Wednesday — May 1st, 2013

Dressed For Success – Page 160

jeffHello readers.

The current page of Dressed for Success is going to be the last new one for the foreseeable future.  Like the majority of webcomic creators I juggle doing the comic alongside a full-time day job.  Recently the stability of that job has come into question and I have had to start looking around for other potential job opportunities.  Along with that process I’ve also needed to spend time updating my job skills.  After attempting to juggle all of these things for the past few weeks I have come to the conclusion that it wasn’t working very effectively and that something needed to be dropped. Seeing as the comic work has been something I’ve been doing for free in my spare time, it fell to the bottom of my list of priorities.

At this time I am not sure how long of a break there will be.  I imagine it will probably extend out to months rather than weeks. In the meantime Chris has offered to step up and do something to fill the gap.  For details on that I pass things over to him.

– Jeff

chrisSo, as much as no one wants these kinds of interruptions, more and more I’m realising they are a part of the reality of being a part-time artist of any sort. That being said, we’ve tried to keep the comic river flowing in the past during these breaks and I’d like to see that continue.

This time however, I can’t just whip out a Colt Renfrew story. So I started to think about something new. Something that I could do, on my own, to bridge the gap. It’s been a long time since I’ve done comics all by my onesy. I’ve always loved the partnership Jeff and I have and really enjoyed being able to colour these new DFS stories. But there was a time when I did produce some comic work without Jeff.

Now, before I go any further, I will NOT be going back to that old work. I no longer feel the autobio bug. (Sorry to the three people in the world who want more Chrispy Bacon). I have had a story idea floating around in the back off my mind for a long time, but it is still little more than rough concepts, themes and snapshots. Not something I want to just dive into in a rush.

So I started thinking about what else I might do. Funny strip? Longer story? Ordinary people? Funny animals? And then something occurred to me. During the dark times between the original DFS and the relaunch on the web, I spent nine summers performing at the Ontario Renaissance Festival, one element of which was doing storytelling. Since that, I’ve continued on occasion to share these old fairy tales with one audience or another and I still really enjoy telling them. So I thought, what if I took my act off the stage and on to the page.

So I’m going to do just that. Transform these old fairy tales that I’ve told for years into comics stories. I’m going to be sort of flying without a net, writing, drawing and maybe colouring on the fly. I’d love to spend a few weeks doing sketches, samples and experiments, but instead, I’ve put pen straight to panel and with any luck, the first page of my first tale will be up next Wednesday. If that works out, then I will likely be able to continue on a weekly basis.

As I go, I’ll be sharing process info on Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter for anyone who is curious to see. I might even try sharing a work session via a Google Hangout. But maybe not until I’m a little more comfortable! 😉

We hope you will stay with us, Alex and Walter will return, but in the meantime, gather around the fire, I’ve got some stories to tell.

– Chris


One Down, Many More to Go

So the first new Dressed for Success comic page has been penciled and inked and is ready for the colouring phase. It feels good to be over that initial hurdle of getting back into things.  It is still early days with Manga Studio but I am seeing how it will be able to speed up my work flow.

Now back to work on the next chapter of 20 pages so that we can start posting them online for you to read as soon as possible.  But for now here is a preview of the inks on page 161.

– Jeff


Operation Plan

Hello again!  After nearly a year without a new Dressed for Success comic page we wanted to spread the news. Work is being done on picking things up where we left off and continuing on telling the story of our intrepid heroes Alex and Walter.

As had been mentioned previously, I found myself in a situation where I needed to focus my energies on other things and couldn’t continue with the ongoing production schedule of a weekly webcomic.  After some time, things have settled down and the ability to move forward with the comic series has presented itself.

After some discussion, it was determined that trying to move on with the weekly schedule that had been maintained for a few years wasn’t necessarily going to work.  At least not without the potential for some page release hiccups or creator burn outs along the way. After all, we are doing the comic in our spare time around full-time jobs and juggling various family commitments throughout the year. So it can be a challenge at times.

With this realization it has been decided to adjust the production and release schedule in such a way where we will post 2 blocks of story pages throughout the year, with short breaks in between. Here is how it will break down:

Over the course of a year we will release a block (or chapter) of 20 pages, one page a week.  Followed by a 6 week break.  Then continuing on with another section of 20 pages and another 6 week break.

So we would be looking at producing 40 pages of comic story over the course of a year instead of 52. We feel this is a reasonable compromise which allows ourselves to create a decent amount of pages overall while giving us a bit of a break along the way.

As I am producing new pages I am doing so using the program Manga Studio, which will hopefully help increase my speed at drawing pages as well.

Right now we are in the early days of ramping up production on new pages and as of yet don’t have a firm date on when new comic pages will start being posted again. We are hoping sooner rather than later.  In the meantime, let us know what you think of our plans and continue to watch this space for further updates on this topic and other things related to Dressed for Success.

– Jeff

Rough notes

Just a few updates.

The original artwork from the 1993 Mega Con Jam that was on auction went for about $170. Not huge, but I hope whoever bought it enjoys the piece. I’d love to hear from them.

The Comic Creators For Freedom fundraiser starts December 2 and runs through the 14th. Young Alex was featured on their Facebook page the other day. Please consider making any size donation you can.


I’m still working on my next fairy tale, doing some sketches for the settings and considering trying out Sketchup to give me some better camera angles to play with. I really do want to do all the preliminary work this time, but I’m also getting antsy, so I started doing page roughs and dropping in my text. My hope is to have the whole story thumb nailed and be comfortable with all the design work and then be able to go straight into finished pages. No fair trying to read ahead.

And don’t forget to come check us out over at Tapastic.