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Raging Pencils by Mike "Watchtower" Stanfill

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Raging Pencils is a minor personal conceit of:

Mike Stanfill, Private Hand
Mike Stanfill, Private Hand
IllustrationFlash AnimationWeb Design

start rant

You Say "Self-Pity" Like It's A Bad Thing

"If the doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I'd type a little faster." - Isaac Asimov

cute slacker girlLong Story Short: Wanna make a web comic?

It's been an enlightening experience creating Raging Pencils. The main thing I've learned is that the vast majority of internet users could give fuck-all about politics or progressive ideals, no matter how many mad scientists or dinosaurs are involved.

Don't get me wrong. These cranky creations of mine are receiving a bewilderingly decent amount of repeat viewers but I can't help but glance enviously at web sites which feature somewhat, shall we say, less altruistic humor. These sites are so popular they basically have to fend off the ravenous hordes with the threat of viruses, buffer overflows and pictures of Anne Coulter giving herself a Harvey Wallbanger enema.

Anyone who creates a web cartoon, and that includes humble little me, fantasizes about achieving the sort of celebrity that eventually leads to one's moral and physical destruction, but drawing pictures of sheep calling Cheney a fat, fascist fuck ain't gonna do it.

No, the droves of internet addicts endlessly crusing the net clearly want tits or, at least, the promise of tits. Second on that list is games, especially if they reek of the heady scent of Pocky and D&D. So if you can develop a web 'toon that features half-dressed, mystifyingly adorable young women hanging around pasty, dice-rolling losers then you don't even have to bother with punchlines.

The self-pitying point I really want to make is that creating jokes for Raging Pencils is harder than it looks. Lots harder. I don't have the full gamut of human foibles to exploit as I'm philosophically restricted to one small left-wing wedge. You know, unimportant topics like freedom, the protection of the Earth, the storming of the Neocon Bastille. Since RP gags have to be progressive in nature that means I can't use just any kooky koncept I kome up with. And I've written lots of those. More's the pity.

More often than not I'll find myself backed into an allegorical corner that's more Aesop-ian than slapstick-ian. The Emperor's rampant nudity, in other words, wears pretty darn thin pretty darn quickly.



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