Roundhead #6

I’ve decided to relegate Roundhead to Asides.

This week’s strip is the beginning of a Christmas-themed story arc that you’re just going to have to sit through.

On a side note, I think once Roundhead‘s run is over, I’ll post my college-era Space Ghost strips.


Roundhead #5

For whatever reason, at this point I abandoned the storyline I started in the previous strips to do a more “classic” one. That is, this strip is what can be considered the archetypal Roundhead strip. I believe this one was titled “Roundhead: The Special Edition,” hence the unnecessary appearance by Yoda.

Roundhead #5

Roundhead #4

In today’s strip, Roundhead and Bob drag Roundhead’s damned arch-nemesis, “Mr. Z,” out of hell so he can once again be a foil for our heroes. But things don’t turn out quite as planned. You can see I’ve started to play with action and perspectives a bit more.

Roundhead #4

We needed a bigger boat

Welcome to the new Biggerboat!

Yes, a redesign has been going on in secret for a few weeks now. All the work was done by Sean, who also designed The Ed Zone. When we tried to go live yesterday and discovered that the new design didn’t want to work with MovableType, Sean buckled down and transferred the entire site to WordPress?including all the old content.

I can’t thank Sean enough for all the hard work he put into the site. Really, I can’t?he won’t let me. So be sure to comment and let him know how totally awesome you think it is, because you do (right? RIGHT?!).

Since the site is now running off WordPress, you’ll need to update any RSS or other feeds you’ve been using; the old ones will still link to the old Movabletype site.

Poke around a bit. Nothing is substantially different, but you should find it a bit easier to get around and to comment. Also, be sure to let me know if you find any dead links or malfunctioning content.

In the meantime, I believe I owe you not one, but two Roundhead cartoons. These two begin the “storyline” in which Roundhead and his evil twin Bob go to Hell to find Roundhead’s archenemy Mr. Zem. The third cartoon is the first to be hand-drawn and also contains the first thing to actually make me laugh while re-reading these. Enjoy.

(P.S. The “Columbian necktie” gag comes from Loose Cannons, the first rated-R movie I was allowed to watch in its entirety as a teenager. At least I think it does.)

Roundhead 2

Roundhead 3

Roundhead 1

I almost forgot to introduce that new feature I mentioned. It’s nothing exciting or groundbreaking—just a bit of nostalgic indulgement.

Back in high school, there was a period where I fancied myself a bit of an artist. The culmination of my artistic ambition was a Ren & Stimpy comic I made, but that’s beside the point. Late in my high school career, after I’d already given up the idea of being a comic artist, I put what little talent I had cultivated into a strip featuring a character who was essentially a salt shaker with arms. He was called Roundhead, and it was good.

Roundhead says hi

If I recall correctly—and it’s very possible I don’t—Roundhead may even have had a short-lived run in my school newspaper. In any event, he was put aside until I got to college. In my freshman year, I discovered the joys of creating a website with no more than Microsoft Notepad (which I more or less still do to this day). I was still drawing Roundhead and decided to start scanning them and throwing them up on my website.

Over the years, Roundhead became a kind of mascot for me, and something of a cast of characters grew around him: his triggerhappy twin brother, Bob; the Mob he often preached to; Dark Blockhead, his original arch-nemesis; and Negativo, his…um…later arch-nemesis. For the record, “Mr. Zem,” a Nazi-esque villain, was created by my friend Jim Holzman, and there was a time he requested I not use the character, at which point I renamed him “Mr. Z” and then wrote him out of the story. But his name is still in the first couple strips, which I’m going to put up for now. Jim, if you’re out there and you’re still bugged by this, let me know and I’ll take the strips that mention Mr. Zem’s name down.

I often drew these comics while working at the circulation desk of my college library (it was a low-key job) and would stamp them with the library’s date stamps. Initially, the gag with Roundhead was always the same: he’d try to inspire the Mob to do some noble thing, then end up saying, “Let’s go shoot something!” Ha ha, I guess(?) But over the course of the twenty or so strips, you can see me get a bit more ambitious, both in storytelling and in my art (okay, not much in the art, but at least some cross-hatching shows up).

In 1998, when I was still fascinated by what could be done with a computer, I recorded a few (entirely instrumental) songs I’d written for my guitar onto my computer, then burned them onto a CD. I called the CD Songs in the Key of Roundhead (I’m pretty sure I ripped that off The Simpsons).

A few years ago I came across Jhonen Vazquez’s Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, and I was amused to see how his improving art style and tendency toward philosophical meditations somewhat mirrored the development of my doodles. He even had a Roundhead-like character named Happy Noodle Boy who, oddly enough, also stood in front of mobs and shouted things at them. I swear to you I never read JTHM until years after I drew the final Roundhead strip; I guess antisocial stick figures have a place in our collective unconscious.

Anyway, I’ve decided that once a week for the next few months, I will be posting an old Roundhead strip…unless people hate them and start complaining, in which case I’ll stop.

So, without further ado, here’s the first—okay wait, a little more ado. This strip was actually drawn in MSPaint, which I can’t apologize for enough. A few of the strips were done in Paint, but most are drawn. But this strip does give you a basic introduction to the world of Roundhead.

Many, that’s a ton of ado for something so arguably lame. Anyway, here you go: Roundhead 1