Flail doyou ?

This is not a FAQ, since no one has really asked any questions. This is probably because no one reads the strip, except people who want my domain name because they're in a band named "Flail", and people looking for "the funny stuff" which used to be here. If someone were to read the strip, these are some questions I imagine they might want an answer to. In keeping with the strip itself, these answers are not witty.

Are you still woring on this strip?

These days, the answer generally seems to be no. I'm writing this today because I just posted a new strip yesterday, so that's something. I didn't break my current record for longest hiatus (which spanned March 2001 to June 2002), butit was pretty long. I posted five new strips in the year 2002. That says it all, doesn't it? It's probably safest to check the site on your birthday, and see if it's changed in the past year, then read the archives if it has.

January 27, 2003

Why is the art so bad?

I used to make excuses, when I thought about what it would be like to be asked this question. The way I see it now, the art isn't all that bad, sometimes I actually think it shines. If I had more time, it would be even better. And if you don't like it, there's a text only version.

October 16, 2000

If the art is so bad, why can't it at least change from panel to panel?

I think Funny Arcade put it best: "I think I'm getting better at drawing my characters, eventually I might make an episode where one of them moves their arms in a panel. It will be great." Believe it or not, a panel is taking me almost an hour to draw. I swore I would draw each panel new by hand when I started this - that lasted until 10:00 PM on the night I put up the first comic. I'll see what I can do. I'm having more success drawing new panels consistently, lately.

November 3, 2000

While we're on the subject, why isn't the strip funny?

I spend so much time on the bad art, there really isn't much time left over for humour.

October 16, 2000

And how come some days it's just so boring?

The daily reader is not foremost on my mind when I draw a strip. I had initially intended to treat the strip as one 10,000 panel strip which I was displaying 3 panels at a time. I didn't want to feel like I had to end every strip with a period. I still take that attitude, but I find that it's more natural than I expected to end each strip with a period, or at least a comma. Still, my first concern when writing a strip is how it will look in the archives, not how it will look to the daily reader. I'm not saying that I don't try to make every strip entertaining in its own right - just that I don't care if I succeed or not, as long as the archives are satisfying.

November 3, 2000

So why do you even bother?

Well, there are some comics out there that really, really piss me off. I gripe about them constantly to friends, but I don't feel like griping about them here because that seems unprofessional. I don't know what it would be like to be a nationally syndicated cartoonist and go to some lame webcomic's FAQ page and see "Chris Koeberle's crap-ass nationally syndicated comic was so bad, it made me start doing a lame webcomic." Anyway, I figured since I do gripe about comics I hate extensively in person, I figured I should get a better idea of the challenges that go into being funny every day. I figure after a few months of sucking every single day (well, every weekday, anyway), my griping will make more sense, or something.

November 3, 2000

I think it's important to leave the above paragraph as written, because it was exactly what I was thinking 2 years ago about why I was doing this. I also want to note, though, that I have stopped reading the comics page as of... Well, more than 2 years ago. I've also stopped reading all but 14 online comics, and one of those is my own. That might have something to do with my limited output, lately.

January 27, 2003

More generally, you're obviously on the wrong end of the "Shit once a day"/"Steak once a week" curve. Why not do this less often, and make it good?

I pay more attention to daily deadlines than weekly deadlines. If I put out one comic a week, I'll spend 2 hours on that comic. If I put out 5 comics a week, I'll spend an hour or so on each. 5 hours a week might one day make me better at this. I cannot possibly tell the stories I intend to tell in one-week bursts.

October 16, 2000

About that text-only version - I notice that it's remarkably free of errors. That can't be your doing, can it?

Of course not. Every morning, a crack team of whatever they're making crack teams out of these days (but mostly Katie Simpson) translates the text-only version into HDML, producing flail, the *wireless* web comic. In the course of so doing, she notices whatever my eyes were too bleary to see when I was typing up the text-only version far too late at night. In return, she gets next to nothing. Not sure how that works, really. At any rate, it keeps the text-only version complete.

October 24, 2000

How is this lame webcomic produced?

Anything you see is ultimately drawn by hand with a Wacom Intuos tablet, Painter 6, and a gorgeous ViewSonic monitor that tries very hard not to kick out so much RF that the tablet is unusable. I would like to be using the GIMP instead of Painter, but the GIMP for Win32 doesn't yet support my tablet. I sometimes use the tablet to trace photographs I have taken and sketches I have drawn - I never use them to trace other people's artwork, and if I did, you'd never see it. The panels are originally drawn at 800x800, in millions of colors, then downsampled to 400x400 or 200x200 with 2-6 bits of color.

November 3, 2000

And the supporting website?

All my HTML is written in vi, with occasional use of sed. I don't use Java, Javascript, SHTML, PHP, Acid, Weed, Horse, or Crack. Well, maybe a little crack. Every page should be Valid HTML 4.0! valid HTML 4.0.

October 16, 2000

Let's say I find myself enjoying this lame webcomic. Anything I can do to make it more popular?

Tell your friends. Make sure to warn them about the fact that even if I work on the strip consistently for the next two years, it will still (on average) be on hiatus.

January 27, 2003

Speaking of popularity - how many hits do you get?

In the interest of full disclosure, and not having to update this if I ever blow up, I'm just going to point you at the server statistics for just the front page. Look at the "Average successful requests per day" field - the first number is "ever" and the second number is "in the last week". Eventually, I'll put forth the effort to automatically import that number into here. As a measure of how imperative that willen have been, as I write this it's 23 (22 : November 2002) (13 : January 2003).

January 27, 2003

What resolution is this designed for - 320x200?

The main page can be viewed without scrollbars at 640x480 if your browser is set up properly. The larger page can be viewed at 1280x1024 without scrollbars. I really, really hate having to scroll on the main page of a comic. I also hate Java, Javascript, ads, and splash screens.

October 16, 2000

What about the characters and storylines - are they you, your friends, and your life?

No. I imagine every cartoonist goes through this, now that there are so many strips out there that are just reflections of real life. People who read comics are just so eager to connect with the artist that they look for similarities between the artist and the strip all the time. Most artists are aware of this, and I know some of them think twice before including things similar to their own life. In my case, I'm just going with it. Tant and André share many personality traits with I and my friends. They live in an apartment with a floorplan identical to mine, although their furniture is quite different. I walk to work every morning, I drink beverages, I own a Dreamcast. You will find these things, and more from my life, in flail. Nothing in flail, however, is intended to be an accurate representation of my life, or anyone else's.

October 16, 2000

Isn't that all just a bit of a cop out?

Yeah, kinda. But this is my take on it: I want to draw a readable strip. One thing that I find makes a strip readable is it being believable. A crutch I use to insure some aura of believability is taking things from real life. I can count on no hands the number of readable comics that don't do this to one extent or another, even giving them the head start of not counting the English language against them. I do not ever want flail to become empty parroting of my own life. However, sometimes things happen to me which, in my opinion, make an interesting story. This is why some stories reflect things that have actually happened to me or people I know. Other than that, as for why so many things in the strip resemble things in my life - it's that they resemble things in the real world, and the things in the real world with which I'm most familiar are the ones closest to me.

October 16, 2000

You're awfully longwinded. Anything else you want to bitch about?

Yeah. FAQ? It's pronounced Fuh-Queue. This belief got me through three months of employment in the tech support industry, and helped me write this document.

October 16, 2000

Speaking of longwinded... Is there a forum to discuss this strip?

Yup. Sorta. More of an old mailing list I had set up and commandeered for this purpose. Send mail to ck-list-request@flail.com with the word "subscribe" in the subject. I reserve the right to mail whatever the hell I want to this list, and provided little to no technical support for its members.

December 19, 2000

One more thing - When does the comic get updated?

I have been pretty regularly getting a new strip up by 1:00am Dallas time, Monday through Friday. If I don't have a new strip up by 2:00am Dallas time, nothing's going up that day.

October 25, 2000

copyright 2000 Chris Koeberle