#455 – hotlanta

April 1st, 2011

#455 – hotlanta

The original page of this comic is for sale! SOLD!

Have you guys been following the Pizza Island blog? It’s the internet hub for me and my awesome studiomates at Pizza Island in Brooklyn. We’ve been posting self-portraits and mini-tours of our workspace, among other things. Check it out!


Discussion (49)¬

  1. Sharp says:

    I freaking love the alt text

  2. Mynameisnotmyname says:

    Panel 4 depresses me every time I see it for some reason- wonder where the plots going

  3. Karinpa says:

    I got the feeling he is not coming back… isn't he?

  4. Navyguest says:

    I'm calling it right now: LARRY IS GONNA KILL HIMSELF

    • cbp says:

      Well, Atlanta *is* where mediocre people go when they die.

    • Tessa says:

      My thoughts!

    • @Le_Woodman says:

      What ? Oh no it makes perfect sense, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO !

    • @aawilliams says:

      Yeesh, that would suck. :(

    • Mental Mouse says:

      More likely, he hist won’t show up when he’s supposed to be back, probably because he doesn’t have the phone with his schedule and flight reservations. Since he’s “Completely Out Of Contact” ™, within 24 hours, the whole basement crew will be convinced that he’s killed himself. (Will, of course, will be dragged off by Having A Life, leaving the basement without a brain to share among them.)

      By the time Larry does get back, weary and battered by his adventures (also soaked in sweat from Atlanta), the basement will be completely redecorated in black, and the buddies will have divvied up his property and he’ll find them incoherently eulogizing him over the last of his formerly-secret stash of single-malt. (“Dammit guys, I NEEDED that drink!”)

  5. Undrave says:

    Larry's helicopter was shot down over the sea of Japan.

  6. dood says:

    I'm predicting that at the climax of this arc, right when Will is at the edge of his tolerance of Larry's bros, Larry will burst through the door and say IT WAS ALL A TEST! Lessons will be learned and laffs will be had. Though before that Will shall fall back on old habits and bludgeon Larry with the nearest blunt object.

    On a side note, I really love the feel of these hand-inked, hand-lettered pages. It gives the comic something that's been missing in the digital pages, though I can't put my finger on what…

  7. What's in a name? says:

    Oh lord. I was fine until I read the comments and NOW I'M SAD.

  8. @aawilliams says:

    "You buddies are dumb." I laughed.

  9. Meredith, did you change something with your process? The style of the drawing and lettering looks a little different.

    Also, alt text is brilliant. These buddies really do suck.

  10. mdenholm says:

    Oh, the hilarity of true stupidity. I also enjoy how buddy one and buddy two have the same hair, but with a different number of cowlicks.

  11. mmmmarley says:

    ah that fourth panel makes my heart melt

  12. J. Kyle H. says:

    I wonder what game they're playing. I mean, there are only so many games where you shoot things.

  13. MST says:

    I wonder if Larry's going a'ramblin'?

  14. John I.G. says:

    So, I really like this comic, and I don't usually like to speculate or comment on the actions characters are making or even the general story is moving in.

    I do however feel the new lettering has thrown me off a bit, just a bit too erratic for me.
    It needs a bit more consistency if you're going to go with the hand-drawn letters.

  15. Torm says:

    Okay I haven't heard enough people saying the new style is awesome.

    The new artwork looks awesome.

  16. Mayday says:

    The buddies are kind of like a tank of goldfish. Just sprinkle some dehydrated food-flakes for them, and they respond with contented obliviousness.

  17. wordtree says:

    whaat. i love the new style. the hand drawn text has so much more energy

  18. Kelly says:

    Hey, Will? Ya wanna fill that void of no Larry with EVE, hmmm??

  19. Hanna says:

    guuuuh. nooooooooo.
    I think… Larry's just not coming back. Period. D:

  20. MerchManDan says:

    That forgotten phone will be the downfall of Willarry. This can only end in cursing, punching and bruising. All that I have forseen is true.

  21. Navyguest says:

    Actually, I'm not sure he's gonna kill himself now. Now…I'm thinkin' that maybe he can't afford his place and he's running out on the bill? Maybe?? I dunno.

  22. Kathleen says:

    Dear Meredith: Have you seen today's Girl Genius? It has octopus pie. http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20

  23. questguest says:

    I think he's just giving one last affectionate look at his long-desired basement full of buddies before leaving, like a mother lovingly gazing at her sleeping baby before turning off the light.

  24. wykstrad says:

    Why do I get the feeling that buddies have a hamster-like mortality rate if not obsessively taken care of?

    I'm really enjoying the return to brushes- the thicker line volume and less geometrically-consistent faces gives the linework more energy, and the facial expressions can register different emotions more immediately. Look at Larry in panels 3 and 4- the changes to the head shape and tilt, eye shape, chest concavity, and eyebrows are pretty small, but enough that we can see him beaming with pride in panel 3, and becoming a bit more inward in panel 4 (emphasized by Larry pulling the door between him and us- we get the idea that his happiness is a deep and private emotion, which in context is hilarious). Drawing on a pad can allow an artist to make those adjustments to their characters in Photoshop, but often the lines come out just a little too clean, which hurts the visual language. Gran is good enough with a brush that she can make these adjustments by hand, and they stand out more thanks to the medium.

    The lettering isn't working quite as well just yet. Here the thickness of the line is working against the comic, obscuring the words and making them harder to read than is strictly necessary. Worse, there seems to be an element of showmanship here. I've always felt that lettering should get out of the reader's way as much as possible- fit with the visual aesthetic, allow the reader to read the dialogue at a reasonable speed, and not draw undue attention to itself. Most comic letterers follow these rules, and the exceptions (Pogo and Sandman, to name two that did it well) usually convey something about the character's speech patterns or voice within the "showy" lettering. In these last few OP strips, it looks like Gran is trying make us notice the hand-drawn letters at the expense of easy readability.

    And this may just be me, but the cleaner look of the computerized lettering worked better with the strip visually. The precision of the lettering offset the energetic linework, and drew the reader's eye to the text bubbles with greater ease- it was a lot easier to immediately discern the "flow" of dialogue. The new lettering may have the same energy as the rest of the visuals, but that makes it blend into the general artwork more, again at the expense of some clarity. I'll be interested to see how it affects a non-traditional panel layout, where quickly understanding the correct flow of speech bubbles is critical.

    This is probably the most pedantic post I've ever made, since the lettering is still readable and the changes don't seem to bother too many people. And Gran did say that improving the lettering was an ongoing process. There's already improvement between this comic and the last one, so I'm optimistic that it may turn out as good as, or better than, the computer fonts. It's not a deal-breaker by any means, and anyone who thinks otherwise isn't worth holding onto as a fan- but I think these issues are worth articulating. Please feel free to tell me I'm wrong and boring :)

    • Leith says:

      I for one found it stimulating! I’ve only rarely given technical feedback to webcomickers, but I understand the urge to contribute. I hope your comments seem, to others, as constructive as I found them.

      Regarding the lettering, I am waiting to see what happens. I got the strong impression on the changeover that it will be some time before MG herself is satisfied with her hand-lettering, so while I agree with your take on the current letters, I’ll be interested to hear what you have to say in 2 month’s time.

      One bubble where I think the letters really work here is “Shoot! Shoot the tree!” – also, best dumb line ever.

      • Leith says:

        OMAIGOD. “Shoot! Shoot the tree!” Is from The Wise Man’s Fear, by Patrick Rothfuss. Is there a webcomic around that ISN’T referencing his work at the moment?

    • Bruce the Great says:

      I hope you got a good grade on this essay. But you forgot your thesis, and didn't state your three main points in your opening paragraph. Also, cite some sources, let's see some credibility.


      • wykstrad says:

        But my old teachers always said I just needed to express myself! You have unrealistic expectations! I'm calling my parents and telling them to call the dean!

  25. Shereen says:

    I agree with most of what wykstrand is pointing out however I think the lettering doesn't neccessarily need to be a 'computerized' font or at least a font that is available on Word, but instead refreshing to see a little experimentation. I think the change is great, it's really playful and more engaging to the readers imagination. It makes me nostalgic for the sunday funnies and hits at something familiar in readers while presenting a more adult content. It looks effortless yet consistent and present. Kudos!

  26. Koerner says:

    "bro come get ur phon lol"
    hahahha that is just too perfect

  27. Anon says:

    I love Octopus pie but this switch to hand written text I'm iffy on it's awesome that you're doing it and it looks nice but I have some qaulms (sp?) on it. First it just FEELS really big (the boldness of it makes me not look at the images) and secondly the ALL CAPS makes me constant think they're saying everything VERY enthusiastically, loudly, or angrily. Like Will is saying "GODDAMMIT DID LARRY FORGET HIS PHONE?!" but of course he's not actually that annoyed by it when you look at the images. Kinda seems like someone mad libbed over all the text bubbles.

  28. joey says:

    i want to say "bye buddies…" to all my plants when i leave the house from now on

  29. To the the true masterstroke of clueless stop-helping-meness, I like to imagine they used his phone to text him.

  30. mmkstarr says: