The Japanese Beetle!
The Japanese Beetle! for July 28, 2003
Strips:  Archives | World Famous Comics
Goodies:  Desktop Patterns | How A Strip Is Made
Discussion:  Message Board
July 28, 2003
Welcome to the official re-launch of the Japanese Beetle!

Just over a year ago, I stopped the original Japanese Beetle! so I could live my life to its fullest and stop being a slave to my drawing board. Since then, I've come to realize a few things. a) My idea of "living life to its fullest" translates to "sitting around on the couch, eating M&Ms and watching re-runs of Futurama." b) In order to stay productive, I need daily deadline pressure. c) My other projects just weren't clicking, either with me or an audience, except when they resembled the Beetle. d) I missed the Beetle. And so, here we are again.

Please keep in mind - this is a re-launch, starting over again with a blank slate. Well, not entirely blank - your favorite characters will be back, in most cases sooner rather than later. So keep your eyes peeled for Kremlina, Joe McCarthy, and the Flying Squirrel to pop up sometime in the next month or two. And I'm not going to be mindlessly redoing all my earlier strips. There will be plenty of new material to keep old fans interested.

Think that's a stupid idea? Think it's genius? Go and spout off on the message board. And please, be vocal. Over the last year, I've become convince that a good webcomic needs a thriving message board community in order to survive. Without that sort of feedback, well, all work and no play makes Dave a dull boy.

I'd like to thank a couple of people for their support over the years. First, a special thanks to my brother Chris - without him, there'd be no Japanese Beetle!. We might not be working together anymore - but you can still see his influence on the strip today. If you like comedy and live in the Washington metro area, be sure to check out his DC Standup site.

I'd also like to thank World Famous Comics, our former host (they're still hosting the old archives, if you're curious). Without their assistance, the strip would have gone away about four months after its debut. Instead, we wound up running daily for almost four years. Yowza.

Thanks to you, my family, friends, and fans, for sticking with the strip all these years. WIthout you, there's no reason for me to keep cartooning.

And last but not least, I'd like to plug my favorite comic shops: Phantom of the Attic and the Copacetic Comics Company. Over the years they've kept me in more funky comics than I can count, and I'm very grateful for it.

Mood: strangely hopeful
Sounds: Leonard Nimoy, "If I Had A Hammer"

July 30, 2003
I feel really tired right now. I had most of today's strip drawn and inked well ahead of time, but wasn't able to get it all done before I left for work in the morning. Wouldn't be so bad, except that I've got a figure drawing class that runs from 6:30 to 9:30 on Tuesday evenings. Which, after you factor in transit time, left me just about two hours to finish inking, coloring and posting the strip.

Thankfully, the coloring went really quickly. I din't exactly simplify it, either - this has some tricky stuff going on, especially in the star field and the El-Al head superimposed between panels two and three. I think it turned out nice, though I wish I had more time to rework the superbaby panel.

I'll say this for working in B&W - my machine can actually handle it. When I was doing Space Bug in color, my machine would crash every 15 minutes like clockwork because it just couldn't handle the load. Well, these strips are about three times as big pixel-wise as the Space Bug strips, but only take up about 1/3 the memory. Consequently, I can do all the fancy coloring tricks I'm used to without having to worry about losing everything I've done.

Plus, while working in color is fun, restricting myself to B&W lets me concentrate on other things, like the panel-to-panel storytelling and pen and marker techniques. And it's faster, so I can cram more strips out the door in less time. And that, I think, is the real strategy to successful cartooning - do a lot of stuff, get it out the door, and worry about how to improve it later. Hey, if it worked for Jack Kirby, it can work for me. I hope.

Also, many apologies to Justin for getting the link to the archives wrong yesterday. Hopefully, that should fix things.

Mood: extremely tired
Sounds: Do As Infinity, "Fukai Mori"

The Japanese Beetle and all related characters are copyright ©1998-2004 by Dave "The Knave" White. All rights reserved. Any passing resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead or otherwise, is purely coincidental except when it isn't. Really, we swear. Please don't sue us. Published on line by 741.5 Comics.