This is the 201st post on the blog called monotonae.
For the 200th post, a nice round number, I was digging through my files for some thing special, but instead colored up a sketchbook drawing of Eagle One and his Eaglets.
Here’s something special for the first post of the next 100 - if I stretch the definition of the word “special.”
Before there was monotonae, there was a printed newsletter called monotony.
If memory serves, some time in 1993 I decided to quit working in a Disneyland themed restaurant, to get serious about finishing my art studies and embarking a career in the field. Wanting to challenge myself with maintaining and regular newspaper style comic strip (TAGS), I compounded the pressure with the creation of monotony as the monthly outlet for that work, if only for a year. The newsletter format, in turn, was also a major impetus for the addition of the Sunday edition full page format to TAGS.
Production was crude compared to the home office setups that are common today. Most of the layouts and text blocking was done in a program called Pagemaker. With no access to a scanner, all illustration was subsequently added either directly on the master pages (or boards) or as photocopies pasted on the board. Then the boards were copied in the wee hours (to get that after midnight discount) at the local Kinko’s shop.
Initially, copies were sent to about a half dozen friends of my Disney days.
Here are scans of the six pages of the first issue, with the mailing addresses redacted.
And monotony came with two inserts:
1) A subscription order card.
2) A survey form.
This Makes Me Stranger Than You
Even as I was in the middle of doing monotony I had the sense that it was a huge expression of “hey, look at me!” In essence, it was a web-log (a.k.a. blog) without the web. Except for family updates people send out with Christmas greetings, no one else does this sort of thing. Perhaps giving the publication a bit of parody aspect helped to relieve some of that egotistical part.
The core of it, or course, was getting TAGS out there in some form, and after a year, maybe I’d have a good sample package to seek out syndication.
The Runty story is the type of satirical prose I would write in one sitting to fill up a page.
St. Nick and Monster
Here, for the first time published in color is the cover illustration.
water color on heavy cold press paper.
Eh. It’s no Rockwell, that’s for certain. Look at Santa’s huge mitts compared to his face.