Posted on: June 15th, 2013No Comments


In my day job as a programmer most of the time I work in iterations. I create some code, take a step back, evaluate my code and make changes where needed. This is called refactoring.

And I recently got the idea that that's also what Mojo needs. Me taking a step back and evaluate. What do I enjoy to create, but also what  do I enjoy to read. What jokes/comics are my favorites and why?

Lately I noticed that I enjoy to read comics with absurdity in it a lot. Just weird jokes. And I also enjoy to read comics with just separate single jokes / situations in each comic. Some of my recent discoveries / inspirations:

A sort of personal journal in an absurd way. I like the humor, the style of the drawings and the random-ness of the jokes. Just kept on clicking through the archive.

Anyoneau For Rhubarb
Really absurd and funny jokes. At first I kinda was repelled by the art style. But the moment I could look through that, I found a comic with some amazing humor in it. This one still cracks me up, for instance.

Birthday Street
My recent discovery. Really huge fan of the loose style and different use of one color in every comic. The humor is pretty funny, but not hilarious.

So after seeing these comics, I kinda have a feeling what direction I would like to take with my own comic. But I also like comics like Calvin and Hobbes (obviously) and got the feeling I also still want to incorporate that same feeling as well.

So now my challenge is how to combine these two. A comic with defined characters (like C&H and how Mojo is now) and making separate / random jokes.

Maybe it's something that can't be combined and I need to start a new comic. Or drop the characters / stories and do it more like MercWork. Defined characters, but with random jokes / situations.

I talked with my wife about this and we came to the conclusion that I'm sticked too firm to the old / standard webcomic model (stick to your update schedule). Maybe I should let go of that model and just update when I want to? Maybe more often, maybe less often.

But I do like to have regular updates. So I'm thinking I could still update 2-3 times a week, but not with a full comic. Maybe just a sketch, a doodle and sometimes a strip. So I don't feel the pressure of having to create a comic twice a week, but I do have an update and have something for you guys to see.

What do you think?

First steps

Posted on: May 29th, 20131 Comment


The last days I actually made a start with the book - working title 'The Mojo Collection'.

The first thing I needed to decide was what (comics) to include in this collection. My first impulse was to make it a 1-on-1 transition from the webcomic to the book.
So I started to collect the comics I made in the first 2 years (2010 and 2011), but I felt that some of the older comics where not really that funny at all. And I felt kinda sad that I couldn't include the later comics, the ones which I really enjoyed creating and I am very proud of.

So eventually I decided it is my book, so I can do with it whatever I want. So… the book will be a selection of the 300 comics. Now I only have to choose which comic to include and which ones to leave out ^^

The biggest challenge will be keeping an eye on the page count. It can't be too high, I don't think it's wise to have a book with more than 200 pages - so I will need to make some harsh choices.

I also want the book to contain more than just only the comics. I want to add some more background information, some artists notes (how I came up with a joke, how I made the comic, what's special about a specific comic etc). And also show some sketches or concepts.

I want to add more than you can find on the website. But also make it a beautiful collection. Something I can be proud of.

The book will be in full-colour, since I keep on switching between black-and-white, grey tones and colours - so I have no choice about that ^^

The size of the book will be approximately 9" by 9" - really love that size for a cartoon book. Fits perfectly on a book shelve and is ideal for square and strokes of comics.

So, what's next?
Well… the next step will be to continue picking what to include and what to leave out, making contact with the printer and eventually starting to lay out the book itself.

Lots of work ahead, but looking forward to it. So probably there won't be a new Mojo comic until the end of June, but I will keep you guys posted about the progress I'm making with the book.

The start

Posted on: May 5th, 20131 Comment


I decided that I would use my short break to start working on the first collection of Mojo comics. I have lots of ideas what to put in the book, but would love to hear from you guys as well. I want to include sketches of some comics, add personal stories and notes and also would love to elaborate more on the whole creation process.

Especially since it will be a collection from the first year of Mojo - I can tell a lot about the different techniques I tried and used. My plan is to add approx the first 100 comics, just to test the water. Also I want to have some space left for adding the sketches or alternative ideas (ideas which eventually evolved into another comic often).

On this blog I will keep you guys informed about how it goes. My first stop now is work through the first comics and prepare them for printing. Especially the first few comics I drew too small, so I can't print them in the state they are now... so I'll have some editing to do.

300 strips and counting. Or not?

Posted on: April 26th, 20135 Comments


300 comics. THREE HUN-DRED. It's almost unbelievable. I made 300 comics.

When I started this comic 3 years ago, I had no real goal except that I wanted to stick to the update schedule. Which I did, most of the time. I sometimes got in some trouble when something unexpected came on my path... and I had some minor breaks (when I got married, vacations or when our son was born). But most of the time I nailed the schedule and that's something I'm really proud of.

But lately I start to notice that it's not going the way I want anymore. It feels different to work on the comic. Almost as a chore instead of having fun. The ideas don't come to me as easy as they used to and sometimes it felt that I have to work on the comic instead of want to.

It feels like my mojo (pun intended) for the comic is running out.

Don't get me wrong, I really love the whole gang. Especially Mojo and Merv are (obviously) my favourites. I really have fun interacting with them, making jokes, touching on their personalities and I'm just having a blast drawing them. But sometimes I take a look at my big examples (like Calvin & Hobbes) and feel that the universe of Mojo could (should) have been more it's own. It feels like I've written myself in a corner and I don't know how to get out of there.

I would love to have time (read: the motivation) to actually update the comic more often. I got the feeling that updating it more often would put me in more of a flow and make coming up with jokes much easier - because the comic would be on top of my mind most of the time.

And I COULD do it one more evening. But that would mean I have to sacrifice some of my personal time. Which results in less gaming and less time with my wife in the evening. And I'm not sure I'm willing to sacrifice that.

One of the things which keeps me going is the excitement and love you guys show about the comic. It's so awesome to hear from you, I absorb all your comments and the interaction with you guys is a huge part of the enjoyment I get out of this job. But that also feels like it has changed the last months. I feel that I'm losing the connection with my readers. People comment less often, I reach out less and I really have no idea what resonates with you guys and what not.

It's hard. I should be doing this comic mostly because I like doing it, but lately it feels like I'm doing it to make you (my readers) happy. And even though I'd love to please all of you, I know that's an impossible task. The best thing to do is to stick to my own gut feeling, create what makes me laugh, create what I find fun to do and eventually the people who like my work for what it is, will come around and stick with me.

So lately I started to seriously consider taking a break more and more. It's something I don't really want to consider, because it almost feels like I failed my job as a cartoonist. But on the other hand, this is my first attempt in the comic world. I already learned so much and the way I'm feeling about the comic lately makes it almost the most logical option. The other options would be just keep going and feeling more and more reluctant about it. Or just plain quit the whole thing.

And the last thing I want to do is to abandon Mojo. I love that guy, he's a big part of my life. It would be like killing your friend / pet. The other option (just continue without any change) would work for a short period, but eventually I guess I would burn out and then I have no other choice than to just quit.

So let's be honest. It isn't easy keeping your strip going and I don't want to quit it. But I think I just need some time to explore other possibilities. Just to experiment en broaden my horizon. And I also (FINALLY!) want to start working on making my first Mojo collection. Really looking forward to it… I keep on putting it off, mostly due to a busy schedule. Ok, that's a lie… I put my priorities on other things and I feel that I now have to focus on the book.

So that's what I will go and do: Put the comic on a short hiatus (aprox 1-2 months). Just take a short break to think things over. Maybe come up with a new side-project. After that break, I will come back to Mojo, but will probably lower the update frequency to once a week. That way I will have time to work on other projects besides Mojo as well.

So this isn't the end. It's just beginning.

Keep an eye on my Twitter (@skar) or follow the Facebook Fanpage. And of course just come back often to this site ^^

Busy times ahead

Posted on: October 31st, 20123 Comments


It's the last quarter of the year, so busy times ahead for us gamers. The following months there some huge games will be released (or are recently released). This is great, but this also has a downside. I have a limited time to play games. I have a family I want to spend time with, I also need to update Mojo twice a week and besides that I also want to do some sports. And I want to play games.

Because of this limited time, I need to decide what to play. I've been playing Call of Duty for years now and still loving it. It's fast, it's easy to pick up and since I play the multiplayer, it's always a different experience. I tend to move more and more towards the single player experiences lately. I finished Max Payne 3 recently (and in hindsight I wished I'd spend my time better, really did not like it that much). I also finished the first episode of The Walking Dead. Still need to (and want to) play the other episodes.

Those are the big games I played recently. But I also played some more indie-games. Especially Faster Than Light and Hotline Miami. Two games, totally different, but both I can really recommend you guys to check out. And if you have to choose, pick Hotline Miami.I think that will appeal to a few more people than the slower gameplay of FTL.

Ok. But how about the upcoming releases? First of all there is Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. A must buy for me and I've already pre-ordered it. So in two weeks (to the date, November 13th) I will be back on the multiplayer. I had the chance to play two matches (a total of 20 minutes) myself on a game convention (FirstLook) and the game really felt solid. But maybe I might have been a little bias, I've been looking forward to this game since a couple of months already.

And then there are the big releases like Assassins Creed 3, Dishonored and Need for Speed: Most Wanted. Just to name a few games that are on my maybe-list. And I haven't even considered Hitman yet. So much to play, so little time. And now I'm thinking. If I just wait a while, maybe I'm a little Black Ops 2 fatigue by then and maybe I will have some time to play some other games. But what game to pick?

I now tend towards Assassins Creed 3, that game looks awesome. But I know that I never finished the first Assassins Creed and the second one, I also never really played for a long time. Open world games (aka, games with too much freedom) are too free for me. I also never finished Red Dead Redemption, different game, but the same problem.

So that means I should check out Dishonored? But all the reviews compare Dishonored with games like Thief and BioShock. Two games I didn't really liked. They were too slow or something. Maybe it was the setting that I didn't like. I don't know.

Ok. So next game is then probably Need for Speed: Most Wanted? I loved Burnout Paradise and the reviews are so good about NFS:MW. So I guess I will also enjoy NFS:MW. But when I think about it... I never play Burnout Paradise anymore. Even worst, I rarely ever play a racing game. It's mostly shooters I enjoy playing. Sigh.

So how about Far Cry 3? That's a shooter and that will be released also in the near future. Well... I played the game on FirstLook and I didn't really enjoy it. It's also open, free, no idea what to do next... so probably no game for me.

And after this Q4 releases, the first half of next year will also be filled with games. Tomb Raider, Grand Theft Auto 5 and Company of Heroes 2 - to name just a few. So my problems aren't over... they are getting bigger and bigger.

So... what games are you looking forward to and will go and play the next couple of months?