A Sketchy Sort Of Webcomic
Breakdown Lane is a small community catering to "breakdowns," sketchy sorts who work in the comicbook industry. They're like actors, except they specialize in static poses that artists draw tight (detailed) pencils and inks onto. Not everyone on Breakdown Lane is in the industry, of course. You have has-beens, wanna-bes, and breakdowns who simply work in the service industry supporting all the actors. Normal people who enter Breakdown Lane become breakdowns while there, which is a disturbing enough experience that the community doesn't get many visitors. Don't worry too much about the metaphysics, though, this is (hopefully) a gag strip.
Why breakdowns? Because my full art takes more time than I'm willing to devote to a webcomic, and frankly isn't THAT great anyway. Also, by avoiding fully rendered art, I feel free to play around with layout, something I'm pretty weak at. So even if the strip is a flop, I at least have an excuse to practice layout stuff.
For now, I'm keeping things brutally simple, as exemplified by my font choice (Courier, in case you actually don't have it installed). Manual updating, hosting on a friend's machine, no ads or fancy graphics. That first bit means that when I'm out of town, I may skip an update or two, but I'll let you know in advance when that happens. I don't plan on setting up a dedicated forum for this strip, but I have a subforum of my own over at the AllSpark, you can go there and register if you want to discuss Breakdown Lane.
The site updated on a regular Tues/Thurs schedule from June through mid-September 2005. After that, it started to feel more like a job than a hobby, so I switched to an irregular update schedule...in other words, a two year hiatus. It came back at least briefly in 2007, but no promises. No one has offered to date, but if anyone wants to do a guest strip, they're welcome to. :)
See that link up top to my homepage? Go there. Don't have the time? Okay, extremely short version: Dave Van Domelen was born in Waukesha WI in 1970, did very well in school, got a PhD in Physics (Physics Education specialty) from the Ohio State University, and now works at Kansas State University as the Director of Undergraduate Labs. Hobbies include comics, Transformers (and toys in general), roleplaying games (playing and writing them), writing, drawing, kitbashing, and apparently doing a webcomic. He's been reviewing comics on Usenet since 1992, and Transformers since 1994 (with one of the two oldest Transformers fansites still in existence).
John - Square-jawed and crew-cut, John is a fairly successful breakdown. He gets a lot of work as superheroes, under the pencils of A-list artists. A generally good guy, he loves his wife and has a good home at the nicer end of Breakdown Lane. First Appearance: 001
Marsha - John's wife. They met on a comicbook set,
where she was a standard superhero vixen. After they married, she retired,
being kind of sick of the exploitation. She's since put on a little weight,
which has caused her problems since she decided to try to get back into the
industry. First Appearance: 001
Amanda - Co-worker of John's. Mid-length straight
hair, usually in some sort of angular style. It's a running gag that she
never actually appears on screen with John or Marsha (and, in fact, almost
never appears at all). First Appearance: 013 (mentioned), 022 (seen)
Danny - A very twitchy and jittery breakdown, who
does a lot of "mook" parts. It pays the bills, but getting beaten up (even
in freezeframe) for a living is bad for his nerves. He has wild and messy
hair. He's also a hypochondriac, which you'd think he was too busy for,
given his number of real injuries. First Appearance: 003
Fred - A robot breakdown. That there is a robot in
this strip should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me even a little.
And you shouldn't even have to ask if he can transform. Victim of another
running gag, you never get to see his face. First Appearance: 009
Jamie - Like a younger, female version of Little
Jim. A thoroughly unpleasant woman in her early 20s who specializes in
playing characters down to 10 years old. Unlike Jim, she maintains the cute
act all the time...because she realizes how much it bugs people.
First Appearance: 035
Little Jim - 45 years old but still small enough to
play child roles. Utterly horrible role model, but fortunately no breakdown
is really "famous" outside of the industry. First Appearance: 010
Louie - A very fat breakdown with a combover. He
does manage to get work, but has problems with typecasting. College buddy of
John's. First Appearance: 004
Some helpful terms and background.