Rugg News Archive;
03.05.2004 Super double-sized #85 spectacular! --
I realized when I was going over the script for this latest comic that there was no way I could cram all the action I wanted into a single four-panel row, so you, the readers, win! I, of course, am the one who loses, since this strip took more than twice as long to draw compared to the usual ones.
I might do more big-sized strips like this in the future, too. Basically, any time I have something that I feel needs more than four panels and that I can't split into two or more stand-alone jokes, these bigger strips will probably be showing up.
You can reward me for the bigger strip, dear readers, by voting for Rugg! Those buttons aren't there for show, people! And just think, if we can get this into any of those lists' top 10s, then that means more people will see my lovely banner (which they wouldn't be able to resist clicking, of course), and there might just be a chance this cartoon could become, er... slightly less obscure!
Besides that, I've got a lot of news to go with this update, too.
First, it occurs to me that the year turned over since the last news update, so happy new year!
Second, I've also started drawing a comic strip for one of my college's newspapers, the AS Review. The comic is called Deadpan, and some of you have already seen some samples from it here. It's published once a week, and as of this writing, I'm into my 8th week of having them published. So if you're going to be around WWU, pick up some copies of the Review!
Finally, it seems Suicide Squirrel, a 3-page comic that I found so hilarious that I linked it in my links page, has had its hosting service pulled. But we can't mourn its passing forever. Eventually we must let go. So, I've replaced it with a link to my newest favorite just-discovered webcomic that ended four years ago, Chuck Loves The World. Check it out, the artwork and writing are first-rate syndication-style stuff.
12.27.2003 With luck! --
Sorry for the lengthy delay from the last update. I realize that claiming computer trouble without offering up substantial proof is something of a modern-day equivilant for the "my dog ate my homework" excuse, particularly in the case of online comic strips, where any responsible cartoonist really should have enough queued up in advance to cover any difficulties for a week or so, but that's exactly what's happened to me.
While I have my system back up and running in working order at the moment, I may not be in the clear yet, as it's possible my laptop's hard drive is experiencing a mechanical problem. I won't know for sure until I can take it to get it checked out at a certain place back in Bellingham.
The good news is that despite all this, I have a new cartoon today. The bad news is that, er... it's not very funny and the artwork looks kind of off.
The (other) good news is that I was able to rescue all the high-res versions of most of my comics and artwork stuff, with the exception of the materials I used to make the newest Rugg website.
The (other) bad news is that I had to wipe my computer's hard drive, meaning that I lost all my archived email, meaning if you were one of the few people who's emailed me recently and haven't gotten a reply, well... you might want to email me again. Otherwise it won't just be my bad email manners keeping me from getting back to you.
12.16.2003 Winter break --
School's out for the next few weeks, which means I can finally spend more time on this comic... again!
A lot's happening with me right now, but since most of it's still tentative I can't talk about it just yet. But stay tuned, I might have some news to report soon that's pretty swell from my point of view.
In the meantime, besides updating the comic again for at least a little while, I'll be doing some work on the site. No major changes, but rather, little adjustments. You can see that I've already started by moving some old news off the index page, which was starting to get a little cluttery, and onto the archived news page instead.
I've also got some specific changes to make to the links page and something I might have to add to the index page, but it's going to take a little playing around with layouts in photoshop before I can go ahead with the actual changes.
Finally, Top Web Comics apparently shut down, which means I've got a vote button to remove from all my pages as soon as I can find a different one to swap it with. Anyone have a toplist they'd like to recommend? Perhaps one where a comic like mine might have a chance of cracking the top 100? Email me if you do.
But that's all stuff most readers don't really care about, I imagine. The important news is that I'll be updating again (soon! (with luck!))!
11.25.2003 Happy Thanksgiving! --
Well, I wanted to get a new Rugg cartoon done before the holiday, but school just wouldn't allow it! But don't fret, for I am going to try and work on one while I'm on Thanksgiving break.
However, even though there's no new Rugg this week, I do have another one of these to share with you.
11.08.2003 School --
It never fails, readers start to pick up and I even get invited to join a nice online cartoonists' group, and I'm starting a new storyline, and all kinds of stuff for the comic is going well... and then schoolwork creeps up an preempts everything.
I really, really did not mean for this to happen, but, it seems to like clockwork. The past 4 or 5 weeks have been really busy. Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines, and unfortunately, the comic falls by the wayside. Luckily, I finished an important school art portfolio (By the way, I passed! That means, I'm adequate! Yah!), which has relieved a lot of the pressure, plus Veterans' Day next week meaning I get a short little vacation, which finally gives me some time to spend again on Rugg, which means I just might have a new strip done and online when I get back!
In the meantime, though, here's something else for you to look at.
10.07.2003 Whoops! --
I just noticed that the date on the latest comic is wrong. It should be dated October 6th, not October 5th. I messed up because apparently I got my last update done a day earlier than I planned, so it snowballed on me when I dated the latest strip's file name, and once it's been processed by AutoKeen, I don't know if there's a way to change it.
What that means is that the next update should be seven days after the current strip, rather than six. It'll have actually been six, of course, but the image dates will appear to indicate otherwise. Sorry for the inconvenience.
And what do you know, the new, slightly-less-unpredictable update schedule has actually had a NEGATIVE impact on my readership! Ha-HAH! How about that? If the precious few of you reading now could vote for me on some of those toplists, I'm sure it would help, though... I'm presently being beaten by so many sprite comics on this one, for example, that it's not even funny.
09.19.2003 Minor adjustments --
I made a few tiny adjustments to the website. First of all, I noticed that one of the CSS tags on the daily pages was misnamed, so I fixed that. Then I adjusted the x-sizes of some of the menu controls because Internet Explorer renders the storyline dropdown differently (read: ugly) than all the other browsers I've tested the site on, which meant I had less space on IE to fit the first/next/previous/today buttons into if I wanted them all to be on a single line.
I think I've got it fixed so it renders consistently across browsers now, including that last little bug. Anyway, everything else handled it fine to begin with, and IE proved to be the biggest pain. Somehow, I'm not surprised.
Also adjusted the email address in all the "contact" links. I had it reversed before to avoid having my address get picked up by spambots, but apparently, people seemed to think it was broken or something. That actually surprised me.
09.13.2003 Sked changes --
For the past year, Rugg's update schedule has been highly erratic. While I've averaged about one new strip a week, it's been pretty random about when it would show up. I've always felt once a week isn't enough for this style of strip, but I don't want to spend every waking moment working on it, and with the kind of detail I typically put into this one, that's exactly what I'd end up having to do with a speedier update frequency.
So, since my readership sucks, considering I've been doing this for over a year, I'm gonna try a new schedule and see if that helps. I feel a new strip every six days affords me plenty of time to put in the same level of detail I like to do with this, as well as enough time in the week to spend on other projects and responsibilities, and isn't much different from what I'm doing now. And maybe I'll post other material here in addition to the comic from time to time, just so you can see what else I'm working on.
09.06.2003 New website!! --
Well, it's been over a year since the first comic went up, and in that time, I haven't refurbished the website at all, so I figured it was about time for something new! This one has some stuff the old site was missing, and the design is quite a bit more extensible. I was going for a "slicker, but still reflecting a crazy cartoon atmosphere" kind of thing. Did I succeed? Now it'll be easier for people to tell me, because I finally got around to adding a contact link to all the pages. There're still a few more changes that need to be made and things that need to be added in the future, but in the meantime, this is the new look!
By the way, you might also have noticed this design accomodates those comic-list-vote-things that are so popular these days quite a bit better than the old one would have, so if you like my strip or you're just feeling charitable, maybe you could consider voting for it by clicking on some/all of them?
09.04.2003 New site in the next few days --
Just a quick update to note that I haven't been slacking off on the new site design. I'm still working on it, and it's basically ready. All I have left to do is adjust where the links on some images point to so they'll work once they're on keenspace, move some CSS around, run it through one more round of testing, and post it!
Yeah, I know, I'm sure nobody cares. I'm not really trying to make a big deal about it or anything... the design's not perfect and there are still a few things I wanted to do differently but decided to save for later so it's not delayed another month. The only reason it's a big deal to me at all, really, is that I'll finally have a site design that I can at least feel moderately proud to shill.
The next new comic should follow shortly after I get the new site finished and online, barring no unforseeable delays of either.
08.12.2003 Tiny delays preclude bigger, more quality updates! --
I'm scheduled to have another strip up either today or tomorrow, but it's probably not going to happen. Mind you, I could easily have the next 3 or so ready and queued up by tomorrow, but I think it's better if I work on a major update for the site instead. Basically going to overhaul the whole place and hopefully end up with something way more neater looking than what I have now! I'm trying to stick to a schedule of at least one new strip a week, so even if I don't finish the site overhaul by the end of the week, there'll probably be at least be one new cartoon.
By the way, I forgot to mention it in my last news update, but Rugg turned a year old just a few days before I got home from vacation (August 2nd)! So for anyone who thought I'd give up in less than a year like one of the Chicken's crazy plans: looks like I DO have what it takes to stick to anything I put my mind to, no matter how futile it is! *maniacal laugh*
And guess what else? While I was on vacation, I made that banner that I mentioned in the last news update! I just finished adjusting the animation time on it yesterday, and even though it's not live on the site just yet, here's a link to it for the time being! Once I finish the site redesign, there'll be a place for it somewhere, plus I'll be able to add some of those vote things you see on a lot of comic sites to the front page! Neat!
08.07.2003 What the!? --
Well, I went on vacation for a little over two weeks. Went back to Yellowstone (was there last summer too) and visited Mount Rushmore. If you were at Mount Rushmore at the same time as I was, you might've seen me sketching the mountain in my small sketchbook (email me if you did!).
I just barely queued up enough comics before I left so that the site could auto-update a few times while I was gone, but instead of spending my free-time in hotels and such working on the next set of strips to queue up when I got back, I spent it sketching some material for a book I want to do sometime in the future, finishing up the coloring and animation for a web banner for this place, and setting down some guidelines for a possible redesign of this site.
Plus, I was really unimpressed with the last two strips. They both looked positively amatuerish and very sloppy, so I decided to redraw and reissue both of them. If you look back at them now, you'll probably notice how much better they look (especially the latest one).
New strip(s?), and maybe a banner for this site will should be up in two days or so. So until then...
12.03.2002 Back on Track --
Good heavens, following in the grand tradition of 90% of 'space comics, this place has been dead for several weeks now.
Fortunately, fall quarter is ending here at Western in the next two weeks, and next quarter, my classes shouldn't be quite as demanding (or time-wasting).
I would've had a new strip up last week, but I was home for Thanksgiving, and since baggage space between here and home was limited, I didn't haul my scanner back and forth with me.
Just as well. As you can see, it gave me time to make sure today's strip looked decidedly nice as far as artwork goes (backgrounds especially surprised me). The joke is pathetic (again), and probably doesn't garner much more than a giggle from most readers (maybe I shouldn't be pluralizing that), but it seems to me like my character art is finally starting to settle into a fairly consistent "look." 'Bout time, is all I have to say about that.
11.21.2002 So, Where've I been THIS time --
Registration for winter classes just started for me this week at school... and it's already hellish, let me tell you.
Just my luck that about 90% of the classes I haven't ALREADY taken in relevant areas of study are tagged with a "Major Restriction" requirement. And something like half of what's left requires an override code. Goody.
What's that? You say I'm exaggerating? Heh. I wish.
I can see a trend developing here... either they've been attaching those two tags to more and more classes every year since I started going to school here at Western, or it just seems that way because the pool of classes I haven't already taken has (logically) gotten smaller and smaller. Maybe both. Either way, it's a problem, and if I ever get time, I'm thinking about writing a scathing essay about it. Perhaps I'll post it here for the two or three of you who read this page to take a look at.
Of course, unless you go to college here, then it probably won't mean much to you, either.
Mostly, it's got me really worried about what the state of my financial aid is going to be next term, since they revoke it if you're not signed up for a minimum of 12 credits at the beginning of any given term (even though it sometimes takes people a week or two to finalize their schedules). 12 credits, 12 credits, I'm having enough difficulty just finding one class to sign up for right now!
Oh, and naturally, I simply MUST have another short video (again, with no crew or help of any kind) and a complicated assignment in the class I don't much care for due this week. Thanks, universe.
But enough of that. All of this still fails to excuse the fact that this time I'm OVER a week late with a new strip.
I have the unfinished comic sitting right in front of me as I type this right now. The backgrounds in the panels aren't turning out especially grand. I think I need to consider getting some more new pens soon, these ones aren't producing very nice lines any more unless I make them too bold. The joke isn't particularly inspiring, either. Once again, it mostly sets things up for a few more slightly-more-amusing strips in the story thread (especially one of my favorites two strips away).
Last but certainly not least, I should mention that I received an email from a fellow keenspace artist a little while ago. Unfortunately, that email seems to have vanished from my In-box for some reason (I probably did something stupid like accidentally moved it to the wrong folder or something). I remember the details, though, those being that I should add a fanart page. I appreciate the kind thought, especially since it implies that I have fans, something which seems to have been nicely disproven by last news update's call for email, to which I got zero replies (well, perhaps one, if the email in question was triggered by it).
Still, I'll be keeping the suggestion in mind. Maybe once I can get back on a decent update schedual, I'll actually deserve some fanart (I suspect the challenge of doing fanart for characters as bizarre as mine might be the most likely draw).
11.01.2002 Late AGAIN --
Goody. I'm over a WEEK late this time. On top of that, the latest strips have had exceedlingly lackluster artwork and writing. They seemed a lot funnier when I first wrote 'em over a year ago, but they've lost something over time. Take today's, for example. I had to cut out some dialogue because of space issues, so it doesn't even flow as well as it was supposed to when I originally conceived of it. This just multiplies the disappointing effects of the fact that the "joke" (if you could even call it that) wasn't very good to begin with.
That said... I've had a lousy week. Far lousier than today's strip, even (if you can imagine that). First I got Ds on not one, but TWO midterms (and though I'm not really an extreme overachiever, grades that bad are really unusual for me, especially so close together). The first was in a class that's utterly worthless, where the whole point of the class is learning Active Server Pages, quite possibly one of the worst programming languages ever invented (big surprise, since it comes from the Beast, as El Reg would call them). I'm not taking this class because I want to... quite the opposite, in fact. I'm taking it because it's a required element of a certain web studies program at Western and they presently don't offer alternative classes in alternative, non-proprietary dynamic languages (e.g. ones that don't completely bite the big one).
The other D was in Knowledge and Reality, a philosophy class that's been boring and useless up until Wednesday, a few days after we took the actual midterm. The reason I signed up for this class wasn't because I was looking for an "easy ride," as many people claim philosophy classes are (provided the topic of discussion can hold your attention for longer than 3 seconds), but because I truly thought a class on the nature of reality, a subject that greatly interests me, would be... well, interesting. But we spent the whole first half of the class discussing a muddled topic that only seemed to be barely related to the course title and discription, so the whole first half was nothing but a total waste of time. I have no doubt that I'll do much better on the final, since now we're starting to get into the topics that are at least halfway-useful, but it's still somewhat depressing that I probably can't hope to get better than a low B in the class.
On Tuesday, I worked hard to finish that video project (the one that I've mentioned several times in the past few weeks), but couldn't turn it in because I didn't have enough footage and my acting was terrible. Oh well, it might've helped if I'd had a crew and/or actors consisting of some other people in addition to myself.
On Wednesday, I had to throw out all my bread because it'd molded up at an alarming rate, much faster than usual. Even a loaf of Wonder Bread, which I've gotten in the past to last more than a month and a half without getting moldy or going stale (no exaggeration), was turning an unpleasant shade around the edges. But at least I'd gotten about 3/4 of the way through that one. I was a little more miffed at the bag of hamburger buns, out of which I'd only managed to eat 3 before they'd become inedible.
On Thursday, I was supposed to go see The Ring with a large group of friends, but they decided to ditch me at the last minute instead. Oh well, it strikes me as a film that's probably overrated anyway. Feh. I'd personally much rather see Bowling for Columbine. Too bad it doesn't look like any theaters around here will be picking it up, insert sad face.
And then on Friday, this happens, once again proving that the rich are above the law and justice is dead. If anyone is planning on assassinating John Ashcroft, please consider developing time-travel first and using it to off him well before any of this happened.
So these items, along with numerous others I won't mention, have made my week pretty... um, "horrible." I guess all this reads as is a really bad excuse for being so late on the update. Then again, I wonder how many people are actually reading this? If you are, email me.
Also, I'm not too optimistic on getting the next strip online in a timely fashion either, as next week I have another film due, and I'd like to turn in more than a script this time. It has to be a silent film, at least 3-5 minutes long, and not use any zooms (I don't know why this is... did cameras in the silent movie era never have zoom capabilities?). As usual, I'm having trouble thinking of ideas that I can produce with a budget of $0 dollars and no crew or actors besides myself. I always thought it would be neat to make a modern silent film from the point of view of a deaf person, but, like I said... out of my present range. Anyhow, if you have any ideas you wouldn't mind suggesting, email me.
10.24.2002 Ugh --
Sheesh. Look at this. I can't even be on time to have things drawn and uploaded late.
If I don't finish another strip by Saturday (which, while altogether possible, isn't very likely) I'll have only put one up this week. Feh, I didn't ever want to drop below twice-weekly!
Many pardons, folks.
10.21.2002 Another delay --
Hey, where's today's comic?
Why, it's not drawn, for pretty much the same reason as the last delay!
It'll probably be online by Tuesday or Wednesday.
I don't have much more to say beyond that.
10.12.2002 Excuses, excuses --
So, some of you are probably wondering why I'm 5 days late on the update.
Like a lot of web cartoonists, I'm a college student, and occasionally, the pressures of various assignments in various classes (in my case, a video assignment for a class in Final Cut Pro) make completing strips on time difficult.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. It's just an excuse. I know.
And it only covers my missing the update on the 7th, not the 10th. But the point is, I'm back, assignments done. Will be about two weeks before I have to do a similar one (but I'll also probably be more prepared this time around). Nothing between now and then should impact any other strips. Plus, the next few start off a new storyline and shouldn't be quite as visually complicated as the one posted today, so they'll more than likely be up on schedual.
Oh, and sorry for the lame joke on today's strip. But at least it looks kind of nice, hmm?
08.21.2002 Additions to the main page --
As all 2 of you can see, I got around to adding a storyline dropdown to the front page and archive pages the other day, just below the comic, as is standard for most online comic strips. The matter of adding it was easy, since the tags already existed when I first posted the html templates (I thought ahead!). With luck, it'll populate without fail from here on out. Also fixed a few typos on the about page and added a link to the links page.
Lastly, my friend Micheal Watson over at Mikey-san.net has posted the last 4 chapters of an online novel of sorts that he's been working on all summer, Lobster Clouds and Pieces of People. If you're someone who likes good writing, click here and have a read. If you're a publisher or editor for a publishing company, do the same, be impressed, and get it published for him.
08.02.2002 Rugg is go --
Welcome to Rugg, a new online comic strip by Terry Nowicki. If you're here, and it's the date listed above, then congratulations! You can claim to have been here since the very beginning! ...and hopefully, that will MEAN something at some point. Also, if you're reading this, then it's pretty likely you've read today's cartoon, and with luck, you at least chuckled a little bit.
Anyway, since this is the first day, there's obviously not much in the way of news to report. Consider this just a test of the pathetically simple, non-dynamic unscripted news system. Also not much on the site in general yet. Eventually, there'll be more, once this has been around for awhile.