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Art Team: Gravity Works
Created & written by: Kevin Lyon & Brandon K. Montoya
Media: Plain paper
Inks: Staedtler pigment liner
Colored in: Photoshop

Tangents : San Diego Comic Con 2002 Special
Project: Comic strip series
Status: Published
In 2002 we attended the San Diego Comic Con International, as we do every year. This was our second year of Tangents coverage of the con, so we brought our camera and a better attitude as to what pictures to take and what kind of shots we needed to make Tangents strips with.
 
Strips that were left on the cutting room floor.

     In this feature, we will be examining Tangents strips that could have been, but never were. Most if not all of them will be plainer than our regular strips, and not feature any original art work. This will give you some insight into our creative process and how we go about turning seemingly random souvenir photos into a widely popular satire strip.

  • Strip #1 - This is what we call "Hindsight Syndrome." We took these photos back to back, however, did not have the idea presented in panel one until one year later. So "Hindsight Syndrome" is what happens when we find ourselves saying "Damn, wish we had thought of that when we took the pic." None the less, it's easy to free flow across pictures and see what kind of jokes you can make simply by adding text. The end result didn't quite fit the bill, so this never made it onto our site.
  • Strip #2 - When getting into a career of satire, it is absolutely necessary that one pick a moral standard of some sort under which it becomes ethical to taunt someone or more preferably to flatter them satirically. Since it is satire, and the purpose of satire is to make a joke of people, just about any rule for deciding who to murder and who to sanctify is fair as long as one is willing to live on the other side of that same level of criticism and willing to be true to the standard you set up, and not hypocritical. That being said, this author of satire has decided this piece was a no no. There is a stereotype of people who wear animal costumes... and it's not a nice stereotype. As there was nothing overtly sexual about this particular booth, even though it's just for humor they will not be grouped together arbitrarily with some other group based on something out of their control and quite possibly untrue.
  • Strip #3 - Being a photographer for Tangents requires a great amount of thinking on your feet. And hey, like the rest of mankind, some of our spontaneous ideas aren't exactly smash hits. The original idea for this strip, was a three panel strip using the same photograph over, with the ghost girl (or was she a priestess?) tries to get the Hobbit's attention and the Hobbit says "Is it still there?" in the last panel. Sound familiar? If you've ever read Red Meat, then you recognize this as a "tribute" strip. However, not only did the End Of The Day guys beat us to this joke more than two years ago, the picture didn't quite capture the insane feel of the originator of that punchline, so it was scrapped. What we had left was something that we could make fun of, but not quite quality enough to make it into the finished strips.
  • Gutted Strip Idea #4 - Here we go. Here we have what sure looks like a typical trashy for the sake of trashy movie. You know, the kind of movie that has no plot and no meaning beyond mouthing foul words and showing @#$#ed up situations in random order, somehow hoping that the audience will laugh, say it's cool and recommend it to all of their friends. Now if we had done a strip on this image, it would have probably contained a description worded just like that minus the words "...sure looks like..." Why do I say that? Because we never saw the flick, and what should a satirist say about a piece that they've never seen? Usually nothing, unless some other aspect of the situation permits it. For instance, were this a film by the guy behind *COUGH* "Episode 1 The Phantom Minus" *COUGH* well then, we'd have a field day with this one! Or perhaps if it was so bad that Ebert had to invent a new thumb position to telecommunicate his disdain? Yes. There is a rare occasion when we'll satire something we haven't looked at based on appearances, but not often. That's an easy way to set oneself up for some harsh, backfiring ridicule... also known as "sticking one's foot in one's mouth."
  • The Tin Foil People - Ah sweet youth... what a better way to spend it than to come to a convention full of strange people and dress funny. There are three possible explanations to this strange wardrobe. #1 - They are Hershey's Kisses(tm) #2 - They are rabid cosplayers from a Lord Of The Ring fan club and had a cosplay savings account big enough to make one trip down the center aisle of the 99 cents store or #3 - They are fending off alien mind probes. Well, one of the adages about comedy writing is to do the unexpected, so we toss a little underground culture reference in there and... *sputter*... it's not Tangents worthy, but worth showing off as a "could be." Incidentally, we don't quire recall what they were dressing up as. The Tangents crew can hunt down just about any level of insanity on the floor... they just don't take notes.
  • So so - Some ideas are cute, but not funny enough. This would be the case for this image. What would have made this idea better, other than an actual dance pose and some spree candy for a prop... would the addition of some other out of place character. But nah. We just have a cute chick in a striped suit with safety pins for piercings. (We do remember THAT much about her!)
  • Take Better Pics - One common reason for abandoning a strip idea, is the fact that even if the punchline is funny enough, the pictures we have don't quite compliment the funny. The pic may not be dramatic enough, or the angles or composition can be so out of order that it doesn't quite work. Such is the case here.
  • Take Better Pics (part two) - Here at Tangents, we've become pretty good photographers. What you are about to see in this link, DID NOT happen this year. And it's a very simple mistake for amateur photographers to take so let me explain it to you briefly. Never take a picture where light is shining into the camera and or you are in a dark room with heavy, glaring light in the background. Such as the upper hallway of the con with all that nice San Diego sunlight filtering in behind Bob The Angry Flower (tm). I must say we were a little hot about losing this Tangents opportunity, as a picture this muddied up could only be used to introduce super secret masked villain X. And Bob The Angry Flower (tm) just doesn't carry the power of Doctor Doom (tm), Sinestro (tm) or even Wheelie (tm).
  • Some costumes are just nicer than others - Look, let's drop the pretense and cut to the chase. If you're a guy, you're costume had better be damn good to top any decent looking chick in a skimpy outfit. There's nothing that goes better with San Diego sun rays than exposed flesh, we're sorry but that's the way it is. Being serious though, girls in skimpy outfits this year (03) and last year (02) had a lot of competition from guys in well made suits and chicks who felt that gobs of epidermal exposure was too easy to go for. After you're done looking over the technical detail of the costume and or the girl in it, do note that the photographer needed to practice "framing" a little better. This would have been an excellent shot had he just aimed down just a tad.
  • Baka Neko - During the previous year (02), a friend of one of the authors of Tangents (TT aka Catboy) asked him about the catgirl phenomena in anime, and if there was a catboy (pun not intended) craze to coincide with it. The answer was no, catboys don't seem to exist in anime, and the fan created Okashina Okashi doesn't count since it's American. Well, that didn't stop Baka Neko from coming to the con as... er... Baka Neko. Other than it's the first catboy (outside of TT) that the photographer has ever seen, there's nothing odd or funny about this pic. Just another person at the party, ready to go.
  • Pretty costumes - What can we say, there is no story here, no punchline, just women who are pleasant to look at, in very well done costumes. Actually... there is one thing I can add. This is one hell of a step up from the three hundred pound warrior princess Xena's that used to attend the con. I saw my first one in about four years during this year (2003), but she was in the 250 range to tell the truth.
  • The Pitch Darkness Of The Pit Of Heckle - Okay, reality check, taking photos this far away from the Masquerade stage is a waste of time, and that's before you factor in "Can you remember what the person on stage was doing???"
  • More ladies in costume - The best thing about the San Diego comic con is its international aspect. Not only do we get to preview content from foreign countries, sometimes choice specimen of their female populace pay San Diego a visit in the flesh. This was originally supposed to be used for the "Cosplay Matinee" but that sequence is going to be cut shorter than planned. These two particular women are more local than most foreigners, they're from Tijuana, Mexico.
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