An Atomic Tails Update

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Okay. I know it is very unlikely that anyone reads this blog, or my comic, but it has been a long while since I posted a comic and I just wanted to get on here and write an update for what's going on with Atomic Tails.

For this next year I probably won't be finishing too many Atomic Tails comics. I am still very interested in making more comics, but I've got a lot of personal problems right now and I am working very hard to fix them. This means I won't have as much time to draw Chud, Trog, and their lives. I will try and get a comic out as often as I can, but until probably December of this year, I just won't be able to focus on the comic anymore. And that sucks! I really love these guys and I got a bunch of cool stories I'm just starting to get into. It kind of feels like everything up until now has just been learning lessons.  However, I will still try an get a comic on as often as I can. That image up above is of Rio: Evil Goddess of the California Highways. Trog is a limo driver, and Rio (in spirit) rides along side him in his car, causing him all sorts of problems. So, it may take a week or two yet, but Rio's introduction strip is coming very soon. 

Also, I've pulled myself off of Facebook for a little while, so for any Atomic Tails art or doodles, follow my instagram. 

Okay, I have a little bit of spare time... so I'm gonna draw some mice! 

Cheers!

Atomic Tails #26!!!

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New comic strip! This one only took me two weeks!!! Actually one week. I got hit with a really bad head cold, but now that I'm mostly back to normal, check out the latest Atomic Tails. To be honest, this one was really easy to put together since I was able to use so many of the assets from the last strip. I'm probably going to go back and re-draw the kitchen. I'm still not happy with that. 

Anyways, check out the new comic below or in the archive. I'm still leaking a lot of snot so I'm going to cut this short!

Enjoy!

Atomic Tails #25!!!

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Two months. I know. Really pathetic and I don't have a lot of excuses, but I'll make some up anyways. Two major problems with getting AT 25 done were One: I originally intended it to be a much larger ("Sunday" style) strip, an so I had sketched up a lot more art than I needed, and two: I threw my back out about a month ago and sitting in a chair for any length of time has been incredibly painful.  Though I am working out my back pains (no joke, it hurts!), while I was down it did give me time to look at the strip and realize I was doing every thing wrong. So, I went back, re-drew a bunch of the panels, and broke up what I had originally planned into a small four panel strip and then next week (I hope) I'll have the resolution between Buttery and Chud. Well, I don't think there's ever going to be a resolution between the two, but for this part of the story. 

Overall, I'm not happy with a lot of the sketchs for this strip. I did like how Trog turned out in a lot the them, but he's kind of hidden behind Buttery and Chud most of the time. As for Chud and Buttery, the only real finished piece I was (mostly) happy with, was Chud's entrance in panel one. That final colored drawing of Chud in his bathrobe just made me really happy. This strip was also a chance to create a new background for Trog's apartment. Though, I'll probably redraw it in future strips, I thought it was an okay first go.  So, keep checking back. I'm already into the next strip and I hope to have it online by next Saturday, but its me so don't count on anything.

 

Cheers!

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Atomic Tails #24!!!

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Only two months and you get a new comic strip! Yeah, I kind of suck at this. It's not that I wasn't trying to work on Atomic Tails all this time, it was mostly just life stuff getting in the way. Though I got to admit, I do waste a lot of time. Having such a long break in between strips really makes me want to buckle down and work harder on getting more comics out quicker.

For 24 I decided to do a larger, Sunday style, strip. This is also probably why it took longer to get the comic done. I've been spending a lot of time studying cartoons and cartooning and I think some of that is starting to show up in my comic. I especially like Trog's "bleh" expression in panel 4. I'm still a long way away from being where I want to be with the comic, but I dug this one and like in past strips I really enjoy cramming as many jokes as I can into the comic. 

So now I'm starting on A.T. 25. Very soon (the next three or four strips) I'm going to introduce two new characters to the comic. Agent D20 and Rio: malevolent goddess of the California highways. I just now started to design these characters, and I'll probably share something later on this week.

So, that's all for this post. I still have a blog post to write for Atomic Moo. Check out the full Strip below, and hit the Archive button above to see all the past strips and the evolution of the comic. 

Cheers!

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Atomic Tails 23!!!

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I feel like I need to start these post with a reason as to why it took me a month to do a four panel comic. I mean, I don't need to. The comic is free, but I have to do Atomic Tails in my spare time (after work and weekends) and sometimes life stuff just get's in the way. I have a day dream where I some how walk into $50,000.00 and I can just take a year off to do nothing but work on the comic and Atomic Moo. Seeing as how that's never going to happen, just know that there is an actual battle of will behind the creation of every strip. 

Another reason this strip took sometime was because I had to learn how to draw a bunch of new stuff. I think that is one of the best things about doing a webcomic is that it can force an illustrator (even untalented ones like me) into having to draw stuff like scared rabbits and fly golf carts. 

Anyways, the fellers are on their way to the Tree of Woe and I really had a lot of fun creating this comic. It's kind of a call back to strip #2, but I feel like I've learned a lot since then, and I wanted to try an push myself on more dynamic illustrations. 

Check out the new comic below, and I'm just starting on #24. I have no idea how I'm going to draw a beach, but I'm looking forward to figuring it all out.

Cheers.  

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Atomic Tails #22!

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Hello again fellows! Another addition to the ongoing saga of Chud and Trog and their trek to make the world's greatest comic book. In a weird way, this strip was really hard to get done, and I feel like I made a real effort to focus on it. There was a lot of "life" stuff that kept jumping in the way, which can get frustrating. It's weird, but along with learning how to illustrate and use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, I feel like working on this comic is also teaching me how to focus and be patient with a project. Not that I'm focused or patient... at all, but I think it is helping. 

Anyways, in 22 Chud continues to tell Trog about his comic book idea (the twins have no idea this will someday become the world's greatest comic book), Atomic Moo! I think I mostly wanted this strip to lead into a trip to the Tree of Woe, which is an actual, real-life, place for Jason and I. Here in Carlsbad there's a gnarly old beach tree (I have no clue what type of tree) and just beyond it we often go to sit, smoke cigars, and relax. It's a good place to ponder and star gaze, and best of all, nobody ever goes there! I've always wanted to include the Tree of Woe in the comic, and if not the next strip (you'll see) the fellers are heading there to think about Chud's return and their future as comic book creators. 

Some notes about this strip: Jason actually did the pencil work for the Atomic Moo scene in panel one, but I did the inks and colors for that panel. I think it turned out pretty good, and I'd like to see if I couldn't get Jas to draw up a four panel Atomic Moo comic. He won't, but I'll ask anyways. Though I really like the Buttery illustration in Panel 2, After looking at it, I'm not too happy with the Panel Four Buttery. He's kind of a tough character to lock down, and I'm going to try more Buttery practice in between the next strip. Buttery is a bigger mouse than Chud and Trog, but not really fatter. Which is kind of tough for me to pull off. Last note, I think I made Trog's head way to big in panel three. I don't know, I like the smirk (especially with a joke nobody but Jason and I'll get) but I gotta watch my proportions better in the future. 

This strip actually taught me a bunch of new Photoshop functions like making blurs and lighting (check out the robots eyes and center piece), and also how to work with masking layers so I don't destroy my art. Way easier to paint these strips now! 

So, next strip we journey (they... they journey) to the Tree of Woe! Enjoy the comic below, check out the archive to see past comics!

Atomic Tails #22

Atomic Tails #21!

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I'm usually very critical of my art skills, but I think I sketched a pretty bad ass super-cow for this one. 

Anyways, folks, check out the latest Atomic Tails below! Though I've planned a bunch of different stories and adventures for Chud and Trog, the main arch to their story is that they come together to create the world's greatest comic book: Atomic Moo! The story of a fire-breathing super-cow! Also, we are working on a real life Atomic Moo comic, which you can read at www.atomicmoo.com. 

There is a lot in this strip I'm kind of proud of. I still need a ton of work on my illustration skills (and writing), but I feel like this strip begins to really define some of the fellows personalities. Strip #22 is on its way, which will be the 2nd to last strip with the fellows on the couch. I'm getting kind of sick of the living room and I want to move the characters on to other place. 

Be back soon with a new strip!

Atomic Tails #21

Atomic Tails #20!

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...and a month later: New Atomic Tails! Yeah, pretty bad, but despite a heap of bullshit, I somehow managed to get a strip produced. Chud and Trog continue to hash out Chud's moving back in with his twin brother. I'm a shitty artist, but there are somethings in this strip I'm actually proud of; like the box of "Breakfast Chum." I just kind of threw that together at the end of making the strip and I think it came out pretty good. Also, I continue to practice poses and posture for the characters - even though they're sitting most of the time. I think I went a little overboard with all the pointing, but I like the body proportions better in this one than in most previous strips. 

So, I already have most of the next strip written and sketched out. Hopefully it won't take me over a month to get it online. I hope. Check out the new strip below and everywhere else on the site!

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Atomic Tails #19

New Atomic Tails and I'm Going to SDCC 17 today! Keen. So, with the new Atomic Tails some stuff has changed. First, I've been studying (and practicing) a lot of new body forms for cartoon characters and I think (THINK) I like where this is going. Buttery, Chud, and Trog all have better sitting and body forms in this strip. Well, maybe. Also, I worked a bit more on Buttery's proportions compared to other two mice. Buttery is bigger than his friends, but not really fatter. Which, I think I was drawing him as in previous strips. I like his size relationship to the other two in this strip way more. Also, I got to draw a hooka in this one! I think the gag was a bit hacky in this one (Jas came up with it, but since I'm mostly trying to work on drawing the comic I thought it was good enough. Plus I wanted to do a comic that kind of went into why the twins are living apart up until now.), and hopefully I can get a better joke in #20.

I'm going to be at the con for the next few days, so I probably won't get to do any real work on A.T. until I get back Sunday night, but check out the full strip below and I hope you enjoy!!!

Cheers!

Atomic Tails #18!

New Atomic Tails!

Check out #18 below!

Finally here!!! Okay, I've been watching a lot of Rick and Morty, so I've been yelling a lot and typing in caps a lot too. However; Somewhere in between playing WoW and watching way too much fucking Adult Swim I managed to finish another strip. Like  always I tried new stuff or changed some old stuff to help improve the comic. This is one big learning experience so if you're reading this and you're reading the comic, please expect changes as I learn new stuff. 

Different stuff in this comic: 1. Buttery's fur. Though you can't see it in the grey scale version, I've decided to make Buttery's fur all the same yellow. That includes his hair style. 2. Chud with one 'D'. In the past I've always spelled it as Chudd. This is actually how Jason (my real life twin and the real life Chud) created the name for the character. Form now on though it'll be just Chud with one d. We love classic horror films of the 70's and 80's and both real and cartoon Chud's are representing the fandom. 2. The mouse faces. I actually learned a little bit about stylizing the mouse face from doing the Goldfinger mouse. I'm going to start applying this in future strips. 

Over all this was a fun strip. For #19 I'm going to get them off the couch. seriously, I'm done with the living room and want to move them somewhere else. Look forward to "the Tree of Woe!"

Cheers!

Atomic Tails #17

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Yeah, this one took awhile too, but I'm trying a lot of new stuff. And I'm lazy. One of the things that took so long with this strip was I actually drew an entire living/TV room for Trog's apartment. You only get to see a little bit of it in #17, but I drew bookcase, windows, and all sorts of other stuff that I'm hoping to use later on. The good thing about doing that was it sets up another asset for future use so I don't have to redraw every thing again, I worked a little bit harder on Buttery on this one too. I lost the star on his outfit (I never really liked it) and I tried (probably failed) to work on his sitting pose. Buttery is essentially just a bigger version of Chudd and Trog, but he's still an awkward draw as I figure out the toon. 

One last thing about #17, we also launched a Patreon for Atomic Tails, and created our first add for the comic strip. I kind of dig it. I'm also trying to restructure the archive page for series one to something that is some what readable, but that's a work in progress. I also reformatted the strip so that Instagram followers can see the entire thing. 

Anyways, I'm already beginning work on #18 and series one is coming to a close soon. This has been a good warm up and I really into Chudd, Trog, and their world. Yeah, I'm weird and a little worried by that, but fuck it! It's my crazy and it doesn't hurt anyone. 

If you are interested in helping us, check out the Patreon link above. Currently we're just asking for dollar donations as we work on some rewards for higher contribution levels. My main goal is to be able to pay for the site, which cost about $20.00 a month right now. I'm mostly broke so getting enough support to cover the site cost would really (REALLY) help. 

On to 18!

Cheers!

Atomic Tails #17
Atomic Tails Support AD

Atomic Tails #16

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Last night I finally finished #16. Not that I really feel bad about taking my time with this one. there's a lot of changes in this strip from how I normally illustrate Atomic Tails. This is the first time I tried to do a larger, "Sunday" like, strip. It was fun, and I would like to work these strips in on a regular basis. Maybe every seven strips instead of days, maybe not. It does take me awhile to get a comic produced. Also, this is the first time I used Adobe Photoshop to fully color one of my strips. So, there ways a bit (huge) learning curve on how to work with PS on this level. I've only ever used Adobe Illustrator for my strip, but I can see how learning Photoshop will speed things up, once I get more practice. I still inked (digitally) the strip in Illustrator though. I just like AI's pen and brush tools way more than Photoshop's. Keep in mind too, I'm using CS3 a much older version of Adobe than most people have access too. I'm broke! I can't afford the cloud! 

Another thing of note is the logo for the Ascension of the Golden  Yo-Yo's, As Designed by Jason (aka: real life Chudd) Murray. I dig the design and think it'll give us a lot to play with in the future. Jason also helped with the writing of this strip and I think it came out a lot better than what I had originally planned. 

The last thing of note is the changes to Trog's apartment. I changed the couch to look more like my own couch at home (kind of...) and I also added some posters of stuff similar (kind of...) to stuff I keep on the walls of my own apartment. It wasn't until I had most of the strip done that I noticed how little detail I was putting into my backgrounds. I'm trying to work more with perspective and spacing, but I want to focus more on Chudd and Trog's world. I'm even playing with the idea of designing the layout of Trog's apartment. Right now I'm just throwing up walls, because they're in doors and there should be a wall there somewhere. In the future I'd like their living space to be more planned out and believable. Well, as real as an apartment for cartoon mice can be. 

So, I've already got a good bite into #17 and I'm hoping this one won't take more than two weeks! Keep checking back for more Atomic Tails goodness! Check out the full #16 below!

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The Sloppy Daily and Working on #16!

So, I'm almost done with #16. Not exactly a week, but two weeks (so far) is the fastest I've produced a strip. Sucks to have to work a full time job. Also, to get warmed up this morning I did a really quick, pen and ink, Atomic Tails one off. In a way it's also to save ideas for future joke. Jason and I made the unfortunate mistake of eating fast food last night. My gut is still paying for it, but it also kind of inspired the idea of Chudd and Trog's favorite fast food joined; Mac-thulu's. Also, we had this idea for a joke about "a tub of Nuggets" which I'll probably work into a strip later on down the road. Anyways, I call this the Sloppy Daily because I moved really fast on this (I didn't want my fear to get in the way) and it just looks bad to me. Maybe by doing more of these I'll be able to improve my freehand mouse sketches. I'm also doing some character design study and I hope this will help improve my toons. Anyways, check out a preview of 15 below as it is coming together!

 

Cheers!

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Strip #15! We're Rolling Now!!!

I Just finished Strip 15 and it only took me the better part of 3 weeks! Okay, still terrible, but I'm making the strip more of my focus and I'm really hoping to start producing one strip a week. In this strip Chudd and Trog's bad day continues. I'm not very happy with the first panel illustration, Buttery just looks wonky to me. Well, as wonky as a made up cartoon mouse can look to someone. However, I kind of dig the other three panel illustrations. After this post I'm going to watch a tutorial on character design and see if there's a way I can improve my toons. It does feel kind of good having the twins together again too. 

Anyways, I'm jumping right into strip 16 and it is a real goal of mine to have it done by next Saturday (the 1st). Also, I just recently started a facebook and Instagram accounts for Atomic Tails. If you're digging the strips, please help support them by following me on social media. 

Okay, back to work!

Oh yeah, in the first panel I wanted to put something on the wall that reflects my/Trog's personality. When I can, I play a lot of World of Warcraft (WoW), and so does Trog. Makes sense since he's based on me. I can't say I'm great at the game, but I love the hell out of it. I tried making a mock "For the Horde" poster to hang on Trog's wall, but most of it got blocked out by the text. Oh well, more chances in the future to show off our geek predilections.

Cheers!!!!

Strip #14 is here!

Yeah, it took me awhile, but here it is! One more strip for Atomic Tails. This strip introduces another many character to the story, Buttery Wholesomeness. Buttery is based (for the most part) on an old high school buddy of mine, but in a weird way, much less of an actual cartoon than the real guy. If you knew Chris, you would know what I was talking about. Anyways, Strip #14 was also a chance to work on the characters form and anatomy a bit more. Though I'm still unsure what happens to their tails when they sit on a couch, I actually like some of the poses I pulled off. All except the last panel. Trog's left foot still just looks weird to me, but as many times as I tried (which was a lot) I couldn't get the leg to do what I wanted. Oh, well... Practice!!! Also, though I went back and added it to strip #13, this is the first time I added a Logo type and creator credit to one of my strips. Chudd (the real life Chudd) helped a little bit with it. Anyways, I'm jumping onto Strip #15 now. I really would like to start producing one a week, but at this point I'd settle for anything under a month.

 

Cheers! 

Strip #13!!!

Just finished strip #13! This time around I tried to not paint the strip in full color, and I actually kind of like how it came out. I'm a huge fan of Berkeley Breathed's Bloom County and I really like how he draws expressions and how he'll just drop in a little color on some of his strips. I wish I had his talent.

Anyways, this strip was produced much faster than all the ones prior, so I think I'll continue in a sort of near color style. Then if I start doing larger "Sunday" like strips I'll do the entire thing in color. Also, I did this entire strip on an eleven year old computer. My normal computer is going through a slow and painful demise, so I had to use AI CS3 and mouse! Currently I'm trying to save money for a new computer so that I can start using my Wacom tablet again, but since starting this strip I had a couple of trips to the emergency room, so medical bills come first. Sucks to be poor. On a brighter note, I'm already thumb nailing the next strip (a Trog strip) and I'm going to try very hard to meet a two week deadline. That'll be the 7th of January. I think I can do it. 

Strip #12!!!

I finally finished strip #12! Okay, I'm still no where near the cartooning level I want to be at, but there are some elements in this strip I'm kind of proud of. Chudd and Trog are starting (a bit) to look like how I imagine them in my head. This strip is loosely based on the many bad job experience Jason (aka: real Chudd) has gone through. I think this will be the last full color strip. My time is very limited and I would like to get more strips done. Also, I love strips like Bloom County which often only use color elements and as I study cartooning I'd like to learn how it's done right. Anyways, I'm diving right into strip #13. Hopefully it won't take the better part of 4 months to complete. I hope. 

Strip #11!

I finally finished Strip #11! Well, the first draft. I'm going to let my brother take a look at it and make changes if he points anything out. All the same, feels good to be working of the strip again and I'm jumping into St #12.

I kind of feel like I should say something about the changing appearance of the mice. I've been practicing drawing Chudd and Trog a lot in between strips (which can be awhile). So instead of trying to go back and retroactively draw them like they were, I would rather draw them as I can now. I feel it's like bringing a camera lens into focus on this really weird world that's in my mind. This is why the mice now have pants, and eye brows. I think I'm getting a bit better at drawing them and I want that reflected in current strips. Also, this is why Waddle looks WAY different. I wasn't really happy with the first version of this little guy so I spent some time working on the character and I'm a happier with the final result. Anyways, I gotta get back to work. I'll try and have a new strip done in a month. 

Back to Work!

It's been awhile, but I'm finally back to work on the strip again. I just started #11, and I'm also working on some portraits and turn arounds for the 5 (Chudd, Trog, Buttery, D20, Numbers) main characters. The sketch above is a quick rough of what I might (meh) use for the Trog and Chudd portraits. Though I've spent a lot of time this last year working on the characters, they still seem a little off to me. I'm hoping that by doing more stuff like this I can refine the toons a bit more. Also, I've started to draw the guys with pants. Turns out that there's a lot of "dick jokes" I want to write in the future, but I don't actually want to draw any mouse dick. Should be fun. 

Cheers!

Just Getting Started!

I just started putting the website together, and I'm running into all sorts of problems. Sorry if the comic strip is kind of unreadable or small. I'm hoping to fix that soon. Unfortunately I'm like really new to using Squarespace and this CMS isn't designed for webcomics. Well, not yet. 

The 10 strips I posted the other day were started about 3 years ago. I've been taking some time off from working on the strip it self to develop the form of the characters and study cartooning. I spend a lot of time drawing the Looney Tunes and cartoons like Tom and Jerry on top of normal character study and perspective work. I'm hoping the practice will pay off and I'll have better looking characters. 

One thing I've been doing is mixing my mice with other cartoons. Recently I did a couple of MOTU mash ups with the mice. I like doing this and I think it's helping me work out their overall form. Plus, it's just fun. After MOTU, I'm going to start on some DC Mash ups. I'm also working on a series of character sheets for the comics main characters (Chudd, Trog, Butter, D20, and Numbers) , I'm hoping to have that posted here soon too. Anyways check out the images below, and I'll have prints of them available on the Murray Brothers Creative website soon, and we're also taking them to Power-Con 2016! 

Enjoy!