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Goobs, by Scott Hepting

What exactly is a "goob"?  Per Scott, it's short for "goober", a fancier name for a geek or dork.  That's precisely what this fun and wonderfully drawn strip is about.  Goobs follows the daily lives of two sci-fi loving, computer crazy, and DVD obsessed roommates named Scott and Brad (the strip is actually loosely based on the creator and a friend of his).  Scott has a terrific art style, and the strip is a fun read.

Here's Scott's creative process, in his own words:

"I've been doing the comic strip Goobs for three years.  In that time, the art has evolved, but the technique for doing it has remained pretty consistent.  It's only recently that I've changed my method a bit.

"From the beginning, I always drew the comics in my sketchpad.  Either I'd draw them out in strip form, or I would draw individual sketches of characters.  Afterwards, I would trace them onto tracing paper using a Micron pen, and then scan them into the computer.  From there, I would open them in Photoshop, and clean them up;  get rid of any dirt, bump up the brightness and contrast, and then eliminate the white, so they would be black lines on a transparent background.

"Lately, (since comic 219), I've been scanning the pencil sketches into the computer directly, and then "inking" them with a Wacom tablet.  I just felt that it provided a greater accuracy.

"After that, I add the color on an underlying layer, leaving the ink layer alone.  Then I add various levels of shading, all on their own layers.  (By the time I'm finished, the Photoshop file will have somewhere around 30 or 40 layers.  Maybe others don't use as many, but I like the idea of being able to remove any one given aspect I don't like, while leaving everything else alone.)

"Finally, I add the speech balloons.  I prefer Illustrator for this;  I feel it is a better program for plotting out vector-based graphics.  Ultimately, it's easier to draw them there.  I save the speech balloons, and import them back into Photoshop, at the resolution I like (300 dps).

"Then, I'm pretty much done.  I save it, reduce it to screen resolution, flatten it to just one layer, and make it a JPG (or GIF).

"As for the ideas themselves... I have no set pattern.  Ideas just come to me.  Sometimes I write them down on scraps of paper from wherever I may be (I'm not organized enough to keep a notepad of ideas on me), sometimes I keep the ideas in my head, and sometimes I keep text files full of ideas on my hard drive.

"The characters themselves... They are loosely based on myself, and my good friend/roommate Brad.  Originally, Scott and Brad were supposed to be equally "geeky", but over time, they fell into the pattern of 'the crazy one', and 'the sensible one.'  Not all the time, though, as there are many comics where Brad is the stranger of the two.  As for the other characters... Eileen was brought just so it wouldn't be all guys.  However, she quickly became the 'straight man' of the strip.  I couldn't find anything inherently funny about the character, which is why she was slowly fazed out of the comic.  I've been trying to come up with ways to bring her back so she is actually interesting, but still can be the 'normal' one.

"Professor Zug... Oh, he was fun to create.  Maybe he was my 'jump the shark' moment, I'm not sure.  He wasn't originally planned to be a recurring character.  He started off as a one-time joke, and I just saw infinite potential for humor with him.  Same goes for Wilfred;  I hadn't planned on making him a recurring character either.  I saw him as a great way to mix two recent storylines, and simultaneously expand the comic strip.  I'm eager to see what other characters I manage to come up with in the future."

As Scott mentioned in his description, he basically does individual sketches of characters which are then scanned into the computer to create the final strips.  As such, the "original art" for Goobs are individual inked character sketches.  Check out some of Scott's great work below!

 

Example of Goobs original art by Scott Hepting.  These "pieces" are the original art for the Goobs daily for June 3, 2004, Comic No. 179.

 

Example of Goobs original art by Scott Hepting.  These "pieces" are some of the original art used for the Goobs daily for June 28, 2004, Comic No. 183.

 

The first half of a letter from Scott describing his creative process and some background behind the characters of Goobs.

 

The second half of the letter from Scott.

 

Go and check out Goobs for yourself by clicking on the link below!

 

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