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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 : E3 2001 Special
Project: Comic strip series
Status: Published
In 2001 we attended the Electronic Entertainment Expo otherwise known as E3 in Los Angeles. We decided to take pictures of the convention and use them in a satire of the convention and everything that was there. It would be a more "live" version of our comic strip, and provide viewers with a glimpse inside a convention known for not only locking out the general public, but for prohibiting children of any age from attending.
 
The E3 in Los Angeles was the first time we had attempted this kind of work, so we were forced to learn as we go what works and what doesn't.

The first thing we needed, was bland backgrounds. Anyone that's ever attended a crowded convention in their life knows that getting pictures of certain items, people etc. can be a huge pain in the rear end. But if you're persistent and quick with your fingers, it can be done. We took pictures of the backs of booths, odd images and anything else that looked even remotely interesting. [ Misc. backgrounds - One - Two - Three ]

For about half of the pictures we took, we had an idea what we wanted to do with them. Sometimes, we didn't. We just took random pictures and counted on finding some use for them later. For instance we took two pictures of the back of the Working Designs Booth [ Back of the booth - One - Two ]. In the end we used both images. [ Uses - One - Two ]. This was nothing more than a funny texture for an X-Box advertisement, but when we sat down at the drafting board a week after E3, we found a good use for it.

At other times, we'd take a picture of a short, but funny real life scene. Sitting down face to face, we'd have quite a funny story to tell. But many times we only had one image and that isn't usually enough to tell a story in comic strip format. This scene looks pretty innocuous. What happened here was the Japanese media was preparing to do their on the scene report from E3. While she was checking her make up and getting her nerves back in order, she was being "harassed" by a couple of fanboys. "Peace" signs were exchanged and the reporter happily played along. Very funny in person, the best part of any convention is usually attendee behavior. But that doesn't always translate well into comic strip format.

Some pictures we took make great product advertisements, but lousy backgrounds. Others look silly on their own, but we didn't have the "spin" to make  a worthwhile strip out of it. Lastly, some pictures were too ordinary to have the right kind of fun with.

The hardest part of taking pictures at E3 in particular is that Screenshots almost never turn out right. They're either blurry, or you can see the frame rate in action. We have been tempted to use screenshots provided in the press kits, one can imagine comments about ritalin in conjunction with this image. but some press kits come with user agreements and the legal hassle isn't worth it. So we'd press our luck and sometimes we would get a screenshot we can play around with.

Sometimes an idea is so clear we know exactly what to do with it, but getting con participants, vendors and costumed actors to act out what we see in our heads is easier said than done. One of the fan favorite strips from our E3 2001 coverage is this one, and it took about four pictures before we had the right shot to work with. In the end we had a great picture to work with, but had forgotten to snap an appropriate background for the dialogue section. So we used pic one for the punchline, and photoshopped an original background from a section of three and four.
[ Pics - One - Two - Three - Four ]

INDEX
FILMS
COMIC BOOKS
ANIMATION
STORE
OUT OF SITE!
LINKS
Q & A
MISSION
FILM BLOG
COMIC STRIPS
MUSIC
GALLERY
INSIDE THE WELL
SUBSITES
FAN ART