Monday, December 7, 2009

Incubating something

I've found that in my writing there are times where I end up incubating an idea, or series of ideas and when its ready to be written, it flows freely. It's an odd thing, but I've learned how to recognize this and if something isn't ready and I force it, it isn't as good. Maybe this all sounds weird and "artsy fartsy" to you all, but that's just how I work.

The reason I'm writing this is because today, I have that feeling that something is ready to hatch. I'm not sure what, though. Usually, I have a project that needs to be written, but at this point, there are several Hatman scripts that have been outlined as well as the massive Lectrajack movie script, so what it is that I feel is about to come pouring out of me, I am unsure. It could be something completely new.

It's like I woke up and discovered an egg in my office and I don't know what is inside, but its wiggling and looks like its ready to be born.

I'll let you know what it turns out to be, even if it turns out to be nothing. :)

-Jason

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Painting and a Poem

My friend Jim shared this painting his wife did of him (he's an avid musician). It in spired my poetic juices to flow, so I wrote the following poem based on the painting (in no way does my poem reflect Jim).












Alone in the dungeon he patiently sits,

Quietly awaiting his master’s departure

The master leaves and to the keyboard he flees,

His fingers poised just above the keys

The nimble flanges race along silently

Never touching the ebony or ivory

But the sound in his mind is music instead

While his head leans tilted toward master’s bed

A cold wind blows the shutters

He jumps with a start

For a moment the keys sing out

Not music but a terrible shout

“A lash for he who is playing those keys!”

Comes bellowing from the master’s chamber

Quickly he runs to the dungeon hoping to miss the whip

But alas the master arrives with fury and his beats they never skip

On his stomach he lies with his back red and raw

But anger nor pity is inside his head

For the music he plays on the keys of his pillow

Take away the sting from the switch of that willow



Jason

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What's going on with 3twins.net?!

It has been a while since I posted anything. I had said I would try to post every other day, but I have failed at that, and I apologize. However, I did want to bring you all up to speed a bit as to what is transpiring and why we have been stagnant lately.

First off, let me assure you that new Hatman comics are coming, they are just taking a little longer than expected. Our work rate has reduced due to several factors, a couple of which are, Andy becoming the music director at his church (in addition to his normal full time job) and me going back to school to get my degree in business. So, as you can imagine, for the time being the Beakman Saga has been put on hold and we are working as fast as we can, in lieu of our increased schedule constraints, on our Halloween special so we can bring that to you, better late than never.

The Halloween story was actually started last year for Halloween 2008, but was cut short due to circumstances beyond our control and I have vowed that we will not skip it again for another year, even if that means it comes out late. If you have followed our previous Halloween stories, I think you will very much enjoy "The Revenge of the Big Giant Pumpkin Headed Man"

We are also working hard on bringing you a new Ion Bunny comic as well. I blogged about this a while back, so check out that blog for some details!

We have recently teamed up with an old friend, Jim Stowe, who is in the process of helping with a major redesign of the entire 3twins site! This is no small task and will most likely take a few months, but I assure you, the results will be well worth the wait!

Steve and I have begun meeting weekly to work on a feature length project called "Lectrajack". As we progress, we will be videotaping our meetings to share bits and pieces of the project with you. This story we are working on has been in development literally for decades. We have all worked very hard to make a brand new Superhero story that is rich in character, full of excitement, mystery and drama! That's right, I said drama, this is not in the vein of Hatman, Midieville, or Star Fetched. This is something bigger and grander and we hope to do it the justice we feel it deserves. Lectrajack diary videos will be coming soon!

I don't dare promise when my next post will be, but now that I've gotten a bit of a handle on how school is going to effect my schedule, I will try and post more regularly.

As always, comments, suggestions and constructive criticism is encouraged!

Jason

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Mouse has a voice again: Bret Iwan!

You may recall my post from back in July where I talked about how Wayne Allwine, the then, current voice of Mickey Mouse had passed away. This news may be a bit old (about a month) but, I recently discovered that his replacement has been found!

Young illustrator, Bret Iwan, is the new voice of the iconic Mouse. The attached image is his art!

You can become a fan of Bret's on Facebook, and follow his blogs (the other one is the link on his full name above).

So, here's to the new Mickey Mouse! We wish him well.

Jason

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Your comments requested!

So, Steve and I are going to each try and post every other day, this way we should have a new post for you to read every single day. So, the big question is, what should be blog about? I will revisit my series on "Voice Actor Profiles" every once in a while, but I thought today, I'd just put it out to you. What do you want us to talk about? Pick anything under the sun and as long as its within reason, and we'll give you our opinions.

Jason

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hatman's next adventure

Hello Hatman & Indigo fans!

As I'm sure you've noticed, we haven't had a new comic out in a couple of weeks. This is because we've run into some setbacks in the production of our Superheroes saga and it might take us a while to get things figured out. But in the meantime, we have our next adventure of Hatman & Indigo ready to go, and seeing as it's time for Halloween again, could that mean another appearance of the fearsome foe The Big Giant Pumpkin Headed Man? You'll just have to tune in and see!

-Steve

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Voice Actor Profile: Andy Kuder

Today, I'm going to take a look at my twin brother Andy and his acting history. Most of which is pretty similar to mine.

Some of the characters that Andy does the voices for: Indigo, Anell, Super Cold Frozen Man, Scotty and many more.

Join me next time when I take a look into the life of my wife and the voice behind Blonde, Michelle Kuder.

Jason

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Superman Musings

I've been on a bit of a Superman kick lately.

My wife and I recently started re-watching the T.V. series Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman from the mid-1990's. Surprisingly, it hasn't been as cheesy as I expected it to be. I loved the show when it first aired, but I was in Middle School then and I my tastes in entertainment of changed, as have the quality standards for T.V. dramas (at least in my opinion). On top of this, I've also been trying to get caught up on Season 8 of the CW series Smallville - again, about the life of Superman.

Like I said, I'm on a Superman kick.

Which brings up the age old question. How in the world does anyone not realize that Superman and Clark Kent are the same person? Seriously, a pair of glasses alters his face so much that nobody can tell the mild mannered reporter is really the Man of Steel? Oh how I wish I could go back in time and plead with Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster to just give the guy a mask! Or wear some sort of disguise as Clark Kent like a phony mustache or something! Anything but a mere pair of glasses! But alas, that's the legacy we have to deal with.

It makes me wonder, if Superman were created today, how different might the character be? Any thoughts?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Everyone, Artists, and Illustrators alike.

Check it Out!

For all you artist and illustrators out there, there is a new drawing tablet you should definetly consider. The Wacom Cintiq 12WX LCD pen tablet. I heard it to be one of the “best peripheral on the market”. Rumored to be great even for those who consider themselves among the, not-so-artistic but who love to doodle and sketch out things for fun. The price is considerably cheaper than the new drawing monitors now on the market. To learn more go to http://gizmodo.com/338021/wacom-cintiq-12wx-lcd-pen-tablet-video-review-verdict-simply-amazing-updated and check out the video review and article on this amazing product. Its safe to say I know what to put on my Christmas list this year.

Monday, September 21, 2009

ArtPrize starts this week!


ArtPrize, an international arts festival/competition taking place in Grand Rapids, MI, begins this Wednesday (Sept 23) with opening registration at 4:00 p.m. at Lyon Square followed by opening celebrations at venues all over the city. ArtPrize runs through October 10th.

If you live even within a few hours of Grand Rapids, I want to encourage you to find an opportunity to check out this event (and not just because my wife is one of the artists in the competition!). This is a unique opportunity for those of us in the Midwest to see and experience internationally acclaimed artists and also to support the local artisan community. And with a $250,000 top prize on the line, you can be sure all the artists will be pulling out all the stops to make it an exciting event.

Some of the pieces you'll have to look forward to include Enlightenment, a solid gold vessel by esteemed local metal-smith David Huang, a sculpture of the Loch Ness Monster in the Grand River and Grand Rapid's Urban Experimenter Rob Bliss, famous for his Zombie Walk, launching 100,000 paper airplanes over the city.

So come, check it out, vote for your favorite artists and be a part of a unique and exciting festival of the arts!

-Steve

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Superpowers

You may have wondered how we choose the superpowers for our Hatman & Indigo characters.

 For our first several super characters, Jason and I simply sat down with a sheet of paper and listed some of our favorite superheroes and their powers. To date all the super characters in Hatman & Indigo were on that list. The last of which was Amazing Aquatic Kid, who was originally to be called Fluid Boy. Fluid Boy, and Big Giant Pumpkin Headed Man were originally part of  what is now the Terrible Trio.

Its always interesting to explore the origins and thought processes behind story development.

Andy

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

MS Paint Adventures!

Greetings WebComaniacs!

Once again we travel down the alleys and avenues of web comics and we come to personal favorite of mine. Back in the 80's and 90's, before the Web re-wrote the world, computers with sound and color graphics were still new and computers geeks worked to craft games to suit the cutting-edge of 'multimedia'. The result of some of the efforts combined interactivity, storytelling, and graphics to create a entertaining genre called adventure games. Adventure games developers created gems such as Myst, Monkey Island, and Zork (ask you parents, kids, they may remember).

Recapturing that genre, MS Paint Adventures is a serial web comic that adds an element of pseudo-interactivity to the storyline. You start with a panel, crudely illustrated (as if done in MS Paint- get it?), and you 'repond' to it by clicking on pre-typed 'commands' that help the story unfold. The humor is very absurd, reminding me at lot of what a computer game would be like if Monty Python wrote it.

Check it out for yourself here

The current story arc is 'HomeStruck' but if you have some time to kill click 'Jump to Adventure' and check out some of their previous work like "Problem Sleuth". Rated PG-13 for language and some suggestive stuff.

Till later- ciao!
Uncle Mutzie

Monday, September 14, 2009

Voice Actor Profile: Steve Surine

Today, I'm taking a look at Steve Surine, affectionately refereed to sometimes as "The Third Twin".

Steve, like myself, began doing voices as a young child, with his adorable impressions of Gizmo, talking in silly voices, or doing various accents, mainly because his family thought it was hilarious. This naturally lead him to be involved in children s musicals at church, but due to his shyness, he was rarely given a speaking part.

But those musicals did help him break out of his "shyness shell" a bit and in High School he took a Drama Class, which helped to bust it fully.

Around the same time Steve started doing bigger parts in small drama's for the church youth group and he and I began writing a few plays together for our Creative Writing class.

Then after High School Steve, Andy and I did a few home videos where we basically just goofed off (you can see the fruits of those efforts in "Ode To Mother's Day" and the "Indiana Foster Trilogy"). Steve also had a few more prominant roles in adult Church Musicals while in college.

On 3twins.net, Steve voices: Glomo, Zapman, Regular Man, Gidju, and Bob Palindrome, just to name a few. One of my favorites to look out for in the coming months is the voice he does for a Japanese beetle named, Bishamon which will debut in Ion Bunny 5 early next year.

Well, that's all for now,
Remember to join me next time when I mirror my previous post, somewhat, with the voice actor profile of my twin, Andy.

Until then,
I'm Jason Kuder and you're reading my words!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

More Insight from the Drawing Table

Generally when producing a comic we rely one the sequential order of the pictures in balance with the script. There is a substantial difference from picture books to comics, while the picture book generally focuses on domination over the words. Whereas, the common comic finds a harmonic balance between the two. Ninety eight percent of comics distributed either through internet or by book combines images with words that are bound within panel and bubbles.

Here at 3twins we break free of the common mold and scrap the written text altogether. In it’s own rite it’s daring and innovatively unique. Our fans no longer have to worry about back tracking or re-reading the words to make sure they are properly reading text in comparison to the images. This makes it easier to just sit back and enjoy the plot as it unfolds and the best part is that more than one person can share this experience with you at the same time. However, another distinction to this benefit is that it puts more pressure on the voice actors to deliver an adequate if not superb performance to effectively serve to the strengths of the script and artwork.

Whenever you hear 3twins, or Hatman and Indigo among the many web comics posted on the internet remember to associate us with the new, the creative, and deliver a modern concept in a post modern way. We are 3twins; writers, storytellers, and artists bringing you an old concept in a newer format that demands to be heard.

Michael J. Lude

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dr. Beakman Strikes!

As you might have guessed from the title of Hatman & Indigo Issue #41, our newest villain is Dr. Beakman, a character who remains shrouded in mystery. As of this blog post, we still haven't revealed much about Dr. Beakman in the comic, so I don't want to give too much away, but I thought I'd share a bit about how I came up with this character.

Ever since I was a kid I've been inclined to find images in the seemingly random patterns in nature - maybe some of you can relate. A lot of us do this with clouds. We'll look up at the sky and see a dog, or a car, or Mickey Mouse. I tend to do this with other things as well, like seeing faces on the bark of a tree or a character in the wavy shapes on a stone floor.

Well, back in the fall of 2005 I was sitting on the deck outside my apartment reading a book and apparently I got bored because I started looking at the wood-grain lines of the deck boards. True to form, I picked out an interesting pattern in the flooring that I thought looked like a strange bird-like character. I immediately ran inside, grabbed a notebook and drew a sketch of the character, and then named him Dr. Beakman and wrote up a quick back-story. Later that day I proposed the idea to Jason and Andy and a new Hatman & Indigo villain was born. It wasn't long before I'd written a first draft titled "The Beakman Saga," which ultimately became the five-part series that started with Superheroes and is now continuing with Dr. Beakman Strikes.

So I hope you enjoy the story. And next time you're analyzing the patterns on your hardwood flooring or wooden furniture, who knows, maybe you'll come up with the next great comic book character!

-Steve

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

3twins forum!

Several weeks back, our Chief Business Development Officer, Michael Lude, began a forum on the wetpaint website, for 3twins. This has become a rather diverse place, where viewers and creators come together to share their thoughts, ideas, motivations, and suggestions. The feedback there has been insightful.

Come check it out, join the group and engage in the conversations, any feedback is always welcome and appreciated.

Andy

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Voice Actor Profile: Jason Kuder

First off to avoid any confusion, I am Jason Kuder, so for the rest of this blog post I will just be referring to myself as "I".

I have always loved doing voices and making silly noises with my mouth for as long as I can remember. I think this goes back to my father who would entertain us with his impressions of "Yosemite Sam", "Porky Pig" and other classic cartoon characters. Well, I quickly picked up on this and began doing impressions of "Krang" (the brain guy from the 1980's Ninja Turtles cartoon), "Kermit the Frog", "Baby Animal" (from Muppet Babies, and which is mostly the voice I do for Ian Bunay), Pat Buttram (Mr. Haney from Green Acres which is the voice I do for Farmer Bill), and the list goes on.

So, since this "Voice Actor Profile" is from the inside looking out, I thought I would give you all a bit of a different perspective.

Now, granted I wouldn't say I'm the caliber of say world renowned voice actor, Frank Welker (known for: Scooby-Doo, Freddie {from Scooby-Doo}, Megatron, Soundwave, Santa's lil helper, Abu, & Nibler just to name a tiny few) but I would say I do a good job at what I do for 3twins... Most of the time.

Most of the voices I've done so far for 3twins as I mentioned have been voices I've done on and off for ages, take Marvin the Blue Wizard for example, I do my impression of Sir Ector in Disney's The Sword in the Stone (who was voiced by Sebastian Cabot). When Andy first started designing Midieville, I begged him to let me voice the wizard because I thought that voice would be perfect.

However, what I had always done with that voice was grumble a bit and say a short line like "That's preposterous"! But, when it came time to voice Marvin, I very quickly lost "it" because I wasn't accustomed to speaking long sentences in that voice and it takes quite a lot of energy.

So, I had to work on developing it more. I could say almost anything in the voice, but keeping it for long drawn sentences as the script called for was a completely different matter. One little trick I found to jolt myself back into the voice, though, was to make those little grumbling "harrumph" noises, (which sometimes are edited out of the cartoon and other times are not).

In case you want to know my "acting" history, I don't have much, other than 2 years of Drama Class in High School and some of the church dinner theaters mentioned in my Tom Cox Profile and just plain goofing off my whole life.

I would say, however, that from my observation, the whole character voice acting thing is for the most part one of those, "you either can or you can't" skills and even then there are some voices that you just can't nail at all, even with a whole lot of work.

Also, if you train your ear you'll be able to tell when a certain person is doing a certain voice, like Dan Castellateta in The Simpsons, for example. So, we've tried to give our stories a richer voice sound by using a large selection of voice actors. When in reality I myself could probably do all of the voices, but then, we'd just sound like Homestarrunner (who has only one person do all the voices except the one female voice).

Anyhow, I could probably ramble on for pages and pages on my thoughts on voice acting, but I think I'll stop here, because, chances are, most of you find it boring.

Join me next time when I take a look at the Man behind the voices of Glomo, Zapman and Gidju, just to name a few, Steve Surine!

-Jason

Friday, September 4, 2009

Understanding Comics

OK, we're going to side-track a little from our usually investigations into the world of webcomics and take a refresher in the fundamentals.

If you've ever taken a English Literature course, you know that reading a book is more than just enjoying a fine story, but understanding the author, the period its written in, what's the point they're trying to make, etc. Film and music studies take a similar path.

But what about visual storytelling medium, specifically comics?

While you can enjoy and appreciate a comic without knowing anything about the art form, you can definitely enhance the experience by striving to understand comics in general. But where to begin? Easy, check out the works of Scott McCloud, the author of the book 'Understanding Comics'. You'll gain an appreciation of the webcomics medium that you didn't have before.

I recommend starting with his TED Conference speech then visit his home page.

Excelsior!
Mutz

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

"FINDING A BALANCE AT THE DRAFTING TABLE"


When illustrating for any type of script in the comic industry, I've found that there is a balance between writing and illustrating. It is good to have both sides be at the top of their game and field, but a great comic in this aspect goes through a three step process. Keep in mind that I’m generalizing.

Now, one being the script, step two is where the artist comes in and brings the script to life, but the third is sometimes overlooked. Occasionally this would complete the process after the artwork is all done. The comic would then go to print or in our case online. When the artist has completed all steps of the illustration progress and if the art is good enough then the writer's go back and omit, edit, or shorten the pre-existing script. This is of course fall under step three.

I find this makes for a better read comic, especially for those who aren’t big reader's and prefer pictures to a heavy script. Moreover, the story that was originally conceived by the writers is still conveyed to its fullest potential. It is difficult for writers to find the right artist to compliment there work, and you artists out there make sure the writing does your work justice as well. Much like life it's a balancing act.

Thanks for listening,
Michael

Monday, August 31, 2009

Comics and Movies

In the next soon-to-be-released edition of KudeeCast, Jason makes a comment about how comic book movies are often frustrating because of the many ways they deviate from the original comics. I couldn't agree more.

Since its release in 2005, I have hesitated to watch the Fantastic Four film, partially because of this reason. The film's main villain is, of course, Victor von Doom, AKA: Dr. Doom - one of the most feared and powerful villains in the Marvel Universe. But rather than staying true to Doom's origin as a poor child from Latveria who grows in both knowledge, technology and mystical power to become the villain we all know today, the film depicts Doom essentially as an American billionaire (if it wasn't for the fact they say he's from Latveria, his accent and demeanor certainly wouldn't give it away) who comes to power in the same cosmic accident that creates the Fantastic Four.

Twists in the plot such as this always seem to anger the true comic fans. Whether it's something great like distorting Dr. Doom's origin, making Mary Jane Watson Peter Parker's High School crush or killing off Venom after 15 minutes of screen time, or whether it's something minor like making Tony Stark's butler Jarvis a computer or giving Wolverine a leather jumpsuit instead of his classic yellow spandex (okay, maybe those aren't minor).

While in some cases, I have to admit, the changes are not a big deal, and in fact, are (I hesitate to say) necessary for translating the story from the printed page to the silver screen, most of the time I'm still left asking, "WHY DID YOU DO THAT?" I mean, would it really be so bad to try and get the story right?

And I've barely even mentioned what is perhaps the biggest tragedy of them all - killing off the villain at the end of the film. This is fortunately one area where The Fantastic Four film didn't go wrong, but yet so many comic films do. One of the greatest joys of the comic book world is seeing the hero and the villain locked in a seemingly never ending battle. While at the end of the day we always want to see Peter Parker trump the Green Goblin, or Wolverine get the better of Sabertooth, or Batman send The Joker to Arkham Asylum for the umpteenth time - we DON'T want to see these bad guys put away forever. You have to admit, when Gobby comes back from the dead, you might be saying, "Oh no Peter, watch out," but there's at the very least a little piece inside that's excited because it means you get to see the conflict all over again.

In the movies, though, dead means dead, at least most of the time, so when we see the hero put the villain six feet under, we know they're not comming back, and we know that we're missing out on seeing another great battle between the two in a future film.

I write all this knowing it isn't going to change anything - and that as comic book movies that distort the comics continue to come out, I will still keep paying $8 a pop to see them on the big screen. But at the same time, I keep in the back of my mind the resolution that should Hatman & Indigo, or any other 3Twins story, ever make it big enough to get the green light for a film version, I will NOT let them turn Hatman's head into a Fedora, or change the animal parts of Indigo, and I will certainly not let them kill off Glomo, or The Evil Zap Man, or Super Cold Frozen Man, or any other villain that we didn't kill off in the comics!

Well, that's all, thanks for letting me rant.

-Steve

P.S. For more of Jason's take on this, be sure to watch the next installment of KudeeCast when it airs soon on 3Twins.net

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Voice Actor Profile: Tom Cox

Tom Cox is likely our most seasoned actor at 3twins.net. So, naturally I thought I'd start my new blog series devoted to the Voice Actors, with our "granite voiced" Narrator.

Tom has been involved in the Theatrical Arts since the young age of 12 when he joined the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre, although he told them he was 13 because that was the youngest they would allow.

Tom "hammed" it up at the Civic for several years until he went off to College at Olivet, where he joined the theater there.

After School, Tom took a short hiatus from the Kalamazoo area and moved to Florida for about a year and a half to do Dinner Theater. Until the late 1980's when he joined his father's side at the microphone back in Kalamazoo doing voice work for radio spots.

In the early to mid 1990's Tom took a bit of a break from acting to focus his live more on his sons, that is until around the time our paths crossed for the first time while both attending Lake Center Bible Church, where he put back on his dinner theater "hat" and entertained and ministered in the various productions there.

Although Tom had been a great proponent of 3twins from its inception, he didn't begin working with us from the start. But when we needed a "Joker-esque" actor to play the part of "The Evil Narrator" in Hatman & Indigo #24: Omniscient, Tom stepped up to the challenge and has been a regular since, later taking on the role of the Hat-Mo-GPS Unit in Issue 27 and ultimately taking his place as the life and breath of the Hatman Universe itself, the Narrator in Origin Remastered.

Tom can also currently be heard in the Christain Webtoon, "The Wartleys".

Join me next time when I give you a little peek into the acting history of yours truly.

-Jason

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Superheroes


Fans,

Now that Hatman & Indigo plan on attending the Superhero convention. What do you think will happen?

The story is left open for your interpretation (until the sequential issues are released).

Will Hatman join the Galactic Superhero Force?

Will this be a trap by The Terrible Trio?

Will we meet new heroes or maybe even villains?

Share your thoughts... I always love hearing where our viewers think we are going with a story.

Thanks for your input,

Andy

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What's Your Favorite Back to the Beginning Art?

The Back to the Beginning series consists of over 270 panels of art and over eleven covers. I have decided with each completed series of Hatman and Indigo Issues I will pick one panel and one cover that is my absolute favorite art within the running series. From these issues I pick Super Cold Frozen Man and Glomo seen in Back to the Beginning Part 2 page two panel one for its conveying two of our favorite super villains menacing acts and mischievous demeanor, And The cover from part 3 Hatman & Indigo's Excellent Adventure because it 's just Awesome!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Issue 40 Preview

Last night the final installment of Hatman & Indigo issue #39, Shocking Science Fiction Stories, went online. This means that next week we're ready to begin a new saga in the world of Hatman & Indigo titled Superheroes, written by yours truly.

I wrote the first draft of this script a couple of years ago and it was one of the first three-part stories we ever wrote. I remember back then that seemed like quite a saga. Now there are six three-part stories and a four-part story on 3twins.net! But just as our story-telling over time has grown, so has this story and by the time it is completely unveiled it will be our first five-part issue. The first part of the story was drawn by guest artist Kendall Stump.

I don't want to give too much of the story away, but I can share a little for our valued blog readers. The story begins with Hatman, Indigo and the Damsel family planning a party for Blonde. But the plans are quickly interrupted when Hatman gets an invitation to a super hero convention and decides to take Indigo along for the ride. There's something odd about the convention and it's up to our heroes to figure out just what.

"So who's behind the mayhem?" you might ask. While I can't say exactly who, but I will tell you that it's a brand new villain. You'll just have to stay tuned to find out just who that new villain is and what his or her motives for provoking Hatman & Indigo just might be.

By the end of this saga we promise more mystery, more action, more characters and more battles than ever before. And we hope you'll get a lot of good laughs in there too. So don't miss next week's launch of our newest story!

-Steve

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fun with wii

Check out this video:



3Twins is considering utilizing this technology for an upcoming event.

Isn't technology amazing!!!

Andy

Monday, August 17, 2009

Twelve hours of creatvity


This last Saturday Andy, Steve, and I shut ourselves in my house completely isolated from the world and immersed ourselves in the world of Hatman & Indigo. Our goal was to work out a massive saga for 2010 and possibly 2011; and let me tell you this, it's going to be amazing!

Obviously I can't give away much at all. However, I can tell you a couple of things to hopefully entice you:

New Villains!

New Heroes!

Oh, how I want to "spill the beans" on the gritty details; but alas I must abstain. Suffice it to say, you do not want to miss one single issue of Hatman & Indigo

-Jason

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Blank Label Comics

In ye olde tymes, artists would often gather together in guilds and collectives for mutial support and to encourage their edevors. On the belief that working together is better than going it alone a group of webcomics artists got together and formed 'Blank Label Comics'- a online publisher of their artists titles.

Take a trip over there and you'll find a very disparate group of comics. My three personal favorites are Real Life Comics by Greg Dean- a semi-autobiographical 'slice of geek life', Wapsi Square- a comic that's evolved into a paranormal quest to prevent the end of the world, and ShortPacked- a dysfunctional team of retail co-workers in a toy store. You'll also find Shclock Mercenary and Melonpool- two sci-fi comics, and Ugly Hill- a 'traditional' 3 panel funny-papers offering. These are all SFW, probably PG-12 at worst

Take a stroll over there and take a gander. Next time, we'll look at the 800-pound gorilla of webcomic publishers- Keenspot!

Excelsior!
Mutz

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Writing: the heart and soul of 3Twins

Well Andy may have forgotten his turn at blogging, but I certainly did not forget mine!

I had a conversation last week with Jason about writing, specifically writing for Hatman & Indigo. One thing is for sure, Jason, Andy and I love to write, maybe more than anything else. And I think you'll notice if you watch some of our earlier comics and compare them to some of our recent comics that our writing really has improved.

I feel like quite often one of us will write a new Hatman & Indigo script that really raises the bar (like Jason's script for The Hatman Clause, or my script Superheroes, which you'll see come to life in a few weeks). Many times these "raise the bar" scripts end up sitting on the shelf for a while to the point that by the time they are actually released, the comic itself is just sort of average, even though the writing of the script inspired us to get better.

In other words, even our best stuff can be improved upon.

So with that in mind, this Saturday Jason, Andy and I are getting together for a 3Twins writing conference where we'll brainstorm ideas, rework some upcoming scripts, and even write some new material.

This is where you as a fan can help us out. If there are any particular Hatman & Indigo stories that stand out to you as funnier, more action packed, or just all around better than the rest, let us know. Or if there are certain stories that just didn't do anything for you, tell us. Or if you have any comments that you think could help us write even better stories, please, say something. We'll take all of your feedback into consideration when we come together Saturday, and maybe your input will have a big impact on our upcoming stories!

Now, in other news, last week I blogged about how it can be discouraging to create comics for 3Twins, believe they're really great, but struggle to get people to come to the site. Well, here's an opportunity for you to help us correct that. There are several websites dedicated to promoting webcomics. For example thewebcomiclist.com, topwebcomics.com, webcomicz.com and comicon.com. With some of these sites, just by searching for the Hatman & Indigo page, you can increase our popularity and potentially drive up our ranking on the site. And in the case of topwebcomics, you can even vote for Hatman & Indigo to move us up the list of top comics.

So we are shamelessly asking you to click here and vote for Hatman & Indigo. In fact, you can go back every 12 hours or so and vote again. And with your help, we can move Hatman & Indigo up the list and hopefully bring in more viewers! And while you're at it, check out some of the other great webcomics on the list and help them find new viewers as well!

-Steve

Monday, August 10, 2009

To blog or not to blog

So I was informed this morning, via an email I received yesterday (that I neglected to check) that Yesterday was my turn to blog.

"Oh NO!" I thought, "Not me!?" I cant forget my turn on the illustrious 3twinsRAW blog.

But now with out any preperation or forthought, I type these words.

Hope you like Monday's. Jason sure does. I think someone has a case of the "Monday's".

And that's my 40404

Andy

Friday, August 7, 2009

Your art could be on 3twins.net!

I blogged about this quite a while ago in a post entitled "Issue 50 cover contest". Since the deadline is approaching in little over 2 months I thought I'd shoot out a reminder to those of you who are interested in submitting cover art.

Again the rules are pretty simple:

1. The cover must have something to do with Hatman comics

2. No, profanity or vulgarities will be accepted (just remember that we try to keep our website acceptable for families, so aim for a G or PG rating, however, mild cartoon violence akin to what has already appeared in Hatman will be considered)

3. No parody covers will be accepted (we want these to be original)

4. Entries are due by 11:59pm eastern time October 31st 2009 (you may email entries to board@3twins.net or if you wish to use snail mail, please email us for mailing information. Snail mail entries must be postmarked by no later than October 31st 2009)

5. Providing rules 1-4 are followed, feel free to express yourself and be creative, we will not divulge the plot of issue 50 (which, if we did would blow your mind) so any and/or all of our characters are free game. (All Hatman & Indigo character's likenesses and logos are trademarks and copyrights of 3twins.net, LLC, and may only be used for the purpose of this contest.)

6. All submissions become the property of 3twins.net, LLC, however the artist will be credited.

Shortly after the issue is released we will provide a gallery page displaying the 50 different covers.


If you have any questions feel free to post them here or email board@3twins.net

Jason

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Uncle Mutzie: Webomic Explorer

Who knew that being a slaughter and legendary quests could be so funny? What am I talking about? The comic "Looking for Group" (PG13+ for violence)

LFG is a fantasy genre comic, so anyone familiar with sword and sorcery novels or World of Warcraft will feel right at home. The tale follows the adventures of an Elven hero Cale and his companions in a world of right and wrong and all the grey in between. For fans of pure mayhem, the most memorable and homicidal character, Richard, is bound to become your new "hero".

I highly recommend you start at the archives and read your way through this one to get caught up the the present. Before you do that, stop by YouTube and check out this inspired musical number staring Richard and produced by Blind Ferret Entertainment*

LFG is related to the more adult-themed (PG13+) "Least I could Do Comic" which is also worth a look.

*more on them in a future post

Excelsior folks!
Mutzie

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

To the Writers & their Fans

Nothing like a good ParodyI've Seen the brilliance of the writer's behind the Hatman and Indigo issues, and their ingenious way of incorporating stories and ideas that stretch back beyond our own childhood to paying a tribute to some of our favorite moves like Back to the Future or Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. From homages to parodies nothing seems beyond the writers of 3twins.net so I invite you to a chat session here to share your thought or ideas of your own. What do you think would make a great parody and why?

Sincerely, MJL






Saturday, August 1, 2009

Just another face in the crowd?

A few years ago when Andy, Jason and I decided to start writing stories and making silly videos, our whole intention was to just have fun with it - and trust me, we did. At the time none of us realized that our having fun would eventually morph into what you now know as www.3twins.net. Today we're still just a group of friends having fun, but obviously things have changed now and with it there are different expectations.

In putting your work out there for the world to see, there suddenly becomes the expectation that you will actually get viewers - that people will want to see your finished product and actually like it. But in a sea of internet media, the question is, how do we actually get people to come and see what we're doing at 3Twins? Of course there are people out there who are interested in watching funny and entertaining comics or cartoons on-line, but with so many options to choose from, how do we get them to find, much less stop and watch, our site?

It's sort of like everybody in town just broke for lunch at the same time, and there's one street with 500 restaurants. 3Twins is one of those restaurants. Now how do we convince them to come eat here instead of one of the other 499?

Now, it's not EXACTLY like that, because you don't have to pick 3Twins over other sites like Homestar Runner, 8-bit Theater or Penny Arcade, you can enjoy them all. Nevertheless, how do we move beyond just being another face in the crowd?

The discouraging part is, I know we've got something great on our hands, and something that's quite a bit different than a lot of the other, often more popular, web comic or cartoon sites out there. But just as we've learned how to do everything else along the way, we're having to learn how to generate hits and attract viewers as we go.

The easiest method, of course, is word-of-mouth, but that can really only take you so far. Then there's getting out name out there on sites like Facebook or Twitter, but it seems if people haven't heard of us already, then again, this only takes us so far. There are also numerous webcomic listings, but as stated previously, that leaves us as yet another face in the crowd. And so that leaves us at something of a loss. Do we keep trudging along and hope for that big break? Or do we keep trying new methods? And if so, what?

At the end of the day, perhaps the best thing we can do is to keep working hard to make 3Twins the best website it can be and have faith that someday, hopefully soon, all of this hard work will pay off! And of course, as always, your feedback on all things 3Twins is accepted and encouraged.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

!!!CONTEST!!!

Our next full issue of Hatman & Indigo has a parody cover that parodies something somewhat obscure. Next week, the first few pages of Hatman & Indigo: Shocking Science Fiction Stories will go live online featuring the new cover (Drawn by S. LaDon Ware, and colored by Andy Kuder and Michael Lude), but I thought I'd give you a glimpse of it here.

This issue was originally titled Hatman & Indigo: Back to the Beginning Part 4, but we decided to use the parody cover as inspiration for the title of this individual issue (like we did with Back to the Beginning Part 3 being titled Hatman & Indigo's Excellent Adventure).

If you can figure out what this cover is parodying, post your answers here. The first correct answer will get a special prize. It's something cool we've been working on for the next Indy Comic-con, August 30th.

So, who will be the first fan with this new "prize"?

It could be you!

Andy

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Greetings!



Continuing our meanderings through the web comics cosmos, we come upon a unique little gem called 'Kevin and Kell': www.kevinandkell.com

Take a typical family- Dad (Kevin), Mom (Kell), a stepson, an adopted daughter, and a new baby. Now, make dad a 6 foot tall rabbit, mom and son a wolf, the daughter a hedgehog, and the baby a carnivorous rabbit/wolf hybrid and you get the idea where this is going. Beyond the well-sculpted alternate universe of anthropomorphic animals the family inhabits you get a traditional newspaper style feel and some really sharp writing. At times it seems a little too 'furry' to me, but if you stick with it I promise it will grow on you.

Rated PG for mostly harmless humor. K&K has been around for a long time, so they're plenty of strips to keep you reading for a long time.

Next episode we'll take a look at Fantasy RPG comics, specifically "Looking for Group"

See ya 'round!

Uncle Mutzie

The woes of writing

As I've previously blogged, I am currently in the process of writing a couple of Hatman scripts in addition to editing a couple other Hatman scripts and doing layouts for upcoming Hatman comics. But sometimes I get stuck. I believe this is traditionally called writers block, but I don't really think of it as a block per say. I know that if I were to sit down to work on one of those scripts I could write, it just wouldn't be as good as if I were to sit down when I'm feeling "it".

What do I mean by "it" you may ask? Well, I'm not even sure how to articulate what the "it" is that I'm referring to, but when you are feeling "it" the words flow like... well if I was feeling "it" I'd have a beautiful analogy here, but because I'm not, you'll just have to fill in something that flows well.

I know many writers and artists of various forms fall into this place of stuck-ed-ness (for lack of a better term). But I think sometimes it isn't more that I'm stuck but that the words or the finished work itself are incubating, or gestating in my subconscious and once they are ready to be "hatched" they will produce themselves.

I know this might sound like a bunch of artsy fartsy nonsense, but I honestly can't articulate it any better than that. Especially at this moment.

The thing that I hate the most about these bouts of "incubation" (if you will) are that I fear missing my deadlines or holding up the whole process. However, I do tend to work six months out or more, so I haven't held us back yet!

If you watch a 3 or 4 issue story that I wrote, you may be able to see that I wrote one part at a different time than another because even though they are still one overarching story, the "feel" is a little different. You'll get what I mean with this years Halloween special. I wrote the first part in one setting and really liked it; it sets up a new villain and tells a story in and of itself that is somewhat inspired by a popular Spider-Man story. Then I was "stuck" for a couple of months on where to go with the second issue, but I finally felt "it" again and quickly wrote the second issue out alongside the third in nearly a weeks time.

Other times I will be "stuck" prior to writing anything at all, as I've previously mentioned that was partly the case with "Back to the Beginning" we had all taken a crack at the story and had missed the mark a bit and then one day I was alone in the house and I sat down at my computer and refined the notes we had taken of what we wanted to happen and I wrote all 4 parts in that day. It was exhausting but satisfying as well. I really do hope that you are enjoying it. The last installments should be out in the next few weeks and hopefully you can watch them all back to back and see the whole story in one setting somewhat how I saw it unfold through my fingertips when I wrote it.

I apologize for the long somewhat ADD post, but hopefully this sort of thing will help me recapture that magic "it".

Jason

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hatman and Indigo's Excellent Adventure

Today the next installment of Hatman & Indigo #38, Hatman & Indigo's Excellent Adventure, went on-line. The title is a parody of the 1989 film Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

Bill and Ted was one of my favorite movies growing up. In addition to the quotable lines and goofy plot, I was sucked in by the fact that it was a time-travel movie. I've always been fascinated by the idea of time travel. After all, who hasn't at some point wished they could go back and correct a mistake, witness a great event in history or have a conversation with a past version of themselves?

Despite a lot of science-fiction writing on the topic and even some serious thought by some brilliant physicists, traveling backwards through time remains beyond us, and may very likely be impossible. And one of the biggest arguments that it never will be possible is that we've never witnessed a traveler from the future coming to the past. But is this really a good argument against time travel? Let's take a hypothetical, 3Twins look at why we don't seem to have experienced this phenomenon.

1) Maybe time travelers are very careful: As you'll see in Hatman & Indigo's Back to the Beginning, our time travelers realize that even the slightest change to the past could have devestating effects on their present. So any half-way intelligent time travelers wouldn't exactly broadcast the fact that they were from another time. They would more likely just observe the past.

2) Even evil time travelers would be careful:
When the Terrible Trio traveled back in time, they did have the intention of changing the past. But even these less-than-genius guys kept their time-traveling a secret. Broadcasting their plans would have only made changing the past more difficult.

3) Who would believe the time-traveler? While we don't see this in Hatman & Indigo (or do we?), how many rational people would be quick to believe the claims of a time traveler? Most likely we'd deem them crazy and have them locked up. Even those who did believe the time-traveler would probably keep it a secret so they woudln't look crazy and maybe even so they wouldn't change the future.

4) Time-traveling creates an alternate timeline: Perhaps we live in the original time-line and any backwards time-travel would create a parallel universe (think Spock in the new Star Trek film). Thus we would never witness time-travelers because they would always be traveling to the parallel universes. By the way, if time travel created an alternate time-line in the new Star Trek, why didn't time travel create a new time-line in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home? Or did it?

5) Time-travelers aren't coming to our time period:
Time travel has only existed as a sci-fi concept since the 1700's or so. Perhaps time-travelers just haven't found history since then very interesting and no one would have considered the possibility that strange visitors prior to that point were from another time?

Well, there you have it - my reasons why we haven't seen any time-travelers from the future. Of course the obvious reason is that there won't ever be any time-travelers... but it wouldn't be nearly as fun to explore that option.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The grand significance of today

"So, What's the grand significance of today?" you must be asking yourself.

Well today is July 20th 2009 (or it's supposed to be when you read this, unless your reading it as an older post), not only is today the 40th anniversary of the lunar landing (and yes I do believe they did land on the moon) it is also the 29th anniversary of Jason's and my birth.

Yup two of the 3twins are 365 days away from being 30!!! Some of you might think we're old. Some of you might think we're just babies. Well I'd like to think we're well seasoned adults with a long life span ahead of us.

"Well seasoned?" you may ask. "Yes" is my reply. I am like a seasoned steak ready for the grill, although Jason is more like chicken seasoned for a nice burrito.

"You're not making much sense, Andy" you're probably thinking to yourself. And you're right! I'm not making much sense, but I don't have to, because its my birthday and I can do what I want!

I hope this has brightened your day, I know it has mine!

Andy

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The mouse has no voice

It may be somewhat old news to some of you out there, but I first found out a couple of days ago that Wayne Allwine, voice actor who played Mickey Mouse since 1977 passed away on May 18th 2009.

As you are aware, we at 3twins aren't just writers, artists, dreamers and animators, we are also voice actors. Much of who our characters are comes first from the voice we give them. I personally have always had a skill with various voices. As far back as I can remember, I was bothering my parents or cracking up my grandparents and friends with my impressions and accents. And now I get to do that as part of my job which is the best perk!

So, you can see why this news would sadden me on many levels. As an avid fan of animation, Mickey-phile, and fellow voice person I worry what will become of the worlds most famous mouse. From what I've read the fairly new preschool show, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, is most likely going to cease and The Disney company has not replaced Mickey's voice.

It is my personal opinion that Disney has become too "preteen" in the last decade or so. I grew up enamored by such cartoon blocks as "The Disney Afternoon" and the reruns of old Mickey, Donald, and Goofy shorts. I fear that it may be a while before the "big wigs" at Disney return to those types of shows featuring their cornerstone characters.

I encourage you to click on the link I attached to the crying mickey photo (or this paragraph), it is part 1 of a 3 part interview with Wayne, his wife Russi (who does the voice of Minnie interestingly enough) and Leonard Maltin. Apparently this interview can be found on a DVD set of Mickey shorts, Mickey Mouse: In Living Color vol2.

I raise my Mickey coffee mug in sad farewell to a man who brought an icon to life for 32 years!

-Jason

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Uncle Mutzie: Webomic Explorer


3Twins Blog Post July 16

Greetings!

Continuing on our explorations of the web comics universe, we examine another gamer-geek webcomic 'Penny Arcade' - http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/

Much more than a simple comic, Penny Arcade to an exploration into video culture. While last time we talked about PVP and how the story drives it along, this time we'll be looking at a character driven comic.

One of the more 'famous' webcomics, the strip is often one-shots revolving around a particular video game as seen from the perspectives of Gabe and Tycho, the alter egos of their creatures. They also have an extensive blog worth checking out. Notable items about Penny Arcade are that they're spawned their own video game and they run a charity called Child's Play http://www.childsplaycharity.org/

Beware when checking it out that Penny Arcade is at least a PG-13 to R in it's content, mostly language.

Tune in later as we discover the world of "Kevin and Kell"

Uncle Mutzie

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Up Close and Personal


I've done caricatures for charity events, fundraisers, and for many other reasons but for the first time I was able to connect my artistic abilities in junction with a pre-established company. In doing so I got to chat with old and new coming fans. I realized how much 3twins it truly enjoyed and loved. From my experience people always hang on to their caricatures as well as their memorable experience of having their faces illustrated for fun. They expressed to me what a treasure it was to have this on top of an exciting web comic. Some stated, "they felt as if they were apart of something that was genuine something that was about to be famously rediscovered", so to the fans we thank you and keep spreading the word.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Glomo and Zap Man


You might already know that I, Steve, am the voice of two-thirds of the Terrible Trio: Glomo and Zap Man. Lately I've noticed that the voices of these characters have evolved a bit and are starting to sound a bit more like each other, so I've been exploring past Hatman & Indigo issues to try and resolve the problem.

When we created Glomo the original idea was that he have a very proper British accent. And if you check out the original concepts of our villains on 3Twins Raw, you'll also see that he was originally going to have zebra stripes instead of cow spots. As you can imagine, his character was going to be quite a bit different. After seeing Chris Secondi's final draft of the character, I felt more of a raspy southern accent would fit Glomo better, and the rest is history.

The Evil Zap Man's voice had an interesting path as well. Again, if you check out the original concept drawings, Zap Man was going to be a giant, humanoid lightning bolt - basically a six foot zapling. We envisioned an electrified, throaty sounding voice for him. In fact, one of our ideas was for Jason and I to both record his lines in a similar voice and then lay the tracks over each other for an interesting, echoed effect.

Yet again, though, the final draft of the character was much different and a different voice was in order. I went with a higher pitched, evil sounding voice and made sure that every word Zap Man said was spoken totally over the top.

I thinking through the origin of these voices, I've reminded myself of just why I made them sound as they originally did. So next time you hear Zap Man and Glomo, expect much greater things!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Themes?

The 3twins.net blog seems to be forming a pattern. Mutz blogs about other web comics, Michael blogs about artwork, Jason blogs about upcoming stories.

I need a theme. So it's up to you, readers, to come up with a theme for me. OR I will continue to blog about the need for a theme.

Please respond,

Andy

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A sneak peek into Zapman Remastered

I've recently been giving you sneak peeks into the upcoming comics I've written or am in the process of writing. Well, today I'm going to talk a little more in depth than I have in the past. Because the story is Zapman Remastered. This is a much improved retelling of H&I issues 3 & 4 sometimes referred to as "Comic #2".

I have recently been made aware that the original Zapman is actually the all time favorite for some of our fans. Well, it is my all time least favorite. My writing was immature and much of what I wanted to convey when I began writing was lost.

So, this leaves me with a bit of a dilemma for the re-write. On one hand I have the fervent need to make this the story I had originally set out to make. While on the other hand, I must try my best to stay true to the elements of the original that made it so memorable to many. To be totally honest I think the true reason the original one was so funny was due mostly to my brother, Andy and his Indigo inflections. I have polled some fans to see what exactly they liked the most about the original, and I am weaving those elements into this new version.

However, I am my biggest critic, and I want to write something that I like and I am proud of. So, what can you expect to see in Zapman Remastered that is different from the original? Well, firs off as I had previously mentioned in my post "2006 Remastered?" it will be a 3 issue story instead of a 2 issue story.

Part One is mostly a whole new adventure featuring a brawl between Glomo and our heroes, and a much more proper introduction of Blonde Damsel. Only at the very end of part one will we get to see Zapman in all his remastered glory! I have finished writing part one and I am very pleased with it. It was incredibly fun to turn back the dial of time, if you will, and broaden the scope of Twin City before super villains had run amuk and a whole slew of other superheroes had been created.

Part Two is about half way done in the writing process and this is where I've begun weaving in those things you adored about the first one, but with a new flavor and hopefully many more laughs. I'm not going to give away too much, but I've also added the foundation for the animosity between Indigo and Blonde as well as amped up the "girl power" of Miss Damsel. But that's all I'm going t devulge for now, because I need to leave you wanting more, so you'll be excited when Zapman Remastered hits the bit-stream, most likely early 2010!

-Jason Kuder

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Exploring Webcomics: PVP

3Twins Blog Post July 08

Greeting Hatmaniacs!

In my continuing series of posts exploring the webcomic-verse, we'll be looking at the well-known and maybe lesser know webcomics out there for public consumption

I'd like to start with a personal favorite of mine: PVP by Scott Kurtz (www.pvponline.com). PVP stands for player-versus-player and takes place at a gaming magazine of the same name. It falls into the web comic category of a 'gamer comic' so the humor is focused mainly to a geeky audience and has lots of computer game references. The humor is PG to PG-13 and has been around for over a decade making it one of the 'grown-ups' on the block. While a 'gamer comic' it can't truly be pigeon-holed into that category, the stories are accessible to almost everyone.

Not only is the art and writing top-notch but the author is a true success story. Scott has been able to grown from a comic he did part-time to a full time gig and the recognition he deserves. You really see him pour his heart and soul into his comic and it shows through his work.

Another comic in the genre is Penny Arcade. The humor there is a bit more PG-13 to R and is even more geeky. Also one of the big kids in web comics, it's been around for quite a while- we'll be looking into it more next time.

That's all for now True Believers- Excelsior!

Uncle Mutzie

Friday, July 3, 2009

Art Prize


Back in April, Rick DeVos, grandson of Amway founder Richard DeVos, announced an international art festival/event that will be coming to Grand Rapids, Michigan this September called Art Prize. The festival will last two weeks and will feature artists from around the world displaying pieces in virtually any medium in venues all over the city of Grand Rapids. Patrons at the event will be able to vote for their favorite pieces and the top vote getter will win a staggering $250,000 prize.

This begs the question, could 3Twins get involved in the festivities?

I know what you're thinking, "3Twins is a web comic and this is a serious art competition!" But I don't think that idea could be any further from the truth.

Comics, by their nature, are a blend of art and literature. Yet, for decades they have sought to find acceptance in either medium. They seem to be deemed not intellectual enough for the literary world and not "artsy" enough for the art world. Although, all you have to do is compare the art and story of a recent comic from one 40 or 50 years ago to realize that the comic industry has created a whole new artistic and literary form. And web comics are yet another development of this new medium.

As the creators of 3Twins, Andy, Jason and I have always sought to improve our storytelling to make comics like Hatman & Indigo as fun and exciting as possible. In our early days, though, art was secondary to story. This was mostly due to the fact that we didn't have any professional artists at our disposal and we relied on artists like myself who drew as more of a hobby.

Recently, though, we have been fortunate enough to get some talented artists on board like Michael Lude who has now drawn four Hatman comics including the recent Back to the Beginning saga, plus a few other artists who you'll see in some upcoming issues.

And with these improvements in our visual quality to go along with our storytelling ability, I think that 3Twins has a true art form on its hands. Does this mean we'll be able to take part in events such as Art Prize? Actually, we already are and you can catch us as various events around the MidWest. And even if we don't enter Art Prize this year, I'm sure you'll see us at similar events in the near future.

Just stay tuned at 3Twins.net and on our blog to catch the latest updates!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bringing to Life A Vision

Updated, Hatman & Blonde

Here at 3twins we work hard to make sure the characters you have come to love are as great as the story lines that depict them. As seen from our previous blog you know we are striving for a greater excellence, an excellence that truly expresses both the level at which we have grown to as storytellers and the level of passion you feel when you share our vision.

When my favorite stories or heroes are recaptured, whether it be on big screen, a Tv mini series, or in the latest issued comic; I anxiously await hoping that the people bringing these stories to life yet again are able to capture the very essence and passion that first captivate me as a loyal viewer.

As an artist at 3twins I want my art to speak to you as clear as the images you see and feel in your minds when listening to Jason, Andy, or Steve's stories. You, the audience are why we exist more importantly you are the reason why I Have a wonderful job that I love. In light of this face I ask for all the input and truth you can give. Here is just a taste of what is coming in the form of what I call new art, and what I suspect to only get better.

-Michael J. Lude

Monday, June 29, 2009

A sneak peek at Christmas

I am currently in the process of writing "A Hattington Christmas Story" which is going to be a parody/tribute of the beloved holiday classic, "A Christmas Story". I've had the idea for this rattling around in my brain for a couple of years and now I'm finally writing it out. I've blogged before a bit of how we try to make our parodies fresh as well as really portray the original material in a good light. This is no easy task and we really do put quite a lot of thought as well as some research into these types of stories, maybe more so than the mainstream "parody" movies do (i.e. Superhero Movie). I'll share with you a little bit of my process so far.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have had several long discussions with Steve, Michael, Andy and my wife, Michelle (she does the voice for Blonde) about exactly how I should tackle this particular project. As you will remember with "Hatman Clause" I took more of the base concept from the source material and wrote something entirely new and different. Well, with this I want it to be more close to the source material, and yet still tell an original story. Which as you might guess is going to be like a tightrope act in order for it to work.

So, in these various discussions I picked the brains of my fellow 3twins-ians and asked, "what scenes from the movie should we portray?" and "what should we try to shy away from or more or less alter in a way?". I'm not going to give you a whole lot of spoilers for the answers we came up with, because, where's the fun in that. However, I will give a few teasers as to what I've come up with:

A Christmas Story was set in the 1940's and was about a man recalling a particularly memorable Christmas from his past. Well, the approach I'm taking with my 3twins tribute version is: Setting it in the 1980's and it will be Hatman recalling a particularly memorable Christmas from his past. So, the story will have the same "feel" and we can still reference '80's things like the movie referenced '40's things.

The next question was, "Do we have our regular cast of characters play parts in this?" Or "Should we try to extrapilate a past for Henry Hattington out of what we already know and therefore, certain characters (i.e. Leppy, Indigo, Blonde...) who appear in nearly every single issue will be absent from this story?" And the answer we agreed on is the latter, many of our regular cast will not be in "A Hattington Christmas Story". However, I am working in new characters that will somewhat "fill the shoes" of the absent cast members as well as a surprise here and there for a few cameo's from people we have met in the Hatman universe.

As you can guess, this will be a bit of a departure from our normal adventurous style, however, I really hope that when it goes online, it will feel like a warm tribute to the classic Christmas movie that is number one for many people.

-Jason