Those of you who have seen my first video may be wondering who Aj was and why I mentioned he had a dog. Not only that, but why did I bother drawing them when I could have represented them any way I wanted.
Yes, Aj is mostly based on me and my life experience, but my name is not Aj and I don't actually own a dog. Aj is short for Ajax and his dog's name is Bongo. These were characters I created for an old website I used to have called Bongo-Online. I added this as a reference to my online presence over 10 years ago.
I was 12 years old in grade 7 when I drew Bongo for the first time. I made silly little comics with him and his friend, a chihuahua named Burrito. He had a different owner back then, who I never bothered to name. It was somewhat like a Garfield and John Arbuckle type relationship back then.
Here is a comic I wrote back then and later re-made for the website.
I get it, not the best, I was 12 when I wrote this, get off my ass about it.
In the days before MySpace and Facebook, if you wanted a voice on the internet you needed to become famous on a message board OR you needed to make your own website. I wanted all of my friends to have their own characters on the site and we would use it as a way to express our opinions and be creative and funny. It didn't quite work out that way, but this is what resulted from my work.
As one of my classes I had to take in college I learned HTML code. I already knew a bit but this gave me vast knowledge on the website-building code. I used this knowledge to hand-type the Bongo-Online website when I was 19 years old. It evolved over the years, but eventually it looked like this.
The Web-Comics featured prominently as the main content on the site, but I also had a blog series called Ajax Experience. I would use this space to review my favorite movies, including Back to the Future, and video games. I reviewed both the first version of Gary's Mod and the Beta for City of Heroes (which is no longer available for play)
I had a Girl of the Week section where I judged women. Yes, this was pretty controversial, but I had no problem with it... "WHY, YOU FUCKING RETARDED ASSHOLE?" you may be asking me... because these were women on the website called HotorNot.com. The site is designed for people to upload pictures and blurbs about themselves so they can be judged on their looks... so these people had already opened themselves up for this kind of commentary.
Pals Pen was supposed to be a place for my friends to write their own blogs or show off their own work, but this never happened, they didn't care.
Biographies was a page I had fake background stories about all of my most popular characters, some of which were based on friends, but most of them I made up. It looked like this.
Yes, that is Alice from the Brady Bunch in the middle.
I invented Ajax as a representation of me at the time. I had long hair and looked like Kelso from That 70s show. Everyone said they thought it was a girl so I re-designed him later to look more like the Ajax you saw in my video. Bongo also represented me, but my more out-going and sassy self. Kind of like an Armoured Skeptic type.
The Green, yellow and orange shirted gentlemen were my three best friends at the time. The one in Yellow was my friend Richard, who is still a friend today and designed armouredmedia.com for me. He is also the only one who ever submitted something for the Bongo website. This comic.
I started off just making comics. The characters evolved over time. The most noticeable difference came after I bought a scanner so I could upload my drawings directly into Photoshop. Before that I just re-used the same character models over and over again, changing only their facial expressions. (That sounds familiar).
My first comics... were terrible. Just a way to introduce the characters.
Then I started to do a series when my Wisdom Teeth needed to be taken out. This series introduced a new character, a superhero named Tusk Man. Ajax's molars stuck out through his cheeks to make... well, tusks. Get it...?
Then I did a series after I started taking depression medication.
After that I did a series where Ajax couldn't get a date with a hot blond and his son came back from the future to ensure they get together.
After a few series like this I ended up getting a scanner. From this point on I hand-drew my comics. I was working full-time at this point and I couldn't maintain the site as well so there were only about another dozen comics after this.
I started with one highlighting the fact that the characters all have more detail.
I started to have some fun with it, doing designs I couldn't work out before, effects and angles.
I introduced new characters, even though their back-stories were vague or random
I made some that weren't related to the characters at all.
I made some video game related content too.
I made a single series about a Dragon Ball Z video game.
I did a bunch of random stuff too...
A video game that I played at the time, City of Heros, was sued by Marvel. Their claim was that the game allowed people to replicate existing super heroes. Dumb shit, right?
This was my response.
PvP Online and Penny Arcade were my favorite websites at the time. I took an opportunity to show my affection for them.
Here are some of my favorites.
After Revenge of the Sith was released... a television show was announced. Ug.
This series only lasted 3 years. I wasn't getting any feedback from any fans (if I had any fans) and nobody in the web-comic community aknowledged that I existed. I took these as signs that I was not going to get popular doing this.
Also, my friends (aside from Richard, aka: Roomage) never once submitted anything to be put on the website, never once told a friend about my content and never once told me they saw something I did and liked it... I reached a point where I was so discouraged that I lost interest in the whole thing. I was 19 when I started Bongo-Online and I was 21 when I posted my last comic. I wonder if I ever would have made it big one day.
Nah, never would have happened...
Either way, I am very proud of the work I did, especially considering I was a kid when I made it.
Let me know what you think. Would you like to see me upload new comics?
Tweet "I want #ArmouredComics" to see more.