Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Search and Research #110

Hey everybody! (hey Dr. Eli!!) It's the holidays, at least here in America, and I'm going to let this strip carry us through to the new year! If you are taking time off, may you enjoy it. If you have to work some of the days in the next couple of weeks (as I do) may you get lots of stuff done. May you all find 2009 to be a peaceful, prosperous, and productive new year!! See you next year!!

- Eli

Monday, December 15, 2008

Search and Research #109

We here, now, present the next installment in the prestigious and very critically acclaimed "Search and Research Saga", the online comic strip which the New York Times called the, "What? Get out of my office and don't come back unless you're bringing me a cheeseburger!" **

**The previous comment was written under the influence of Monty Pyton, and must therefore be excused of any facetiousness or silliness. Enjoy!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Search and Research #108

Ok, on with the strip! I've started experimenting with some gray toned markers in rendering the strip (see #104 to see the first experiment)to kind of help add some better shading than I can add simply with lines. I am still trying to decide if I like using them better than trying traditional pen and ink shading techniques...and this strip is, for me, all about artistic experimentation and growth. As always, your thoughts on the strips are always appreciated, and your thoughts about the addition of grays to the strips are particularly of interest to me. Enjoy!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Search and Research #107

Hey! Two weeks in a row! Let's see if we can keep this up. Tell your friends! Invite your neighbors!

On a separate note, if you weren't aware, there is a new Star Trek movie in the works. As a guy who was pretty disappointed by the previous two, I was kind of skeptical about this but after seeing the new trailer, I'm pretty excited. You should definitely go check it out. Enjoy!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Search and Research #106

Phew! I think this has been my busiest fall ever! From illnesses to weddings, to helping my wife stay sane while getting a MLS, to doing whatever I can to make a little extra money in this crazy economy I've felt swamped. I can honestly say that all of that created a situation where I didn't have any ideas for new strips and didn't have time to collaborate with my buddy and co-writer Jason (who is also insanely busy). Things look like they're sort of calming down though and Jason and I have been able to chat a little about ideas for new strips so hopefully we'll be able to try to find some regularity in posting. Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Search and Research #105

Yes. Yes, it feels good to gt this idea out of my head and on paper...and now online. I have tried in the past to make the color strips the sort of things that are worthy of rendering in color. I really liked the idea my friend Bryan had of blending works from the history of art into the library setting, such as Strip #30. I'm a big fan of the surrealist painter Dali (and most of the rest of the surrealists actually) and so for this one, I settled on his The Persistence of Memory as a subject. It is not an exact copy as the Magritte was, but more like a homage to the painting. This strip is my tribute to the mind numbing and ongoing task that many student workers perform called Inventory.

In my student worker days, inventory was a regular task we were asked to perform for almost the entire school year. I think that anything we didn't finish during that time would be finished over the summer. The data would be analyzed and put to use, and the process would begin again the following August. I hated doing inventory. I hated it even more when the clipboard I had been using was replaced with a 5 pound portable barcode scanner that was not only unwieldy but emitted a loud beep for every barcode it scanned. Even now, sitting in my library office, comfortably away from the possibility of having to perform the task, I do not think of those times fondly.

This is for all of us student workers who were at one time or another called upon to sacrifice sanity in the stacks with a clipboard and a pencil (or a portable barcode scanner.) Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Search and Research #104

Yeah, it's been a while. And, as the strip indicates, I've been super busy. Things have calmed down though, so hopefully the weekly strips will be back on schedule soon. Enjoy!

- Eli

Monday, August 18, 2008

Search and Research #103

How about these Olympics huh? Yeah...I'm really into 'em too. I've had this idea for like, 2 weeks now, but all my evenings turn into an "All Olympics, All the Time" situation. So, yeah, I'm finishing this strip a little later than I wanted.

This is a real situation...I spilled soup on my shirt during lunch one day, and there was a very obvious stain on my shirt. Not being able to go home, I had to cover it up and the only thing I could think of was the two name tags I have (one old, one new) and sat at the desk thusly attired, enduring many strange looks.

For the purposes of this strip, I envisioned that Marc had an old name tag that was misspelled, which he pulled out of retirement to cover a stain. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Search and Research #102

Hey! Here we go with a new strip. I had my week as a camp counselor, and a week of recovery, and I've got a couple of funny ideas for upcoming strips, so the strip is moving along. After I scanned this strip in, I realized that I really made a mistake trying to put lips on Marc from this angle. I've never tried to draw Marc from this angle, but it's how I envisioned this strip working so I had to try. I don't think I'm going draw him from this angle again.

I also noticed that Bo√ľk's head shape changes in each panel, although I think that it is sort of interesting that maybe his head changes shape with his expression. We'll have to see. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New Art on Facebook...

Hey everybody, I wanted to alert you to a new batch of preliminary art from Search and Research that I've posted to the Fan Page on Facebook. Check it out here!

I'm going to try to get a strip posted by this weekend, but we'll have to see how that goes. I'm in the process (and have been in the process for the past couple of months) of preparing for a summer camp for 1st-6th graders. The week-long camp starts next week, and I'm not going to do anything during the week after that either, but hopefully new preliminary art and possibly strip #102 will tide everyone over.


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Search and Research #101

As promised, here is a new strip! I'm going to go ahead and confess that I'm not sure that I'm going to be able to keep a "strip a week" schedule through the summer. I have a lot of stuff going on that keeps my free time tied up, but I will try to put up more strips than I did last summer. Here's to eating watermelon, raising tomatoes, and reading online comics. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sketch and Resketch

Here is a warm-up sketch of Marc that I did to get back into the groove of drawing him. It is also a promissory note that a new strip will be up Monday! That's right, I've written a drawn a new strip. It has taken a while, but my buddy Jason has sort of caught up on stuff at work and I've had a few funny ideas, so we're going to get rolling on this strip again. Thanks for being patient and hanging in there with us. We appreciate it.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Search and Research #100!!!

Yay! It's done, this colossal strip is done! I had wanted to do something big and special for the 100th strip, but really wasn't sure what I wanted to do. I thought about doing a super long strip with maybe 12 panels or something, or one that was just one big image. i decided that one image appealed to me more, and the initial image I had was SCOM, having just watched the Transformers movie, tearing through the library having constructed a body from the office equipment that had been laying around.

I couldn't make that work though, so I decided it would be more exciting to draw SCOM in a robot body fighting a dinosaur. Obviously my favorite dinosaur is the Tyrannosaurus Rex. I used to draw dinosaurs all the time, but it has been a while, and I wanted to get it right, so research was in order, which is what I spent much of last week doing. Anyone who visited the Facebook Fan Page last week noticed that I put up a picture of SCOM in his robot body, which I also had to work out last week, because historically I'm pretty bad at drawing robots and I wanted to do this right.

So anyway, here we are. I usually draw these strips on regular, letter sized sheets of card stock which are 8.5 x 11 inches. The paper I drew this strip on is 12 x 17 inches, which just happens to be the scanning area of the scanner outside my office. So, this is a huge sheet of paper, which will soon be framed and hanging on my wall in my office. I think I can speak for Jason too when I say that this strip has been a delight to draw, a wonderful creative outlet, and great way to meet librarians from all over the world who I would not have otherwise met. I thank you all for your support, encouragement, and kind words over the past couple of years, and I look forward to what the next strips have in store.

It's going to be a couple of weeks until strip #101 due to my buddy Jason's schedule. He is been working feverishly on a big programming project, and has had almost no time to collaborate with me on future strips. He and his family are going on vacation this weekend and next week, and he will be out of touch, so I'll have to wait 'til he gets back on the grid before I can start even writing the next few strips (unless inspiration hits me during his absence...which usually doesn't happen.)

I'm going to post some of my preliminary sketches on the Facebook Fan Page in the next couple of days, so be watching that. Ok, I think that's about everything. Enjoy!

Click this image for a higher resolution image!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Search and...Research?

Yes folks, research. I've had to do a lot of research for the upcoming strip #100...which I will describe in detail when I actually post the strip. Next week. That's right...I'm just not going to be able to finish this thing this week. However, to tide you over, I've posted a piece of artwork related to the strip in a new photo album called "Extras" over on the Facebook Fan Page . So...head on over and check it out!

- Eli

Monday, May 05, 2008

Search and Research #99

Hey! I want to thank all of you who became fans of the strip on Facebook this week! If you haven't seen it yet, I've created a 'fan page' on Facebook for Search and Research and there is a link to it in the links section of this blog. I'm in the process of scanning some of the sketches I've done for this strip that haven't been posted online which I will be posting over there, and there's also a discussion board feature which I'm hoping to use. So, if you haven't already, I'd like to invite you to come on over and join the fan page.

You may notice that the jargon SCOM is spouting in panel two borrows heavily from Star Trek: The Next Generation. I love all the techno jargon they used on that show! I used to try to reword sentences in highschool using Star Trek scientific jargon to make myself seem smarter. All that positronic, neural net, venting plasma through the warp engines, dilithium crystal chambers, and tachyon pulses...it's just great. I was glad for the opportunity to work it into the strip. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Search and Research #98

I can't imagine having to digitize microfiche. I'm all for it, but I am not the kind of person who could do that and not go crazy. That's why I think that we need robots with built in telescopes who can digitize this stuff for us.

On a separate note, I've created a Search and Research fan page on Facebook! I've uploaded all the strips there for easy viewing (well, semi-easy cause they sort of shrink the images). I still like putting my comments and larger images here on this blog, and will continue to do so, but the fan page will be a good way to communicate with you, the fans, and share stories, ideas, shoot the breeze, etc. Here's the link: Facebook Fan Page

I'd love for you all to add yourselves as fans, if you're so inclined. You'll need to be a member of Facebook to add yourself as a fan (it's a free registration) but you can view the page without signing up. I'm planning on putting up some art over there related to the strip that I haven't published on the blog, and who knows what else will show up over there. Well, that's all for now. Enjoy!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Search and Research #97

Why is it that microfiche seems to be in the darkest room of the library? Anybody else feel that way? It's always a little hard to find, it's got those old machines in there. I can't blame SCOM for being a little nervous around those machines. I'm actually in charge of the microfiche and I am frustrated by it to no end. Despite working with it, I never thought about microfiche as a comic strip subject until my mom suggested it to me, so big thanks go out to my mom!

This time around I decided to do the gray tones with pencil. I've hesitated in doing this because pencil sort of smears around easily...but I can't deny that it looks best of all the grays I've tried so far. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Busy week....

Hey everybody, I just wanted to pop in and say that due to several one time art projects that have popped up this week, it is unlikely that I'll get a strip up this week. See you all next week!

- eli

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Search and Research #96

Well, this was an experiment in adding gray tones with a ballpoint pen. But...I think I wound up overshading it a bit. I'm trying to work out the best way to do this whole gray tones thing with ink. I've tried doing straight cross-hatching with my marker pens, but I don't like that for these strips for the most part. I've also tried ink wash but it wrinkles the paper on which I draw these strips. I could use markers, but they're pretty expensive, especially for a set of all the tones I'd need. Anway, I think I may be able to use a ballpoint pen to do background stuff but not pervasive darkness like this.

This is the introduction of Ayvee, the new Electronic Resources librarian. If you think about her name and her job, her name becomes funny and appropriate. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Search and Research #95

I want to thank everyone for bearing with me last week. It feels good to get this next one out. Enjoy!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Search and Research #94

So, it's just like the caption says. My buddy Jason and I have been working out ideas and details for the next several strips, but our busy lives have kept us from really having time to connect all the dots. In the meantime, I wanted to do just an art piece. This is exactly my favorite thing to do on a cold day where I don't have to work...curl up under a blanket on the couch and read, particularly the Lord of the Rings trilogy. This was an experiment in using lots of lines to try to render objects in gray scale. I think it works in some places here, and doesn't in others, but overall I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.

I thought some of you might be interested in what drawing this was like, so I scanned in my penciled strip. I sort of shaded in areas to help me remember what I was going to darken in, and as you can see I've sort of indicated where things are going to go, but I haven't tried to make every pencil line perfect. I then inked over these pencil lines in pen and added in all the cross hatching and other detail. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Search and Research #93

And now the explanation for the big reveal last week. After we initially revealed that SCOM had guns, even though it was pretty funny to me, it sort of bothered me that he had them. I mean, nobody is going to let anybody, even a machine, into a library with a gun. It's true that reality is suspended in that we have a walking, talking, abbreviating office machine in our strip...but we do try to keep everything else somewhat grounded in reality. So, this was a perfect solution for the whole gun thing. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Search and Research #92

What! What's this? A salad shooter and a caulking gun? Where are the machine guns? Tune in next week to find out! Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Search and Research # 91

I have to say, I'm glad I didn't commit myself to getting a strip up last week 'cause I came down with a pretty bad cold last week and couldn't draw anything. I'm better now though.

Ok, so this strip features Randall. You can see the old version of him in strip #89. In that strip we have him complaining about a hair appointment SCOM made for him. If you look at strip #90, in the first panel you'll see a little guy in a hawaiian shirt with spiky blond hair. I drew that as my conception of Randall after the hair appointment. I thought it was funny enough that I wanted to deal with his feelings about the whole thing, and give us a better look at the new 'Do'. I'm including my little prelim sketch I did of Randall's now look. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Search and Research #90

I honestly worked on this strip for 5 nights. I started on Tuesday of last week, and finished up tonight. I really thought I'd have it up last wednesday, but alas, this was a much longer project than I anticipated. First, this was a color one, so I drew it on watercolor paper, which has little bumps and ridges. This made the penciling stage a little harder. Also, I couldn't erase mistakes much because if I did, the paper would become weak and the ink would run when I inked it. So I had to be much more deliberate in the lines I put down. Also, my pencil lines smeared a lot more than the normal paper I used, so that didn't help when I started inking. Tonight and last night I worked on coloring the page. I have to confess that I'm not much of a colorist, so making color choices sort of stresses me out and I spend a lot of my time mixing the colors...probably more than I actually spend putting colors on the page.

On top of all that, Jason and I decided that this should be a double sized image to really tell the story we wanted to tell, and I really could have used about 2 more panels to get the timing down. When I realized I didn't really have enough room on the page for the panels I wanted, I had to figure out how to combine some elements and shift stuff around, so that took some planning. Anyway, this was a lot of work, which is why it wasn't up last week.

Depending on whether Jason and I can nail down the finer points of the next few stories, we may not have a strip next week to allow us time to write scripts for the next few strips. We have some ideas cooking, but need to work out some details, so thanks for understanding. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Search and Research #89

It always feels good to get one of these strips done, especially when I've been putting it off unnecessarily. I spent most of my weekend, and my evenings this week, playing video games with my wife and losing track of time. Here's a tip for you aspiring artists out there...it's hard to feel creative with a video game calling your name (especially if you have to sit on a very comfortable couch to play said video game, which happens to be my situation). But, I managed to overcome my propensity toward laziness and get this strip done. Next one is a color strip, so we'll just have to see how long that takes! Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Search and Research #88

It feels good getting this strip up each week. I wanted to try to get this one done yesterday, but watching the Packers lose to the Giants (talking football here for those of you who may not know...) really sort of ruined the rest of my evening artwise; I just couldn't seem to find any creativity in me the whole rest of the night.

It was good to get to some of our other characters as well. I really like drawing all of our characters (except Randall, whose first appearance is the only time I've drawn him well) and the past few strips have mainly been SCOM and Marc. And Wai Fai too I guess.

Having scanned this in, my first thought was, "Look at all those Jelly Bellies. That must be at least $50 worth!" Stuff I don't really think about when I'm drawing the strip. Anyway...Enjoy!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Search and Research #87

Welcome to the first strip of the new year!!! The new year is a time to reflect on our lives, make changes to our habits, routines, and in some cases, personalities. :0)

I am starting to try some new things with my pen and ink technique. As these strips go along I'm going to try to drop in some backgrounds and things behind our characters that, while being unobtrusive, will hopefully work to fill in the blank spaces. For instance, I liked how #86 came out, but I can't help but look at it now and notice all the blank white space behind Marc and Wai Fai. I usually don't draw backgrounds because they tend to clutter up the main action (at least my backgrounds do) but I think I need to branch out. So get ready. See you next week. Enjoy!