Frequently Asked Questions
For technical questions about this website or to ask Jessica a question, go here.
Why is the comic called Shotgun Shuffle? It massively lacks the title’s subject matter.
Named after this.
I don’t have a super love affair with this song in particular, I just really liked the name. The dot.com wasn’t taken so I used it. I may incorporate a meaning for it later, but for now it doesn’t really have significance to the comic other than the secondary characters to Ellie always rotating in and out. Much like life during youth.. friends, coworkers, and acquaintances are constantly changing.
What’s with all the Hamtaros?
This was actually grandfathered in from a different webcomic that wasn’t my own. I really had no thoughts on making a webcomic until a friend of mine showed me one she was doing. It was crazy adorable and I instantly loved the three strips she started off with. She had Hamtaro looming in odd places, staring at the reader. Unfortunately she had a harddrive crash and lost her work. Her comic died on the spot.. and subsequently all other future comic endeavors. I pestered her to no end after this. Incredibly talented artist who should be putting her work out there for others to enjoy. Her first three comics were worlds better than my first 200.
So I plug Ham-Ham in here and there as a shoutout to her work, which inspired mine. My dream was her dream first.
Since your art has improved, have you ever thought about redrawing your first batch of comics?
Have you ever thought about doing any what-ifs or alternate universe versions of your characters?
Let’s be real… have you ever drawn Ellie naked?
Technically they’re all naked when I’m drawing their figures, and before I draw the clothes. Ellie’s only really been naked in Alex’s fake drawing of her. (I still have that somewhere. Will probably do it as a Patreon drawing soon.) But I don’t draw my own characters naked to amuse myself, no. I’m not Bruce Timm. However, Ellie will appear strategically naked at some point. Like you know, graphic novel sitting right on the shelf at the comic store type naked that any kid could possibly pick up and see. Like Danger Girl naked.
Do you avoid sex in the comic? Will there ever be sex in the comic?
See above comment.
No I’m not opposed to sex in the comic. But the story has to permit it. Alex and Quinn were shown sleeping in the same bed at her apartment way back, so it was alluded to they were sexing it up on occasion. I don’t do the Friends thing where people are just falling into sex every other day. In real life you may go long periods without sex.
Why do you sensor certain curse words in the comic? It’s pretty much common place in webcomics.
Yeah, no kidding. It’s too common place. So common place the curse words lose their impact. I’ve seen even the breeziest of breezy lighthearted comics about warm fuzzy nothingness have a single strip loaded with curse words.
Character 1: “Hey fucker, where’s the fucking food in this bitch?”
Character 2: “Fuck off, asshole. I ate it. Also.. uh… up your ass, douchebag.. or something…”
And that was just the latest Pusheen.
I’m not opposed to cursing. It’s how people talk. I curse constantly. More than I should in polite conversation. Regardless, I hold off for when they’re needed. You may have noticed one in today’s comic.
Are you completing the Patreon caricatures for the cast page?
The process has taken longer than it honestly should. I intend to do a whole separate page for it, but I’m a jackass completionist and want to get all of them done first before posting.
Are you ever going to make a book?
Most likely. But it’s tons of work and very frustrating. It’ll take time. I’ve got to get my schedule solid before I even flirt with that kind of project.
Yeah, about that schedule…
Trust me I know. Nothing gives me more stress than trying to get these comics completed. I think this sums it up perfectly.
Have you ever thought about animating the comic?
This kind of question USUALLY refers to animated gif comics. I have. I actually attempted doing one in the past, but time just didn’t allow for it. I was actually going to have Ellie and Danny do an homage to Pulp Fiction’s dance scene when they were in Fatboy Slim’s Cafe 90’s. Maybe I’ll finish that for the book. :P
Why don’t you use thought bubbles in the comic?
I don’t like the way they look. All fluffy. Gross.
What software do you use to make the comic?
The first 100-150 strips were all done in MSPaint. Done huge, shrunk down. I used a god awful old program to color them called arcsoft. I’d basically sketch them, take a picture of them with my Nikon camera, then lineart in Paint. I’ve since switched over to the Wacom tablet and Photoshop. Not CS5 or whatever. I use Photoshop 7. I gotta have some form of antiquated software to keep me happy. I think it gives the comics a vintage look.
Where did you go to art school?
I didn’t get accepted into art school. I got a nice big fat rejection letter.
Who are the D52 people?
The Plot B of the comic. They’re the underpinning of the series and more important than I’ve led on so far. Their inspiration is from other Carnival of Killers trope usages like The Gungho Guns from Trigun or the Anten Seven from Outlaw Star. I liked the idea, and enjoy it more with just a ridiculous amount of them which will lead up to a major Run the Gauntlet. It also helps with 52 of them being a reference to a card game. Like Shuffling… ohhhhh snap!
You have characters that have appeared in this comic many times but they’re not on the cast page. And some that ARE on the cast page, but rarely show up. What gives?
Comic’s not over yet. Character’s like, say, Alex and Barrel will appear again. Some characters aren’t really A-string yet, and will appear in cast panels I haven’t finished setting up. I still need to make one for the 2nd and 3rd arcs of the comic, which will feature characters like James, Richard, Eagan, KK, Bubbles, and Ashliii.
You’ve said before you use real people as the inspiration for the characters. Which character are you?
I’m not in the comic.
When are you going to put yourself in the comic?
I don’t intend to. I’d rather avoid it.
Don’t you want to be in your own comic?
I’m noticing a trend. I get asked this a lot. Like, a whole lot.
There are lots of comics where the creators put themselves in the comic. Write what you know, right? That’s fine. Nothing you know better than yourself. I don’t have a problem with it. Personally speaking, and not meant to disparage other creators.. I find it kind of vain. I’m not saying THEY’RE vain. I would just find it vain if I did it. I do have a character in the D52 called META, who is a META and I’ve thought of doing this character as myself just griping about being in the comic, but I honestly don’t know. I’m making this comic to be about my observations of people and life and relationships, but not necessarily me.
What webcomics do you read?
This is a tricky question, cause it’s easy to come across as a complete jackwagon answering it. The honest answer is: NONE. You’re literally reading a comic from a creator who doesn’t read anyone else’s work. Now that’s not to say I haven’t read other comics. I have. I have read and looked at a massive number of other comics. While I don’t religiously read other strips, I DO keep up with them. I try to talk with as many other creators as I can, see what they’re doing, see what I like, see what I don’t. See what they’re doing that works. See how they talk or treat their audience. Or in sadly, many many cases, don’t communicate with their audience at all. (frowny face.)
I read bad webcomic wikis to know what to avoid, etc etc..
I basically analyze other webcomics instead of getting immersed in them. I’m not saying none of them are good enough for me or anything conceited. I look at them to see how they’re laying out their panels, how they’re doing backgrounds, word balloons, action scenes, and so on. If anyone tells me about a webcomic I’ve never heard of, I always go look. Then I mentally dismantle it and take away anything that inspires me to be better back at home. :)
How many jobs is Ellie going to have?
Two more after this. Then she’s Career Ellie. Her designation as The Lazy One will change, as will the designations of most of the other sisters.
Is there an 8th sister, or more sisters?
Will characters die in this comic?
Yes. And how.
Who’s your favorite character?
I don’t really have favorites. Just my favorites to write, which then equates to ‘easiest to write.’ I’m partial to Quinn and Pumpkin. One’s an introverted smartass, the other’s an extroverted smartass. It writes itself.
What’s going on with Pumpkin’s boobs? Are they getting bigger? I don’t get it?
She’s turning into Tarra. Because = FUSION
Are you a guy or girl? I can’t tell by “Chris.”
So you’re a dude?
I thought you were a girl.
But you write about all girls.
So what’re you,.. gay?
That doesn’t seem kinda gay to you?
Yeah, I’m tons gay.
I’m actually kinda surprised at the frequency of this question considering how many other creators write/draw comics that are predominately filled with females. I mean… ladies, honestly.. you’re much more fun to draw. (No, I am not Bruce Timming my own characters!)
So that’s the first batch of these. I’ll do another outing sometime in the future. Keep those inquiries rolling!