On October 25th, I posted the first official Jake & Leon comic. Yesterday I missed that anniversary, but since last year it took me to November to remember, I’m not as disappointed in myself. Above is the first design, back when Leon was called Leroy. (When I posted the picture, my brain changed it to “Leon”, which I think works better from a title perspective.) At the time I wasn’t planning on making a comic out of them. I just felt like trying a different style. Then I needed a way to open my “This Week’s Reviews”, and the comic was born.

I found that it was actually a good way to practice other styles, thanks to parodies and satires. Meanwhile, the Jake & Leon style allows me to get a comic up faster, since I don’t even need a breakdown. This year also saw improvements, as well as me changing from leftover ditto paper to bristol board, the type most other cartoonists use. Coming up are some of my personal favorites, whether I happened to like the jokes I went with or it shows some personal growth for me. I may not have done an “event” like Marvel War, which ended year 1, but I think I did some good stuff. So let’s take a trip back through the second year of Jake, Leon, and their friends. WARNING: a lot of images this round.

Then again, an alien walking down the streets on Earth would usually draw attention, wouldn't it?

I really hadn’t done much with Fizzbin. While I had introduced her, and though having an alien perspective on human culture would be a good source of humor. Deciding that female Francians had antennae gave me another joke. I forget if I intended for her to be female all along, but it does balance out the cast a bit more, since Beth and Meredith were the only females at the time. Men still have one more on their side (Jake, Leon, Max, and Bill, although if you count my involvement, that’s two more), but I don’t have a space for any more supporting castmembers at this time.

There are times I worry about giving someone ideas and times I'm afraid someone already has seriously. This is both.

This was actually inspired by a dating reality show on, of all channels, TV Land called The Cougar, in which (and I wish I was kidding) an older woman chose from a group of younger men, The Bachelorette style. For some reason there was also an old radio skit in my head about the “mating call of the Guido”. When I found out that was an actual term for a type of guy, I went looking for it and we can “thank” Jersey Shore for making it popular. The joke finished itself, really.

Considering what Superman is exposed to in an average day...

This was the second time I drew Superman (and boy did I draw a terrible Lois) and I thought I did rather well considering. Now if I had remembered to point the word balloon towards Jake in the fourth panel it might not have been so bad.

My biggest concern is that he's still in the kids section.

I don’t plan to make this guy a regular (although it has passed through my mind a couple of times) but I thought it would be fun to get his perspective on the “kewl” guy, Hot Pursuit. Naturally, his thoughts were done using scans from comics and ads, rather than the usual style.

And he has a message for a certain whiny girl, too.

Because I totally am right. Godzilla should be ruling Halloween, not these guys. Even Stephanie Meyer couldn’t screw this up. And now that I wrote that she’s totally going to try to prove me wrong, isn’t she?

At least we know who would do the comic adaptation.

You know you’d play this.

I was worried about how bad my Smurfette was. Then I saw the live-action movie trailer.

In light of a Twitter post I saw about “Smurf torture”, this concept makes even more sense. As I wrote on one of my business card strips, “Smurf” will be the new fake curseword of choice among geeks.

I don't even eat the stuff.

This is what I really think parents groups are trying to do. Then again, they think kids are so stupid that using Elvira or a cartoon camel to promote their beer and cigarettes are going to turn kids towards those things because cartoons are only for kids. (Although unlike most comics, at least making cartoons for kids is still approved by the older fans. This is dwindling in the “everything for meeeeeeeeeee” crowd, of course.)

Also, he can't afford the postage.

Sometimes one of my filler jokes actually works. At least to me.

Probably be big in Japan

This is the first comic I did on bristol. This meant tweaking my inking process as well as scanning and computer coloring. One thing I’ve figured out recently is I have to flatten all the layers after coloring and before resizing for lettering and posting. This was the next step in my quest to improve the comic.

Apparently they can.

There are a few cool things about this beyond drawing Superman again. For one, it continued off of the joke in the previous strip, where despite being gamed out from a week of E3 coverage on the site, they decided to go to the arcade rather than go through more post-Flashpoint news (or as we now call it, the DCnU or sometimes 52). The second is combining art styles because drawing Superman in the usual J&L style would look horrible and it’s been established there are no actual superheroes in Jake and Leon’s universe, so this is obviously another skit. The third is panel one, an angle I never would have tried a year ago. It might not be perfect, but it’s still a step forward for me.

Nobody complained when Batman wasn't on his feet in less than a week...

…and yet getting Barbara back in the Batgirl suit is supposed to make sense because of all the magic and superscience in the DC Universe. Never mind that Barbara retired BEFORE The Killing Joke was written and made canon.

Some things just aren't funny.

I don’t usually do social or political commentaries in the strip, but after London had a riot that would make LA jealous, I felt the need to comment. Plus I got to draw the Doctor, Amy, and Rory. I don’t plan for IDW to bring me in anytime soon.

As much as you don't want to, you remember the Spider-Armor.

This is one of those skits where the boys just host, but having a character from the skit react to something they said is not something I usually do. And yes, while Jim Lee is to blame for Superman and Flash’s new look, I still draw Spidey with Archie’s “R” and the Charlie Brown jagged line because Marvel still thinks that he’s Charlie Brown mixed with Archie. Only now he works in a super hi-tech lab and is part of three different superhero teams, because that makes him the relatable everyman.

How would YOU represent the clay origin?

Yep, I went there. And forgot to close the quotation marks along the way. Special.

And that was the best (to me) of Jake & Leon year two. Year three will hopefully bring more improvement and more comics. I swear Ninja Ballerina will be done!

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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