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New website: snertohno.com

I was chatting with my friend from Indonesia one night when she told me of her shopping trip in a nearby city. One of her purchases was a stuffed turtle who needed a name.

I suggested “Snert”

You may recall way back when, I had designed an owl character named Snert. I asked my friend if she wanted a last name for the toy. She had meant to reply with a full sentence but accidentally hit the enter key. All that came out was “Oh no”.

Snert Oh No

Immediately, I envisioned a series of 1-panel comics chronicling the shenanigans of a mischievous turtle named Snert Oh No. The comics would be wordless with the exception of “SNERT OH NO!!” written in block letters. This would imply the narrator’s flabbergast at Snert Oh No’s public display of scoundrelship.

The last thing I need is to own yet another domain however, I really liked this comic idea. The comics would be quick drawings in ink (yes, paper isn’t exactly dead yet). No pencils used. This is one of the challenges. The other is to give me an outlet to improve my rusty inking skills.

No deletions, no erasing, no touch ups in Photoshop.

The design of the site would be very minimal to save me from spending too much time on web development. In fact, I’d use my iPhone as much as possible when posting the comics. Draw, photograph, upload and post via WordPress iPhone app.

The outcome

As much as I tried, there is still some tech in the way, however, this project is still fun.

I draw my comics during my spare time with a pocket-sized soft cover moleskine and messy inky pen (I love messy ink). Since I’m taking photos of my comics with my iPhone, I need some help fixing the photos. I use the PerfectlyClr app to brighten up the photo and then I rotate and sharpen it with the Photoshop app.

Since the photos can’t be resized to fit the dimensions I’m using on the Snert Oh No website, I upload them to DropBox.

Back home, I use Photoshop on my laptop to open up the photos directly from DropBox, resize and post. Let me know if there’s an iPhone app that resizes photos— that way I can post via the WordPress app and skip my laptop altogether! I also ended up using Photoshop to touch up certain inking mistakes— only those that would otherwise affect the overall gag of the comic. But my goal is to use my iPhone as much as possible (I sit in front of a computer all day plus have too many computer-based personal projects I need to tend to).

I don’t include summaries or any explanations of the gag. A good wordless, 1-panel comic shouldn’t need it. So that’s another challenge of mine when creating these comics.

The user experience

Readers can receive new Snert Oh No comics via RSS or by following it’s Twitter feed @coMMMics3 (more about this on a future post). I need to make the site mobile compliant so mobile users can see the comics optimized for their devices.

On Twitter, I post a bit.ly link (for stats purposes) and a short lead-in hoping to entice new viewers to check it out and follow.

Since I’m also a podcaster, I also started offering a ‘director’s commentary’ via AudioBoo. Not explaining the gag, only the inspiration behind it. This is also good for reaching a new audience.

Not sure where this site will go but so far I’m enjoying the challenges and self-imposed drawing time.

Check it out at snertohno.com.