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802.11 The College Comic

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10-29-08, posted by Brian. This decision has been a long time in coming and I apologize for dragging it out all this year. I am not doing 2 Dorms Down any more. It has become a weekend chore for me instead of a hobby I'd do from day to day. My stories of late have been lazy and half-hearted and 2DD deserves better than that so I'm pulling the plug. I may post a handful of new ones if I get the bug but those will be posted on my Deviant Art page so I would suggest you bookmark or watch me there.

I started 2DD in 2003 in my dorm and started posting online in 2004. The comic started as dry erase on my closet door migrated to pencil sketches done in class, became inked and eventually colored. It was the first time I had stuck out a comic beyond 30 pages in my life and has been the longest running project I've ever done. Characters never last that long for me because creating new ones is far more enjoyeable to me than working with existing ones. For a hobby, 2DD has been more successful than I had anticipated and honestly the main reason I didn't stop when I lost my will to do it was that I was afraid to give up on it and lose my identity as a webcomic artist. But I've come to decide that it's better to take the loss now than become like the countless syndicated comics which everybody hates but are considered safe and traditional by newspapers. I honestly want to thank all the faithful readers from over the years for your time and your warm encouraging comments. Without you I would have never made it this far. In the future all my new work will be on DA and I'd be happy to hear from you there. Again, thanks for hanging with me for these last few years and best of luck to you.

10-18-08, posted by Brian. Presumably my D&D campaign will start up next month. I've nearly forgotten about it to be honest. I've been playing Twilight Princess on my gamecube lately and working on my car before it starts to snow.

10-03-08, posted by Brian. I almost didn't have an update today. After making the mistake of upgrading and then un-upgrading my OS (and then causing a kernel panic via deleting important OS files) I lost all of my programs and browser data. I spent many hours on Friday trying to log back into ComicGenesis and nearly gave up on doing the comic this week. In the end I got things working (as you can tell) and I did not lose any of my user data (other than my fonts and 10 years of bookmarks).

9-21-08, posted by Brian. This one is based on a true story. I saw the prez (P-Rob as we called him) blanche at cafeteria food and try to smile through his disgust and we then knew he was in fact a real boy. It looks like my D&D campaign is getting pushed back another month which is frustrating because I love to play (actually I don't play I run but you get the idea) but at the same time I still have prep work to finish. In the meantime I will be doing more DA pics which you can find linked near the bottom of the page.

9-07-08, posted by Brian. Admittedly, today's is not the best work I've done. I got stuck with an angle which I had not prepared to draw previously. On account of all the work I have to still do for the campaign, the fact that we still lack a venue (till October) and one of my players is not available this month I'm postponing D&D 4E till next month. Hovever, I still have a ton of work to do for it. But at least I don't have to write any more sessions for a while.

8-24-08, posted by Brian. My Starwars RPG campaign ended with a blast, one which the heroes were one roll away from being caught in. They were able to kill the fallen jedi who had been foiling them since week 2 of the campaign and the "useless in combat" guy got off the game winning shot (which may have made me happer than it did him from the way he acted). Anyhow, next month starts our new Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition campaign. We are in a tough spot trying to find a location to play (since we go from about 7-12pm on Thursday nights. The new campaigns will probably only run about 4 hours per session because they will not be self-contained stories. I though episodic would be a fun change of pace for me, instead it was a nightmare of writing. In October we have been invited to Heroes and Dragons new location to run our game but until they complete their move we are either going to have to find a new location or a new time to play. Because of all the time I've been pouring into worldbuilding and soon campaign writing, 2DD will continue on it's bi-monthly update schedule for the forseeable future, and I am not taking on any ambitious projects with the comic. Please bear with me here, I spend upwards of 15 hours a week on campaign stuff in addition to my work schedule and had to fight with myself to keep up the comic at all but part of me likes to say that I am an amature comic artist so I'm hanging it with 2DD. Also, I would like to welcome 802.11 The College Comic to the link sharing family. Brandon's working on a pretty neat idea (Open Source Comics).

8-10-08, posted by Brian. My SWRPG campaign is going to wrap up soon so I'm working on a D&D campaign. My new campaign world is coming along nicely and hopefully things will all come together in time. The campaign world is pretty cool. It's got touches of Dark City, Trigun, Steam Punk, and Warhammer 40K along with the more traditional fantasy elements. It will be a small world which is powered and sustained by a series of "Divine Engines" which form the core of most of the major cities. I love the 4th Edition rules. Before we would cast Perpetual Light on the eyes of an Orcish Champion, Silence on an Evil Cleric's holy symbol, Light on a female Drow assassin's armor (visible or naked either way works for us), or cast Irresistable Dance followed by Blade Barrier (dance of death). It's the kind of stuff I have nightmares about now as GM (rather than player). 4E made all the odd spells long rituals and the combat spells along with everything else were designed to limit the opportunities to daisy chain abilities. Before we could find ways of combining the "always works" with "kills if it works" to make "always kills" and 10 years later as a Gm I realize that these things are fun a couple of times as a player but they really ruin the GM's ability to consistently make fair but challenging scenerios for the players which ultimately robs everybody of their fun. 4E is a simple and well balanced game and I think it will be a lot of fun for my group to play.

7-27-08, posted by Brian. Batman rocked, hard. You just know the media would crucify Batman in the real world for using violence and terror to stop violence and terror. Batman is the guy who gets villified for doing what is necessary to stop evil. Anyhow, there will be new artwork next update. While I have not been GMing SWRPG recently I have been writing up a campaign world for D&D 4th Edition (I still want to call it "Advanced" Dungeons and Dragons despite the fact they dumped that part of the title years ago). I'll probably be starting D&D in September or October. When this happens I will see if sweeping multi-session dungeons are less time consuming than these episodic Star Wars sessions.

7-13-08, posted by Brian. I saw Hulk, Hellboy II, and Speed Racer this last week. I liked all three of them but Hellboy in particular. It was worth the effort to see it in the midnight showing. I've had a break from writing SWRPG on account of the Hellboy and coming Dark Knight midnight premiers and two of the other players GMing a session each. This time has been spent looking over D&D 4E rules. I'm strongly considering switching over the campaign in late fall or early winter from SWRPG to D&D 4E. I already worked out the frame of a protracted campaign which could easily run 6 months worth of campaigns. I am not familiar with this episodic format which my Star Wars game has taken. Epic fantasy is more in keeping with my writing style than episodic Sci-Fi. While this means that I will be unlikely to be able to trade the GM hat as easily with a smaller party I will probably have to run a perminent NPC in the party to fill in gaps. It will be strange for me to write sessions with my own "player character" in the group (it's generally good form to avoid that because they tend to be overly important and have metagame info which the party comes to rely on unless you can run them dispassionately). Still I can think of a few good ways to run non-leader NPCs who are not proactive in protecting the party's interests (like if they mostly look out for number one). I've got two guys intersted for sure and I know that one of them wants to run a cleric but I still need to figure out about the others. Maybe I will run the Keep of Shadowfell canned campaign one week just to give everybody a taste of 4E and see how they like it.

6-29-08, posted by Brian. It's update week again, huzzah! And I now have to get off of my butt and change writing gears to script the next several strips of 2DD so that I can draw them. I'm 80% finished with this week's SWRPG session and I'm only working 3.5 days this week (thanks to a short day and a holiday), so I will probably write them this week and start drawing next week.

6-15-08, posted by Brian. I'm running again the next two weeks but after that I get a two week break from GMing Star Wars RPG and get to play. I'll probably be running a Togruta Jedi NPC which I introduced in last week's session. I really miss the human bonus skill and feat but I like the idea of running a very predatory character with limited communication skills.

6-01-08, posted by Brian. Comic today. Not much to say, GMing Star Wars RPG eats up a crap-ton of my time but it also gives me something to look forward to ever week. I've had al sorts of wonderfully wicked ideas to inflict on the heroes this week. I'll oblige the hero who has been clamoring for pit fighting, and make all the rest of them join in the fun. Given that everybody else is custom designed for shooting, some gladitorial combat with environmental hazards will blow their minds and kick their asses. I love the idea of murdering them with lower level, themed enemies who use all abilities they haev shunned. Yes, I am evil but it is a requirement to be the Gamemaster and it's not much fun to play with a GM who isn't.

5-25-08, posted by Brian. No comic this week (we're still on a bi-weekly schedule for comics), but I wanted to chime in to wish a say thanks to all our Veterans on Memorial Day. As they say, "Freedom isn't Free," and for many it cost a helluva lot more than a "buck oh-five" (it's from a movie). In other news I saw the Prince Caspian movie and Indiana Jones last week. Caspian is a better made movie than the last one but vastly farther from the book as well so fanboys beware. Indy's fairly mediocre with some ridiculous stunts and accents but if you watch it expecting a typical check your brain at the door action movie you will probably enjoy it. So take a tip from me, watch movies with low expectations and you will have a lot more fun this summer.

5-11-08, posted by Brian. I think I will enjoy this arc. There is a lot about Gen and Mich which I have been wanting to put into the story but never really had a good opportunity to do. This arc will explore these matters further. For example, this week we learn that while Gen hits her parents up for money a lot it's not on frivolous expenditures, she's developing a secret portfolio. Since we rarely have much time for character development this is a great time to show some of what the girls do in their spare time. Wait till you see a typical Friday night for Gen and Mich, it will not be what you expect.

5-11-08, posted by Brian. OK, here is the deal. I have decided to continue updating the comic and not stop it in the immediate future, but for the time being I will only update once every other week. So you still get 2DD, just not as often. That will take the pressure off of me (which made me consider dropping the comic) and get you a continuation of 2DD. I hope this compromise works out for everybody. This week I would have had a comic but I spend the weekend helping my brother move out and looking for an apartment myself so no dice there.

5-04-08, posted by Brian. First off, Iron Man rocks. It was possibly the best Marvel Film I've seen. I'd say I enjoyed it at least as much as when I saw X-Men or Spider Man (the first ones) in the theater. The movie didn't drag on despite it's somewhat longer length. It had a lot of action and some really funny stuff in it too. I think most of the time was invested in developing Stark as a character and showing you the change he makes as a result of his nearly dying and then re-examining his life. Robert Downey Jr. was a really good actor for Tony Stark, Gweneth Paltrow also did a really good job. You kinda have to wonder how Iron Man's armor (and more importantly his body) survives all the punishment it takes in the film but other than that there's really not much to complain about.

4-27-08, posted by Brian. Sorry, no comic this week. I was busy this weekend. I'll be experimenting with a way to get some of the drawing done at work. Either way there will be a new strip for next week. I've decided to greenlight the next story arc and just cross my fingers. I think for now that I may allow myself to not update some weeks rather than forcing myself to do the comic when I don't want to at all. Hopefully this will be a satisfactory compromise between the fans wanting more 2DD and me wanting to end my commitment to the comic. On a positive note, the next arc will feature Mich and Gen. It may even have a little fanservice in it (I haven't really written the arc yet but that's a possibility. Thanks for your understanding. Hopefully I will be able to find a way to make the comic feasible timewise and rekindle my enjoyment of doing it.

4-20-08, posted by Brian. Lately I find myself with less and less motivation to do this strip. For the time being I will continue to do it but I won't make any future promises. I've been doing this strip since 2004 when I was in college. I've enjoyed working on it and have gone through a lot of changes since I started. When I began this was a penciled comic. It transitioned through several different styles of inking and different artistic styles and ended up first greyscale and finally color. While I like to be able to introduce myself as a webcomic creator I have not really enjoyed making the strip for several months now and am beginning to ask if I really want to continue. In my last job I had an hour lunch which I used to draw the strip. After I quit that job I went on vacation mode and really did not want to draw 2DD. Now that I have a job with only a 30min lunch there is no time to draw at work and I do the vast majority of my drawing while out of the house. Now also I have the responsibility of writing campaigns for SWRPG. This takes hours a week and tends to lay claim to most of my creative energies now. I could just be going through a funk but in case this develops into the end of the comic consider this your advance warning.

4-13-08, posted by Brian. Apparently the whole drawing the strip at work thing ain't gonna happen. This means that I will probably continue to draw them the weekend they are due. The week after this one I will be playing SWRPG (as opposed to running it). I've written up a combat monster Mandalorian Soldier who does enough damage to kill any member of the party outright with the exception of the other soldier whom she is one point of damage away from being able to one hit kill. I've been doing personality archetyping, history, etc for this character in addition to writing up half a dozen different builds to find the right balance of craploads of damage and... other stuff. Oh, and FYI, it's not doc who does what is mentioned in this strip (even though I've used his likeness) I'm the perpetrator of that crime. I started it in college while writing papers, road trips, and video game sprees. It's one of the things which makes me happy to be a man. Sure it's sick but an extra hour a day to play _ is an extra hour. And this is yet another reason why I will not allow myself to own WoW.

4-06-08, posted by Brian. My new job starts Monday. It's Materials Handling which is not terribly exciting but it's casual dress and I don't have to deal with the general public, plus the pay's better. If I'm doing boring work I like to be alone with my thoughts rather than endure the ignominy of sales. It will probably take a couple of weeks to see how this new job will effect my comic productivity. I may be stuck doing it on my free time again and if so I am tempted to further simplify my artistic strategy (i.e. continuing to use and refine templates for the characters), though if this works well and I have plenty of time to write it could lead to deeper story arcs with more updates per week. To be honest, my original concept involved heavy use of templates, I was just too lazy to sit down and draw them so I ended up sketching out new strips during classes. The template format is a limiting factor in the writing but it also provides an interesting challenge for the writing which I rather like. After all, the very 3 panel page format of the comic is a big challenge for writing. It's pretty good for jokes (though two panel would probably be better in many instances) but for stories it requires unconventional thinking to make it work. Anyhow, I see 2DD as an evolving comic. And I'm not afraid to try new things which may not work out well (so long as it is not a major commitment of time).

Old update archive here

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