BRRRIINNGG

My studio-mate Marjolein has the coolest ringtone on her cellphone. It goes “Brrriiinngg”. Like an old bakelite rotary-dial phone. This is what cellphones would sound like if they were made in the German Democratic Republic, and it’s what they should sound like.

Comics in the exhibit (4)

Two creators who went above and beyond the call of duty: Maritza Campos of College Roomies from Hell!!!, and Adrian Ramos of Count Your Sheep.
Maritza made available color versions of her comics, which are not currently in her online archive. They may be back there some day, but until then, the museum has a nice rarity on its hard drives.
Adrian went one further and (at my request) had 20 comics translated into Dutch so that Dutch-speaking children could read them. There are very few comics online that are appealing to young readers and Count Your Sheep, while not being strictly a kids’ comic, is among the very best of them.

Comics in the exhibit (2)

Another comic that follows the “best practice” of having a Best Of archive and therefore deserves an early mention is Hans Bjordahl’s pioneering Where the Buffalo Roam. On the internet before there was a web, WTBR doesn’t quite have the polish of many modern-day webcomisc and takes little or no advantage of the formal possibilities offered by online publication. It’s simply a humorous strip, probably made with newspaper syndication in mind. And Columbus was just a schlub who got lost…

Comics in the exhibit (1)

One advantage of setting up a webcomics exhibit is that it’s a good reason to finally read the archives of famous webcomics that you know you should be reading anyway. One disadvantage is that you get to slog through huge webcomics archives in a short period of time.

This week, I’ll be listing some of the comics in the exhibit. I want to start off with two that distinguished themselves by having a “best of” page in which I could easily find their most-loved work:
Boxjam’s Doodle and Sluggy Freelance. Both are well-known (or should be) but deserve extra mention anyway for this good practice.

Plans for the future

Despite being as swamped with work as I’ve ever been, I want to, indeed have to, look at the future a bit – and at the past.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of my first webcomic. Back in November of 1994, I first put a Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan story online, in Dutch and with terrible scan quality. Since October I’ve been working intermittently to translate the comic into English and make those old, crudely-drawn episodes presentable for the web. Back then, I had no idea what I was doing; now, I have at least a vague idea. “The Stone of Contention” will run either exclusively on Modern Tales while a contemporary ROCR story is running as well, or it will run on ROCR.net and Modern Tales while the regular ROCR takes a hiatus. I haven’t decided yet. See a preview.

One series that will probably not run on ROCR.net is a collaborative series I’m planning with Geir Strøm and Daniel Østvold. This is a collection of stories that the three of us have been involved in since 1995, several of which I have published as minicomics. It’s called “Chronicles of the Witch Queen” and will also not run on Modern Tales but instead on a new Webcomicsnation.com site. It will probably be subscription-based unless we change our minds. We will start by reissuing the early stories (which will allow us to build a buffer of no less than six months!) , followed by new material including a sequel to Courtly Manners. Of this sequel, seven pages are drawn.

Here’s a preview, and Modern Tales subscribers can look at some sketches in the Book of all Things.

Taking stock

This blog is one week old and I still haven’t abandoned it! I must be on to something here.
It says in my tagline that I will blog about politics among other things. I haven’ t done so yet, but I will do so as soon as I get good and angry about something. In the mean time, i recommend Harry’s Place as my favorite political blog.
Moveable Type has been a breeze to work with. It’s easy to set up and the ability to make special templates has made it easy to put a simplified version of the blog on my main site, rocr.net. I’m still working on a php template to integrate directly with the Xepher mirror. And maybe a Javascript template for integration with other sites. Problem is that I don’t like working with Javascript much and have already forgotten most of what little I know about PHP.

I’ve invited three co-bloggers; they will keep me on the ball when work is swamping me or when I just can’t be bothered. So far I haven’t really needed them though.

I don’t know how many people read the blog, but it could be a fair number by now. Do give me a shout-out in the comments!

Config problems mostly solved

Update to my post on the configuration problems with my new machine: I have sound. I had some problems with the sound quality in XMMS, but that is probably just a case of XMMS not liking some sound cards. When I play the same music files in Kafeine, all is well (although Kafeine’s interface is not so nice for managing sound files).
I have tried to configure a cheap scanner I got from my aunt, but no luck with that just yet. It should work, it’s in the compatibility lists as a fully supported scanner, but somehow it doesn’t.

Pictures of an exhibition (1)

Here are some pictures I took of the workstation columns for the comics museum:




The columns, still in their wrapping.


A partially-unwrapped half-column, with artwork by Adrian Ramos.



Another one with art by Jesse Hamm.
The printed area on each column is 120 centimeters tall!
The black and white art will look a lot tighter than the color art because I could vectorise it and enlarge the vectorized version. There’s a bit of a trade-off though; up close, it no longer looks like the artist’s original linework. On the other hand, the color art, which was simply scaled in Photoshop, looks pixelated up close. From normal viewing distances, both look fine – quite impressive, in fact.