With the second year anniversary of BW Media Spotlight coming up, I recently remembered that I wasn’t sure when the anniversary of Jake & Leon was coming up. The first official strip debuted on October 25, 2009, with the announcement the week earlier. I originally created the characters that became Jake and Leon more as an art exercise, but then decided a weekly strip would be a good way to make up for the lack of decent openings for my weekly comic review.
At the time, the jokes revolved around whatever comics I picked up that week. Then I found trying to read and review my entire haul at one time was killing my personal time and pushed it to a daily review during the week. My Sunday article became a wrap-up of interesting news events related to the blog subjects, and the strip expanded into a commentary comic. The art…well, I’m still trying to balance the big eyes and the nose to make the heads look right.
Still, with all the work I put into the strip, I felt like honoring one year (minus the occasional life issues and site maintenance causing delays) of comic strips as we head for the 50th strip in a few weeks.
So here are some of my personal favorite strips, along with why they work for me. Anybody out there have their own favorites? Probably not, since this is hardly the highest traffic I get. Like the weekly posting, clicking on the comic will take you to the behind-the-scenes page. At some point I hope to have a dedicated archive page.
Strip #4: I’m betting my co-worker (who appears along with her then fiance, now husband) still hasn’t read the comic. It was an attempt to draw real people, since some jokes would require it in the future.
Strip #5: Actually the first strip I came up with, I explain why it took a whole month in the behind-the-scenes. Today I like it because although I hadn’t really established in my head that Jake represents my positive side and Leon my more negative side (although both have my tastes in stories) it does show that Leon has a few quirks of his own. I later used that costume in a con-related strip that will come up later.
Strip #8: I think this is the first time we really see Leon’s more disagreeable side and Jake’s more silly side. I was still playing with what size to make the fonts, so that’s a bother. By this point in my head I had established that Jake was himself a cartoonist, using that fact in the Christmas Special, but I still don’t know what Leon does when he isn’t doing skits for the comic.
Strip #12: This was the first strip in the more open format. Although it was resparked by the Nostalgia Critic’s review of the He-Man/She-Ra Christmas special, it was VH-1’s slagging awful I Love the 80’s that really started the flame. The entire segment for He-Man & The Masters of the Universe were gay jokes. I couldn’t list half the weirdness of the show or toyline in a four-panel strip that could make far more interesting jokes without even having to be into the lore. Besides, Adam/Teela/He-Man was easily the Clark/Lois/Superman of that series (or as close as we were going to get).
This is also the first time I went outside of the “Jake & Leon World”, using a different art style. The thought was that Jake perspective would be more artistic (in a cartoony way) and later I had Leon’s perspective humor more like a quick doodle.
Strip #13: Obviously a commentary on the Blackest Night event that was going on at the time, as well as how DC STILL treats characters at this time, I’m surprised that there was no response on this whatsoever. I treat it as proof nobody really reads the strip, but since I haven’t had any complaints, either, I still do it for fun and to do some kind of comic.
Strip #14: This one gains a spot more because of the story behind it. It was my second convention, U-Con @ UConn. You can find pictures in the Convention Reports second of the site, but it was an opportunity to meet Doug Walker in person. I even gave him the original art of this strip, although I don’t know if he ever actually read the finished product above. Also, as far as my skills go I totally nailed the Husky dog that the University of Connecticut’s sports teams use as a mascot.
Strip #20: I’ve put this into a few posts since, demonstrating my issue with pretty much the “everything for meeeeeeeeee” crowd. The creators don’t have to make an adult version of your childhood favorite if they want to keep producing it for kids. And if you got over yourselves, you might find some of that “kiddie crap” is actually rather good. But I’m totally bypassing a major rant and moving on.
Strip #28: Hey, why not? Until the Marvel War arc I just finished, this was the only comic I would reference again in a future strip outside of Jake’s furniture. And I may look at more Power Rangers comics in the future. However, as I mentioned the last time I did a PR strip, Jason Frank, who played Tommy, is an MMA fighter, and I prefer not to die so the next joke will be on a different Ranger. 🙂
And of course, I just finished the “Marvel War” arc. These are just my most favorite strips. I still have some work to do with the art style since there are still things about it I’m not happy with, but even if nobody reads it, I still enjoy making it and that’s all that counts. So happy (belated) anniversary, Jake & Leon!