Archive for May, 2007

Four more pages for sale!

May 28th, 2007 by Reinder

Since the first original Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan page I offered for sale was snapped up so quickly, I'm offering four more for sale through the Webcomicsnation Swapmeet:

Original art for March 2, 2007, $80.

Original art for March 7, 2007, $80.

Original art for March 6, 2007, $80.

Original art for May 30, 2007. This page hasn't even been published yet, but it's already available. $80.

All originals have foreground art by Reinder Dijkhuis and very detailed background art by Calvin Bexfield. All prices include shipping and handling.

No thumbnails, as Webcomicsnation's clunky interface requires vertical-oriented thumbnails. Just look at the originals on their seller pages, or look at the finished products on their archived web pages.

I do requests! I will offer other pages for sale if people request them, provided I judge them to be suitable. Some pages have foreground and background art on separate sheets of paper, spliced together in Photoshop, and I don't think people will want those framed on their walls that way.

Two more wallpapers, fundraiser update, art for sale

May 27th, 2007 by Reinder

Two more wallpapers went up this weekend:
Do you know the way to the Office of Rites
Do You Know the Way to the Office of Rites?; and
Witches' Sabbath
Witches' Sabbath.
This time around, I won't repeat what's in the blurbs. I'll also be moving the materials to the new Downloads section first thing tomorrow morning. The reason for that is that I was showing the site to some visitors to the studio today, and I found that the wallpapers did interfere with the flow of the site too much. They need their day in the sun, but no more than that.

Like before, the wallpapers are free to use, but if you like them and use them, please consider donating to my fundraiser to help me cover expenses in June. The fundraiser is going pretty well, but we're only just past the halfway point of what I need to cover rent and council taxes. Donating gives you access to bonus material, and for every $ 80 donated during the fundraiser, I'll add one update to the schedule for June.

Also, I'm working on selling some art online. Today, I got one piece listed on the Webcomicsnation Swapmeet; you can buy the original art for the Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan comic for March 5, 2007 for $ 75 including shipping. There will be an A4 colour print of the finished page included.

Tomorrow, I'll set up a large number of Swapmeet listings for original line art, starting with all the pages that Calvin Bexfield did backgrounds on. Those are, on the whole, a lot better than my solo pages, which just goes to show how much he adds to the art. I'll try to set up as many as I can in an hour or so. I have to say, though, that I find Webcomicsnation's Swapmeet interface clunky and restrictive. You can't set up horizontal thumbnails, you can't upload larger previews, and you can't even use HTML in the description to link to the page as it appeared on the website. On the other hand, it's been around for a few years now, and it works. And the service came with my free WCN account. I will look into getting my pages listed on Comicspace's art market - it's a subscription-only service, but I guess I can scrape together the funds now to get a one-month trial subscription. It looks like it'll be a more convenient, efficient way to list original art - especially if it allows me to use alternate images for original galleries (i.e. a user looking at, say, this Headsmen page can click on "buy this page" and see the original artwork on the purchase page), But even if it doesn't allow that, setting up a separate gallery of "raw" line art is likely to be easier in Comicspace than WCN. I'll see about it.

No more tentacled abominations, Denialism, Dispatches from the Culture Wars for now…

May 27th, 2007 by Reinder

Someone forgot to renew a domain name, and that someone is Seed Magazine, who own Scienceblogs.com. The domain has already been snapped up by another organisation, who I shan't link to because they must have been preying over it like vultures to pick it up so quickly. Scumbags.

I hope someone's at least archived Pharyngula. There was a piece by PZ still showing up in Bloglines that I wanted to read, but it wasn't a full feed, so I kinda needed to be able to go to the site.

Let's hope this is resolved quickly.

Human Nature – slight spoilers

May 27th, 2007 by Reinder

Whew! Edge of my seat. Great stuff, nearly perfect with only a few moments of stupid to mar it - all of them to do with Martha Jones, unfortunately. Well, one of them was to do with the writers hitting us over the head with her infatuation for the Doctor, and the other was with her acting out of character. Martha Jones is supposed to be this ultra-competent companion, and in this episode, she's shown to be obsessed with the Doctor's pre-recorded instructions to her. Even after the loss of the watch, I found it difficult to believe she'd panic like she did. Now that I mention it, even that doesn't seem all that bad.

So just for once, my gripes are very minor. Doctor Who can still be good! Wonderful acting from David Tennant as "John Smith" as well. I can't wait for next week's conclusion of this two-parter.

Fundraiser

May 22nd, 2007 by Reinder

Help me make rent in June - get more updates in return

My biggest freelance client folded last month, and teaching work has been thin on the ground lately. As a result, I'm coming up short for rent and property taxes*) this month. So here's what I want to do:

I need $ 600 to cover this month's rent emergency. Time's run out for me to raise that by finding and getting a job during the last week of May, but I may be able to raise it by working for you, the Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan readers. The update frequency of the comic has dropped to 3 a week, but I can do more, if I'm not distracted by precisely the things that I am dealing with now - the need to do other things to put money in my pocket. So, for each $ 80 that you, collectively, donate in the final week of May, I will add one extra update to the schedule in June - all the way back up to seven updates a week if that much ends up being raised, but, like I said, I only need $ 600.

Last week, two people donated money - the first donations I'd had in a long time. I'll credit that to the fundraiser, so we start with $ 15 out of $ 600 in the collection box.

Invasion, by the way, will take about 20 to 30 updates to complete, so it can be finished in a month if enough people donate to bump up the schedule. After Invasion, I have three projects planned that I really want to do, and which you will like too if you like Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan so far: a story called Muscle written by Adam Cuerden; King Groy, a rewritten, redrawn version of the story in which Kel met Jodoque, which is still missing from the archived continuity, and Feral, the story that was interrupted late last year. Donate now to get previews from these stories, starting with an unfinished page from Feral.





Raised so far: $ 25 (May 22, 15:20 CET)

*)Yes, I'm paying property taxes on a property I don't own. Can't get a rebate either unless I draw either a benefit or a salary. This is actually surprising to quite a few people in the Netherlands as well, but it's how it works here.

Fan art by Rich Morris

May 21st, 2007 by Reinder

Update: Rocr.net now has a fan art section of its own. It will fill up a little more with old material as I find and prepare it.

Rich Morris of Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic sent this fan art:
Glon and Kel
and a fine one it is too.

By the way, I drew his characters Gren and Bob as fan art for YAFGC a month ago and had my characters pay a visit to their universe in the comic for March, 28, 2007.

This new fan art brings up a slight categorisation problem. I've been putting new art sent in by readers in the fan art section for Invasion over on the Chronicles of the Witch Queen site, because all the recent ones had been specific to that storyline anyway. This one isn't. There are several other lost fan arts that used to be collected in my Gallery installation - maybe I should re-add a fan art section to ROCR.net. Until I do, though, fan arts will be shown in the blog.

Sullivant wallpaper

May 20th, 2007 by Reinder

Retro wallpaper showing cast from The Rite of Serfdom

The second wallpaper I'm bringing back is one that was inspired by the work of T.S. Sullivant, an early 20th-Century cartoonist who combined the draughtsmanship of Victorian-era illustrators with a lively, innovative style, especially in his later years. Sullivant was one of the first cartoonists to distort the proportions of the characters he drew, giving them freakishly large heads. This is commonplace now but must have seemed revolutionary back in 1920. I particularly like his Biblical cartoons and his cartoons featuring animals. His animal caricature still looks fresh after almost a century. Every few years or so, I get the urge to replicate that look, and this the result of one of those urges.

When this wallpaper was first published, Adam commented that he thought the faces looked kind of mean and evil. I guess they do if you're not used to the way Sullivant drew expression. I did my best to imitate that and other aspects of the great man's style, even though this attempt was doomed to failure. I'm not fit to lick the boots of the guy who licks his boots. But it was fun to do, and on its own, this is actually one of the better wallpapers I've done. For one, it actually keeps to the background instead of crowding out the desktop icons as most of my wallpapers do.

I originally published this as an extra for donors and Modern Tales subscribers. It... didn't take off. Perhaps I didn't have the reader base. Perhaps not enough people even got to know about it; this is why this time around, it's getting a full day on the Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan front page instead of being tucked away in the archive right away. Of course, it will be moved into a new Downloads section of the site very soon.

Or perhaps it was the worst possible timing. If I remember correctly, it was posted just weeks before the Modern Tales server crash, which rendered the images inaccessible for weeks on end and, over time, rendered the whole issue of whether I could incentivize people to subscribe completely and utterly moot.

This time around, there's a discreet donation link at the bottom of the posted page, but it's not compulsory to donate in order to download and use the wallpapers. If you donate, money will be used to subsidise, well, me, while I produce more comics and hopefully more downloadable art.

42

May 20th, 2007 by Reinder

"42" was easily the best looking Doctor Who episode ever, with beatifully designed glowy sets, lots of fire and blinking lights and eldritch glowing eyes, more great-looking, sweating, intense actors, all wonderfully shot by Doctor Who veteran Graeme Harper.

Plotwise, though, it was a bit routine. Just another "base under siege with a time bomb" story, and the fact that the time bomb was a sun doesn't work to disguise that at all. Then again, this was a Chris Chibnall script, so expectations were low, and in fact expectations were exceeded. The story did not embarrass like Chibnall's ham-handed writing on Torchwood. Thankfully, little attempt at characterisation was made and the emphasis was all on keeping up the suspense and on the business of running around, issuing commands, opening doors and trying not to get burned into vapour. On that basis it worked well, even though very little happened that was at all remarkable.

On the whole, better than it could have been, and mostly made memorable by its looks.

Grimborg Wallpaper

May 19th, 2007 by Reinder

Click to see the Grimborg wallpaper
Over the next few weekends I'll be bringing back some of the desktop wallpapers I've done since 2002-ish. Given enough time and good enough ideas, I may even make some new ones.

There was a wallpaper page on the old Comicgenesis site, but the images linked from there either had become unavailable as a result of the latest server reshuffle in the Modern Tales family of sites (they were hosted on Webcomicsnation's ftp server, which no longer exists) or they're about to become unavailable (the older images are hosted at the old users.bart.nl/~samizdat site, which will probably close down once my bart.nl subscription ends). Rather than just create a copy of that old wallpaper page on the current site, I've decided to give each image a day on the front page, where they're more likely to be noticed and maybe even commented on. That should help me with the production of new wallpapers and new formats for the old ones - if people ask for versions that fit on a giant screen like the high-end ones at the Apple store, I'll create them. There will also a discreet Paypal link under each wallpaper, in the hope of subsidising the comic a little more.

Of course, like all the other non-comic content that has been posted since the start of Invasion, the wallpapers will be moved out of the story archives eventually.

This first wallpaper is from 2005 and is based on the end of the Rite of Serfdom storyline. It was coloured for me by Jamie Robertson of Clan of the Cats and used in an advertising campaign. I should get back to him and ask him if he still has the ad graphics, which I've since lost.

Pain

May 19th, 2007 by Adam Cuerden

There's a descriptions in "The Provinical Lady Goes to War" by E.M. Delafield where the hospitals are trying to keep beds cleared for any soldiers or bombed civilians that need them, despite WWII still being in its long opening phase where everyone's sitting around. We're told of them insisting a man was healthy enough to be discharged until he died on them.

That was from about 1940. Today, I learned things haven't changed much.

I got a severe case of food poisoning with enough pain that I wished for death. I eventually passed out from it and the exhaustion of all the vomiting. The hospital refused to give me painkillers until I was being checked out, then insisted I walk out immediately, instead of agreeing to get a wheelchair or give them time to kick in, or they'd call security on me. Because I was able to walk a few feet before the ambulance ride that was a half hour of shaking and severe pain, and of course my pain can't have changed.

I have never felt so helpless and uncared for in my life.

(N.B. Still pretty bad, but hurrah for codeine! Making life actually bearable!)