“I have great faith in fools - self-confidence my friends will call it.” ― Edgar Allan Poe
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2-006 paralyzed facial musculature

Dr. Fronkenbrick must have roots, or at least some interest in the Dutch language considering ‘Dwaas’ is Dutch for ‘fool’. So here we have it; the source of Dwaas’ name. I always thought it had a more… well… pleasant origin, but it is as it is. Sadly, along with his name Dwaas seems to have a creator/ ‘father’ thinking the name Dwaas describes all that he is.

 

Restrictions of facial expressions of Lego minifigures

So, dr. Fronkenbrick solves another mystery surrounding Dwaas. For Dwaas it’s physically impossible to move his facial musculature; thus it is impossible for him to change his facial expression. That explains why Dwaas’ face always looks the same regardless of how he feels. He just can’t express himself with his facial expression. It kind of sounds like he has one of the symptoms of full blown Parkinson’s disease.
It has been mentioned by many authors of other Lego webcomics and the same goes for me; dealing with facial expressions is one of the biggest problems of running a Lego webcomic. There are differing solutions; some don’t care and just ignore the facial expressions all together, some photoshop the expressions, some find custom made heads with differing expressions, some try to find official heads that fit their needs best… etc.
I myself have a few ways of working around this problem. First I try and find as many different (official) Lego heads as possible. Second I try and find a head with as many possibilities possible for the main characters. For other characters I see what expressions will be needed and find heads that befit their story (taking into account that the color eyebrows, lipstick color, etc. might differ a bit). Sometimes I don’t have the needed expressions (probably because it doesn’t exist). When that happens I have a few tactics; sometimes it’s drastically and I change the storyline a bit, or the texting so the expression is not needed anymore (I really, really hate it when that happens). Most of the time though I change the angel in my shots so the face isn’t (fully) in view, I try to take the focus away from the expression I don’t have. Sometimes it’s enough to shoot from the site… sometimes I even shoot from the back or put something (like a hand) in front of the face. Readers will imagine a fitting expression without being distracted by the wrong expression in plain view. Combining these tactics solves the problem most (but not all) of the time. At least for Dwaas I’m not going to have any problem… the story explains it all in one line. 🙄

Reading the comic, have you ever thought that the expression of one of my characters completely missed the mark story-wise?  And if you’re a Lego comic author; how do you deal with this problem.

 

Gene Wilder died

Gene Wilder passed away at 83yo. That really makes me sad. The inspiration on which Dr. Fronkenbrick is based. Such a weird and stupid coincidence. What a year 2016 is turning out to be thinking about celebrity deaths. I was re-watching some of his movies recently… Young Frankenstein, blazing sadles, see no evil hear no evil, Silver streak, etc. Last week I saw his last interview from a few years back. He seemed fragile even then. Never mind all that though… he will be sorely missed.

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