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Cool Intentions

The webcomic by Dave Voltaggio


[       the Comic|CI via LiveJournal ]
[Dave's website|Coolest Intentions]



Cool Intentions is my first online comic [webcomic]; a hobby for me to satisfy my creative needs as well as share interesting/humorous things that have actually happened.  It combines a running life with several-strip-long story arcs/side plots as well as judiciously placed one-strip jokers.
No longer updated.

This comic stars a few hipsters (at start: Diavo, Cat, and Maestro) who are loosely based on myself and friends.  Other friends and family may make cameo appearances, though
names will be changed to protect the guilty.

I started drawing comics when I was a kid, simple ones of course and in April '05 I found them.
Not being a good realism or human body/face artist, a cartoony style suits me perfectly.  Plus I've always loved bold black outlines for cartoons.
Therefore my characters (humans) are not 100% perfectly designed -- they're not 8 heads high nor realistically proportioned.  They're Cool Intentions proportioned.

All "cool" male characters wear shades (and yes, they have eyes behind 'em).



Cool Intentions takes place in the present in an alternate reality.  The laws of physics and Reality in CI may be slightly different than in our Reality as is the technology level.  The events occur in Baltimore, MD and DC but really can take place in AnyCity, USA.

The characters don't know they're in a comic as everything is real to them (just as we don't know if we're in The Matrix or not) -- that's despite a few of their comments in the earliest strips breaking the fourth wall.

However, there is an RPG Level Scale that the main characters are aware of/subject to.  A character starts at Level 1 and through experience and continuous appearances will increase in Level and add features (physical and otherwise).

"Cool Intentions" refers to the main characters' way of living.
The "Hot Shots" is what Diavo & Maestro call their group of hep friends.





Well dressed hipster and Jack-of-All-Trades (Master of None?).  Wears swingster clothes and sometimes just slacks & a black T-shirt.  Has a thin moustache & goatee.  5'8".  Born in NY, lives in MD in his swank pad.  Level 2.  Favors blue and teal.  Very loosely based on Yours Truly.
Revealed Special Features: Telekinesis, Mind Tricks



The Card Punk -- a card magician with some attitude; he always has his bright blue Stud deck of cards with him.  Has blonde hair, wears white tinted/mirrored shades and lounge &/or dress shirts 95.4% of the time.  Loves Asian women.  5'8".  Born & lives in Baltimore, MD in his own swank rowhouse.  Level 2.  Favors red.
Revealed Special Features: Dexterity and magic abilities with a deck of cards  "52 Pick Up is a staple of juvenile humor, but when the deck slices and dices, it's no laughing matter!--The Cheshire Cat in American McGee's ALICE



As in "To get it on"? -- we'll see... He is part of the Hot Shots, especially good friend of Maestro's.  Looks up to Diavo & Maestro, but still has his own "thing" going on the side.  What that "thing" is, no one knows!  Very random at times.  He's also CI's character college student and college's last minority that can't get a scholarship [a white male!].  5'8".  Born and lives in MD.  Level 2.  Favors green.
Revealed Special Features: Conjuring a Bizzare Beam



Hip chick who loves power tools.  Pretty but not to be mistaken as a wimpy girlie girl.  Sometimes aggressive, a tomboy.  Wears tank tops, pleated skirts, heels and has dark brown curly hair.  Has a pair of black cat ears upon her head, but are they her real ears or a costume choice? Where are her real ears?!  The Cat Claw appears whenever she wants it too.  5'6" including cat ears.  Born in MD, lives in DC.  Level 2.  Favors black, shades of red, dark purples.
Revealed Special Features: The Cat Claw, advanced knowledge of power tool usage



Valencia "Val" Ming-Su.  Asian chick of high style.  She has an orange shine to her jet black hair, from which came her name.  Little yet is known about her.  5'7".  Born in Japan, now lives in MD... somewhere.  Favors orange.
Revealed Special Features: Insane video gaming skillz


He is Diavo's cousin, older brother of J.Cool.  He plays a mean guitar in a local rock & blues band.  Throws legendary martini parties.  5'9".  Born in NJ, lives in MD.
Revealed Special Features: Guitar playing master


He is Diavo's cousin, brother of Stiav.  He owns a pizzeria named Pizza Pallor and it's a front for his more lucrative business: Rent-A-Reaper.  He has contracted Grim Reapers (the real ones of lore) to be hired for jobs.  [What kind of jobs? That's rather obvious!]  He wears various collared shirts and prefers to look spiffy.  5'8".  Born in NJ, lives in NY.
Revealed Special Features: Manages grim reapers


topcopTOP COPtopcoptopcoptopcop
A parental unit type of character.  TC is a robot shaped like a top who spins to move.  From the far Future and is the Timeline Police made to enforce Fourth Dimensional Continuity.  Teleports unrestricted around Time but teleportation requires a full battery.  5'9" including protruding spin-pole.  Created at an unknown point in the Future, lives in the Future.
Revealed Special Features: Teleportation, knowledge of the Future


Originally I drew the comic first in pencil, as lightly as I could (which isn't very); my characters' busts were ~3" high on paper.  Then I used a black "Tech Liner Drawing Pen" (size: 0.4) to ink over my lines, and then erased all of the pencil markings.  I scanned the page to my computer as a grayscale image at 300dpi saved as a BMP.  Classic method.

Now that I have a Wacom tablet, I have no need of the paper & pencil technique.  Instead in Photoshop I have created templates of panel designs (like 2x2, 1x2, etc) which are twice the size of the final comic (I scale down upon completion).
I first draw a loose sketch of my characters in position. Then I draw the black lineart for my characters & objects and proceed with coloring and soft shading: I exclusively use Photoshop to add color and shading and to add text, speech balloons, backgrounds and all that jazz.

I use Photobucket to host my finished strips (as JPEGs) and LiveJournal to post the latest comic.  I save every comic as I worked on it (layers & all) as a Photoshop PSD project file in case I need to go back and fix something.  I also have the original line art drawings for my older comics saved in their own PSD project file because I'm over-organized.

CI started on 04.06.2005