This strip, in a way, represents a fresh start for OUTNUMBERED.   Probably not one you’ll notice too much, but kind of big for me.  The feedback I got from my recent pitch of this strip to Universal Press Syndicate was that the writing “wasn’t there” yet.  The good news was that they liked the art and the concept though.   That last one is a big hurdle, I think.  But it was still a no go.  I did two things after that, I tweaked the package a little and submitted it to their rival, KING FEATURES Syndicate.  It got there last Thurs. so I assume I still have a few weeks before I hear anything from them.  The second thing I did was sought some input from other cartoonist/strip buddies.  I spoke with Greg Evans (LuAnn), Marcus Hamilton (Dennis the Menace) and Guy Gilchrist (Nancy, and The Muppets strip before that).  All were very supportive of me continuing and pushing ahead on Outnumbered.  (I wasn’t going to quit just yet, but its nice to hear.)  Both Greg and Guy also gave me some great suggestions on how best to write a strip with the eye towards gags, but still adding the character development that Universal was missing.  Greg even through out an interesting suggestion for a new character (that I think I’m going to do) and Guy spoke with me on the phone for about an hour about ways to write a “story” over multiple strips.  Adding gags all along the way.  He also suggested roughing the strips out quick, in pencil, so I can get through a bunch of them and concentrate on the story.  I liked that idea too.  So- this is the fresh start.  With this strip, I have an overall story that I’m slowly going to tell while hopefully having some laughs along the way.  It starts with Megan deciding she doesn’t like who she is and wants to “rediscover” herself.  That will have a effect on the whole family and I’ll get to introduce a new character along the way.  AND, artistically, I’m going much looser on the strip.  These are basically digital pencils, with hand drawn balloons and thrown on tones.  It took me about half the time to do the strip (maybe two hours) and I’m okay with the look.   Let me know what you think.