This is the place where I answer all your questions relating to the Girlz ‘N’ Games webcomic. If you have a question that you feel should be on this list, please email it to me at pfangirl(at)girlzngames.com.
How long has Girlz ‘N’ Games been running for?
Since 2004, so 6 years now.
How often is the comic updated?
Currently every fortnight.
Are your characters based on yourself and your friends?
Yes. Although as the years have passed the chief, reoccurring characters have developed their own distinct personalities separate from the people who initially inspired the characters’ appearance.
Do you have any formal drawing training?
Yes, although it’s been a long time now since my last graded drawing studies. I took Art as a subject in high school and completed a year of Graphic Design at college, which included figure and object drawing classes.
The latter experience, with the constant need to please a variety of different lecturers – each of whom had their own different tastes – so badly knocked my confidence in my work that afterwards I stopped drawing for 2 years. I began cartooning again in 2002 while contributing towards my university newspaper.
For the record, I have been drawing cartoons and comics since I could hold a pen.
How long does it take to make a comic?
Excluding the actual conceptualising of a strip (i.e. coming up with an idea), from the moment I put pencil to paper to the second I click “Publish” I would estimate that each comic takes around 7 hours to complete.
What is your creative process?
I’m pretty old school when it comes to comic creation. Although the post that accompanies this comic presents my creative process step by step in detail, with images, I normally work in the following way:
1) I hand draw the comic with clutch pencil on an A4 piece of paper.
2) I ink over the pencil lines with a fine felt-tip pen and erase the pencil lines.
3) I scan and digitise the comic, still at the inked linework phase.
4) In Photoshop I “collate” the comic. I add in the panel borders, and make any necessary corrections and changes to the comic (e.g. inking mistakes, contrast levels, copy & pasting of image elements to be repeated).
5) Using Photoshop and my Wacom tablet I colour and shade the comic.
6) In terms of comic backgrounds, these days I use suitable images found online, modify them and lower their opacity so they’re not too distracting from my drawn artwork in the foreground of the comic.
7) Finally I add the dialogue, speech bubbles and speaker direction lines – still working in Photoshop.
Is the comic your full-time job?
Nope. Currently it’s purely a labour of love fitted around full-time work demands and my other creative outlets and hobbies – such as my blog, movie watching and gaming in its many forms (electronic, tabletop, pen-and-paper). This said, it’s a hesitant dream of mine to make a living off Girlz ‘N’ Games and work on it full-time.
What is your full-time job?
I am a professional wordsmith, making my living as a copywriter, freelance journalist, strategist, web editor and generator of online content.
Who or what are your creative influences?
In terms of “funny strips”, I grew up reading the various long-running comics including Hägar the Horrible, Blondie, The Wizard of Id and Dennis the Menace, just to name a few. I harboured a Garfield obsession for most of the late 1980s. Being of English descent, The Beano and The Dandy cartoon annuals also played a big part in my childhood.
In terms of my comic influences as an adult, I have come to appreciate the genius of Calvin & Hobbes and The Far Side belatedly. My favourite web comics meanwhile are Penny Arcade, Hark! a Vagrant, PVP and Ctrl+Alt+Del.
In terms of general comedic influences I have to mention the absurdist satire of South Park and long-cancelled, gender-centric British series Smack the Pony. As for comedy with a pop, geek and 80′s culture flavour, kudos to Seth MacFarlane for giving us Family Guy and American Dad!
For the record though, despite these various influences a hefty chunk of Girlz ‘N’ Games is however based on real life events and discussions.
Do you do commission work?
If you would really like some of my artwork, yes.
Is advertising space available on your site?
Yes, please contact me (see below) so we can start the discussion.
How do I contact you?
You can contact me via email at pfangirl(at)girlzngames.com. Even if I don’t reply immediately, I guarantee that I will read your mail within 24 hours of it being sent.