Q: What year does Breakpoint City take place in?
A: Nobody knows! I have chosen to keep the date a mystery to the readers as long as I can. I believe that no matter how far into the future a Science Fiction story is set, eventually we'll reach that date and say, "gee, they were completely wrong". i.e. 2001 A Space Odyssey. True, a few predictions may have come true, but these stories are never 100% accurate, and therefore, they are less believable. So instead of having my poor old comic fall into the same pit, I'll just have the date remain vague. That way, it's always THE FUTURE in my comic, and it will retain what little believability it already has :)
Q: What medium do you use to draw and ink the strip?
A: Well, in the old days of Breakpoint City (early 2000), I drew the comic strip entirely on the computer. Using a Pablo drawing tablet (costs roughly $90 at Best Buy), I drew the whole strip in Adobe Photoshop 5.0 Limited Edition (which came with the tablet). Photoshop LE costs WAY less than other versions of Photoshop, so I recommend picking a copy up. I still use the drawing tablet a little, but now I focus on hand-drawn cartoons.
Before I begin, be sure to keep in mind that this isn't the best way to draw cartoons. There are MANY MANY MANY books out there that tell you how to professionally draw cartoons; and this is just my own bizarre way.
The whole process takes anywhere from two to four hours start to finish. To begin, I type up the script on my computer. I usually have a few details of the script written out before I begin. After revising the rough outline into a readable script, I print it out and begin work on drawing the strip. I start the basic drawing either in my sketch pad or on a large 17 X 11 inch piece of marker paper (a special kind of paper that won't allow "bleeding" of markers). I outline my characters first in blue pencil. The blue lead is non-reproductive, meaning that it cannot be picked up by copy machines, and can easily be eliminated by Photoshop. After the outline is complete, I go over the blue pencil with a thin line "Alvin Penstix" marker.
Usually, the drawings of the characters are scattered across the page, and aren't arranged in the same way as the final comic strip. That's because I do the editing of the comic digitally with Adobe Photoshop. I scan the comic into the computer under the grayscale setting, and then I manually take it down to just black and white using Photoshop's threshold feature. I then use my template, the file with the comic's boxes and logos, to begin. The template is at the same DPI as the comic strip, so when I print out my work, it doesn't look pixelated. Next, I take each drawing from the scanned image into my template. Through Photoshop, I can freely move around each separate drawing to form a completed comic strip. Almost every character you see in my comic has its own layer, so I can rotate, move, and edit my work on the fly. After every drawing is in place, I can add backgrounds, shading, word balloons, and text with the aid of the computer. Finally, I shrink the image to 25 percent, and publish to the net.
If you still have other questions about my process, send me a letter!
Q: What fonts do you use in your comics?
A: The fonts I've used have changed over the years. Here's everything you need to know, from what they are to where you can get them:
Some other fonts I use can be found at PizzaDude.dk, Acid Fonts, and Hans Presto.
- My main text font used to be A.C.M.E. Explosive. Then, after January 2002, I switched to the more legible Comic Geek font. Both are by Blambot; a comic font site I recommend everyone visit. Do it!
- Breakpoint City's logo is Sofachrome, and the episode data is Zero Threes, both by Larabie Fonts.
- The text with my name up at the top right is Monoglyceride, by Tepid Monkey Fonts.
- Finally, the date and episode title are written in Futura Condensed. Sorry, no link for the font.
Q: Is the title of your comic Break Point City, BreakPoint City, Breakpoint City, or Breakpointcity?
A: Breakpoint City. "Breakpoint" is one word.
Q: But wait... if it's "Breakpoint City," when why is the acronym for it "BPC?"
A: You're absolutely right. It should be "BC," but if I started calling it that I'd have Johnny Hart after me with torches and pitchforks ;)
Q: So, why Ohio?
A: Nobody suspects Ohio...
Send in your questions!!