HEADS UP: These posts are old news, and old news is rarely relevant news. Situations change, and the statements made below are reflections of the ways things were then, which is not necessarily the way they are now. Products that that no longer exist are advertised; promotional schemes that have curled up and died are trumpeted; much ado is made about things that hindsight has revealed to be nothing. Any links that still work reflect the fact that the miraculous is still possible.


September 23, 2009

Whimboy Strikes Again

See, I had a feeling something was wrong with embedding my Facebook page in this space from the get-go, but being a novice (even after three years) at the creating-and-maintaining-a-website game, I just couldn't quite put my finger on what. Two Safari users were kind enough to tell me they were going to stop reading my strip if I didn’t get that consarned Facebook page off the site; apparently it was slow to load and when it did it jerked the page down to the bottom while these poor souls were trying to read the strip. Now, I’m sure there’s a way to fix the jerking thing with esoteric coding (not that I’d have a clue how to do it), but the slow loading is probably unavoidable, and besides, none of the other webcomics guys and gals embed their Facebook pages on their sites, and they’re all a lot smarter than me, so there must be something intrinsically wrong with it.
Turns out Facebook has already figured out the “right” way to do what I was trying to do; the “Fanbox” you see on the right is their nifty solution. I think. Actually, I don’t know if it causes the same jerking problem as before, because it never happened on my browser (because I use Firefox; you know, LIKE A MAN). Anyway, I’m hoping everything’s hunky dory now, and that the two nice people who complained will let me know if there’s still an issue, assuming they haven’t dumped Out There for good after having their manhood publicly impugned (actually, one of them was a woman, and I’m just funnin’ ya, kids, I use Safari too sometimes).

September 17, 2009

I’m In

When I give in, I really give in. Having resisted the Facebook phenomenon for so long, you’d think that after all the kicking and screaming was done and I’d finally relented, I’d deign to use Facebook about as often as I use hairspray (those who know me know why I don’t use hairspray, and those who don’t can probably guess).
Instead, I’m buying the whole enchilada. From here on in (until I change my mind, which can happen on a whim), Facebook is my new blog. Look, here it is now.

September 12, 2009


Fine, I give up. If there has to be an Out There Facebook page, then I’m bloody well going to be the one who’s in charge of it. Please ignore the link I posted on September 2, and accept no imitations.
And prepare yourself mentally for the fact that I still consider Facebook to be a waste of my time, so the “official” page will probably have input from me only very rarely. Of course, that’s probably a good thing.
By the way, have I mentioned lately buy my book? I thought not. Buy my book. Thanks.

September 2, 2009

I Guess It’s Time…

…for another blogging. Been awhile. Over a month. Aren’t you glad I don’t do this very often? I know I am. Can you imagine how lame my Twitter posts would be if I was lame enough to have a Twitter account? Possibly even lamer than everybody else’s Twitter posts, I’m guessing.
Speaking of, if you’re someone who knows me personally (poor you) as opposed to just someone who reads the comic strip, you’ve probably been privy to one of my whiney rants about how much I hate Twitter and Facebook and anything else that people under the age of 105 use and/or enjoy. I just can’t seem to get with the program on this kind of stuff. Well, that’s okay. Maybe someday I’ll see the light. In the meantime, be glad you don’t know me.

I Swear I Didn’t Do it

Well, hold the phone, what’s this then? If I hate Facebook so much, why did I create an Out There Facebook page?
I didn’t.
Someone else did. I don’t know who. I don’t even have a Facebook account. I’m not a hypocrite. I’m not. It’s not my Out There Facebook page. If you are one of my six “friends” who have signed up, I’m afraid you have been deceived—this is an impostor of a Facebook page.

A Cool Thou

Onto something else. A couple of weeks ago the 1000th Out There strip appeared. I was going to make a big deal about this, but I forgot. I’m making a big deal about it now. Well, as big a deal as I make about these things.
Okay, I’m done.

Just One or Two Other Things and Then I’ll Let You Go

Hey, you know those Out There iPhone apps that I used to yak about all the time? Well, they’re still available, but I can’t tell you when the next one is coming out. Not because I haven’t put it together yet—actually I’ve done the next one and the next three or four after that, because R.C. Monroe cares about delivering the goods. But the ball is sadly not in my court—Apple has to approve these things, and Apple likes to take its time. Another thing I have no control over is Apple’s rating or labeling of these apps. iTunes rates Out There as being for ages 12 and up—which is fine— but it also says it contains “sexual content or nudity” and “profanity or crude humor.” That would be okay if Out There actually did have any of that stuff, but you and I both know it doesn’t. Oh well. Who am I to judge content for which I am solely responsible?
Recently I’ve had a few people inquire about purchasing original Out There artwork. I’ve been basically cutting and pasting the same response to all of them, so I figure I’ll post it here so I don't have to keep doing it. Here it is:

R.C. Monroe—Hack

What an artist can get away with in charging for their work obviously depends on how famous they are and how much in demand their work is, and in my case, I’m not very famous and my work isn’t in very much demand. That being said, I’m loath to just give away stuff I poured my soul into, so some sort of pricing system must be implemented. What I’ve arrived at is charging at the rate I used to charge back when I was a graphic artist— $40 an hour.

Original Out There Strip Artwork

I draw each strip on two 9" x 12" pieces of bristol board (2 panels on each sheet). The panel borders and text are done on the computer, so an “original” is just a sheet with two drawings on it… it doesn’t look like a finished strip at all. Often, if there’s a large area that’s supposed to be black, I fill it in digitally rather than on the original. Also, sometimes I’ll scan a drawing and while viewing it on the computer I’ll decide I don’t like somebody’s expression or I’ll notice that someone’s left foot looks like a right foot and I’ll make changes in Photoshop… again, the point is, the “original” is not the finished strip, but a step in the process of what becomes a finished strip.
Obviously, I don’t time how long it takes me to complete each individual strip but I know one typically takes me about two hours, so for an original strip, I ask $80.
Of course, if you’re thinking of buying a whole bunch of strips we can discuss knocking that price down a bit, and I’m probably even willing to haggle over the price of three or four strips.
There are options. If you want the original to look more like a finished strip I can print out the text and stick it on the page; that’s not a major investment of my time so I add that for free.

Full-size copies of Out There Strips

A much cheaper option would be for me to just run a finished digital strip (including the panel borders, text, and graphic revisions) out on my printer “life-size” (the size I draw it) on two sheets of paper. I charge $10 a strip for this, mostly because it takes time and because printer ink is absurdly expensive. Again, if you want to order multiple strips we can discuss a break in the price.


Another possibly cheaper and more personalized option is a commissioned drawing—an original pen and ink drawing of one or more of the Out There characters. You tell me what you want, I figure out how long it’s going to take me, and I quote you a price. Typically a drawing like this takes less time than a whole strip (depending of course on how involved it is), so that could go for as little as $20. As far as content, the sky isn’t exactly the limit (i.e, no porn), but if it’s something I feel like I can competently draw, I will. Some people have asked for color work. I don’t really have any way to color my artwork “traditionally”—I do all my color work digitally—so if you want a drawing that’s in color, we’re talking about a color print, not an original, although I would send you the original black and white drawing as well as the color print. Obviously, coloring takes time, and then there’s the aforementioned absurdly expensive printer ink, so I have to charge for all that, too.
E-mail me if you’re interested. Thank you.

July 27, 2009

’Cause I’m That Kinda Guy

The Comic-Con was, well, the Comic-Con. I have no specific stories to relate here except one: on Friday or Saturday—I can’t remember which—a guy bought three Out There books and on the title page of each one I dashed off three of the worst drawings I am capable of executing. I was working on very little sleep and was just generally kind of “out of it” (not that that’s an excuse) and I erroneously determined that I possess sufficient dexterity to make a six-second felt-tip pen rendering of an Out There character that doesn’t look like it was drawn by an unusually untalented four-year old. I was wrong.
Not that the drawings I made in the books that other people bought were any great shakes but at least I took enough time on them that you could tell I drew them. Anyway, I felt bad about those three drawings for the remainder of the convention and in fact I still feel bad about them, so if you’re that guy, please e-mail me because if you’d like, I’d be happy to replace your books (with new drawings that should prove to be less of an embarrassment) at no charge to you. That is unless you’ve given up reading Out There, a decision for which I could hardly condemn you at this point.
Anyway, my deepest apologies to that guy, and my heartfelt thanks to those of you who bought books or just dropped by to say you like the strip, because I really appreciated that too. And a big “hey” to new and old acquaintances who make my Comic-Con experience more fun than it has any right to be.

July 8, 2009

The Next Round Has Arrived!

My third book is ready for shipping. You can order it here, and if you do so today, you’ll probably get your copy before I get mine. I won’t see it until the Comic-Con. You can flag me down at Booth #1229 (the Keenspot booth) Friday through Sunday (July 24–26).

July 1, 2009

New iPhone App—Finally

I know, I said there’d be a new Out There iPhone app every week, and then two months went by between No. 6 and No. 7. It seems Apple had their hands full with Version 3.0 of the iPhone coming out, and the Out There apps got put on the back burner. That’s right, I’m blaming it all on Apple. Because when Mr. Small Potatoes gets the short end, he doesn’t just sit there and take it. He courageously points fingers and blows whistles. Heck yeah.
Anyway. Out There No. 7 now available at the iTunes store.

June 1, 2009

Surveys Indicate that Most People Prefer Taking Surveys to Being Hit in the Face with Something Big and Heavy

Of course, the way they worded the question may have influenced the answers. Anyway, it’s survey time again, and if you do this for me just this once I’ll never ask anything of you again.
Until next year around this time.
Seriously, I hate asking for this every year but it supposedly helps one of the ad networks I use place ads on the site, and ads are what keeps this ship afloat. Or something like that. Anyway, I appreciate the help.

May 3, 2009

I Think It’s Time We Had a Little Talk

Notwithstanding whatever else it has going for it or against it, Out There is a pretty sexy comic strip. At least three characters—Miriam, Rod, and Steven—seem particularly preoccupied with sex, and most of the others—Sherry, Clayton, and Araceli, for example—are hardly immune to the pangs of desire. Sherry’s hot for Chuck, Clayton’s hot for Sherry, Araceli’s hot for Sherry, Steven’s hot for Miriam and Sherry, Rod’s hot for Araceli and Miriam and Sherry, and Miriam is or has been hot for darn near everybody she’s come into contact with. Goodness, with all this wantin’, it’s hard to imagine there wouldn’t be some havin’ as well, right?
Well, how about it—they all talk a good game, but does anybody in this comic strip ever actually have sex?
No writer or artist likes to have to explain his work—the work is supposed to explain itself. Having to explain it makes the creator feel like he’s failed in some way. Well, that’s okay—I’m no stranger to failure, I’d rather admit to it and move forward than try to pretend it didn’t happen. No one looks more foolish than the man trying to save face by stubbornly adhering to a position that everybody else knows is wrong.
Miriam’s recent encounter with Rod resulted in some speculation in the Out There forum; in case you haven’t been following along, you can review the discussion here and here; or, failing that, I can bring you up to speed right now. Basically, it was all pretty much did-they-or-didn’t-they. Some said oh, absolutely; how could it be otherwise—others said no way, we’d have seen it if they did. Some admitted they frankly had no idea.
I never intended for there to be speculation. Or confusion, for that matter. And here is where I must cop to my obvious failure.
Awhile back somewhere—well, let me do a little research here; it was the transition from this strip to this strip—I attempted to esablish something. In the first strip you’ve got Miriam and Chuck together; they’ve been sitting up on the roof in the sun, wearing next to nothing, drinking beer, making out, and now they’re heading back into Chuck’s apartment. In the very next strip Chuck is nowhere to be seen and Miriam is outside again, smoking a cigarette. From this I expected readers to deduce one of two things:
  1. nobody in this comic strip ever has sex; or
  2. they do, but you just don’t see it.
Just in case anyone missed the point, I tried it again with this strip, once again featuring our ill-fated lovers in an affectionate embrace, followed immediately by a completely different scene. Again, the point was: either nothing much happened, or something did, and you missed it.
There are hundreds—maybe thousands—of webcomics where it is made quite clear when the characters are having sex; often enough, it’s graphically depicted. I’m not going to provide links; you’ve got Google, I’m sure you can find them. There are also scores of comic books or graphic novels where this is the case. Obviously, there’s a market for this. Some folks like a liberal dose of sex in their comics.
The flipside is the syndicated comic strips, in which even in this day and age it’s extremely rare for a cartoonist to employ any verbal reference to sex, let alone provide pictures. It’s a no-sex zone, pretty much always has been and probably always will be, for as long as the medium exists. Just as obviously, there is a market for this as well. Some folks prefer comics like they made ’em in the good ol’ days.
In the middle you’ve got Out There, with one foot planted firmly in webcomicdom and the other planted in newspaper-strip-land. This is not because your humble narrator can’t make a decision about which audience to court. I want ’em both. I must have them both. Gimme gimme gimme.
It’s a tough row to hoe; some of you out there (I’ve got to stop using that phrase) just aren’t going to believe that a healthy couple in a committed relationship are not going to have sex; others are going to say that’s not necessarily true, some couples choose to be chaste prior to marriage, and whether they do or not, we don’t particularly want the details.
What I’ve tried to do with Out There is have it both ways. Whichever way you think it oughta be, you win. If you think that Miriam and Chuck should have had sex, and Araceli and Rod should have had sex, and Sherry and Steven must have had sex, then okay—they had sex. Everyone who you think should have had sex with whoever they should have had sex with, did. You just didn’t see it. If, on the other hand, it makes you happier to think that Miriam and Chuck made out a lot but stopped before things got too out of hand, then that’s cool too—there’s nothing in the strip that proves otherwise. Winners everywhere.
Yeah, I know, it’s wishy-washy. But I can stand by it because as far as the story’s concerned, it doesn’t really matter. Clearly, something happened between Miriam and Rod—those marks on her neck didn’t get there by themselves. But is it important to know how much happened? They were clearly attracted to each other, they were seen sitting on a bed together, Miriam ended up with regrets and hickeys—I can’t see where any details beyond that make or break the story. To me, it wasn’t a matter of clouding the issue; it was a matter of showing what needs to be shown, not showing what doesn’t need to be shown, and allowing the readers to make their own minds up in accordance to what seems plausible and acceptable to them.
Now, there was one time recently where I did intentionally cloud the issue on did-they-or-didn’t-they, and that was in the Miriam/Clayton almost-but-not-quite storyline. Here it was natural for readers to wonder, because even Miriam herself wasn’t sure. I deliberately made it appear that sex had occurred, and then a few strips later clearly indicated that in fact, it had not. I did this merely because I thought it was funny; but having turned the trick once, I’m done with it—obviously the opportunities to make such a situation seem plausible are rare (people usually tend to remember such things), and I’m not even sure I pulled it off that time. But I had a go, let’s move on.
Sometimes the guy trying to please everybody ends up pleasing nobody. Maybe it’s a crazy notion, trying to tell one group of people that something is going on, and another group of people that it isn’t, and expecting everybody to hop on board. I tried something; I guess it didn’t work. I had hoped readers would pick up on the nuance. Maybe some did. Unfortunately, I haven’t heard from them. So I’m admitting defeat, and doing what I hate doing—explaining the comic strip instead of letting it stand on its own. Maybe I’ll only have to do it just this once. Here’s hopin’.
Oh, and just for closure—there is one character in the strip who I will unequivocally state has definitely had sex, at least once—Miriam’s mom. But it was along time ago. And as far as we know, it was only once.
Comment on this, if you dare, in the forum.

April 26, 2009

Old Men and Their Failing Memory

One thing I forgot to mention about the book (only took me a week and a day to remember it)—the foreword was generously provided by a guy who is, in my opinion, one of webcomicdom’s best (and most prolific) writers. T Campbell probably needs no introduction to most of you but just in case, he’s the wordsmith behind Penny & Aggie, Fans, Rip & Teri, and frankly more features than I’m able to keep track of. The man’s a machine—a very, very talented machine. I felt greatly honored by his willingness to contribute.

April 18, 2009

The Usual Announcement for This Time of Year

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before…
The new Out There book will be available soon. Well, kinda soon. I just finished it, actually, and there’s this matter of printing it and all. Formalities, really.
As has become the custom, I’ll be attending the San Diego Comic-Con, and they’ll be propping me up at the Keenspot booth at various times during the event. Attendees will be able to buy the book there, and may even be able to coax me into drawing something in it and/or signing it. This will of course reduce the book’s value immeasurably, but hey, once you’ve paid for it, it’s your book—you can do whatever you want to it.
If you miss the Comic-Con, fear not, you’ll still be able to order the book online.
What’s in the book? Well, as usual, an entire year of Out There strips, plus some extra stuff exclusive to the book. First of all, there’s the cover, scribbled with the usual lack of panache by yours truly, but transformed into a gorgeous flower due to the brilliant coloring of the soon-to-be-famous Danny Green. (You’ll have to stay tuned to find out why he’s soon to be famous. For now it’s a secret. But trust me, it’s happening.)
Inside, there’s some new drawings of every one of the Out There players (including beach bunny Miriam, there), plus ten never-before published “Sunday” strips—basically, 81 new panels of “prequel” story. A snippet is shown at right. A little hard to read, isn’t it? Well, that’s why you’ll have to buy the book. Just like with every movie you’ve ever seen, “the book’s better.”

April 15, 2009

“Who’s Who in Out There” finished

… for now. Some of those drawings are so old I’m wondering who drew them. Eventually I’ll get tired of looking at them and I’ll have to whip up a new Chuck or Clayton, but at least there’s a rendering for every character now; or at least every character that I consider significant. I suppose some die-hards are wondering why I’m showing no love for Ruiz or Ron from Los Vicios or Sleazy Strip Club Owner or Hot Tub Guy or Hot Tub Guy’s Hot Sister. I dunno, maybe you’ve got a point. There have been times I’ve regretted not having Miriam and Ron from Los Vicios hit it off.

April 11, 2009

“Who’s Who in Out There” updated

And how. Took me all damn day. New bios for everyone; they were horribly out of date. Still need to add color to a couple of the drawings, but it’s time to rest now. Check it out, it’s on the new Links & Stuff page.

April 8, 2009

The Store is Open

I’ve made a slight change to the site navigation. I combined the “Links” and “Stuff” sections, and created a new “Store” page. And that’s the news for today. Note that I never said it was interesting. See why I don’t post something here everyday?

March 30, 2009


Out There No. 3 now available at the iTunes store. A steal at ninety-nine cents.

March 20, 2009

I’m So Cutting Edge

Dude—Out There is now on the iPhone!
Actually, a whole bunch of Keenspot comics are being made available as iPhone apps—check it out! The plan right now is to release a new Out There app each week. Each app contains 24 strips (four weeks in Out There time), and we’ll be starting way back at the beginning with strip #1 from June 12, 2006. I’ll be drawing and coloring a “cover” for each app, because it’s the thing to do. Lookee, here’s the first four covers:
Cool, huh? You can download the first app for free at the iTunes store; the subsequent releases will cost you 99 cents a pop. That’s cutting-edge marketing, man—it’s the way all successful drug dealers do it.
The first two apps are at the iTunes store now. Get ’em while they’re hot!

February 23, 2009

Danny’s Butcher Cover

Long-time readers of this quasi-“blog” will recall my friend Danny, who drew a parody cover of Dylan’s Bringing It All Back Home featuring Miriam and Sherry. In case you’re not a long-time reader, it’s in the post is right below this one; it was nineteen days ago (to me, that sometimes seems like a long time).
Ah, but if you’re really clever, you’ll recall that Sherry was still sporting her long-ish black locks nineteen days ago, and in the graphic below, she’s resplendent in her spankin’-new platinum bob. That’s because Mr. Green was a regular Danny-On-The-Spot and quickly edited his original image because he knows one must stay current in this modern world of shiny fast-moving items.
If the name Bob Dylan elicited at least a nod of recognition (rather than sending you scurrying for your Wikipedias), then chances are good that the “Butcher Cover” reference makes sense to you as well. If not, there’s yet another indication that I’m way to old to be attempting to connect with you youngsters. In any event, if you did happen to download Danny’s now ultra-rare original image, hold onto that sucker; you’ll be able to sell it for many quatloos sometime in the World of the Future™.
Danny also submitted another T-shirt idear; a link to it is on the “Stuff” page. Someday I may get around to making T-shirts or mugs or other things that can sit in a warehouse for a long time. If there’s a demand for these things, let me know. I know some of you already have, but unfortunately three requests isn’t quite a “demand;” it’s more like a “sheepish request.” I can’t fault you loyalists for being too few in number; I can only curse your unenlightened brethren. Well, I could blame you, as well. As Charlie Brown once said, “Why aren’t you two ponies?”

February 4, 2009

Miriam’s Farm

Here’s a real visual garden of delights, sent my way by my old partner in crime Danny Green:
Danny and I used to draw comics together way back when, before webcomics even existed. Yes, it really was that long ago. I know, I know. Yes, we used pencils and pens and paper. I still use pencils and pens and paper. Anyway, we’re getting off the subject.
These days Danny is a professional cartoonist/illustrator, not a wannabe like me. A gallery of his artwork can be perused here.
Hip (or old) readers will immediately identify the above graphic as an homage to the iconic LP cover of Bob Dylan’s Bringing It All Back Home, starring Miriam as Bob and Sherry as Sally Grossman (hence the cigarette), but hopefully they won’t stop there; the beauty of this is in the details. Details such as Clayton on the cover of Time, Araceli as Jean Harlow on the back cover of the magazine Miriam is reading, and the replacement of Dylan’s musical library (albums by Robert Johnson, Ric Von Schmidt and Dylan himself) with the quirky selection of The Beatles’ Rubber Soul, The Stooges’ Fun House, Peter Frampton’s Frampton Comes Alive, The Rolling Stones’ Aftermath, Supertramp’s Breakfast in America and Dylan’s own Highway 61 Revisited (which, as an added anachronistic detail, immediately followed Bringing It All Back Home). I’m also guessing that the obscured text on the fallout shelter sign in the foreground reads “Gimme Shelter,” which happens to be my favorite Stones recording.
Click here to see an enlarged version (it might be actual LP size!) of this, and here to see a nifty T-shirt idea Danny also submitted. Anyone interested in buying an Out There T-shirt? Let me know. I wanna be a professional too. Oh wait, I already said that.

January 6, 2009

This is Pretty Cool

Serge Stiles, an Out There Forum regular (one of the few… the proud… the FEW), rendered this nifty portrait of John, which again shows that almost everyone who reads Out There draws better than I do. I know I say that every time someone draws one of my characters but you gotta admit these folks do an awesome job. Or you can choose not to admit it, and look damn silly in the process.

January 1, 2009

The New Direction

I warned you.
For the next three days, we at Out There embrace Internet culture and present three consecutive days of TOILET HUMOR.
We’ll resume with our usual slightly-above-the-lowest-common-denominator fare on Monday.
Happy new year.

Copyright © 2013 R.C. Monroe