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Jake Tvister @JTvister



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Making The Worst Asset To A Strength - BM Commentary 1 (of 4)

Posted by JTvister - September 22nd, 2021

This is a brief behind-the-scenes of the weekly comic Bonemeal.

By the time of posting, it is best to revisit this piece after having read/engaged with the strips when it's out.

Unless you really like blogging..

Well.. I figured if I got a platform to talk on longer than 280 characters,

I might as well drop some comments on the over-a-year project that is accumulating to the weekly upload comic strip I will be rolling out November 1st.


Trouble began immediately into developing the strip when facing the creation of making something based on skeletons.

The fact was: with immortality, there's no stakes.

No stakes, no suspense.

No suspense, no punchlines.

There was no jokes on the living condition, as it's past that and ascended to the afterlife already!

Scratching the baldcap, it was time to consult the library for influences.

Maakies by Tony Millionaire, Cowboy Henk by Kamagurka and Herr Seele, Pop Team Epic by Bkub, and the works of Joan Cornella and Quino respectively, all had major role in shaping and informing the comedy by spinning on the absurd and surreal with 2-dimensional living creatures, but Bonemeal required- no, demanded a step further.

The search went on from season 1-5 Simpson gag set-ups and punchline structure, and browsing several hours on Google, YouTube and Wikipedia on fine art for depicting, rendering and parody the concept of Death (memento mori, eternal life etc.).

It was then attention was redirected to a favorite sitting loyally on the top shelf, Paul Kirchner, who I am forever grateful for teaching me "sophisticated" humor.

His comic series Dope Rider may be considered the real distant cousin to Bonemeal in how the comedy is based on wordplay, referencial or intertextual gags, out-there wackiness, as the eponymous character was a rambler through and through, forever lost in green clouds and puzzling life's great dilemmas -- whilst toking, I must add.

From there, it was obivous.

Embracing what may come, just like what the browsing experience of people is.

The internet is a strange archive, and the anarchy it can bring by being selectively exposed to one thing in a flash of a second opens the opporunity to catch people off-guard by having no set principles or structure, especially for this type of work.

That leaves the comic to be open for anyone to explore and find a chuckle suited their taste, than to regurgitate the same old, dog-tired puns that has floated around in the cultural conscious regarding what's hidden underneath that skinsuit.

Then a new problem dug out from underneath:

Who is the reader suppose to follow in this comic?

Check in for part 2 to find out!


"It's easy to do a dumb joke, and harder to do a smart one."

Norm "Dog House" MacDonald (paraphrased)




I had no idea what kind of research went into this! Thanks for sharing these notes, incredibly helpful for anyone who needs to learn comedy or actually any field and doesn't know where to start... so go to your heroes and analyze their structures... Did it make you appreciate what you already loved more?

It helped develop and train my own abilities further by paying close attention to what could be improved on my part, and to see the works from a perspective as a creator to get the full scope of how someone takes their time and effort to execute their work.
As reader, it is one way of engaging that makes it seem effortless, but you get the grasp of the hours of slaving for that one panel there or page layout there after having done it yourself, it's stunning how much work it takes for a fraction of a minute to skim over.

I appreciate the technical and the mental work it took just as much, if not more than the stories, as now I can use that to the benefit of reading others with that same level of scrutiny should it come up short in some places.

@Styxcolor @JTvister I see! Thanks for reminding me to be and stay mindful. It's the creator's duty to be more than just a consumer. But sometimes just enjoying things is okay, too.