Archive for the ‘Work: ROCR discussion’ Category

Comics for June 19 through 28, 2002 have been remastered.

January 4th, 2014 by Reinder

The Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan comics for June 19 through 28, 2002 have been remastered. Read them on the website to see what people are saying:
Met with a raven, with eyes black as coal... (mistakenly claimed as remastered yesterday, but actually remastered now)
Raven's lowest ebb.

I will probably post another batch tonight. I've recovered from a cold (though there may be a sequela in the form of mild bronchitis), which means I've got more energy than I've had since New Year's Eve. I'm up early this Saturday morning, so there'll be time to get a lot of stuff done during the day, and then go back to posting remasters in the evening.

Comics for June 10-19, 2002 have been remastered.

January 3rd, 2014 by Reinder

Good morning (if you're on CET)!
The Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan comics for June 10-19, 2002 have been remastered.
More than just a source of drinks
An uncomfortable situation
Cool punk gear
...not a comedy troupe
Met with a raven, with eyes black as coal....

Comics for June 5 through 7, 2002 have been remastered.

January 2nd, 2014 by Reinder

Extra! The Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan comics for June 5 through 7, 2002 have been remastered.

Speeding up the process some more... A batch of six reposts plus the whole social network round to announce that I have reposted those six comics takes about half an hour in all. So when I'm done with this, I can double my early morning art time. Or schedule time for runs so I stop gaining weight.

Ragna lays down the law.

Comics for May 29 through June 4, 2002 have been remastered.

January 2nd, 2014 by Reinder

While counting down to the end of the remaster project, I'll be posting the remaster updates on Obsession Du Jour as well. I should really have started doing that months ago.

The Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan comics for May 29-June 4, 2002 have been remastered. Read them on their website:
Reporting successes
A misunderstanding is perpetuated
That horse'll be coming out of a tin!

One thing I remember vividly about this section is how I wanted the antagonists not to be psychopathic villains who punished failure with extermination, but rather a supportive family who looked after weaker members and learned from mistakes. That last element should make them more of a threat as well, though I'm not sure how much that came across in the finished comics.

New Year’s Day announcement

January 1st, 2014 by Reinder

It's been a while since I last posted here! I've been all over my social networks posting remaster announcements, but I've not been doing this here, because I couldn't see the point. Blogging about non-ROCR topics did occasionally cross my mind, but I wasn't motivated enough to actually do it.

However, things will change in the new year. I am getting close to the end of the remaster project and am trying to get my drawing ability back up to speed. I now expect that I will have new Feral pages in the second quarter of 2014, and will be working to make that a reality. As ever, no guarantees; my situations is still the same as it has been for the past few years, and it is as hard as ever to consistently set aside time for creative work. But the past few months have given me reason to be optimistic: I have been able to create a schedule that gets me half an hour of art time a day, barring accidental spills that need to be cleaned up, sudden spam attacks on my website or website articles that have to be read right now. I have also been able to invest in new equipment and tools that have helped me speed up the remaster project and will help me speed up the creative process when the remasters are finally done. And in the coming year, I will be done with the need to wake up the stepsons in the morning. I might be able to expand art time to 45 minutes per day!

Below is the sort of thing I've been posting elsewhere on a regular basis. I post a batch of these remasters every day now, so you can follow along and celebrate with me when the remaster project is finally done.

The Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan comics for May 21 through 28 have been remastered. Read them on my website, starting here:
Femur and Fury
Boo! Hiss!

Changes and new comics

March 23rd, 2013 by Reinder

The Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan comics for October 3 and October 31, 2010 have been digitally inked and coloured by myself and Aggie Janicot. All the newsposts following those two comics have been moved out of the main comics archive, so it's looking tidier than it has in years.

More to follow; mostly more digital inks of comics from the pencil era of ROCR, but new work should start showing in the next few weeks as well.

The book is unlikely to show up in the near future. After three years of no new updates, there aren't enough people to sell it to, so I want to focus on getting new updates out this year, so I can rebuild and reconnect with ROCR's audience. There will be a book eventually; there may even be several at a time. Just not in the next few months; certainly not before Christmas.

I’m not David Bowie

February 27th, 2013 by Reinder

It has come to my attention that I'm different from David Bowie in two significant respects:

1. I'm not as cool, stylish or photogenic as David Bowie. Obviously.
2. Unlike David Bowie, I can't just drop a bunch of new product on people all of a sudden and expect it to sell or get airtime. I just can't.

To be able to drop a bunch of new product like a book, I have to first rebuild my audience. To do that, I have to create new work. To do that, I first have to fix the issues that make returning to Feral seem so daunting. All that is coming, but it's still going to be slow.

Starting in March, I will start posting works in progress for Feral as Vote incentives for Topwebcomics. These are inked and/or coloured versions of existing Feral pages in varying stages of completion. Some of these may also show up on DeviantArt, but the focus will be on posting them as vote incentives. This will help with rebuilding that audience and will also give me an incentive to work on the pages and immerse myself in Feral again. There's other remaster-related work that also needs doing, but I think I'll be able to carve out time for this now.

The book? I'm still delaying work on that, because of the above. It'll get worked on when I'm good and ready and when there are people around to buy it again.

Redrawn pages from The Stone of Contention

December 30th, 2012 by Reinder

I have digitally redrawn the final three updates of the The Stone of Contention storyline. The first one is now available on the website where I am showing reruns of ROCR and if you're reading this after December 30, 2012, you can just read on from there.

I created these three digital redraws partly out of curiosity about how long it would take me to do draw multiple digital pages and what the results would be like, and partly because I was unsatisfied with the originals beyond my usual attitude of "man, I sucked in [insert year here]". I thought that even for 1996, the year they were created, these pages were done in an exceptionally sloppy and careless way, as if I was tired of working on the comic.

A little while before I started working on the redraws, I had noticed that the Brewery storyline with art by Remco Polman, when it was showcased on that rerun site, caused the pageviews there to shoot up, and took it as evidence that the audience that sees these reruns cares a lot about art quality; the better the art is, the more likely that they'll want to read more. So what could be better than replacing some unusually bad artwork with above-average artwork? And it gave me the opportunity to practice digital inking and time myself doing so.

I think all three redrawn pages are much improved. But don't take my word for it; please see for yourself. And please comment on the site itself!

Thank you, transcribers!

November 27th, 2012 by Reinder

Thanks to all the people who contributed transcriptions to the Oh No Robot search database for Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan, and apologies for the delays in getting them processed and approved. For some reason, Oh No Robot has stopped sending me notices when a new transcription is added, so I never noticed that these new transcriptions were there. I'm now caught up, though. Thank you so much! Those 70-odd extra transcriptions will improve searchability for Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan and bring new readers to the site at a time when I need them.

Sauna Opera has been remastered

November 25th, 2012 by Reinder

The Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan storyline Sauna Opera has been remastered. Read it starting with this episode: Finnish and Clwydian bathing cultures meet.

I expected this remaster to be very straightforward: 20 pages that were already in the can from my first attempt at revising it in 2006. All I needed to do was flatten the pages, export at a size where the width was 648 pixels and the height was whatever it came out as, run the pages through pngout and upload.

Of course it turned out to be anything but straightforward. Some master files were missing and I had to dig into some very old back-up CDs to find them. Then some were in different file formats, and different master image sizes, and there were a lot of issues with ragged boundaries and sloppy inking that were pretty much invisible in the original publication, but which had to be fixed before the images could be shown at the much larger size they are now. And this was actually one of the better-organized of the older stories. The others from the same year are a lot messier.

Back in 2001, I decided to write Sauna Opera as a tightly-scripted story of exactly 20 pages, draw them at a larger size than before and scan and process them with the possibility of print in mind. The black and white line art was scanned, as best as I could, at 600 DPI. However, I did not have the computer capacity at the time to colour and letter images at that size with multiple layers. I used GIMP and Paint Shop Pro at the time, and both were big memory hogs that couldn't handle larger images well. So the colour versions and the lettering were done in GIMP at an intermediate size, roughly 1100 x 1600 pixels. What's more, I only coloured some of the pages. Colour at the time was a bit of an extra for me. I took the time if I thought the art was worth it and would be reused for promotional purposes. Finally, I replaced the hand-drawn borders with straighter borders done in GIMP before final export.

In 2006, I made my first attempt at remastering the story. I used Photoshop to colour all the pages that I had originally left in black and white, and did so at full resolution using a layering approach that I'd learned in the mean time. I intended to export at 550 pixels wide, because that was the image width for The Rite of Serfdom and Feral at the time, and in a change of preference, I decided to go with the original, hand-drawn panel borders because they looked more natural with the contents. However, for the pages that I'd coloured in 2001, I used the GIMP files to master directly from, without further conversion. I exported the files at 550 pixels wide and used those on the Drunk Duck mirror, but never got around to uploading them to the main site.

So here we are, almost seven years later again, and the time has come to fix up the 2001-era archives after working on remasters for The Corby Tribe, The Rite of Serfdom and Feral for four long, frustrating years. During those years, however, the archives for those stories that were in the same basic format (vertical pages, six-panel grid) have had yet another size upgrade, and now the target width is 648 pixels. Oh, and I have fully standardized on Photoshop and only use GIMP to convert files in GIMP's native format, XCF, to PSD. So I had to do that, and then fix all the mistakes that were mostly invisible at 418 pixels, but seriously distracting at 648. In the end, the remaster work took two days: one Sunday and the Saturday after that.

And while the final result is a lot more consistent and is pretty much a textbook example of what I do these remasters for—eventually, all comics made after 2001 should be in colour, and all of them should be in one of three formats: 648 pixels vertical, 800 pixels horizontal or 850 pixels vertical with text captions in HTML—I will still have to do more work on these if I ever do prepare these episodes for print.

Plus, in 2012, the type on these comics looks huge. Then again, that is probably an advantage on tablets.