Archive for December, 2005

A little bit o’fun in the details

December 31st, 2005 by Reinder

Like I mentioned earlier, the latest Gang of 4 comic I'm making for Hello You? had been giving me trouble. That isn't to say that there wasn't any fun to be had in drawing it. For example, I needed to populate the school environment it was set in with kids, and because the first panel had just about enough background space for some small ones, I created these two six-year-olds:

Whooo-ooo?
Now who do they remind you of?

On a related note, when Hello You! #4 landed in my mailbox last week, I was surprised to find that the top half of the comic hadn't been printed quite right. The line art wasn't correctly matched to the colouring. I don't know whose mistake this was - might well have been mine, might well have been theirs. This is how it should have looked.

[COTWQ] Delays

December 31st, 2005 by Reinder

I've been very quiet here lately because I've been too busy even to complain about how busy I was. My work for Hello You! in particular has been unexpectedly difficult this month.

As a result, there'll be delays. Dunno about the Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan story following The Green Knight's Belt yet - that one may be delayed by a few days. What I do know is that the next Chronicles of the Witch Queen projects will have to be delayed by a month. The work involved (editing work by Daniel and Geir and remastering old work by myself) was easy to do while I wasn't drawing any new webcomics myself, but now that I'm back to doing new art, I can't fit it in anymore. So I'll wait until that ROCR story, Headsmen, is in the bag and I'm back to serialising old work at rocr.net, and then concentrate on preparing those Witch Queen serials again. I expect to be able to do the work starting the middle of January, so I'm reasonably sure serialisation in February is doable.

I've got New Years' resolutions, plans and targets for the next year, but I'll hold off on writing about them until tomorrow.

How to create a court

December 29th, 2005 by Reinder

There isn't usually much point in highlighting any individual point in Limyaael's rants about writing fantasy; they're all good. Her latest, about writing royal courts, goes into my Livejournal memories and gets a mention in the blog because I want to be able to find it again when I get around to writing a Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan story set at the court, as I've been meaning to do for years. I think I'm going to bookmark it as well, just to make sure.

Zita Space Girl

December 27th, 2005 by Reinder

Joey Manley found this:
Zita Space Girl
Zita and Robot Randy

It's cute, funny and well-drawn. Me like. Me like lot. Me go "Squee!" and forget grammar. You read too. Now.

Not in the Gallery: Pin Drop ad

December 27th, 2005 by Reinder

I was going to ad an image to the Gallery, to wit, an ad for thePin Drop book that I drew in 1998-ish, but Gallery has decided it doesn't like me anymore, and refuses to resize the image for preview purposes. Having refused to do that, it won't complete the upload process or display the image. The error message refers to a document called the Gallery FAQ which redirects to a Wiki for Gallery 2. The answers given may apply to Gallery 1.x but I won't bet the farm on it. I find the thought of upgrading to version 2 one that my delicate constitution cannot handle. Even minor upgrades to Gallery have, in the past, led to it being inaccessible for months, or to all the templates being wiped. And when I think of the surprises that have been sprung on me when I needed to upgrade Movable Type, I'd just as soon not bother.

So... either someone points me to a real FAQ to Gallery with real answers that consist of more than just diagnostics - which are useful unless they come with instructions as to how to fix things - or I forget about the whole deal. WillowCMS is quite capable of acting as a gallery application and is one of two systems I've used that haven't crapped out on me yet (the other is Webcomicsnation which, while it may have its faults, is certainly robust). It lacks so far the ability to rip images from a webpage but I'm sure if I ask Mithandir nicely he'll come up with it. Ditto with database import from Gallery so I won't have to bother re-submitting everything.

The art I meant to show, meanwhile, is up at my DeviantArt hub. I like it. No thumbnail, alas, because I always used to rely on Gallery to produce those.

Sidecomics: Crossroads + Epilogue

December 26th, 2005 by Reinder

Crossroads and Epilogue were the closing stories of the Pin Drop minicomic I put out in 1998. They are technically two parts of a single story based on my own indecisiveness in the face of necessary career choices. The epilogue in particular adds to the pessimistic "Damned if I do, damned if I don't" feel to the story. Epilogue was printed on the back cover of the book, separated from the main storyline, and this separation has been maintained.

It’s worth a try…

December 26th, 2005 by Reinder

Don't you think he looks tired?

He looks tired, doesn't he? Bags under his eyes, lined face and all

(Dontyouthinkhelookstired.com, anyone?)
(context)

Christmas at Blocksberg wraps up today

December 24th, 2005 by Reinder

Christmas at Blocksberg wraps up today with an extra Saturday update. Of course, we get all the Christmas cozyness you could possibly manage to bear, with all the voices grumbling "Bah, Humbug" effectively silenced. There's a cameo by a popular Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan character as well, and I think it is that cameo that led to ... the work we ended up doing after Blocksberg.

But that won't come online for at least another week. I originally had the next comic planned for the week of January 2nd, but I feel I've been stretching myself a little too thin. Expect the launch of the next Chronicles of the Witch Queen serial in the week of the ninth, with a second one being launched the week of the sixteenth. Until then, we'll run some more Odds and Ends.

Read Christmas at Blocksberg from the beginning (16 pages)

Sidecomics: Desperately Seeking, The Wife in the Hole, A Trinket’s Tale

December 24th, 2005 by Reinder

Three more sidecomics added to the website today:
Desperately Seeking is one that long-time readers of the blog may already know. The story set in the American West, sort of, has been published on the blog when it was just getting started in early 2004. Back then, the blog had a narrow column for the content, and as I'd been putting out all the rescanned comics out at a width of 700 pixels, I went back to the high-res scans I made then and resized them to fit in with the others.

The Wife in the Hole is another one with a script by Geir Strøm. It's adapted from a Saami folktale and features the Devil. You know it's good when the Devil is in it.

A Trinket's Tale has never been shown online before. Drawn in April, 1998, A Trinket's Tale was intended as a parody of and response to a comic I read in the fantasy comics magazine Mythography in the late 1990s. That comic, which shall remain nameless but has since been republished online, was a mess of poorly thought out and hackneyed ideas, only redeemed somewhat by the slick execution. It was rubbish, the sort of work that gives fantasy a bad name.

I considered sending A Trinket's Tale to Mythography but I thought it wasn't too great itself - the parody didn't cut to the heart of the matter and, more damningly for the kind of magazine that Mythography was, the art was rough. Not exactly bad, but amateurish in the sense that it wasn't properly finished. 8 years on, though, I rather like the story, warts and all. I namechecked two of my colleagues at the time in the last-but one panel.

Looks like the gmail honeymoon is over

December 24th, 2005 by Reinder

I'm now getting oodles of spam to my gmail address. Most of it's in Chinese, and the amount that passes gmail's spam filters is greater right now than the amount that gets caught in them.

I hope this is temporary and that they upgrade their spam filtering in the next few days - or maybe someone should disconnect China from the Internet for a couple more years until it has a government that enables dissent and stifles organised crime instead of the other way around. If not, I may be forced to switch email addresses again. I need to have an email address that I can publish on the internet without subterfuge, and without being swamped with crap. Maybe despammed.com is working properly again?