Arctic Circle

May 22nd, 2008 by Hans Bjordahl :: see related comic

As promised, here’s the result of my “animation proof of concept” project, “Arctic Circle”:

The “proof of concept” goal was twofold: one, to see if the costs of production for such animation had dropped to a doable level (they have). Two, to see if the “Arctic Circle” concept itself had any legs. That remains to be determined.

Interestingly, my comment that “the future of static comics on the Internet is limited” in an earlier post sparked some debate. I thought it might. More on this in the next post.

BTW, I’m aiming to have the next Bug Bash up next week. I kind of miss it too.

27 Responses to “Arctic Circle”
Name wrote:

The FBI would like to have a word with you, mr Bjordahl…

Hans wrote:

Watch through the end of the credits — you’ll see that everyone turns out OK in the end.

Name wrote:

Then it’s fine…

s wrote:

lack of respect DNE comedy

Brent wrote:

What software did you use to create this?

Ole Eichhorn wrote:

Leaving aside the fact that it isn’t very funny and panders hopelessly to the sad “blame everything on Bush” mentality, this medium doesn’t work for me.

It takes too long to “read” animated comics.


Vinnie wrote:

Static comics are much easier to produce than videos, and much quicker to “read”. I think they’ll be around for a long time.

Jacob wrote:

I have to admit that I lost some respect for you based solely on the content of the movie. Do you really want to go for political humor when your base has so far been technological? Don’t assume that your current fans share your simplistic ideological biases.

Jim wrote:


Glad to see you’re posting. Randomly came across Bug Bash looking for interview questions, surprisingly. I ended up printing out a couple of cartoons to post on the wall that day for, no joke, a bug bash.

Long-time Garage Dibune fan (and former Grant Place resident.)

Hans wrote:

Brent: I created the stills in layered Photoshop files. They were then assembled / animated using Adobe After Effects and additional production work was done using Sony’s Vegas software.

s / Ole / Jacob: Well part of the experiment is to see how it flies in the wild, so there you go. I did consider the danger of including an ultimately political animation on a heretofore apolitical blog, but criticizing Bush is practically a bipartisan activity these days. Future episodes (scripting now) of Arctic Circle will actually be apolitical, but this is what I had as an opener and I genuinely wanted to see what this audience thought about the result.

On static comics vs. animated comics: I’m going to back off a bit and pose this in the form of a question with my next comic post. Granted, there’s much to static comic strips that will keep them on the Web for a while. But two questions: 1) If you have the capability for motion and sound and the means to use them well, why not avail yourself of it? 2) So where IS the non-niche static Web comic that’s successfully launched from the Web into the mainstream, anyway? Niche examples abound (including some very good ones) but I don’t see even a hint of the next Calvin and Hobbes or Bloom County out there (and if you see one, point me to it). Comics have been on the Internet since 1992 so time’s up, and maybe it’s time to take advantage of the medium in way that makes better use of its full range of capabilities.

Jim: Ah yes, the Garage Dibune. Zine of zines. That takes me back. : )

s wrote:

“heretofore apolitical blog, but criticizing Bush is practically a bipartisan activity ”

Even if people has taken SNL’s lead and grown critical of Bush… doesn’t mean a “hertofore apolitical blog” should. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. And know that they read your blog by choice with very little brand loyalty.

JD wrote:

liked it. i’ll leave your feed in my rss feeder for now ;)

Michael Clark wrote:

Nice effort, up until the credits, where 25% of the overall video is made up of credits.

Video takes too much of my time. I prefer static comics. It’s the same comparison of podcasts vs blogs. And that’s why I include a transcript for every episode of my podcast.

Selkie wrote:

Although your name hints at a “bear”-y origin in some northern european language your anatomic knowledge of bears seems to be very small. Your bear’s body looks like a cow ;)

Martin wrote:

Hi. Please continue with the static comic. I speak spanish and is much easier read english than try to understand voices. I dont lie if I say that I dont understand too much of this comic.
Please, go back to static comic. It is faster, easy to read and understand.


JD wrote:

Hans, please add an RSS feed to the arcticcircle.tv site.

Disappointed wrote:

Very disappointing. Animated takes too long and I have always expected more than pandering to weak-minded, bush-bashing, political machine regurgitation from your site. Oh well, it’s a big Internet. There’s bound to be something else to read.

Jim Ourada wrote:

It was funny. I don’t agree with the premise, but I see the humor. However I had to watch it twice, something I would not normally do except that it is Friday evening….
I for one don’t have sound readily available on my system. I have to untangle some wires, and lean over an an odd angle, hence the two cycle watch.

That took up more time than I usually spend with all my daily comics, 10 or so.

As for other web comics out there, two that I really enjoy are User Friendly, and Day by Day.

James wrote:

Noticed a lot of negative feedback, thought I’d throw up something positive. Thought it was positive. Yeah, I know it took longer to watch, but that seemed deliberate because of buildup (It was a comic, around 10 panels…sitting in truck, sitting in plane, sitting in taxi, etc). One technical thing I’d like to say. The overall feature would be shorter and more humorous if each individual frame was a bit shorter, or the polar bear walked faster! :)

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Bug Bash is a comic strip written and illustrated by Hans Bjordahl. Bug Bash is a comic strip about technology: managing technology, the business of technology. It's about project management and managing projects through the dull world of Rational Rose, use cases, and requirements. Functional requirements, user requirement, functional specifications, design specifications, call it what you want but it's still the bane of project managers. And when you're done with that, you can think about all the fun that comes with timelines, scheduling, estimates (PERT estimation anyone?) and resourcing until Gantt charts are coming out of your ears. Let's not forget the risk management in the software engineering life cycle. Maintaining the project is just as much fun, managing what was initially set out in requirements and trying to keep feature creep / scope creep in check with change management. If any of these words send nightmares to you, the project manager, then this site probably rings true with you. (Who Links Here?)