Scary Go Round Style Changes

Once described as being “pret­ty much per­fect,” Scary Go Round is one of my favorite comics. As is the case with most things, I got into it kin­da late, and it’ll prob­a­bly die in the near future, mak­ing my week­day morn­ings cold and bleak. I wish I could remem­ber where I learned about it.

One of the best things about it is its art­work. The col­ors are stun­ning, it’s pep­pered with painstak­ing­ly sub­tle, wink­ing touch­es, and there’s a weird jux­ta­po­si­tion of ruler-guid­ed lines and rough, endear­ing­ly slop­py details like let­ter­ing or rows of win­dows. But it did­n’t used to be that way; it began as a spin­off to John Allison’s pre­vi­ous com­ic, Bob­bins, which shift­ed from hand-drawn to vec­tor art on Jan­u­ary 15, 2001, a dis­tinct­ly dig­i­tal style that con­tin­ued through Scary Go Round’s first cou­ple years.

It was short­ly after I start­ed read­ing, in 2006, that the com­ic went “per­ma­nent­ly” (for now) hand-drawn, which to me is far prefer­able, allow­ing for much greater nuance in ges­tures and expres­sions, and more equipped to car­ry John’s sense of humor.

Lament­ing the fact that I did­n’t get to watch its evo­lu­tion in real­time, I decid­ed to cat­a­logue notable dates in its his­to­ry, cou­pled with con­text from John’s blog and the Scary Go Round forum, because I am curi­ous and anal.

John begins Scare­odele­ria, intend­ed as a prac­tice ground “to return Scary Go Round to hand-drawn art.” It’s pret­ty crude.

What John calls “the weird look­ing ‘big head’ comics from Jan­u­ary” begin here and end here (rough­ly).

A one-off hand-drawn SGR strip.

Anoth­er sur­prise hand-drawn strip, replaced lat­er in the after­noon by a vec­tor art ver­sion (as doc­u­ment­ed in this forum top­ic).

John “makes deci­sions,” and SGR begins its first major depar­ture into hand-drawn; peo­ple talk about it.

SGR goes vec­tor again, peo­ple freak out 1, peo­ple freak out 2.

Hand-drawn again, for good this time. Peo­ple react.

John begins draw­ing at twice the size. Every­body gets big lips for a while. Peo­ple react.

If you still need more, El San­to has a huge write-up on SGR.

Things I’ve learned while putting this togeth­er:

  • phpBB needs a way to sort top­ics by cre­ation date, rather than last mod­i­fied date.
  • Blog­ger suu­u­u­u­uucks.