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.