Get an insight into the creation with extra information about every strip ever produced for Cartoon and Conquer in the special gallery. Nmenth has provided commentary for all 101 editions that were published.
The very first Cartoon and Conquer strip. I wanted to start a C&C-themed cartoon for quite some time, but knew it would be a lot of work. How little I knew then just how much it would be. ▫ I used a texture for the water, at the time thinking I’d use a lot of textures to make easy backgrounds, but even those became rare very quickly as each strip was taking five or six hours to go from draft to completion. ▫ My artwork was pretty poor looking back, although I’d done a lot of cartoons and a lot of computer graphics before then, this was the first time combining the two.
Before starting Cartoon and Conquer, I knew I needed several scripts ahead of time to make sure I didn’t come up short. I apparently threw away my original hand-written scripts once I started the strip and began writing scripts in Word, but if my memory serves me, I had four scripts beforehand, discarded one and wrote this one fresh after the first issue had been released. ▫ One thing I always hated about poker was that you never found out what your opponent’s hand was if you didn’t call, and if they just told you, you couldn’t trust their word. ▫ The Guardian G.I. here was supposed to be one of the main Allied characters, a tough guy with a coward’s heart, but he never appeared again.
I had planned on having a lot of half-sized strips for one-liners. I only did one more half-size, and the sole reason I did was so that this one wouldn’t be the only one in the entire series. I had also intended to feature the Shiners a lot more too, but again, these Shiner kids is their one and only appearance.
At the time I wrote the script for this one, EA was featuring Red Alert 3 unit profiles on their site. The profile for Tanya said she had a Kevlar sports bra. Of the entire series, this strip I am the least satisfied with. It was my own policy that this series was about the things people set in the C&C universe did, and not about making fun of the games. It was also a mistake to show a real character from the games. ▫ I’d hoped people would notice the Research & Development sign is modeled after the Command & Conquer logo, but nobody mentioned it. ▫ The man was modeled after a real person I found through a Google image search, I wondered what he would think if he ever saw himself in a cartoon.
This was a text-only joke, so I decided to make an image-only joke to go along with it. The “poor bunny” getting shot at is supposed to be a concrete figurine to be revealed in the last panel by its unpainted bottom. Due to the shape of its legs and the shade being identical to the rocket soldier’s gloves, it gives the illusion that he has three arms.
I was running behind schedule on this one, something that would happen frequently during the series, but the rush resulted in me drawing the last three panels at the same angle and distance, making it boring to look at. ▫ I thought the spy might become a reoccurring character who somehow always managed to screw up, but this is his only appearance. ▫ The sign says “Военная лаборатория”, which is what the Battle Lab is called in Russian translations of the games.
This is the introduction of the main GDI cast. All three members would remain until the end. It also introduced the crazy antics of the infantryman and grenadier and the engineer’s tendency to get involved at the worst possible time. I think this strip was perhaps the “true” beginning of the series, when the characters began to really develop.
The conscript’s quest to become a Tesla trooper was meant to be hinted at occasionally, but once the actual Tesla trooper was added, it faded into the background a bit. ▫ I wanted to point out the common misconception of Benjamin Franklin’s experiment happening outdoors here, which, as the strip concludes, is extremely dangerous. ▫ After the strip’s release, it occurred to me that it looked like the conscript had been turned to ash and death was being handled comically. If anyone had died in this series, it would have been very serious and permanent; the conscript is supposed to be laying on the ground out of frame.
This was the first instance of a book with a funny title, ironically, it would be the rocket trooper who read books. ▫ I actually made a (rough) stealth tank model for this, copy/pasted it three time, then airbrushed over them on another layer and deleted the models. Due to them being copy/pastes, the perspective is terrible, and I knew it at the time, but I thought it was funny and left it anyway. EA mentioned the series with this strip, which was somewhat embarrassing due to the bad perspective thing, but it probably helped spread awareness of the series more than any other single instance. It was probably around this time I started Googling “cartoon and conquer” to see how many countries, or at least languages, it was being mentioned through (that I saw: Chinese, German, Japanese, Portuguese, and later, Russian).
I wasn’t sure if people would catch the “camping” joke, and wasn’t sure if it was straddling the boarder of my policy to not mock the games, but I went with it anyway and I think people generally got it. ▫ The bottles say “Водка”, which means Vodka, and I know vodka usually comes in clear bottles, but green looks nicer.