When I started S&P, I had a couple of ideas for comics that I wanted to make and put on the internet, because I thought they would be funny. The website was started not as a serious endeavour, but just as a fun little thing to make a few jokes. I genuinely only had about three strips that I wanted to make.

At the time, I had an old rubbish computer with no software other than a free copy of Paint Shop Pro I got from the front of a magazine and A cheap scanner that my housemate had taken home from work, because they were throwing it away. My main aim was to come up with a way of making comics 1) quickly and 2) cheaply. I figured that using a whiteboard would be the cheapest and fastest way, so I bought some small A4 whiteboards and pens and set to it.

With a whiteboard Your tools are not well suited for the task, and highly limiting for what you can produce. It’s a wonder that any of the art I made in that time was even legible. There is a certain charm to the method that you don’t get from other media though, and it’s unusual, even on the internet. The only other whiteboard webcomic I’d found (The Whiteboard) moved to other media within a few strips.

As I made strips I found myself getting increasingly frustrated at my inability to produce quality work, and investing both in more expensive fine-tipped whiteboard pens (the artline pro is particularly good) and drawing each component of the image separately, scanning separately, then putting images together digitally from many scans. After a few years I’d spent some time doing other art projects using traditional pencils/inks/colour pencils and my skills had improved vastly beyond the quality attainable on a whiteboard.

For a time I stuck with the whiteboard out of stubborn-ness, but it’s a simple fact that towards the end of the whiteboard comics, it was both more expensive and labour intensive to produce a whiteboard comic than a paper comic, and the quality of the final work was far inferior. So recently I’ve made the switch to pencils.

My recommendation is that nobody should ever use a whiteboard to produce a serialized work. There is some artistic value in discovering what you can accomplish with poor tools, but it’s not a valid prospect for a long term project. If anyone else was considering whiteboard as their media, I’d encourage them to reconsider. I learned something about comicing during those years, but I think I’d have learned more, faster, if I’d have gone down a different route.

I will remember the whiteboards fondly though. When you don’t care about quality, they are a good quick and method to generate images you can put on the web.