Frequently Asked Questions
(note: the only one of these that's really
frequent is the banana question)
(note: the only one of these that's really
frequent is the banana question)
Q. What the hell is a cogmonkey?
A. The name "Cogmonkey" comes from a simple logo I created in the PS3 game LittleBigPlanet many many years ago to include in the levels I made in that game and to use as an avatar. A few of the well known level creators I admired had their own in-game logos so I was just copying them. I put no effort or thought into the original design but over the years I grew quite fond of it and it's evolved into the non-LittleBigPlanet version you see on this website and everywhere else I've plastered my logo.
Q. Why are you sometimes "Cogmonkey" and sometimes "ARD"? It's very confusing. I thought this site was called ARD.cool?
A. "ARD" is just my initials and I've used that as a username online for as long as I've been using the internet, because I was never very creative with that kind of thing. It's a name that a lot of people call me by but unfortunately it's pretty terrible for SEO and such (if you google ARD you'll find Arbeitsgemeinschaft der öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, which isn't anything to do with me) and 3 letter usernames are pretty impossible to grab on any major website so if I want people to be able to actually find my stuff it's just easier to use something like "Cogmonkey". I prefer to just see Cogmonkey as the name of my website and various accounts and ARD as an actual nickname that refers to me. I have a seriously intense dislike of bananas so maybe that's the main reason I can't really identify with being called Cogmonkey myself.
Q. What's wrong with bananas? They are so delicious and healthy, you freak.
A. I don't know. I ate bananas as a small child but now I cannot stand to even be in the same room as someone eating a banana. The smell, the sound, the sight... they just made me want to throw up. I'm okay with most kinds of food but when I don't like something I REALLY don't like it.
Q. What software do you use for animation?
A. Adobe Animate, which used to be called Adobe Flash, but was called Macromedia Flash when I first used it, and something completely different before that. It will probably have changed names again by the time I've made a new animation. For post production kinda editing stuff I mostly use Adobe Premiere Pro.
Q. What software do you use for your comics?
A. Affinity Designer, which is effectively the new version of a program called Serif DrawPlus, which is actually something I used to use for animation before I even got started with Flash probably like 15 years ago.
Q. What graphics tablet do you use?
A. Wacom Cintiq Pro 13"
Q. What font do you use for the text in your comics?
A. It's a font based on my own handwriting that I made with some website or other. It's not designed for other people to use, it has missing characters and it's a bit glitchy and it doesn't have legit bold or italic versions but if you're desperate to use it for something you can download it here.
Q. What kind of things are you planning to make in the future?
A. For a long time it's been an ambition of mine to make a sequel/reboot kinda thing of something I made as a kid but I don't want to give too many details about it in case it never happens. It's actually a project I've been working on very very slowly every so often for a few years now but I haven't wanted to commit to it fully until I've released a good few smaller projects to improve my skills and techniques some more. I've had some thoughts about a much bigger multi-part series I'd like to work on one day as well, telling a story that started out as an idea for a LittleBigPlanet level almost 5 years ago and then turned into a bit of a novel and is now just a big old collection of ideas waiting to be used for something cool. I've always enjoyed writing but I've never combined it with the animation thing so that's something I really want to do. Again, I want to work on some simpler things first. My priority at the moment is to get Chirpy the Chick's Christmas Adventure finished before anything else because that was supposed to be done in time for Christmas 2016. But those other things are definitely "in progress", it's just very slow progress. Besides all of that I'm very keen to try a bit of 3D animation in Dreams once it's released (the successor to LittleBigPlanet).
Q. Why do you keep talking about LittleBigPlanet?
A. My relationship with LittleBigPlanet is a long and complicated story that I've given an in depth account of before but I have mixed feelings about the way I told that story so for now the short version is this: because it's a cool game and the people who made it have done some cool things for me over the years, and it's one of the things that kept me relatively sane through a lot of the crazy stuff that has happened in my life. Realistically most of the people who visit this website for the forseeable future will know me through LittleBigPlanet in some way so I probably don't need to explain anyway. Welcome to the big world.
Q. What happened to your YouTube channel? Where did all of the videos go?
A. I recently switched all the public videos on youtube.com/cogmonkey to unlisted because I just decided I didn't really like any of them any more. I also didn't like the way I came across in some of them and they weren't a very good representation of the person I am now. I guess I just wanted a fresh start for the new year, it's the same reason I made a new Twitter account. Plus I was getting sick of getting thousands of comments about things I don't care about. But they are only unlisted and not private or deleted so if you still have links to any of them they'll still work, and if there's anything you desperately want to see again just ask me for a link to a video and I'll send it over. It was my intention to only use that channel as a place to dump livestream VODs from now on because I would like to start streaming regularly at some point, but now I'm wondering if I should start uploading new animations there instead of Cogmonkey Productions (formerly ARDtoons) because it has a lot more subscribers. That's something I need to work out in the future but not just yet because I'm not really doing the animation stuff right now. Subscribe to both channels and eventually something interesting might happen on one of them!
Q. Do you have like, an actual career, or do you just sit around all day doodling?
A. I took a break from everything after I finished university for "personal reasons" and to do some "travelling" but I'm done with all that now and just working out what's next for me. I have a degree in geography so I'm planning to do something with that. All of this arty cartoony stuff is just a hobby but I'll probably try to see if there's a way I can make some money out of it eventually if I stick at it. Does anyone want to buy a Cogmonkey T shirt?
Q. What happened to all those other big solo and group projects you made a big deal about but haven't mentioned for years? Weren't you in a podcast or something? Haven't you made other websites in the past that just disappeared after a while?
A. Nothing lasts forever and yes, I've been involved in a few things like that that didn't really go anywhere, for various reasons. But there's one website that I created which is still going almost 4 years later and has a community of over 1,000 members now - sackinima.com. I can't take credit for starting the whole Sackinima thing or really contributing much to the YouTube channel but the website (in particular the Sackinima Forums) is like my child and I'm very proud of it. If you have any interest in LittleBigPlanet or Dreams or just want to talk to some cool people then my bias and I would highly recommend it. It's a much more interesting website than this one, mostly because other people are involved in it.
Q. What happened to Mr Key?
A. He died in the third level, his face exploded, keep up. His Twitter account is fake.
Q. What the heck is gorpu?
Q. Do you seriously believe you'll be able to make a comic every single day this year?
Q. Do you seriously believe anyone will actually read this page or even visit this website in the first place?
Q. Did you really spend actual money on a .cool domain name?
A. Yes and if you have a problem with that you can send an email to ARD@ARD.cool
Q. You know this website is really, really badly designed and it doesn't work at all on my device, right?
A. Yes! But I coded the entire thing myself just by typing stuff and I know absolutely nothing about web design so I think I did a bloody good job considering. I know it could be much improved, for one it needs to be responsive or at least have a mobile version and I'm using some obsolete HTML that will stop working at some point and I'll get round to sorting all of that eventually but please, just give me chance to be proud of myself for putting this together before you start complaining about it. You don't have to be so angry all the time. Show a bit more love and kindness and you'll be happier in the long term. Smile at strangers, call your old friends, listen to what people have to say because everyone knows something that you don't and be kind and patient because you can never really know what anyone's going through. Log out of Twitter for a bit and go and find some pretty flowers in the real world. Sing a song or paint a picture or throw a party or apply for your dream job because life's too short to spend it complaining that some guy's website doesn't quite fit properly on your phone screen. You won't care about this in 10 years but you might care about the opportunities you missed out on because you thought this was important. Tell me my website's awful if that's really what will make you happy, but if you tell me about something that made you smile today instead then I think we'll both get more out of it. Just think about it. I hope you have a fantastic day.
© Cogmonkey 2018