A shout-out to Toonlet
In Spring of 2009 I was recovering from serious surgery. I started using a website called Toonlet.com to kind of help me deal with my feelings about the whole painful ordeal. I found the community there very welcoming (despite its rather limited communications technology) and continued to crank out Toonlets on many subjects long after the scar had healed over. Toonlet is not the only comic construction kit out there by any means. But what makes it unique and zany is your ability to mix ‘n’ match little snippets of real art drawn by real cartoonists such as Peter Bagge and Josh Kemble. The characters that you can build have a sort of ragged static Ren & Stimpy-ish look to them as you can see in the montage. (Click it to enlarge it.) Toonlet lends very well to verbal humour, less well to physical gags, but it’s really fun to watch people try them.
In June of 2010 I cut way back on my toonlet-ing because I had started Tix Comix. I got considerable encouragement from some of my Toonlet friends. It was a bit scary to be really drawing, and kind of a pain to be doing all the website stuff that Toonlet gives you for free. Toonlet is like training wheels, and suddenly the training wheels were off, and not only did I have to balance the bike on my own, but do all the maintenance. My massive toonlet archive is still up over on toonlet, if you want to have a browse. Many of my gags you see over there will eventually be refined, redrawn and featured here, so it’s kind of a sneak preview. I toss up a toonlet from time to time just to keep alive with the community. You can see more of toonlet on their facebook page. Readers: you all ought to give it a whirl. If you are already a comic creator, it is somehow freeing to be forced to create within the limits of Toonlet. It forces you to use your brain in new ways, always good for creativity. And if you’re not a comic creator, Toonlet could put you on the road to becoming one. Try it, you might surprise yourself!