Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Trying something new

Had a nice Easter off with the lady. She's gone now, initiate sad mode.

So I've been looking for ways to speed up the time between initial idea and final comic. I can draw much faster (and technically better) in Photoshop, but as of yet that hasn't outweighed the advantages of vector in Illustrator. I did a few tests for Wednesday's comic in Photoshop. They looked something like this.

Now there are still imported vectors here but this was mostly an inking test. I like the texture that I can get on surfaces relatively quickly, but I'm not convinced it actually benefits the comic. I'll do some more experiments as I go, but it's looking like a better bet to just get more comfortable with Illustrator.

I need to start doing more detailed plans of the comics as a whole before I get too far into the art. Many of the final comics aren't composed nearly as well as they should be because I get too far along and don't feel up to changing things. At the moment I tend to just do small planing sketches like these:

Lots of artist complain that this is the real issue with digital art. It's so fast, editable, and disposable that we no longer value the formal basics like thumbnail plans and color tests.

Sir Rotherham is named after my new favorite pizza. It has a large amount of ham on it. It's awkward. I feel I need to get more characters with solid roles to diversify the comic, but the pig can't talk so... it may not help at all.

I'm trying to find time to get the D&D codex up to date but, it's pretty time consuming. Hopefully by next week.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012


There's always going to be that point where someone stumbles on to your work and say, "Oh hey, why didn't you tell me you did this?"

Well the truth is, if you're anything like me, you weren't keeping some dark secret - you are simply your harshest critic. It's difficult to put something out there when you can't even get it past the quality control in your head.

This is a round about way of saying my parents have seen my work. Prepare for an Orwellian age of censorship. (I'm kidding they were super supportive.) Though in my dad's words, "Could the tweets blaspheme less so your mother can read it."

Here's the Tumblr XL ad for the latest comic:

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Building blocks

More tweaks to the site done, and more to come. Got one of those little icon thingies. (Favicon) That's pretty awesome, right? Going to add a hidden page that catalogs all the words in the comics for easy searchability.

Here are some of the prep sketches from Sunday's comic, unfortunately these are degrading in quality because I actually draw most of the prep on paper. You know with pencil, like they did in the Dark Ages.

Maybe with a decent camera or scanner I might start putting those up.

In truth I don't hold a huge amount against John Mayer, though I've heard rumors he is a giant douchebag. But then, who isn't apparently. The John Meyer I love, is a fantastic South African artist who blew my mind back in high school, and unlike most stuff from back then he has aged immaculately. Really, check out his stuff.

Getting people's attention on Tumblr is pretty difficult so I've moved to a large format single frame ad for the comic. (This is where vector art is insanely useful.) The latest one was this.

Got to put some real time into the D&D page over this week to get it to what I want. An interactive map and lore center. The lore word document I have is getting very hard to manage, will probably do a timeline too. One that slowly reveals itself over the campaign.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Busy, busy, busy

So done with the first half of the site update. I think it's starting to look better but still has a way to go in terms of usability. It's getting there, but I need to figure out a decent way to archive... silly ridged Google sites.

I made a big step today and bought a proper domain name which will be live the second I figure out how to make it so. I also put up the start of my D&D page which I have big plans for in the coming weeks. Unfortunately I find I have a million things I want to do but my work is so fractured I never see clear progress. Need to make business cards for Play it Loud, the company me and the good lads at Chilled Vibes are starting.

The first Sunday of our weekly D&D campaign was great. So good to get back into the swing of things. I wasn't actually hung over which helped. I'm in the mood to take the story to ridiculous places and document the whole thing.

Now, sleep.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Work to do.

Phew, all that traveling is over. It's good to be home. Though this is a new house, so I still trip over shit in the dark.

First off here's a comic that never was!

This was more a proof of concept than a final layout but I got bored of it. Also it felt too similar to this Penny Arcade, which is already unspeakably hilarious. I couldn't help screaming in my mind through all of Hugo, "It's a fucking industrial complex kid! No that's not a slide! Don't put your hand in there!"

Things on the horizon:

- I'm going to start a new D&D campaign soon, one I hopefully will manage to take places. I intend to use it as a world building exercise too, so it will have its own page home to any art and writing I do for it, expanding as the world does.

- I'm going to start proper work on either After or ADRIFT now that I'm getting settled in. Not sure which yet.

- Starting work with my friend's awesome two man band on art/photography/music videos. Will hopefully result in some pretty cool stuff. (That's called cross promotion, bitches.)

- With luck, I will be getting going on an iPhone/iPad game with a friend. That should be interesting and challenging. Mostly for him I would imagine since he will be doing the all the coding.

Friday, 17 February 2012

This one had a lot more words...

So today's comic went through a couple stages.

It began with the middle section having the birds rocking back and forth on the wire towards the window until eventually the cat dived out after them and missed. But it was just taking up too much space and not coming across with the right motion.

Once I'd settled on what the middle frame is in the final comic I dropped like 90% of the words. I hate super wordy comics, and I often forget that when I'm making my own. Here the first frame was just feeling crammed with a quip about everyone on the internet having good looking girlfriends and cute pets and only one being legal to buy in this part of the world. In retrospect I think I may have read that line somewhere so it's pretty lucky I dropped it.

The little one sleeping on his head was an after thought that now makes me beyond happy.

They still don't have names. I tend to think of them as green/blue or big/small. Sometimes bean/pea.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Lonely Valentine

Here's the little prep sketches for today's comic.

The heart moon was too cute to pass up. There was originally going to be a pile of DvDs on the couch arm but they really didn't read well at that size.

I've never actually managed to watch all of Marley and Me. I keep seeing it in parts. It's possible my fragile soul wouldn't survive a full viewing. Perhaps that's how they'll execute me when I'm finally caught. You know, for that thing I did.

If Lucy Fell and Mozart and the Whale are two of my favorite romantic comedies. I don't give a shit if it's pronounced Rom Com.

The comic was very close to being a Fallout valentine's day card, but I figured I'd been ragging on about old games too much. I still might do it as a separate art piece.

"Valentine's, Valentine's never changes." - Ron Perlman