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IíM FONT OF IT

26 August 2006

I made an oopsie when I told you that Mike -the creator of the animated dancing Lil' Cranium- was depicted in one of the photo's on the site in an earlier rant: that wasn't true. I was lying to you. The face of Mike remains as ever a scorching mystery.

To some it may come as a relief that we have again a page that is hand-lettered for classic effect instead of the computer-generated font of late. I am, unfortunately, not really one of those people. I noticed that, despite the added value of handwriting adding a level of craftsmanship, it's a rather restricting thing. Now that I've been using the small and eloquently legible font Digital Strip for a few episodes, I've experienced how much breathing room it gives me on the page itself. I can arrange the compositions with greater ease and it's less of a burden to shift around digital balloons to improve the storytelling than ones that are hard-coded into the page itself. In contrast, it was a cramping experience to get back to writing those lumbering blocks of text by hand again.

When I began August, one of my goals was to do as little things by computer as possible, but since then I've become less technocratic with rules. After all, dogmas are to be avoided and broken when the need arises. And this is one rule I'm more than willing to skip now I've understood its implications. For you, the reader, it is another story however. I'm quite astutely aware how many of you prefer handwritten texts. And by no means is my mind made up. But I want you to ask yourself what is more important to you, and I ask this without irony: the aesthetical virtue of the pictures, or the potential of the strip itself? I understand these are actually woven into each other, but for the sake of argument I'll separate them. See, for a while now I've come to the conclusion that my writing is hampered by the knowledge that I can only fit so much dialogue on a page when I have to use my hands' font. I've been struggling for a while with the question of what August is and where I want to go with it, feeling that I haven't been able to pull out its real potential. But every time I want to get kooky I find I don't have the room to put down little textual detours, instead forced to focus on only the main plot itself for lack of room.

Digital fonts may soften this defect. It may help further develop the potential of Captain August, the webcomic. I've never shied away from experimentation, as you know, but such a big thing I wouldn't want to do without the opinions of my readers. So if you've got things to say on it, go over to the forums and start or find a topic; or mail me what you think.

To be continued!

Roderick.