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!


Saturday, September 19, 2009


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.


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!


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.


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!


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.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009


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,