A few weeks ago, feeling a bit cocky at how the strip has been doing lately, I was looking to cause trouble. Scott Johnson had started his new experimental strip, Shmerp, and I felt that I owed shooting off a challenge. I wanted to try something a bit different at the time, and thought that doing Shmerp with WoW screenshots would be a blast. And so, I sent Scott an email: “I challenge you to a SHMERP-off!” Scott was kind enough to accept, following with, “The only rule is hand drawn only.”

Huh.

So, as an aside, a few words on artistic skills.

I know we don’t talk much about what we do outside of the exciting, fast-paced world of MMORPG Screenshot Manipulation, but I’ve been using Photoshop since 3.0, over 10 years now. During that time, I’ve worked as a web producer, graphic designer, visual effects artist, and game artist. And the tragic (yet strangely amusing) irony is that I can’t draw. At all. I’ve tried to get better, but my visual creative outlet remains Photoshop. I can use a Wacom tablet with the best of them to do what we do here at the Daily Blink, but don’t ask me to make a doodle.

With this information at hand, I still told Scott yes, though giving him fair warning of my handicap in this area. Scott was still gracious enough to accept my partnership on a Shmerp series and let me stretch my legs a bit. This is proof positive of my continued philosophy to look before I leap and force myself to do my best in a situation that might not be the most comfortable for my skillset. A freehand drawing may not be my ticket to a steady living, but I will do my best this week to fake it.

In any case, new Shmerp panels will be appearing all week, and I just sent off my first contribution for inclusion.

This is my roundabout way of saying: I don’t usually draw. You’ve been warned. ;)