The Original Strips

Proto Culture originally started running in early 2012, when I was a sophomore in high school. Unfortunately, due to my lack of experience with MS Paint, the quality was... erm, sporadic. Because of their shakey quality, I decided to delete them from the main page and move them here, along with additional commentary.


Strip 1: "LOTR"

Damn, if this isn't a testament to "practice makes perfect", I don't know what is. Despite being the first web comic strip I ever published online, this actually isn't the first Proto Culture comic in existence; I used to make draw them by hand in my Freshman year of high school instead of actually, you know, doing any of my assignments. Eventually I decided to at least be a little bit productive and start putting the comics online, but alas, not having a working scanner put a wrench in that plan.

Instead, I decided to start making the strips on MS Paint, which ended up making the first few online strips look pretty horrible, since I've always been a way better cartoonist when I'm drawing by hand.

Of course, I got better and better with each strip, but this is some cringeworthy shit. As much as I talk shit about my work on Uncle Spidey's Naked Puzzle Basement, at least that strip had passable artwork.


Strip 2: "HUBRIS!"

Yadda yadda my early art sucks. Most of this strip is fairly unfunny to me, but that punchline still holds up (despite having the worst nipple-tweaking I've ever drawn).

This strip is probably the most noteworthy for being the first appearances of both The Chief and Special Agent Hector Gonzalez, who are my favorite characters in the series and will be appearing much more in the not-too-distant future.

Hector Gonzalez was actually co-created by myself and my friend Juan, for a spin-off comic called Life Under The Sun that we were developing for our school newspaper. Hector's catchphrase of spontaneously exlaiming "Hubris!" was something Juan and I used to do in our English class; we had just finished studying MacBeth when we created the character and thought hubris was a funny word.



Two years later, and I never did get that scanner set up. This is because I am a horrible liar and should never be trusted with anything.



I largely dislike this particular strip, but I miss Diddy Kong. Maybe she'll make a return later on.



Ew... memes.

As you can tell, this was made in 2012, hence the unironic use of memes and the not-so-sly dig at Senator Rick Santorum. Despite being more ignorant than I am now, I was still a little liberal at heart. Then again, I don't think you need a reason to hate Rick Santorum.



Well, at least the memes are gone. Also, fucking what??


Strip 7: "Gorilla Warfare"

Okay, I still fucking love the last panel on this one.


Strip 8: "RED HERRING"

Okay, some explanation would probably be appreciated here:

In high school, I was really into online roleplaying games like WoW or League or Star Wars: The Old Republic, and when I was about 25% done with this strip, my friend Luke wanted me to get on Skype so we could all set up a WoW game. I told him I wasn't finished yet, so he offered to finish the strip for me. Being curious as to what the fuck he was going to do, I let him.

Space Princess was a character Luke created in our Freshman year, and she was a sardonic and easily annoyed celestial monarch who wore sweatpants and reluctantly fought space crime. Her villain was Rick, an astronaut who never wore a shirt; the comics he made were hilarious. After I put this strip up, he said to me, "Wait... that means Space Princess now shares a continuity with your... thing. Shit."

This is my absolute favorite Proto Culture strip of all time.


Strip 9: "BELIEVE"

Yeahhh... for anyone who might be reading this and chastising me for using the R-word, I'm right there with you.

But I still fucking love the last panel. It's one of my favorite punchlines of the pre-reboot strips.


Strip 10: "HAN SHOT FIRST"

Oh hey George Lucas jokes I am so funny.



What even was the point of this story arc?

Oh wait, nevermind. I think I made this when Lucasfilm announced the new Star Wars Original Trilogy BluRays and they added more unnecessary changes.

This storyline is still terribad.


Strip 12: "SEXY NIC CAGE"

So... um, I'm not entirely sure what's going on here, to be perfectly honest. Given what that jaundiced Spanish gentleman is saying, this kind of comes across as a rape joke, in which case I SINCERELY apologize. Ew.



This strip is the fucking worst and I hate it.



I made this during a horrendous bout of cartoonist's block, and was skyping with my friend Maggie at the time. She was watching the Doctor Who season finale at the time (this was back when Who was vaguely watchable) and kept making a high-pitched "squeeeeeeeeeee" sound whenever something sad happened.

So basically I made this for Maggie. Your welcome, Mags!



You know, as the strips progressed and my art got better, the humor seemed to get more and more mediocre.



My point still stands. Also, goddamn, I used to suck at backgrounds. And keeping a consistent color palet.


Strip 17: "WINDOWS: 8, AUDIENCE: 0"

Okay that one wasn't too bad.