The Blockocop Saga: Notes, outtakes, and other drivel
It took nearly a year to go from a raw idea to the final panel and this bit of glory-grabbing fluff, but I did it. It all started when I was playing around in Photoshop with a drawing of a Lego police officer that looked like a character, Chip Philson, that I created with Heather LEGOgirl (she denies it, but she helped so she gets credit Ė nyah!)
In the grand tradition of all self-important directors and artists everywhere, Iím using this notes page to talk a little bit about the project, show off some of the crud that didnít make it or reveal a secret or two about the genius behind the project.
I'm sure I've probably seen this basic design for a chair somewhere, but I couldn't say where. Doesn't matter -- I still like it. If you designed it, I really don't care; after what I've been through doing this comic, I simply don't care about that. Give enough monkeys enough bricks and they'll eventually come up with this design.
You have understand that this project became The Thing That Wouldnít End in a hurry. My initial idea should have been a 14-15 page comic at best, but it grew into a flippiní 81-page graphic novel. Iíve lost count of exactly how many photos I took, but it was well over 500.
The real problem occurs when Iím shooting and I get new ideas or revise my script outline on the fly. I donít write the dialogue until Iím placing pictures on the pages Ė the whole scene with Skanky Kate came about because I didnít want to drop the hair piece on the floor. I jammed it on the closest fig I found and realized I had to use it. Turns out to be one of the funniest bits in the entire story.
Some of the photos I used have New Orleans in the background. We there over Christmas break and I was able to use a couple of shots to my advantage Ė the sunset shot used in the final panel is actually one of the most beautiful pictures Iíve ever taken.
While I wonít reveal everything that went into this project, I will tell you one thing I didnít do in this comic: use the macro function on my camera. I never do. I just shoot until I get the shot I want. Yes, that means sometimes the going is slow. Whatís worse is when I get in a rush and end up realizing the shot I thought I had was bad or there was some other annoyance, such as a paw, hair, or entire cat nib-nosing around in the shot. Some gaffs I reshoot, photoshop out, or cover with a dialogue box and others are left in the comic because, well, I ainít getting paid for this so I can live with it.
Here is how I did the overhead shot and some of the flight shots: I held the durn thing in my hands! Yes folks, itís that easy. Some of the most complicated looking shots I used were quite simple. For instance, in part one the scene where Frankie and Wang meet in the basement of the Eylar Light Bulb Company was done with a flashlight shining through a hole in the roof of the MOC. No computer manipulation involved. Thank you, Photoshop, but I donít need you all the time.
Here's a shot showing my build table in one of its various states of disarray over the past two weeks. Now Iíve got a tub full of parts to sort so I can get to work on my real comic, Glomshire Knights, and try to get ready for Brickworld in June. Iím soon to forget what the upstairs of my house looks like, I think.
Well, thatís it for Blockocop. I hope you enjoyed the comic and I appreciate everyoneís encouragement along the way. Special thanks to Lee Jones for this shot:
The question on everyoneís mind is, obviously, ďWill you do another Blockocop comic sometime?Ē My first impulse is to say, ĎHeck, no!í but I canít rule it out. Iím going to keep the Blockobike (for the lack of a better name) together for a while, so those of you going to Brickworld will get a chance to see it. Yep, if I see Sean Kenney at Brickworld Iím going to get a picture of him with Blockocop. No, I promise I wonít make a joke out of it, Sean Ė honest!
Now for the ritual disclaimer: the character ďChip PhilsonĒ is the intellectual property of co-creator Heather Braaten and me, Dennis Price. Our character only resembles the sig-fig of one Chris Phipson and is in no way intended to insult him or any law enforcement officers. Unless you are a member in good standing of the Chip Philson Fan Club, please do not use our character without our expressed permission.
Well, after catching up with the entire series, it's still a Tour-de-force of Lego Comic work! We have to give you enormous credit for the amount of work you've done, and don't blame you for not being anxious to repeat the experience! You're a better Man than I, Charlie Brown...we gave up after our first episode (and from time to time, you get the urge to go back and do it again...until you think "what're ya' nuts??).
I love behind the scenes stuff. Its always great to see the artist's hand at work. My cats always get in the way too!!! Why do they do that? Sometimes they improve a picture. I was struggling with getting the lighting right on one this wknd and my cat walked in front of the lamp and he cast a shadow and made the photo great!
I know you say it at the end, but it NEEDS repeating... "Now for the ritual disclaimer: the character ďChip PhilsonĒ is the intellectual property of co-creator Heather Braaten and me, Dennis Price. Our character only resembles the sig-fig of one Chris Phipson and is in no way intended to insult him or any law enforcement officers. Unless you are a member in good standing of the Chip Philson Fan Club, please do not use our character without our expressed permission." Thanks for all the laughs with this series! Here's to hoping you DO decide to do another one! ~ Chris Phipson, Card carrying (and t-shirt wearing(that's right folks, there were t-shirts made)Member of the Chip Philson Fan club.