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      Welcome!   03/05/2016

      Welcome, everyone, to the new 910CMX Community Forums. I'm still working on getting them running, so things may change.  If you're a 910 Comic creator and need your forum recreated, let me know and I'll get on it right away.  I'll do my best to make this new place as fun as the last one!

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  1. TheHeroesOfCRASH.com Titanium Maiden seems to be sorting out the best way to keep everyone under control as they search for Belt Boy. Cannon seems to be abnormally concise in his speech. And Jackknife appears to be the obnoxious pain in the butt that he usually is. Will these groupings work out? Will they find Belt Boy before he flips out or gets clobbered by Necrobots (or both)? Stay tuned! In today's strip, Titanium Maiden is showing off one of her best qualities: she can be level-headed when everyone is freaking out. Of course, when it comes to personal problems, her anxiety comes out to party. Both of these aspects of her personality come from me... it always seems easier to calmly deal with other people's problems than with your own. Cannon's usually shooting off his mouth even more often than his weapon, but surprisingly, he's only got one word to say in today's comic. Between this and his revealing his missing hand, Cannon's acting awful uncharacteristic of his usual self. This is because Cannon has two traits that occasionally conflict with each other: his self-centeredness and his loyalty to his best friend, Belt Boy. Right now, his concern for his friend has overridden his need to make snarky one-liners, and most of his sensitivity regarding his hand. Until he knows BB is safe or until he feels a need to defend himself, Cannon's probably going to be stuck in this mode. I think that Unk and Jackknife make an unusual pair. Jackknife has all of Cannon's obnoxiousness, but none of his charm or moments of selflessness. It makes you wonder why a nice guy like Unk hangs around him at all. While it's not evident whether Jackknife sees Unk as a friend, a sidekick, or a lackey (or some combination of the three), Unk is generally the easygoing type who will put up with a lot. I think to some extent, he listens to Jackknife just because no one else will, and Unk knows how it feels to never be listened to.
  2. TheHeroesOfCRASH.com Cannon and Titanium Maiden rarely see eye-to-eye, let alone get the same idea without having to say anything, so this is an unusual situation indeed. I was going to show the flow chart with the words "mad" and "afraid" on each arrow, but it didn't look right. I was also considering making the "afraid" icons purple, like Fear in the movie Inside-Out, but yellow seemed better for this picture. I really love how Titanium Maiden's poses look in this comic. I think I got her physique looking better than usual; sometimes arms are tricky, especially around the elbows. I also love the facial expressions she's making, particularly in the last panel. Although if she closed her eyes, you'd think she was mimicking an Emperor's New Groove meme.
  3. TheHeroesOfCRASH.com Seems that Belt Boy's grade is more serious than his friends thought. And you can tell that Cannon's being serious because of what he's drawing attention to. Can Cannon - with the help of the other heroes - save his best friend from having a meltdown and/or getting his butt kicked by Necrobots? What is the mysterious accident that befell Cannon? Will Jackknife manage to not be a total pain in the butt? Stay tuned for the answers to these questions and many more, readers! Belt Boy's situation is based on a personal issue I had back in school. When I was in elementary school, I always got good grades pretty easily (Outside of "timed tests" in math, where you had to do as many simple math problems as you could in one minute. That took some practice.). But when I went to junior high school, I found myself being really challenged for the first time. There was a lot more information to read, especially in science and social studies, and it didn't always stick in my head so effortlessly. This was the first time school REALLY started to stress me out. Being the genius type, Belt Boy absorbs knowledge as easily as I did back in elementary school, so if his grades slip, you can tell his head's not totally in the game. We haven't seen much of Cannon's right arm stump throughout the series - pretty much just a brief scene in the storyline The Dating Scheme. Between that and a brief mention in The Obligatory Origin Story Flashback, it's apparent that Cannon doesn't like to talk much about his missing hand, so if he's drawing attention to it - especially in front of his hated rival, Jackknife - he must be MAJORLY worried about Belt Boy. Still, he's sensitive enough about it to make sure everyone knows not to bring it up. I tried to make sure that the other characters' reactions in the final panel showed off what kind of characters they are. Jackknife is a superficial jerk, so he's weirded out by Cannon's arm stump. Titanium Maiden stands rigidly, trying to not make any movements or facial expressions Cannon might find offensive when he's being this personal. And Gelatin Boy may be one flavor of gelatin, but he's 31 flavors of awkward, so he's not as good at playing it cool. Originally, Sugar Rush was going to be the the third hero instead of Gelatin Boy, and she was just going to say, "Nope!". But because of how everyone was standing in the last strip, I decided to use the next person in "line": Gelatin Boy. I wound up changing GB's line from "Nope!" to "What missing hand?" at the last minute before saving this comic; I felt it fit his personality better and let us go out on a small joke that doesn't undermine the feeling of awkwardness and tension that permeates the final panel. Also, Cannon's head pose in this panel was totally inspired by the Peanuts characters, whose movie I was watching while working on this. I'm feeling pretty tired, as I pulled an all-nighter following a busy week in order to finish today's comic on time, so I'm gonna hit the hay. Or at least fall asleep with my finger on the Z key of my keyboard. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...
  4. TheHeroesOfCRASH.com Seems Belt Boy's definition of "doing poorly" on a quiz is not the same as everyone else's. But Cannon seems genuinely worried - why is that...? Stay tuned, readers! I could have had them all say, "WHAT?!?", but I felt that just using a period conveyed their annoyed tone of voice better. Much as I love making exaggerated, toony characters, I also love understatement. While I posted about these guys on some of my social media accounts already, I once again would like to acknowledge all the people I met at Lehigh Valley Comic Con, and hope that you'll check out their websites and social media pages. So here they are again: - John from Frugal Mule Games, from whom I got a fun caveman-themed card/dice game called "Stoned". I also understand they have pirate- and space-themed variants coming out, so keep your eyes peeled! - Super Comic (Official), whose superhero comic I totally want to get next time (Or maybe even online); for now, I got one of their neat figurines of their main character, Blitz. She's on a team of young, inexperienced superheroes trying to make a name for themselves. Gee, I wonder why I find THAT so interesting...? *Knowing wink!* - Artist Joseph Wigfield of WhatWouldWigDraw.com, who - to answer the question his URL poses - draws a lot of things, but is particularly known for drawing superheroes as pugs. Because pugs are awesome, adorable little furry meatballs, and putting them in comic art instantly makes them better. - Artist D Forrest Fox, who has made a lot of cool art prints. My personal favorites include ones based on the Rankin-Bass holiday specials: I've got my eye on the Miser Brothers; that would be a great picture to hang up around the holidays (And everyone knows I'm a festive fanatic every December 1st!) - Artist Darren Auck, who's worked on many a comic book for big name companies. I particularly like his work on Nickelodeon properties - specifically Rocko's Modern Life and Ren & Stimpy! - Artist David Bancroft of DMBillustrations.com, who does some rather pretty prints, sketches, and portraits! He's also self-published the zombie coloring book, "The Coloring Dead", for my friends who like zombies.
  5. TheHeroesOfCRASH.com Seems that Cannon, of all people, has stumbled onto Belt Boy's secret...! What grade or comment is on that test? What will he do with this information? Is "Sweet and sour dipping sauce" a good exclamation? Stay tuned, everyone? While I'm trying to do better with drawing anatomy, I try to balance it out with style. In panel two, I let Gelatin Boy get a little off-model to showcase his rubbery-ness. He is made of gelatin, after all, so I tend to have a bit more fun with "squash and stretch" on him than any other character in the comic. I love the fourth panel. The lighting, Cannon's facial expression, and (as I have often used in the past), those tiny words in a large word balloon to indicate a hushed, yet anxious tone. I wanted to give him some exclamation to say, and I knew it had to start with "Sweet" (Like any exclamation spoken by Hermes from Futurama). The first thing that popped into my mind was "sweet and sour dipping sauce", and so it went from there. I can't help but wonder if my idea was subconsciously inspired by Gravity Falls' Dipper "Lord Dippingsauce" Pines.
  6. Comic 7/8/17 - Strong Silent Types

    http://TheHeroesOfCRASH.com Seems that there's still plenty of arguing amongst Belt Boy's friends back at C.R.A.S.H., all of them unaware that their friend is in danger. Will they be able to settle their differences? Will they focus their anger on Belt Boy after those promises he made? Will Titanium Maiden get some aspirin for that headache she's clearly getting? The answers to these questions and more will be coming soon, so stay tuned! At one point, I considered having Gelatin Boy interject in Comic #670's argument between his teammates, asking if he had any say in the matter and his friends all shouting "NO!" at him. However, that didn't seem entirely in character for him; he's still the type to avoid confrontation, be it among friends or foes. I keep needing to remind myself to draw Enticia's earrings whenever I draw her. It's a little detail that I don't always think about. I'm sure someone could browse through my archives and play "Spot the Missing Earring", searching for panels where I accidentally drew her without it. I believe I skipped the earring throughout the Gym-Nauseum storyline, but to be fair, I think she would take them off when going to the gym. The title of today's strip refers to both Unk and Titanium Maiden. I enjoy subverting tropes and cliches - neither of my super-muscular characters are stereotypical "muscleheads", nor are they brutes. Unk is fairly quiet and zen, while Titanium Maiden has had (and still has) quite a bit of shyness and awkwardness to overcome.
  7. theheroesofcrash.com Awkward moment alert! Dino-Mo's typically fairly laid back, but if you threaten her teammates, you're pushing her buttons, and she's a bit more likely to hold a grudge. Enticia's already on her bad side, and it looks like Belt Boy's getting there, too! The first panel is a bit of a callback to the 7/3/07 strip, in which Cannon falls out of the school upon leaving the front doors. I know it's not practical for a school to float in the air, but I still like the effect, and it seems that any superhero should be able to reach a door a mere twelve feet in the air. Getting down, apparently, is harder... unless you have wings, or the strength to pull of a "superhero landing". Hey, just reminding you that there's still a month left in my contest, and EVERYONE who enters gets a prize! Just in case you forgot...
  8. theheroesofcrash.com ...then who can you trust? Well, you can trust me when I tell you that Dino-Mo isn't going to take Belt Boy and Sugar Rush's actions lightly...! While I'm trying to make most of my characters more proportionally consistent, I'm less concerned about doing so with Gelatin Boy. I feel like it reinforces the fact that he's a blob of gelataneous goo, capable of squashing and stretching even more than my already-toony characters. Plus it makes it easier to play with his expressions, which is helpful when he doesn't have visible eyes.
  9. Comic 12/17/16 - Vermin in Viridian

    theheroesofcrash.com We cut away from Belt Boy to discover the ramifications of his earlier actions. Or inactions. Or Sugar Rush's actions...? Well, whatever; Belt Boy wasn't there, and Gelatin Boy got thrown in the trash quicker than Trump's campaign promises (Not that they were good promises to begin with). Speaking of Trump, I hope that you contacted the electoral college before they officially vote on Monday (Using the e-mail list at AskTheElectors.org or the contact info at FlipThe37.blogspot.com like I've been suggesting all this past week on Tumblr and Facebook). And if you're reading this after Monday... well I hope Trump ALSO got thrown out quicker than his aforementioned campaign promises. Seriously, 2016 owes us this after such a nationally-despised year.
  10. Comic 10/29/16 - Halloween 2016

    theheroesofcrash.com I typically don't like to get into politics on my own site; I like to think of this comic an escape from the frustrations of the real world, and into the land of stories and fantasy. But the current situation needs to be addressed. This election is a big one, and it may not be farfetched to say that the state of the world hangs in the balance. I understand that many people are disappointed with all the choices we have. Clinton had that e-mail scandal. Johnson has shown in interviews that he doesn't know what certain government departments do, nor is he aware of current events in other countries. Stein also demonstrates a lack of knowledge of how government works, and - despite being a doctor - would not stand up for vaccinations so as not to dissuade anti-vaccination voters. And then there's Trump. Oy vey, there's Trump. Fact-checking website Politifact's scorecard for Donald Trump rates 70% of his statements as Mostly False or worse (19% are rated as Mostly False, 34% as False, and 17% as Pants on Fire), compared to 26% for Hillary (14% Mostly False, 10% False, and 2% Pants on Fire). Trump has been recorded making statements that insult or belittle women, African-Americans, Mexicans, Muslims, Jewish people, POW veterans, people with disabilities, and more. He wants to build a wall under the false pretense that most immigrants are criminals - a wall that not only will cost a ridiculous amount of money to build and maintain (that he can't make Mexico pay for), but will also probably result in MORE illegal immigrants due to overstaying their visas. He has encouraged violence at his rallies, bullies at polling locations, and racism nationwide. And finally, he's not all that good a businessman, as he owes his fortune to exploiting loopholes in bankruptcy law - a skill that cannot carry over to helping our own economy - and he is known for ripping off people in his business deals. Trump is, to put it simply, a con man. The message of my comic has always been that anyone has the potential to be a hero, even if they aren't perfect. All you need to do to be a hero is to fight injustice in some form, and Trump is injustice incarnate. Trump is hatred, racism, bigotry, violence, wrath, ignorance, greed, and pride, all wrapped up in one orange-painted package. Hillary may not be the candidate that we deserve, but she may be the one we need. You can be a hero, too, by voting for her this November. Please. On the lighter side of things, I'm pleased with Enticia and Titanium Maiden's costumes (as Patty from the new Ghostbusters and Wendy from Gravity Falls, respectively). Not only are both of them based on paranormal pop culture, but they're both based on something we've seen this year. Between my three characters, it's like a nice little time capsule for 2016. Oh, and if you're wondering why the haunted house patrons aren't regular cast members from my comic, it's because I wanted to keep my characters' ages vague, so they may not be old enough to vote. They are all - to borrow an expression from Homestar Runner - "Someteen" years old. Wishing you all a Happy Halloween, and the best of luck this coming election day.
  11. Well, it's been a while, due to my trip to Texas (and subsequent post-vacation recovery), but fillers are done, and it's back to the story! The punchline of today's comic actually harkens back to some commentary for the 4/30/16 comic, where I mentioned Sugar Rush's previous attempt at tasting her dessert-like teammate. Of course, Gelatin Boy is half gelatin, half boy, and he tastes like a combination of the two. Not very appetizing. Also, not sure if I mentioned this before, but Sugar Rush won't have any digestive problems with those erasers; she's got a cast-iron stomach, and has eaten stranger things before. Now if they were pencils, they'd probably be sitting in her stomach like lead! Buh-DUM-tch!
  12. theheroesofcrash.com While Gelatin Boy is questioning Sugar Rush's common sense, it prompts me to consider the notion that common sense isn't so common. In college, I studied Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences; simply put, it's the idea that there's different kinds of smarts, like book-smarts, people-smarts, body-smarts, etc. Everyone is smart, just in different ways. While my experiences in the realm of education taught me that everyone can be smart, my experiences in working retail taught me that the opposite is also true: everyone can be a bonehead sometimes. Just as we all have our mental strengths, we all have our weaknesses, too. So while Gardner has his theory of multiple intelligences, let me take this moment to call dibs on Winthrop's Theory of Multiple Stupidities (Although I'll likely change the name to something less offensive, but equally catchy and expedient). It's true of real people, and people in my comic... especially when it comes to social cues. Cannon doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut, Sugar Rush acts (and eats) before she thinks, and Belt Boy... well, you could probably write a book on the stuff he doesn't grasp. So if everyone's got these mental Achilles' heels, then perhaps what one person considers common sense may not be quite so obvious to someone else...? Maybe that's why it's only "common" sense instead of unanimous sense: because it's not obvious to everyone. But that's just a theory. A BRAIN THEORY! Thanks for reading! (All apologies to MatPat for that last joke!)
  13. Comic 8/6/16 - No Sweat!

    theheroesofcrash.com Seems that Gelatin Boy and Jackknife HAVE crossed paths... and Jackknife is looking pretty cross, himself! Also, in case anyone's wondering: no, Gelatin Boy is not sweating away his mass. Because fiction. Much like an onion or an ogre, this strip has many layers. I used seperate layers for the background, the posters, and the translucent "whoosh lines" in panel 3. I don't like copy/pasting in my comics, but I did with the poster, although I made it a different color in each picture.
  14. theheroesofcrash.com Seems that Belt Boy's caught in the middle of another team's problems... but that's par for the course for him today. Will Gelatin Boy remain unbullied for the rest of the day? Or will Jackknife best our stressed-out hero? Stay tuned, folks! I'm really happy with the lower-left panel. Foreshortening is one of my problem areas in terms of my art, and I've been working on it. There's a method of drawing your character in boxes to keep him/her in proportion, and it seems to work for me. I also like the backgrounds I used here; Dino-Mo's background is meant to remind you of a blazing fire, whereas Belt Boy's background is strongly anime-inspired. That anime influence stuck out at me as I was creating it; my art style has shifted away from anime/manga and more towards western retro styles, but it still incorporates elements of both.
  15. theheroesofcrash.com Gelatin Boy does NOT want a repeat of Comic #168...! (In case you're wondering, here's #168: http://www.theheroesofcrash.com/2008Strip03-01.htm ) I totally love the poster in the background. I normally don't copy-paste the ink layer of a comic, but I did, admittedly, copy-paste that poster's lettering.
  16. 6/18/16 - High-Strung Hero

    Seems that TM's not the only one noticing that Belt Boy seems a bit odd today. Not much commentary to add to this picture... except that after having posted lots of Ninja Turtle-themed Daily Drawings to social media* as of late, I wound up coloring the four panels based on the Ninja Turtles' bandanas for a chuckle. Tee-hee! *You HAVE been looking at my Daily Drawings on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook, right?
  17. Once again, Belt Boy's thinking just a liiiiiiiiiiittle too hard about Gelatin Boy's legs (or lack thereof). The first panel was me trying to challenge myself with perspective a bit; the weird angle of the wall was new, but my giving thicker outlines to things in the foreground is something I've done before quite often. By the way, he's totally reading his DNA Sequencing for Pinheads book that we saw earlier. I played around with the positioning of Belt Boy's mouth in the last panel; his expression changes quite a bit depending on whether his mouth is moved up, down, left, or right. It's amazing how elastic his face is.
  18. After a few weeks of celebrating my birthday and the comic's 10th anniversary, the story comics are back, baby! :-) In case you're new to my comic, I want to make it clear that this gag is poking fun at the fact that Gelatin Boy is, in fact, made of gelatin, and is a legless blob from the waist down. This is NOT making fun of transpersons, who TOTALLY deserve the right to use whatever bathroom matches their gender identity. On a related note, some of you may have noticed this bathroom sign resembling that from the "Ally Need is Love" storyline, except that was a unisex bathroom and this is a boys only bathroom. I decided that C.R.A.S.H. would have both gender-specific AND unisex bathrooms. Because why not? If they can afford exercise rooms with laser jai-alai courts, they can afford a few extra plumbing fixtures. The signs for both bathrooms were my own attempt at making a somewhat original-looking bathroom sign. Believe it or not, back in high school I actually met graphic designer Roger Cook - the man who designed many of the signs we see every day... including the stick figure men and women on bathroom signs. I felt that it would be respectful to a fellow artist to acknowledge his art without ripping off of it, so I did my own, more superhero-y take on bathroom symbols. One last thing... When I wrote Belt Boy's first line in this strip, there was a certain rhythm to it, so that he was rhyming the words "negatory" and "lavatory". I wish I could have made that fact obvious, short of seperated his lines into stanzas like in a song or poem (which I thought was overdoing it a bit). Did you catch that rhyme, by any chance...?
  19. 5/7/16 - A Boy-to-Boy Chat

    Before I did my Daily Drawings, I would upload and announce my Saturday morning comic late Friday night. Now I wait until after midnight to make it official. I know to some of you it may seem dumb, but given how late at night some of my Friday Daily Drawings are, and the fact that I resolved to upload new pictures DAILY - be it my comic or my sketches or whatever - posting both in the same night seemed like a bit of a cop-out. Anyway, I fell asleep last night, so instead of a midnight post, you get a wee-small-hours-of-the-morning post. Hopefully, none of you are awake by the time I've posted this; I don't want anyone to think I skipped an update! Anyway, Gelatin BOY talks with Belt BOY here, hence the title of today's comic. I'm not sure if they'll change their names to Gelatin Man and Belt Man when they get older; it admittedly doesn't have the same ring (And let's face it, "Barnacle Man" never stuck on SpongeBob...). Gelatin Boy may be altering his shape in panel 2, but I assure you, his gelatinous form does not grant him super-shape-shifting powers. His appearance in this panel owes as much to him being a toony character as it does to him being made of gelatin. He can't stretch or morph himself at will to a significant (or at least not a helpful) degree with one exception: he can reform himself if something squashes him. GB's powers are pretty much defensive (although he sees them as pretty much useless). Also, PLEASE ENTER MY FAN ART CONTEST! TIME’S ALMOST UP AND I WANT MORE ENTRIES
  20. For the record, Sugar Rush actually DID try to eat Gelatin Boy once. However, as he is part gelatin and part boy, he tastes like a mix of orange flavoring and sweat. Not appetizing at all. The title of today's comic references an old interactive "Clickamajig" from Nickelodeon's website, back in the day (not sure if it's still around), in which you got to click on treats to give to adorable costumed children. Giving them caramels was always appreciated, but if you gave them black licorice, their eyes would grow large, and they'd sprout fangs or horns as they said - in demonic-sounding voices, I might add - "I don't like black licorice!" The title for this comic is also for my best bud, Chris. He knows why. Hee hee...! Anyway, have you entered my contest yet? You've got less than 3 weeks left!