157: Filler Art
Title text: Maybe I should let up on Megatokyo a little?
There are times in which the owner of a webcomic can not make a comic on time for the next scheduled update (for example, needing to attend to a family emergency). Some deal with these situations by creating a "buffer" of comics (that is, making several comics ahead of time) in anticipation for these events. However, if the buffer runs out (or if there was no buffer in the first place), the owner might have to resort to uploading whatever is available (e.g. concept art, random sketches, a draft of the planned comic, etc.). Many webcomic owners prefer to upload filler art so that their more fickle fans can see that they have not abandoned the comic.
Here, Randall parodies this situation with two separate punchlines. First, he tells us that he has to go to the doctor to get his thighs rotated which is medically unnecessary. Second, he refers to "new character art" for his comic. The punchline here is that, since the characters are drawn in a stick figure style, there are no distinguishable features between the man here and most other males in the comic series. In addition, the fact that this stick figure should not have taken more than 10 seconds to draw makes the notion that Randall has been "working on" it ridiculous.
The title text refers to Megatokyo, a popular webcomic widely known for its use of filler art. Creator Fred Gallagher, who goes by his online moniker Piro, frequently makes use of what have come to be called "Dead Piro Days", in which he posts character art, or concept art often based in the comic's world or characters, generally of draft or unfinished quality. By his own admission, these days of filler art are sometimes the result of nothing more than his feeling too under the weather, or tired, or emotionally depressed to put in the necessary amount of work to finish a proper update. While Gallagher has been raked over the coals for this by the broader webcomics community, longtime fans of Megatokyo tend to be highly tolerant and have been described as "some of the most patient and forgiving" readers, often viewing these lapses as endearing rather than inconvenient.
- Sorry guys no comic today. I've gotta go to the doctor to get my thighs rotated. But here's some new character art I'm working on!