Another chapter of random stuff, starting with an explicit tribute to Azumanga Daioh.
Continue reading Old Neko Machi Chapter 14: More Randomness
This chapter was a flirtation in doing the comic five days a week, which I quickly stopped. It had a much more continuous story than usual, and it was generally meant to capture the feel of a balmy summer evening near the end of a year of high school
Continue reading Old Neko Machi Chapter 13: Movie Night
This was kind of a weird side story thing about two insane catgirls loosely based on the two black cats (of the same names) a friend had, with a bit of Josh Lesnick/CuteWendy influence too. It was kind of a weird, fourth-wall-breaking thing, and a lot of fun to do. I’d been planning to eventually reveal that they were Arlene’s nieces, but never got around to it.
Continue reading Old Neko Machi Chapter 12: Shadow and Midnight
Jon/Calico always seemed to live a very dramatic life, usually stuff that I only heard about later. This was sort of what I imagined it would be like.
Continue reading Old Neko Machi Chapter 8: Popular
We were pretty ridiculously obsessed with Halo at the time, and we played the hell out of the multiplayer and coop. Hence, a chapter about catgirls playing it.
Continue reading Old Neko Machi Chapter 7: Gaming
This was based on something that happened in real life; a stray cat gave birth to a litter of kittens in our basement. We gave the kittens away to various people, my sister Rachel kept one that she named Bart (and she still has him), and my sister Debbie insisted we keep the mother cat, Arlene.
Continue reading Old Neko Machi Chapter 6: Kittens
For my part I’ve worked one retail job, which was at Radio Shack. It was pretty terrible and I don’t miss it, and for that matter I try to avoid Radio Shack in general. (Though I recently read that they’re not doing great financially, so that may stop being a problem for me before too long.) Michael (who I based Snowball on) meanwhile worked a long succession of retail jobs, including at McFrugal’s (later renamed to “Big Lots”), CompUSA (now gone except for an online store), and Electronics Boutique (now bought out by Game Stop like most other video game retailers). This chapter was essentially comic adaptations of stories from working retail, mostly from Michael. Very little was exaggerated at all.
Continue reading Old Neko Machi Chapter 4: Tales of Retail
This wound up being the first appearances of Tama (based on my friend Alan) and Snowball (based on Michael). It was kind of a thing that Kitty liked to ride her bicycle everywhere, and the goggles actually served a practical purpose. I didn’t bike all that much, but I would’ve liked to.
Very early on I had a notion that the city of Neko Machi was sort of this huge Truman Show thing, where the catgirls were genetically engineered and didn’t know about the outside world. Thus “the clock tower” was the biggest structure in their tiny universe.
Continue reading Old Neko Machi Chapter 3: Plushies
Suichi is a ridiculously heavy sleeper who does not conform to normal notions about when sleep should take place. And he really did have like two or three alarm clocks at one point, back when he cared about waking up on time.
One of the ways my art evolved over time was that I started doing underdrawings in blue pencil, since you can remove those by messing with channels in Photoshop. This was before that, and I spent a bunch of extra time digitally erasing unnecessary lines.
At the time I was also friends with a guy who went by A-sama (from “Aaron”), who was kind enough to put together software to handle posting the comic and such. This was before stuff like WordPress existed (it was 2002 after all) and webcomic stuff was still pretty primitive by today’s standards, so in hindsight it was kind of kludgey in some ways, but still. It was also a variant of the software he made for Nekobox, a webcomic by another artist we knew at the time. It didn’t have a comment system per se, but a “rant” system where a set of people whose accounts were hard-coded, so my friends and I would post about stuff and everyone else had to comment by emailing me. I made a couple attempts at having a forum though.
Continue reading Old Neko Machi Chapter 2: Dreams
2002. I was in community college, which seems like a long time ago now. I don’t really think of myself as an artist so much as a writer who sometimes doodles, but even by my standards the earliest Neko Machi art is pretty cringeworthy, and I improved a whole lot over the course of doing lots of comics. In college my comics were looking back to high school, and then out of college my comics started looking back to college, not that my experiences with any of those were all that interesting or even typical.
Kitty (the one with the goggles) is based on me, Sylvia (the sleeping one) is based on my friend Suichi, and Arlene (the teacher) was based on my sister’s pet cat (who she still has, though Arlene is freaked out by strangers and usually hides when I’m visiting). I made Arlene into a teacher fond of delivering brain twisters. I used to work as a security guard for a company where one of the main managers was a woman named Arlene, and one of my coworkers saw my site and thought I was making fun of her (not that he’d have objected if I was), but it was just about the cat, who I quite liked despite her being so neurotic.