The comic: A general description

"Fletcher Apts." is basically an on-going, story-based, slice-of-life comic based on three college-aged guys and their experiences while dwelling in the same apartment. Said experiences are usually anywhere from "slightly humorous" to "extremely and utterly bizarre". Also, while there may at times be shades of action, drama, romance, and other good stuff, it is first and foremost a humor strip. Oh, and it has anthropo- morphic (animal) characters as well, therefore making it a furry strip. However, that mainly only affects how the characters look and has little bearing on the actual story or how it's told.


From left to right: Bob, Bill, and Doug. All hail my supreme character naming abilities! Because unoriginal is the new "original"...

The stories are mostly fictional, though there are a few certain times when the events or jokes are based off of something that happened in real life (when your living arrangements are the same as the characters in your comic, this is bound to happen sometimes). On the whole though, it's a story that I write from my imagination with little to no basis in real life. Also, in case you haven't noticed, there are mature subjects and language in Fletcher Apts. (and even the occassional boobie) so read at your own risk.

 

 

 

The comic: The basic story

I don't want to give away any important information or drop any spoilers, so I'll just speak in a general sense. That will be kind of hard, considering not too much has happened so far, but I'll give it a shot.

Ok, you've got the level-headed, responsible, good-natured guy (Bob), the muscle-bound party-loving chick magnet guy (Bill), and the intelligent, naive, spastic, vulnerable guy (Doug). They are all friends from high school, and they live in the same apartment room in the Fletcher Apts. complex run by Mr. Fletcher. Bob and Doug go to college, while Bill is trying to make it in the music biz with his band "2 Extra Fingers" (including bassist Brad and drummer Steve), which is locally popular. Due to Bill's status as a local celebrity and for being the macho, confident type that chicks dig, he is constantly having to deal with the pressures of being super popular with the ladies (yeah, sounds like a real bummer, huh?). Although a few ladies are more determined to win his affection than others (ie: Becca and Zoe)...
Becca is pretty damn outgoing, or possibly just insane. Also, Mr. Happy Face is pretty damn happy (for obvious reasons). Enjoy it while you can Mr. Happy Face.

Other than that, there are other characters who live in the apartment, most notably Lori (who is the daughter of the landlord) and her friend Kia. Each of the other characters add their own special flavor and collection of personal problems and desires to the mix, and of course all the character interaction breeds even more mayhem and crazy circumstances, which just build up higher and higher as the comic progresses... Although I just described about half of all webcomics out there with that little nugget of brilliance. Well, I'm trying not to give too much away, so if you want more info on the overall story, you can check out my Wikifur page, which I've linked below.

 

FLETCHER APTS. WIKIFUR ARTICLE!

Please note that the article is currently in desperate need of fixing up, and everytime I try to put something there, they tell me it sounds too much like an advertisement. Also, I always feel like I'm going to give away something that hasn't been revealed in the comic yet. So if anyone out there is nice enough, bored enough, and informed enough in Wiki code to set up a more convincing Wikifur page for Fletcher Apts, I'd be forever appreciative. Plus I think having someone who isn't the author write about the comic from their point of view would be much better anyways.

 

 

 

The comic: Characters

For more detailed information on the characters in the comic, check out the Cast Page.

 

 


The "Weinermobile" strip from the early "Randomania!" comics. The entire comic was nearly made to resemble this kind of humor. Fortunately, I smacked some sense into myself before it got too far.


A gentle reminder: Don't get high off of paint fumes before writing comic strips. That of course has nothing to do with this comic panel but still, it just seems like a very bad idea.

The comic: Origins

The comic premiered on the internet on October 7th, 2005, but the idea for the comic first manifested itself in my thick skull around March of 2004, when I was a freshman in college. My dormmate told me about the webcomic Purple Pussy, and after I had read through the whole thing, I decided I wanted to make a webcomic of my own in a similar style (of course, we know now that it didn't quite turn out that way... thank God). I thought of a character I had created already, Bob the Hamster, and decided I would base the comic around him and some friends in a random, gag-a-strip format (emphasis on RANDOM). The comic was called "Bob The Hamster" up until a few weeks before the comic aired because I couldn't part from the idea of making a comic revolving around the lovable hamster character I had contrived with friends many years ago (more on the true origination of Bob later). The few strip ideas around the beginning, (all roughly designed and drawn in some sort of colored pencil) blew the lid off the suckiness jar contained in the darkest realms of hell, but they were (and are still to me...kinda) sorta funny. In fact, the early strips that say "Randomania!" were based off that general style in which I was going to make the comic. (the Wienermobile one is derived from one of the earliest strips I ever came up with, around Spring 2004.)

Even though complete randomness has its own unique charm, after reading a few other well crafted furry webcomics, I decided that story was more effective in maintaining interest, so I went with that. And of course I finally decided to name the comic "Fletcher Apts." because I wanted to encourage more equality throughout the characters and not focus on any certain "main character" as a means of supporting the comic (though Bob is still one of the more important characters). The name "Fletcher Apts." fits better I think because it spreads the love and recognition to some of the other characters based in and around the apartment, which is good. Also, that's where a good deal of crazy shit goes down ;)

 

 

The comic: Early Stages

It's actually kinda lucky that I even went through and made the comic at all. I had a lot of trouble trying to decide on characters, how to draw them, and how I wanted the comic to be. It was getting pretty frustrating and time consuming, because to put it frankly, I just couldnt draw my characters worth a shit. However, after countless doodles in art history
handouts and employee training manuals, I seemed to finally come across a design that I was halfway satisfied with. So I proceeded to make a few character sketches and plan out a somewhat decent guideline for the first story. Then I drew the first comic on September 23rd, 2004, about a year before the actual date it aired on the internet. The fact that I was never completely satisfied with the art led me to spend a long time telling myself that I would practice drawing the characters
a bit more and form a more solid idea of what I wanted with style and story before I continued (I say "telling myself" because I wasn't very efficient at actually doing it). the project was put on the backburner for a while before I gained enough motivation to continue, whenever that was. I think it stopped around February and I started it up again around August, when I was more pleased with my artistic style.

 

 


The comic: Early Character Design

Now this is laughably awful. This is "mentally handicapped two-year-old drawing with a tube of hemorrhoid cream" awful. This is even "immediate lunch reversal" awful. However, no matter how pathetic it seems now, this is how the characters were first drawn.

Warning, what you are about to see is extremely gruesome and horrible. If you have a weak stomach, you may want to leave the site now. Also if you are pregnant or about to become pregnant, viewing the following pictures could cause severe malformations in your newborn child, similar to the effects of using crack while pregnant. If you are still determined to look, then proceed with caution, but don't say I didn't warn you.

This is what my first concept of Bob looked like. Go on, laugh it up ya big meanie! *sniff*

   
   Random sketches of Bob in 20th century Art, early 04: The short-lived pre-clothing period...........New Bob plus clothes. Still crap.

 

Originally Bob wasn't even meant to have clothes, but I eventually decided to put him in a red shirt and blue jeans with brown shoes. At the same time, Bill was given a plain black shirt and slightly different colored blue jeans and Doug received a green long sleeve shirt and khakis, and with a MIGHTY STROKE OF CREATIVITY AND ORIGINALITY, I gave Doug's shirt *gasp* a gold stripe across it!!!

Yeah, that was sarcasm by the way. Eventually, what with the character's names being so immensely dull and clothing to match, I got sick and tired of the bland, thoughtless garbage I was passing off as character design and I changed their clothing to something with a little more personality in this strip. (the names, unfortunately, were there to stay).


A panel from a guest strip by KLSanchez. They're so right
though... so freakin' right (however, Doug is not this short).

As for the names, the name "Bob" didn't actually originate out of pure laziness. As I'd mentioned before, Bob the Hamster was a character I'd come up with a while ago. Inspired by a conversation with my friend about my real life hamster's untimely demise, I wrote a song for my then high-school punk band entitled, what else, "Bob the Hamster". The song was a quirky, tongue-in-cheek tale of a hamster whose cage was so dirty and unliveable that he committed suicide with a sharpened sunflower seed shell (which, though it was thought up as a sort of humorous way of depicting the death of my
hamster, I kind of doubt there is much truth to the story, to be honest). The song and the character got slightly popular, and I told myself that if I ever were to create a cartoon, I'd use Bob the Hamster as the main character and maybe he could die each episode in different, creative ways like Kenny from Southpark. Naturally, this was a dumb idea, and the character and the story slowly began forming a life of its own, from the time I conceived him as mere tool for excessive
randomness and violence to the time I decided to do something... a little more interesting and a lot less stupid.

As for the other characters I had at the time that I've continued to use, Bill was named obviously because he was a goat and it was a play on the words "billie goat" and Doug was almost "dog" in its spelling... If only I'd known that this comic would be anything like it is today I would have put more thought into the names, but at the time it was just supposed to be a stupid, random gag strip. It is my one, greatest mistake that I continue to regret to this day. Though I guess it doesn't matter so much anymore now that I'm used to it, but I still wish I had put more thought into it back then.

As for Kia and Lori, they were inspired by (or at least their species was inspired by) a couple of stuffed animals I had at the time, a leopard and a white tiger. I had at one point decided to introduce a new character for each new stuffed animal I got, but at this point I've got too many stuffed animals to count, and that idea is no longer feasible.

Oh, and Bob's last name "Sherman" is the actual name of my pet hamster that the whole thing originated from. See, there's more thought put into names than you thought. ;)

 

 

About The Author:

I don't really like to talk about myself, so I'll keep this short. My real name is Jon Stelter, though I often go by my furry name JTigerclaw (or JT) on the site, on forums, and at conventions. Yes, I'm a furry. Sorry if that offends you somehow, but I am. I don't think it's really changed who I am as a person, it's just added another aspect to my personality (in a good way). And, if not for my interest in all things anthropo- morphic, this comic would probably not exist, so I don't want to hear any complaining! ;)

As of writing this, I'm 24 years old, and I'm an alumni of Savannah College of Art and Design, where I graduated from in 2007 with a BFA in Broadcast Design. After sitting on my ass for about a year as part of a self-inflicted science experiment testing the effects of every possible sleep schedule known to man on the human body (it's ok, it's for SCIENCE!) I finally landed a job in Hilton Head, SC (where I currently live with my mate, Kata'lina) as a "multimedia graphics artist", which is a fancy name for a guy who takes care of whatever graphics related job happens to need to get done. Mostly, this involves making local commercials and updating the company website, as well as building and designing websites, logos, and what-have-you. I've been at this job since June 2008, which is also when I started living with Kat, and I'm happy as a gay clam in Springtime.

I am an avid punk rock fan and I also play in a punk band called Flappy (well... "play" is a relative term, since my bandmates now live across the country at the moment). I play guitar, sing and write some songs. We're also trying to complete our first full length cd (Read: I need to stop being lazy and mix it). As for hobbies, other than drawing and guitar, I enjoy playing basketball, drums, and surfing the internet. I constantly feel I should be doing something productive, however very little ever gets done until I start feeling guilty about it and eventually do it. I have subpar movie knowledge, but excellent NBA basketball knowledge (a double-edged sword in the game of Trivial Pursuit). I am an avid fan of all Mario games, and I think Yoshi is the cutest damn thing in the world. I have a sizeable collection of stuffed animals, which rule every corner of the bedroom. I love spicy foods and have yet to find anything too spicy for me. I once tried skateboarding, but I fail at it pretty hard. I also injured myself jumping off of a bike ramp, and trying to do a backflip on the ground when I was little, which was a result of watching too much Power Rangers.... uhhh... I think that's about it.


You thought you'd get a real-life picture of me? Heh... HAHAHA! *cough*
Eh, I like having an ora of mystery around me, I guess. ;)

I sometimes can be found at furry cons around the country (though I wish I could go to more)... I go by JTigerclaw there, and I'm easy to approach, so if you see me, say hi. I'm pretty shy, so chances are I won't initiate any introductions myself, but I do enjoy when people come up to me and let me know they've seen my comic. Gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling, ya know? ;)

Cons I've been to up to this point:

Anthrocon '06
Mephit Furmeet '06
Furry Weekend Atlanta '07
Anthrocon '07
FurFright '07
Midwest Furfest '07
Anthrocon '08
FurFright '08
Furry Weekend Atlanta '09
Rocket City Furmeet '09
Megaplex '09

Next planned con: FurFright '09.

 

 

 

If you read all of this crap, I am just as appreciative as I am impressed. You truly are quite the talented reader of crap. ;)

 

 

 

 

 

All characters, text, and images on this site are © Jon Stelter 2005-2008 unless noted otherwise.
Please don't use anything without my permission. Thanks.
Fletcher Apts. is hosted on AngelStarHosting website hosting service.