On the origin of this comic:
I wanted to try making a comic strip, with the criterion that it be simple to produce, but not so simple as to make the artistic aspect irrelevant (which last is often the case with so many 'talking heads' strips).
I then thought of the approach that Larry Marder used in his legendary comic Beanworld. Starting with very simple and iconic forms, he created a complex story with its own unique ecosystem and physical laws. I decided to begin this project by creating some simple forms and combining them until something arose that I could use.
(It should be said that I am not trying to create something as complex as Beanworld by quickly shuffling some forms around. Marder developed the iconography for his characters, and the concepts that underlie his work, over many years. What I'm doing is at present just an experiment, which may eventually become a complex work in its own right.)
I next considered whether to construct the forms by freehand sketching or in Adobe Illustrator. I tried Illustrator first, but the basic shapes produced by its drawing tools were offering me no inspiration, and I was inclined to try scratchboarding instead, but first I tried another approach. Overlapping a mass of simple shapes in Illustrator, I used the Division tool to break the mass into a group of puzzlelike pieces. I selected various pieces that looked promising, and combined them into two basic characters which appear above. I set a few rules to keep things interesting: pieces had to be in black or white, and could be rotated, flipped, and resized, but not stretched, squashed or otherwise edited into a different shape. I later decided that the pieces could be butted together like tangrams to form other shapes, but that they could not be overlapped to the point that they lost their identities.
The comic started off with a few gag strips, and then a story started to develop as I made the decision to combine the images with the words of a nonsense poem I wrote several years back. I am pleased with the story's progress so far, and I hope to continue telling this story for a long time, until it reaches its very definite conclusion.