This fine ComicGenesis comic courtesy of:

About the Author of the Comic

Who is the author?

Rob Cruickshank was born in Tauranga, New Zealand, in 1971 and still lives with his parents. He started drawing cartoons in 2002 to pass the time while finishing a B.Sc. and really took off in 2003. Then the drain of seeking and doing paid work took its toll, but he's trying to get back into play.

His other distractions include making hour-long SubGenius shows, playing far too many computer games, and beer, since he is only fifteen minutes' walk from the nearest pub in Paraparaumu.

Who are your main influences?

I am unashamed to say that I am influenced by two of the finest and most underrated graphic storytellers since Windsor McKay and Will Eisner: Eric Gustaffson (Elf Life and Jennifer Diane Reitz (Unicorn Jelly, Pastel Defender Heliotrope.) Both these people are using the comic format to tell profound, very deep, thoughtful stories that span many years of work, which is a rarity in the mainstream comic world.

As such, I wish to tell such a story. I also wish to reach the same work ethic and regularity of update that they have, and I had before in 2003.

Why that crack at mainstream comics?

I could go into a rant here, but in the main there are several aspects that irritate me: Stale dynamics, typecasting, and a refusal to evolve.

Most mainstream comics are either soulless, or repetitive, which is not entirely the same thing. Either they seem to be engineered by committee to draw in a large target market, or they simply rehash the same ideas, the same group dynamics, over and over again. Nobody evolves, no new areas are explored for new material. And that, the more I think about it, is a shame. For instance, it would be nice for a moral lesson to actually stick in Alex Masterly's mind for once, or for Jon Arbuckle to actually grow a spine. At the same time, though, you know what Alex, Garfield, Lady Death etc. are going to provide; they're predictable, which can be comforting.

At the same time, though, comics seem to still, predominantly, be engaged at the youth market, mostly teenage boys. All mindless zap-pow cleavage and all that. So it's no wonder that mainstream literati look down their noses and sniff. And, frankly, I haven't a clue who is likely to finally make the breakthrough strip that makes Horrocks and Spiegelmann not freaks, but the rule.

Well, I guess I did rant after all. Sorry.

How is this comic created (i.e. media etc.)?

I draw the comics by hand, using a motley array of HB and 2B pencils on watercolour paper (which at 300gsm is much denser and stiffer than normal paper.) I then ink the lines using a Millenium or Zig 0.5mm drawing pen, which resists both water and erasers.

Prior to that, the comic slowly takes shape as an uncontrolled riot of scrawled notes and doodles on various notepads and sheaves of scrap paper.

Colour is applied firstly with watercolours, mainly because the Crayola markers run otherwise. The Crayolas are used for small or bright areas... Then I apply shading via diluted india ink.

Once the strip is all done, it's time for lettering, which I do on the computer. The strip is scanned in at 300dpi, and lettering is applied with JASC Paint Shop Pro 7. For dialogue, I use Blambot's "Digitalstrip"; sound effects are rendered with the 'bot's "Umberto" or "Space Pontiff". Alien language is "Roswell Wreckage". And I would like to thank Zanoma (from UJ's forums) in Malaysia for his creating a font for Alpabe, the font used to indicate a Gryrnese speaking his or her native language.

The web pages for this site are written using Crimson Editor, a freeware plain text editor. He distrusts WYSIWYG editors, claiming rightly that their auto-generated code is unnecessarily baroque.

Is that Te Kore in that title graphic?

No. Actually that's Kaikoura, and was taken in August 2005 on a tour of the South Island I was doing. And before you ask, I didn't go on any whale watching tour. We were only there to rest and top up the bus.