Monday, August 6, 2012

Stop Clowning Around

I'm not scared of clowns!

So I finally got the gumption up to make a cap for Katilyn over at the Haven (who now has her very own blog!).  Several days ago I was talking to Dee about the problems I have in making a cap for Katilyn.  It's not that I think she is hard to cap, but I don't feel that I've ever 'gotten' her quite right before.  Dee's suggestion was to have some word play and try to make it more tongue in cheek funny.

Not exactly my strong suit, but I kept that in mind when I searched for an image to use.  When I saw this one I almost skipped by.  But when I thought of the name 'Harley Quinn', I thought it might be fun to have him wising he had a Harley Davidson motorcycle and some how end up like this.  I saved the image back, but kept searching as I wasn't in a great capping mood.

Obviously I didn't finish the cap that day.  And every time I looked at the image, I couldn't come up with a good story to get from the bike to the clown.  I don't know when it hit me, but I started to associate the image with the phrase 'stop clowning around'.  I didn't immediately associate that with a cap idea, but it didn't take long that 'Stop Clowning Around' would make a fun word play.

That idea soon overtook the Harley Davidson idea.  But not until today did I know how I would start the story.  I just knew that someone would say 'Stop Clowning Around' and Blake would turn into this.  Obviously I needed to get batman involved in the story.  That way I wouldn't have to spell out that he had turned into Harley Quinn.... I could let that come to the reader more organically.

I knew I would have to be a little forumlatic for the story.  Explain why he would change form (the family curse), set up the scenario of someone yelling out (getting ready for a double date with his room mate), and finally have it all fall into place.

The only real problem with my first pass, was that it felt like the change came out of the blue.  So I wanted Blake to struggle with it a bit.  I started writing about childhood problems with the curse, but it would have taken a couple paragraphs on its own, and that seemed like a very long set up.  It was easier to write in that it hasn't yet happened to him.

Once I had that part down, I fleshed out the changes and he was thinking of (Superman, Lex, Batman, the Joker...) as I felt that he needed a few successes (he didn't turn into the first girl, he didn't turn into Lex...).

With the story written, I decided to play with the image some.  I made it black and white, and then drew out the original colors.  I did that mainly because the image was rather boring.  All tans and off whites.  When I went to fit the story in though, I realized another problem... I had three open spaces (above and below Harley's leg, and to the left of her other leg.   The story would fit into one, and the title would fit into the other... but what was I going do do with the third space?

I tried leaving it empty, but my eyes were just drawn to that space.  The whole cap felt off balance:

I played briefly with having the story cross over the bottom of Harley's leg, but that really just shifted the empty space instead of eliminating it.  As I was thinking of it, my cap "Why So Serious?" came to mind because of the batman/joker reference.  To let my mind clear, I went over and read it, and noticed the joker sketch I used in the background.  It gave me the idea of using sketches like that here... it could be something in the background just to fill up the space.

Now the story was already written, and I didn't feel like referencing these drawings in it, but in the back of my head I just figured it was something Blake had drawn on the walls... and why he thought of Superman to begin with.  It works that way, or also as a manifestation of his thoughts.  Either way, I think they filled up the space nicely without taking away from the cap.

Making them fit into the 'background' was easy enough.  I just laid them out and then with the eraser tool (brush form) in Photoshop erased the area over Harley.  That way it looked like they were behind her on the wall.

Overall I think it's a good fun cap.  Not my normal style, but fun none the less.


  1. Caitlyn,

    I don't know Kaitlyn, or you for that matter... but I think almost anyone in the TG community would enjoy receiving a cute, funny and downright sexy caption like this one. I know I would!

    Thank you!


  2. I already commented on how much I like this cap over on the Haven, but I love that I can come to your blog and read about the process of making it.

    Case in point, I had no idea you added those graphics on the wall. I noticed your logo, of course, but I thought you had just matched the color to what was actually there or the post-work the photographer had done. They (in my mind) fit perfectly.

    Anyway, amazing concept with equally amazing execution. Bravo!

  3. A nice light and fun caption! Made me chuckle a bit, and its sexy too.

    I didn't realize you had added in those sketches until you explained it. Heck, until I saw the image without them I thought she was posing infront of a backdrop at a con or something.

  4. Cute and funny! Not your usual, but you pulled it off wonderfully, as always. NICE job on the wall graphics!



  5. Am I really that hard to caption?! Eeeek! Caity M, I think you did a MARVELous job on this caption for me. Really enjoyable from beginning to end, and to know that you went through the extra trouble of the artwork behind it is quite humbling.

    And yes, I realize my earlier pun is not the DC universe, but to try anything else would just come off as sketchy.

    1. Captain Marvel (Shazam) was DC, so it works...although I'm afraid it shows my age...Eeeek! Jenna

    2. It's not that YOU are that hard to cap Kaity, it's just the preferences that you have, and the caps that you seem to really enjoy use tools that I don't bring out all that often. Making a cap funny and light hearted go against my grain. But on the whole, I do enjoy challenges and stepping into arenas that I don't normally go to... so it's difficult AND fun!

  6. The wall graphics do a good job of balancing the image out. You have a great grasp of proper staging, and real skill with photo-editing.

    And I love anytime Harley Quinn shows up anywhere! She's way cooler than the Joker, so he should be happy!

    - B-Rex,

  7. Thanks you all for your kind comments! I honestly didn't expect this to get such a good response!

  8. in this case, I would just say go with it! I mean, really, you could put on one hell of a show at comic con with that little trick!

    One of my earliest fantasy's involved being cursed, and the curse would skip a generation and set in some time around puberty. So this story was a blast to read for me and so much fun!

    The only thing I can really say that threw me off, was near the end of the text box where the background started to show threw a little more. It threw me for a second, because what ever those holes are in the back, it looked like it was highlighting the text.