It’s been some time (a coon’s age, perhaps?) since I’ve made use of the blog aspect of this whole webcomic thing, so I thought I’d put together a little post on the occasion of the first ever full-color installment of YLG. I found myself with some time on my hands between teaching and drinking beer, and was struck by the sudden realization that I have a bunch of water-color pens that I haven’t used in months. Seized by the enormity and insistence of this fact, I got up off the Bedcouch and started drawing. For some reason, perhaps to have a record of what I was doing in case I totally botched the painting, I documented the strip in its various stages of development.

Stage 1: The (Erroneous) Sketch

As you can see, the basic idea is born – with the caveat that I forgot the phrase was about apples and not acorns. It was quite the bitter pill to not be able to include menacing squirrel-street-tough. On the silver-lining side, that idea did give birth to this earlier strip.

Stage 2: The Pencil Drawing


Here I’ve moved out of the sketchbook and onto the nice (Office Depot Brand) drawing paper. I don’t always do this much detail in pencil but I was feeling adventurous, and since the original sketch was pretty crude I figured I’d fill in the blanks here. As you can see, the street tough is now a stalk of celery, since there didn’t seem to be a ready “natural predator” gag. Although as I write this I realize a worm could have worked. And made the strip funnier. Awesome.


Stage 3: The Inking

Voila! Vision has become reality through what we call “comics magic”. This is the stage of comics production where I’ve decided the strip looks finished and I probably won’t think of any other funny things to include (like perhaps some graffiti hostile to seeded fruits). Or even if I could potentially add more detail, I’ve been hunched over my table for two hours and don’t feel like drawing anymore. At this point I would normally post and be done with it.


Stage 4: The Painting (and Associated Complications)

It is at this stage we discover that there is a reason why drawing paper and watercolor paper are sold separately. It didn’t take long to realize that the watercolors were causing the paper to warp, but I was in too deep by then. I just had to grit my teeth, accept having a wavy comic, and prepare for a prolonged experience of wrestling with my scanner, desperately attempting to get a smoother scan. As evident in the finished version, my success in that pursuit was, well, limited. I’m sure I could probably figure out how to use editing software to take care of the irregularities in the scan, but I still live in the age of steam locomotives and hoop skirts, and – except for the occasional deletion of mistakes in MS Paint – do my comics entirely by hand.


And there you are! An inside perspective on the production of a full-color comic! I hope you had fun, and be sure to tell your friends about this comic strip!

– sr