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Frequently Asked Questions ( Last Updated: October 10th, 2008 )
Between emails, the message boards, and a couple of you that have found me in game, I have asked many questions over and over again. This whole section is about trying to answer them for you.


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What does GU stand for?
Well, initially this strip was drawn only for the enjoyment of me and my guild. And I needed a name that fit; so, I went with "/gu". In Everquest "/gu" is the command that allows you to chat with all members of your guild at once. Basically, it's short for "/guildsay". As the comic evolved to included a wider scope of games the EQ specific name was dropped to become the comics official name "GU Comics"

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So is it pronounced G U or GU?
I've heard people pronounce it "Goo", but I've always pronounced it "Gee You".

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How do websites make your link list?
In order for a website to make the GU Link List, they have to be sites I visit myself on a regular basis. The link list is, essentially, my internet proving ground. If I've been to a site and I like it enoughto make return trips, then it'll probably end up on the link list.

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Is your name really Woody?
No. Technically it's William. But, I've been called Woody for so long that I usually don't even respond to someone asking for William. And I get bent out of shape if someone calls me Bill. **grumbles** I have entertained the thought of having my name legally changed however.

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Is Ted real?
No. Ted Prescott is my imaginary alter ego. In essence I live vicariously through Ted. He has no shame and no fear. He's the embodiment of our addiction and the advocate of our free will. He is simultaneously the best and worst in all gamers.

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What happened to Foos, ED, and Caesar?
Foos is part of a different time in my life. I've moved on, and Foos had to stay behind. With that in mind, he won't be making any further appearances in the comic.

ED and Caesar had to be given up for re-adoption when we learned theKid was allergic. Having to give them up was really hard on us. So, I can't bring myself to do comics about them anymore.

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Do you make a living at this?
Yes, GU is a business and is, therefore my job. All of my income is derived from banner ad placement. If you're interested in Advertising on GU, send me an email for size and placement details, and email for rates and availability:
woody@gucomics.com

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What made you get into comics? And, how bad was your first comic strip?
Well, in the real world I'm a degree holding, graphic designer, with 13 years of illustration and graphic design experience. The only reason I'm doing a strip here is because I decided in guild chat one day to illustrate a joke that had been going through the guild about my character's method of increasing his Disarm Skill. My first comic however was a strip I did once weekly for the the college newspaper called "Mophead". Unfortunately, I do not have any copies of these strips, or I would share them.

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What server do you play on? And, what is your character's name?
I'm not currently active in any MMOGs. I just can't seem to find one that's worth the time/effort. But, for those rare instances I'm online you can find me using these characters:

EverQuest: Vhah Drahsil - Prexus (61 Barbarian Warrior)
EverQuest2: Vokiri - Lucan Dlere (28 Erudite Bruiser)
Free Realms: Ted Prescott - Server 1 (20 Duelist, etc.)
World of Warcraft: Grektholar - Doomhammer (70 Orc Warrior)
   - Guild: Bloody Plunder


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What kind of pens do you use to ink GU?
I used to use KOH-I-NOOR Rapidograph pens: .35 (0) and .6 (3). But, they only hold up to rigorous use for a few years, even with frequent cleaning. Lately I've started using Sakura Pigma Micron pens: 02 and 05. The ink isn't as black as I'd like it to be, but it does a great job of not bleeding and is archival, acid-free. That's always a bonus.

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What kind of paper do you draw GU on?
GU used to be drawn and inked on 110lbs. ColorSource Premium Britewhite Paper at 5x7 and later 6x8 inches. Now the comic is produced 100% digitally.

If you were looking for paper advice, basically you want to use a paper that's as non-porous as possible. This limits how much the ink will bleed. A really smooth surfaced paper will make any erasing easier as well.

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What program(s) do you use to color GU?
I work in Adobe Photoshop CS on a Wacom Cintiq 21UX. Wacom products function within Adobe software pretty seemlessly. The productivity jump from coloring with a mouse to coloring with a stylus & tablet is signficant. But being able to work directly on he screen at a 1 to 1 stroke ration is a HUGE productivity boost.

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How do you come up with ideas?
It ain't easy. Trust me. That's the hardest part of doing the strip. When I'm working by myself, most of the ideas hit me while I'm trying to concentrate on something else. The ideas are usually based on what has happened to me at home, work, or in game. Though, news sites and class forums play a big part in the idea process also. But right now Stormhaven is doing a lot of the heavy lifting. She brings the ideas to the table, we talk about them, and then come to a mutual decision as to what we think "works".

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Do you have any videos of how you work?
Not really. There's a brief explanation of the process in the GU About Section. And I have a couple of animated examples that are basically just step by step snapshots of each key step in the process. But no videos. Sorry.

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Can people submit ideas?
You bet! I encourage it, as I am not a very funny person, and I like the visitor to think of the strip as being theirs (in part) as much as mine. I like for people to associate with the strip. What this means is that they feel free to join in and contribute.

Any person that submits an idea, that is accepted and posted, gets their name in the by-line of the strip, just below mine. Yes, I use the idea, but only as a departure point. Most people forget that I do a "single panel" strip, and send ideas that require multiple panels to get the point across. Sometimes it is also easier to get the humor out in far less time by using the right words in the right order. I usually have to do this to make all the copy fit within the confines of the panel.

Some people get offended that their strip is not the next one to be posted. Well, there are several reasons for this, and as harsh as it may sound, it's only the truth.
1. I get submissions almost constantly, and they put into a pool that I pick and choose from almost at random.
2. Some of them just aren't that funny. **shrugs** Sorry.
3. Things that are funny to one person, are not funny to another. This mostly happens when people submit ideas based on something that happened to their own character. Sometimes the idea is a mutual thing that has happened to tons of other characters, but for the most part humor is based on situation and environment.

You can submit your idea to me by emailing: woody@gucomics.com

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Do you accept guest strips?
In a word, absolutely. Sometimes I ask specifically for guest strip submissions. But, for the most part, I keep all guest strip submissions in a special folder and use them when I need them. So, if you'd like to submit a guest strip, I'd really appreciate it.
Email me: woody@gucomics.com for details.

Don't forget to include any information you'd like me to post to the GU Forums to asociate with the comic, such as: an explanation of the strip, a link to some of your other artwork, etc.

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How does GU differ from other comics?
That's a fine question. And I think several things distinguish me on varying levels. First, the way I sketch the characters is rather distinct, and you can look at it and tell that it's a Woody drawing.

Then, there is the way I color. It's hard to explain how my process and technique are so visually different, but for the most part, you can tell if I was the one that colored it or not.

Last, of course, is the single panel, one-shot-at-being-humerous, layout. Most people don't go this direction because it's easier, MUCH easier, to get an idea across and make it funny across multiple panels or frames. The single panel BANG! roots in comics like "the Farside" and "the Lockhorns".

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Can I (my character) get into the Strip?
Thus far I've been incredibly leary about naming characters or using specific characters because I want the visitors to relate to the strip. If I name or specify a character then I lose that. So, for the most part the answer is "no".

BUT, in some instances I might see fit use a person or character in particular. Even I'm not sure of the specifics of this however, and it would really be determined by the situation.

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Do you do character sketches or commissions?
Yes, but it's exceedingly rare that I accept a commission requests these days. There are several reasons for this:
Due to other projects, my time is limited/valuable.
Commissions are emotionally draining.
I'm only interested in doing work in the style of my comic.
I can make more money, in less time, on less intensive projects.

Those whose commission requests are accepted should expect 2-4 weeks to receive the initial sketch after we've agreed on the details, another 4-6 weeks for the color work to be completed, 2-8 weeks for delivery of the original artwork. This is a very loose schedule based entirely on the complexity of the projects I accept.

If you're not dissuaded or have further questions send an email to commissions@gucomics.com

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Can I purchase the original artwork for a specific strip?
Yes, you can if they are still available. Keep in mind though that the original panels, because of my process, are black and white. They have no color, and no word bubbles. All of that is done in Adobe Photoshop AFTER scanning. They don't even have the GU logo on them.

The panels are black india ink on Strathmore Bristol Board or Card Stock depending on when they were produced. Prices will vary depending on the level of detail, but the most common price for any panel is $25.

If you're still interested, email me at: woody@gucomics.comic

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Do you believe GU is going to be around for a while?
I answer this with a no. But, the community and the games continue to suprise me. Seems I'll have source material and an active fanbase as long as games are being made.

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How do I link to GU? Do you have a banner or something?
Link to: http://www.gucomics.com

Or you could use one of these graphics if you prefer.

GU Comics by Woody Hearn

GU Comics by Woody Hearn

GU Comics by Woody Hearn

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I've still got more questions. How do I get them answered?
woody@gucomics.com
My email stays open nearly twenty-four hours a day. I answer as many emails as is possible.The message board is always open and if it's a question that not for me specifically, there are a bunch of great people that frequent my boards and they'll get you squared away.

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