Like Herrings and Onions #2 - "Study Hall" Talkback
Updated: Jan 16, 2021
Original Release Date: May 4, 2017
This issue was originally called “Study Time” as that's what I had thought Study Hall to be called in middle school. Even though LHAO is set in high school, this story came from my time in middle school during, well, study hall.
Kate makes her debut here. She is the chimpanzee girl that is the number one target for bullying from Helen and her friends. Like Charlie Brown and Doug Funnie before her, the sheepish, studious Kate rarely gets a break and her life usually turns for the Kafkaesque. Kate is designed to be the audience surrogate. Her quiet behavior, being more interested in school books and her imagination while trying to avoid drama whenever she can get the chance, is based upon myself at that age (and bit of me in the present).
This is the first issue I ever drew and colored entirely on the computer, using a Wacom tablet. I was hoping that this would improve the issue of JPEG artifacting. It didn't. After some research, I discovered that you should save line art in PNGs—that's what Square Root of Minus Garfield accepts. I converted the previous comics to PNG files and that solved the pixelization issue. Furthermore, I originally drew the comics on letter size paper before scanning them. For the web versions, I cropped the letter-sized versions to almost bordering the panel lines. The original size for the pages' display area was 1090 pixels by 835 pixels. While it was good for the original version of the site, the older strips, even as PNGs, look pixelated after the update. Ultimately, I found out the reason: the portfolio gallery for the comics was designed to fit pages the size of LHAO #4 onward.
I might buy Lightroom (or at least get a 30-day free trial) to fix this problem; I remember learning about the software in Rutgers and how to it you can enlarge small pictures without pixelization occurring.
2/22/19: I think I might have found a solution to this problem.