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Some Words To Share

August 20th, 2008

Sorry for the lack of comics lately.
I mean, I still have been updating on Fridays (and I expect to have a page up this Friday as well), it’s just that I’ve been skipping out on the Mondays. But it’s not that I have been skipping out on Moose River all together; I’ve been spending some time updating my archives some more… so far I’m up to page 46, after having done eight pages last night. Just so you know, the updating involves de-halftoning each page, tweaking the dialogue a bit, and fixing up the speech bubbles a bit. A lot of the speech bubbles were extremely sloppy, so it’s actually a bit of work trying to clean them up to match the speech bubble quality of the more recent pages.

You’ll also notice a switch in the page’s layout.
For this last most page I went from a 2 wide by 3 high format that I’ve always done to a 3 wide by 2 high “HD” layout. What do you think? I personally like it better this way because a page fits much more nicely on a computer screen. And considering that almost 80% of the people visiting the site have either a 1280×1024 or 1024×768 sized screen, having a comic page laid out in this way would be more appropriate. What do you guys think?

The next track from the Moose River Soundtrack is called Violence Lake by Greg Weeks.
I rather enjoy Greg Weeks’ work for being considerably more down tempo, similar to that of other acoustic guitar artists; he’s not harsh on the ears one bit, and I like that. Violence Lake in particular has a unique sound relative to the other tracks on the same album Blood Is Trouble. Now Weeks’ style is fairly folky, which fits the sort of small town feel of Moose River, and is also apparently “experimental” and even “psychedelic”. I do suspect that the “psychedelic” title is pinned onto Weeks by people who’ve never done psychedelic drugs before, since to me Weeks sounds almost absolutely folk, albeit a more modern styling of folk. But then again, Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, written in 1830, is described as the “first musical expedition into psychedelia”. That is to say, relative to other classical music before and after, Symphonie fantastique has a very noticeable hallucinatory style to it, like a classical interpretation of being under the influence of mind altering substances. Now I’ve listened to it myself and it’s still fairly classical-esque, but I do hear the psychedelia style Berlioz had apparently intended, so I suppose it’s possible that a folk-acoustic artist like Greg Weeks can have a psychedelia edge relative to the wholly un-psychedelic styling of someone like Pat Boone. But if you can hear it, then, well, there we are.

Fuck banks and fuck their fees.
Long story short I got charged $175 (five separate $35) in fees yesterday which is total bullshit. The deal is, I deposited a check for $500 Saturday into a mostly empty account. But since checks don’t get added into my account until the end of the day Monday, all the charges I made to my account over the weekend were overdrafted, and I had a to pay $35 for each individual charge. Fortunately I got half of the amount reversed, but I’m gonna fight to get the other half back. In essence, my bank stole $88 from me. Like, out-and-out stole. … Does anyone know someone who works at Wells Fargo who could help me out? 🙂

The purpose of Moose River, from you (the reader’s) point of view, is to make you think.
I mean, I would like for this story to be entertaining, or at least interesting enough to the point where you don’t feel your time has been wasted. And at the same time, I’m not expecting the story to change your life or anything. The thing is though, I’m not writing this story for the sole purpose of getting popular like other webcomic writers out there. Of course I certainly wouldn’t mind if Moose River got more readers! But I would rather have the 50 or so daily visitors reading the unique story of the Moose River I’m writing now versus getting a thousand times that by writing a vapid, one-dimensional Moose River that’s full of in-jokes, cliches and pop culture references. In every large scale art project I’ve ever worked on, I’ve been actively pursuing the fulfillment of originality than the emptiness of popularity. … What do you guys think?

2 Responses to “Some Words To Share”

  1. Tyson of the NW sezzzzz:

    Sorry to hear about the bank fees man. Wells Fargo can be a punk like that. Actually most banks tend to be punks like that, s’ why I switched to a Credit Union a few years back, never had a problem like yours since.

    While I appreciate the archive update for when I suggest the comic to a friend, it increases the chances of them getting into it, sacking the Monday comic and updating less breaks up the flow of the comic. When a new page drops I have to back track a page or two to get caught back up in the story. Does the reworking of the archive pages have an effect on the print collection? If so are you going to re-release an improved print collection?

    Stay true to the story, it’s originality and it’s honesty is what draws me to it. To me that is what makes it accessible and relateable. In-jokes and pop-culture may make it more attractive to a certain segment of the potential readership, but it would disconnect with those outside of that segment.

    Just my 2 cents.

  2. mayor of moose river sezzzzz:


    Credit union, huh? I’ll look into that.

    The archive reedits do make their way into final print version. I usually only print up maybe about twenty to thirty books at a time, so each chance I get I try to update the pages with what’s available on the site. I’m currently on the Third Edition of Book One, with all the current edits I’m making warranting a Fourth Edition… this is always preferable for me because I don’t want to have any copies of the First Edition floating around when I have a better version available.

    The updates however don’t really affect the story much, most of the time I just move some words around or clarify what someone says. There have been times where I’ve needed to reedit what someone says because I forget to take into account what they said. For example, Avery was originally gonna take Anne to the Halloween party but I forgot he said that after having drawn up what currently exists, so I went back and erased the bit where Avery said he would pick Anne up. It’s all just junk like that.

    I really would love to update the site more often than I actually do… but sometimes I’m just not inspired to work, and I don’t want to force myself to complete a page. The lack of updates have sort of encouraged a few of my friends to just not visit it every day and check it out once every few weeks; doing so means they get to check out like three or four new pages with each visit. I’m not saying everyone should do that, but what works for some people might work for others.

    In any case, I’m always glad to be reminded of why people enjoy Moose River, and that there are people out there who can enjoy the story for what it is. 🙂 The one thing though I gotta promise myself to not do is write a “Moose River” story. That it to say, I’d like to think that right now I’m just writing about a bunch of kids and it’s called “Moose River”, much in the same way that when The Simpsons first started out, it was just about a dysfunctional family and the show was called “The Simpsons”. However at some point The Simpsons became less about a dysfunctional family and about “The Simpsons”, and that’s when I felt the show started to fall apart. I mean, just think about all the TV, movie or comic series out there, and how many of them are about themselves. Like with Shawn of the Dead, they wrote a movie about zombies… but the sequel would be a movie about “Shawn of the Dead”. Get my drift? I think Moose River would become unoriginal and a piece of shit once I stop writing about a bunch of kids doing drugs and falling in love and begin writing about “Moose River”. Hopefully that made sense.

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Moose River
by Philippe Van Lieu
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