punch story isn’t finished. The four pages presented aren’t even inked. Fret not: the world will eventually see how it ends. I’ll be using it to help me learn the secret kung-fu of vector graphic illustration.

“There’s a difference between knowing the clipping path, and walking the clipping path.”


So, yeah. Stay tuned for that.

Enjoy the comic.

nf6cover.jpg nf6p01.jpg nf6p02.jpg nf6p03.jpg nf6p04.jpg nf6p05.jpgnf6p06.jpg nf6p07.jpg nf6p08.jpg nf6p09.jpg nf6p10.jpg nf6p11.jpg nf6p12.jpg nf6p13.jpg nf6p14.jpg nf6p15.jpg nf6p16.jpg

Posted in 24-Hour Comics, Art, Comics, Stories, Writing | 3 Comments »

My Dead Grandmother Keeps Getting Mail

May 31st, 2007 by Weber


My Dead Grandmother Keeps Getting Mail
(click above to open the PDF) (1.5M)

(Best viewed at 85% zoom or higher. Scroll slowly when reading.)

Here it is! The long-awaited, much-touted mystery comic. It took nine months to do, but the finished story came out much better than expected thanks to two key people:

The wife, who aided with various visual elements and let me tie up her iMac for a whole day.

My wonderful and tolerant mother, who provided old snapshots and acted as a photo reference without asking too many questions. (And to think she was worried I was going to do something weird with those pictures.)

This comic is dedicated with a great deal of love to the memory of my grandmother — who really did die 14 years ago and whose mail still gets delivered to my house.

I miss you, Charlie. Now more than ever.

Posted in Art, Comics, Stories, Writing | 2 Comments »

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