Bottom of the Deck – 16/03/15

botdcardHey everypeoples! It’s been a while since I uploaded a blog post (or anything really), so time to play catch up on everything that’s been happening over the past month.

The biggest news is also the most recent: I have officially secured my spot in the Artist Alley of FanCon! Now with a confirmed deadline in place, it’s all-out artwork from now until the 7th and 8th of May, when I’ll be selling the first three issues of Elements of Eve, as well as a special omnibus collection of the first six issues I’m calling “Volume 1.” I’m also going to be handing out special preview pamphlets of upcoming stories from Fifth Ace Comics, which are the pages I’m working on right now. I’m considering art prints as well, but that’s still debatable. So if you’re in Cape Town in the first week of May, stop down by the Waterfront on the Saturday and Sunday for FanCon and come show me (and all the other deserving people) some support!

In relation to the above news, the preview pamphlets I’m going to be handing out are for 8 page comics that will be known as the Fifth Ace Showcase. This is sort of like the idea that Marvel and DC had way back when they wanted to try out new characters and new ideas, so they’d release anthology comics with short stories to test the waters. The Showcase is going to feature a variety of stories set in the same general universe, but with diverse themes and genres, so that I can find out which ones everyone likes and whether or not they are worth pursuing. These stories will be released online just before the convention, and they will be on my soon-to-be-relaunched Patreon, because there’s no better way to show your support for my work than by giving a small donation so that I can survive long enough to make more. Watch this space to find out when the Patreon will go live!

In the meantime, I’m still hunting for a job (no luck on that front) though I did receive some advice that I need to boost my portfolio a little more. Details were vague, but I’m going to be adding some more stuff to it over the course of the week.

On a more geeky and personal level, my interest in D&D continues to grow (holy crap did you see that last episode of Critical Role, so freakin’ intense!) and it has been helped by me finding and joining a group online. I’ve only played for two sessions so far, but I am having an absolute blast with it, and the people I’m playing with are great guys with a very relaxed atmosphere. My character is Ulth the Monk, and despite being a technical pacifist, he can still kick the ass of whoever threw the first punch, check him out:

Ulth

I’m also trying to get a group together locally, I met a few more people at Friday Night Magic that might be interested, it’s just a matter of getting a chance to sit down and discuss it. Fingers crossed that I’ll be Dungeon Master again by next week, I have been reading up on all sorts of adventures for these guys…

I really wish I had more to talk about after being away for a month, but other than getting my driver’s licence renewed and learning more about the technical limits of ATMs, I don’t have much more to say. So, with the future looking interesting and my motivation higher than it’s been in a while, I will leave it there for this week, and I will keep you all posted on things to come.

Ciao for now.

Bottom of the Deck – 15/12/22

botdcardEvening everypeoples. I suppose it’s almost evening, even though the sun is still up, but it’s late afternoon. “Prevening” I believe is the word The Big Bang Theory coined…

This will probably be my last blog post for the year, I’m sure anyone who would potentially be reading this is going to have far better things to do than read my ramblings between now and 2016; I’m going to be in a different city again starting Thursday, so I’m in the same boat. But when I get back to Cape Town next year, there’s going to be some minor changes around here, although they will hopefully have far-breaching impacts. Yes, this is me getting my New Year’s resolutions out of the way now.

First big thing: This is supposed to be an art blog, and I’ve been severely lax about uploading art. Oh sure, there’s my portfolio and my showreel which I need for my ongoing job hunt, but there’s a severe lack of personal and “casual” art around here, mainly because the college stuff took up so much time. Well, it’s goodbye college, hello real world, so time to start doing the stuff I’ve been too busy/distracted/exhausted to do! (Or at least as much as I can until I get a job…) I’ve already got an idea for a short animated sequence that I’m going to jump on as soon as I’m back at my light-table.

Next big thing: I’m considering giving Patreon another shot. I tried it out for a while at the beginning of this past year already, but I may have set my expectations a bit too high, because after two months and no responses I got so discouraged that I shut it down. This time, I’m going to start small, start slow, and exercise patience; even if it takes all year to get a single pledge, the Patreon will endure. My next big personal comic project will be going up there, and I will be throwing a lot of effort into it, I want issues printed and ready for FanCon in May. Keep your eyes peeled for when the updates begin.

Third big thing: My belly. Self-explanatory. Let’s see how long that one lasts…

Now, time for the alien elephant in the pop-culture VIP room: Star Wars (don’t worry, no spoilers, promise!). I saw The Force Awakens on Saturday, and I was blown away. I had a smile on my face the whole way through and then for a couple of hours after to the point where my face actually hurt. In the few days since then, I’ve been thinking about exactly why I enjoyed it so much (because I remember having similar reactions to the prequels, and hindsight was not kind to them) and came to the following conclusions: the film is good. There is no question about it, this is a solid, entertaining film that hearkens back to what made the original trilogy great. The new characters are interesting, likable, and mesh with the returning characters in a way that feels natural and fun. The special effects are what we’ve come to expect from a big-budget Disney film, and the pacing never feels too fast or too slow.

The only major criticism I could give it is that it may rely a little too much on nostalgia; the references to the original trilogy are numerous and sometimes a bit blatant. Does this make it boring and/or cliched? Not at all, it’s actually like an Easter egg hunt for die-hard fans, and a good incentive for newcomers to watch the previous films. The downside is that it doesn’t try enough new things; it’s up there showing off that it’s a Star Wars film, and is recognizable as one for more than just the fact that everyone knows where lightsabers come from.

But when you remember that this is the beginning of a new trilogy, it serves as the perfect gateway; it’s meant to remind those jaded to the franchise, and to show the next generation of fans, exactly why Star Wars is a great story. A New Hope came out almost forty years ago, the re-release was over twenty years ago, and in that time some of us may have forgotten just why we were drawn to it in the first place. The Force is indeed awakened by this movie; it is awakened in the hearts of every Star Wars fan and it is saying “Remember.”

So that’s my last ramble for 2015: personal motivation and nostalgic gushing. Hope you all enjoyed it, have a wonderful holiday season, and I will see you all in the New Year.

Ciao for now.

Bottom of the Deck – 15/11/03

botdcardHey everypeoples, we’re into the penultimate month of the year; where has 2015 gone…?

I can answer that: into work, primarily. We’re down to the wire at college, starting our final projects for the year, which have exactly one month to finish from today. We’re busy doing lip-syncing on our characters, and it’s less complicated than I thought it would be. Or maybe I’m just getting used to Maya; I’ll admit that the graph editor that once looked like a tangled web of terror is a lot easier to use now that I know how to unravel it. It’s become very intuitive, which for me and my hurried work style is a godsend, and I can maintain my focus a lot more before wearing myself out.

I’ve also been trying to keep up my comic work, which has been tough to do in-between everything else. Elements of Eve suffered a little again this week, but Monday’s page is now up (check it out here if you haven’t already). I don’t know what it is, but Mondays just drain me a lot quicker; I think it’s the effort from trying to start the week that’s the hard part. Nevertheless, I’ll be keeping the updates coming, especially since Issue #8 is nearly over. I’d better start writing the next one…

Speaking of which, I’ve been working on a comic script for the past month or so. It’s an older idea which I’ve relentlessly tweaked and hammered and mulled over, and I’ve nearly got a first draft done. I already know several things I’ll be changing to fit the pace and page count when I dive into the second draft, but I’m feeling good about it. I’ve been looking for a gateway into the comic universe I created for a while, and this might just be one of them. Fingers crossed, I may even have an issue or two to sell at FanCon next year.

It hasn’t all been work this past week though. Thanks to the Steam Halloween Sale (thank you foreign holidays for making games cheaper!) I picked up Overlord and it’s expansion Raising Hell over the weekend, and have been self-indulging some wickedness to de-stress. I have previously owned the original Overlord, but I never finished it so I’m keen to do a complete run this time. Thing is, I’m going to have to start over because I accidentally gave away a big item that counts towards my 100% Corruption meter, which was the whole reason I bought the game in the first place: to see what a truly evil fantasy protagonist was capable of. I know he literally becomes the ruler of an infernal dimension in the end (spoiler alert), but it’s the journey I’m interested in, seeing just how many cliched fantasy people I can piss off before roasting them to death. God bless Terry Pratchett for birthing a daughter that can write with a sense of humour just as dark as her father…

That’s all from me for this Bottom of the Deck, but tomorrow I have a new webcomic to review! It’s been a while, and I’ve missed talking about fun reads.

Ciao for now.

Site update – Lots of new uploads!

Hey everypeoples, here’s a special Sunday blog post to draw your attention to the newest uploads to the portfolio section of the site, because there are a few of them!

First of all, the 3D Renders gallery has been updated with some new still renders, with proper lighting and staging, as well as a turnaround video of my character Helix, the results of a few months learning and hard work.

Secondly, a new gallery has been added featuring my Storyboarding project from last semester. It’s a sci-fi short based off a five-page comic I did a few years back, go check out how I tell a story with zero dialogue.

Thirdly, there was a certain 24 Hour Comic Day challenge that happened not too long ago, which you’ll probably remember if you know me, because I couldn’t stop banging on about it. It’s been a couple of weeks since then, and I finally had a moment to get the whole thing scanned, so here is my effort for this yeara little superhero tale that I made up on the fly. (If it’s a bit hard to see in the gallery, no worries, I’m working on it)

Last but not least, I’ve also added a gallery for my Drawlloween/Inktober challenge drawings that I previously only uploaded on Twitter. Now they’re all in one convenient place, and I’ll be adding more to it as the month goes on.

So that’s me, getting stuff done and showing it off, please look impressed.

Ciao for now!

Bottom of the Deck – 15/10/13

botdcardHey everypeopl – good grief, is it only Tuesday? Blehhhh…

In all seriousness though, it’s been a good start to the week. I’m back in the creative swing now that Elements of Eve is running again, I’ve been keeping up with my October drawing challenge, and I’m making significant progress in my college work. We’ve started animating a walk cycle for the characters that we created throughout the year, and while mine is currently walking a little bit like a marionette, I’m forging ahead with very few problems. Nothing that can’t be tweaked, anyway.

The weekend was a good kickstart to this as well. Got to head out on Saturday to a games/comic shop, which is still something I can only achieve once in a blue moon. (Technically, I could swing by a comic shop any time I wanted, but the less said about my experience at that particular one the better). Still, got to play some Magic: The Gathering, a bit of Zombie Dice, a couple rounds of Munchkin, and I picked up the second volume of Rat Queens (too awesome). Got a new backpack as a gift as well; Lufthansa may have uncomfortable airplanes, but they make good luggage items. And then spent Sunday relaxing and doodling. All in all, good times.

Other than that, not much else to complain about, I’m going to get back to some writing, I’ve been on a roll today and I want to see how much more I can squeeze out before bed.

Ciao for now.

Bottom of the Deck – 15/10/06

botdcardGreetings everypeoples, I have survived Monday (and most of my Tuesday so far) to bring you this update.

Following on from last week, I took part in the 24 Hour Comic Day challenge, and was successful! I completed my twenty four pages with a little over an hour to spare, and for something that I hastily scrawled as I made it up on the go, it turned out quite good. Most of my peers have had nice things to say about it, and I’m certainly satisfied with the outcome. I have learned quite a few things about my own limits and techniques regarding such a challenge, and will be doing things a little differently should I ever take part in it again, namely:

  1. Work in a smaller format. A4 size is my usual comfort zone, but when it’s an hour per page, working on A5 will probably produce more satisfying results that look less sparse, especially with ink.
  2. Think a little more abstract. I went for a traditional superhero story with (mostly) correctly proportioned characters, and it was rather taxing. Next time, I’ll probably try for a simpler, stylized look that can look charming with less detail, and with a less complicated story that can speak for itself without so much dialogue.
  3. Don’t over-prepare the food reserves. I bought a bunch of stuff that I normally don’t eat on the advice of actual endurance-savvy people, and while it helped a lot, I over-estimated how much I’d need, so my fridge is now loaded with unfamiliar food. On the plus side, I’ve discovered that I really like homemade BLTs, might make that a regular thing…

As well as that marathon, I’ve also been doing the Inktober and Drawlloween drawing challenges as a way of keeping my creativity flowing, and I’ve been having a blast trying out my Copic markers again. I’ve been uploading them via Twitter, but I’ll be including them, as well as the 24 hour comic, on the site in the near future.

That being said, with my creativity on the rise again, I will finally be returning to Elements of Eve. College is throwing particularly mind-numbing tasks at us right now, so it’s more important than ever that I keep up with my creations, and I think I’ve finally reached a level of confidence high enough to carry on. Elements of Eve will return on Thursday, barring any neck-cramp aftershocks from Saturday. Seriously, 24 hours hunched over a light-table will hurt no matter how many breaks you take…

Big thanks to the guys at Geek and Sundry for supplying the archive of Critical Role for me to binge through on my marathon in order to stay awake, and thanks to Steam for putting the Arkham series on sale for me to have some of my favourite games to play and unwind.

That’s all for this week, have a good one

Ciao for now.

Bottom of the Deck – 15/08/25

botdcardGood evening everypeoples, if anyone is actually bothering to read these and my traffic figures are lying to me…

Going to keep this one short and sweet. This past week has been rather hectic, all of our college projects are starting to come to a head for the last push of the semester. We’re making 3D facial expressions, analyzing films and storyboarding all concurrently, and it’s rather sapped up all my energy. You may have noticed the lack of comic updates, but fortunately I have finally managed to come up for a bit of air, and will be able to continue with Elements of Eve on Thursday.

On the leisure side, I finally got round to watching Terminator: Genisys. Ridiculous name aside, it was a surprisingly good film, and a surprisingly good Terminator film to boot. Having not seen Terminator: Salvation, I didn’t know how to predict the quality of this one, but often going into something with no expectations is best because you’ve got nothing to lose.

Other than that, not much else to say about this week, I’m going back to playing puzzle games while I wait for my housemate to get back from Australia; thank goodness I don’t have to spend another night alone with three brat cats trying to establish dominance.

Ciao for now.