Bottom of the Deck – 16/02/16

botdcardEvening everypeoples, it’s been a good day (mostly relaxing with intermittent productivity) and I just had a decent sized meal for a change, so I’m in a good spot right now.

Productivity is slow but steady; I’ve been focusing on my commission. This being an official piece of requested art, I’m doing my best to put as much effort as I can into it. It’s certainly made me more critical of my own work (not that I needed to be) albeit in a more constructive sense than I usually am, and I hope my client will like what I’ve come up with.

I have to say, the past week has been good too, entertainment-wise. I made a concerted effort to wake up extra early on Friday morning to watch Critical Role live for the first time ever. Since I’m not a paying subscriber to Twitch, it didn’t make much difference in what I could do, but at least I didn’t have to wait until today to see it, and I didn’t have to worry about dodging spoilers on Tumblr.

I met up for a family picnic on Sunday, which means I got out of the house for once, and following that we went to see Deadpool. I have not laughed that hard at a movie for at least a year (don’t worry, no spoilers!); the sociopathic comedy starts right in the opening credits and only eases up to let the drama keep the plot rolling. An absolutely hilarious ride from beginning to end, it’s no wonder this film is breaking records. I’ll more than likely go see it again at the end of the month, and considering I don’t normally see the same movie twice at a cinema, that is saying something.

Hot off the heels of Deadpool, I get home that night for the season 3 finale of RWBY and promptly have my heart split in two. For a series that had dark overtones while mostly keeping a lighthearted atmosphere, that episode practically had me in tears it was so powerful. Talk about your downer endings, but I cannot wait for them to get season 4 out; the status quo has been well and truly shaken, so who knows what will happen next?

That all for this week really, I’m going to try and get some writing done tonight, consider this blog post the warm-up. Have a good one.

Ciao for now.

Bottom of the Deck – 06/01/26

botdcardHey everypeoples, still alive down here. Going to keep it short and sweet tonight, since this past week has been a bit slow.

The reason for this slowness was primarily the heatwave we’ve been having; I felt like I was melting right up until Saturday morning. This did not bode well for my productivity, and as such I didn’t upload anything. I’m not happy about it, but I’m now getting back on track to the best of my ability.

The daily sketches will return soon; I have been sketching again now that the weather is cooling down, but I’m trying out a few things outside my comfort zone, and they aren’t things I want to display online just yet. Maybe someday they will grace the interwebs with their presence, but only if and when I feel I’ve progressed enough.

On the geeky side, I had a recent windfall of Magic: The Gathering cards and have been practicing with some impressive constructed decks, to great success. I might even consider entering a Modern tournament at the end of the month, though my previous tournament experiences were not very inspiring. But hey, if I can win at least one pack of cards, it’s something.

Also, as if Critical Role wasn’t enough (holy crap, who saw the latest episode, that was insane!) I’m now watching another D&D stream called High Rollers, starring the talented folks over at the Yogscast. It’s a little smaller and less intense compared the Critical Role, but it is still early days and it’s off to a good start. Makes for a great way to round out the weekend #RollOnSunday.

Well, that’s all from me this week, more arty stuff coming up soon.

Ciao for now.

Daily Sketch(es) – 16/01/12

So, there were a few little creative complications over the past few days, and as such I didn’t upload anything. But, here are the daily sketches since Saturday; better late than never.

sbk024Say what you like about Kylo Ren, I think he’s still one of the better characters to come out of the Star Wars franchise in a while, if for no other reason than the fact that he shows a bit of passion for what he does.

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The latest season of RWBY is getting really dark, and I am loving it. Pyrrha Nikos’ character arc started out a slow, but the recent decisions she’s had to face have really fleshed her out.

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I’ll admit, I didn’t know much regarding David Bowie apart from his collaborations with Queen, but there’s barely a nerd alive who won’t recognise the Goblin King. RIP.

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I’m so happy that Critical Role is back for Season 2, loving the new set and the story is set to pick up again. Highlight of the new episode was Scanlan’s duel with Kaley, the new flute player in his old travelling troupe. We’ll see where that leads, nudge nudge, wink wink.

Bloggery stuff later,

Ciao for now.

Bottom of the Deck – 15/12/08

botdcardAfternoon everypeoples, getting one of these out before the sun goes down for a change.

Main reason for this is that college is now finally over, and hopefully for me, it will be for good. I have to say I was a lot more emotional on Friday than I thought I would be; it’s just been such a point of consistency for me ever since I moved across the country, and now that I’m done with it, it’s kind of a strange feeling. Next year is going to be very different…

But before that happens, I’ll be taking a nice holiday break when I head home for Christmas this Friday. It’s been nearly six months since I last saw my parents, and a couple of years since I saw most of my Johannesburg relatives, so it’s going to be fun. It does mean I have to get a buffer done for Elements of Eve to tide over the two weeks of updates between now and Christmas, which I should really be working on right now. The heat is making me lazy and the latest episode of Critical Role left me so emotionally hyped and drained that I’ve barely been able to sit still all day.

Speaking of D&D (segue skills, recognize!), you guys may remember last week I spoke about my attempts to finally organize a game. I am happy to say it went off without a hitch (although one of our players was rather reluctant and we had to keep it a secret until it was too late for her to back out, might not see her play again) and a good time was had. I got to express myself a little as Dungeon Master, and the players surprised me at a couple of turns, despite the fact that I had been overthinking to the point where I thought I had all my bases covered. Ah, sweet naivete… Highlight of the evening was when the party managed to surprise a goblin underboss in his chamber, unleash a flurry of attacks before he could do anything, and then finish him off by swinging another goblin at his head and breaking his neck with the impact. Bottom line, we had a good evening, and even if we never get to play again, I’m still glad for the experience. Good practice for when I hopefully DM a game for my uncle and his family over Christmas.

That’s all my geeky news for this week, I will still upload some bloggery during my stay in Durban, but since I’ll be spending my Christmas week in Joburg, there won’t be a blog post on the 29th; I’m sure you all have much better things to do during that time anyway.

Have a good one folks, ciao for now.

Bottom of the Deck – 15/11/24

botdcardEvening everypeoples, I’m still here and still alive, so no excuses not to blog anything this week.

I’ve been saying this every week for a while now, but it’s more true than ever now: College Crunch Time! This is our last week to really push on our projects and get them looking spiff and shiny, because next week we have to get them all rendered and edited into neat little showreels and we will not have time to do any more tweaking. I’m feeling pretty good about my animations for this term; most of them are a little mediocre, but the ones that count are making good progress. I left one rendering overnight today, so hopefully it’ll look good when I composite it together tomorrow.

I will say that I got hit hard by Monday again, after managing to avert a critical strike last week, and I didn’t get the Elements of Eve update coloured in time. The colour version is uploaded now so no worries there, but I just felt like my head was ready to explode last night. I don’t get it, it’s not like I spent the weekend drinking, I don’t touch the stuff… Garfield was so right about Mondays…

On the entertainment side, those of you with a finger on the pulse of Netflix will no doubt have seen that Marvel’s new series Jessica Jones dropped on Friday, and I am not ashamed to say that I binged watched all thirteen episodes twice over during the course of the weekend. The show is SO good, a worthy follow up to Marvel’s Daredevil, taking the gritty tone and making it darker, sexier, more cerebral and more twisted. Daredevil was a grey vs. gray mentality, two men each with a dream of making their city a better place, and each questioning their own actions as they walked the fine line between hero and villain. Jessica Jones, by contrast, is a straight up hero vs villain tale, albeit one with the hero being a broken shell of her former self and the villain, Kilgrave being a sociopathic puppet master whose main weapon against Jessica is the psychological scars he left during their previous encounter. Jessica faces these mind games with pig-headed stubbornness and a fierce determination to never be controlled again (plus the super-strength doesn’t hurt either). I could go on gushing about how much I loved the deadpan snarking attitude that Jessica throws around constantly, or how I marveled at the deep, twisted lack of morality that David Tennant brings to Kilgrave, or how watching people get thrown through walls is cool, but I’ll let you all go and watch it for yourselves. You will not regret it.

That’s all for this week, time to finish the latest episode of Critical Role, I cannot believe the drama going on; romance, near-death experiences, family reunions, and ghosts!

Ciao for now.

Bottom of the Deck – 15/11/17

botdcardEvening everypeoples, I am filled up with pasta and nerd-culture, so let’s get this done and dusted before I fall asleep out of satisfaction.

It’s “tweak week” at college, as I have just now thought to call it; fixing up all the little niggles in our animations that are keeping our marks out of the “presentable” zone. With the way we had to rush through the shorter exercises to get to where we are now, it’s safe to say we need the extra time for fixes. It helps that I haven’t looked at said shorter exercises since I finished them, so the minor details are easier to pick out; fixing them is the harder part.

I’ve just noticed that WordPress has changed the upload layout. Nifty…

The majority of my entertainment continues to come from digital video, and I’m still heavily engrossed in Critical Role (why haven’t you watched it yet, go now!), and I continue to learn more and more about the world of tabletop roleplay. One rather interesting discovery I made through their videos is the website Hero Forge. This is a fancy little online tool that lets you create and customize your own tabletop miniature figure for game play, and then (for a nominal fee), the team at Hero Forge can 3D print your personalized figure and have it mailed to you! While I’ve still never played a game of D&D in my life (really need to rectify that), it’s fun to see how the characters I’ve been thinking up might look in tiny, plastic form ready to be painted.

WordPress has removed the word count feature, or at least put it where I can’t see it. Not so nifty…

Not much else to talk about this week, so that’s all for now. There may or may not be a webcomic review up tomorrow, we’ll see if I can get through an archive before then, might have to pick a nice short one.

The “Add Media” function is so much more convenient now. Back to nifty…

Ciao for now.

Bottom of the Deck – 15/10/27

botdcardEvening everypeoples, I am currently blogging to you 3/4 of a mile from the surface of the sun, and it’s nighttime! I am melting all over my chair right now…

My rapidly liquidizing state aside, it’s been an eventful week at college. After learning how to give weight to our characters’ movements, we’re heading into shifting facial expressions, which has a surprisingly satisfying feel to it. I think it’s because rather than having to manipulate the position of anything, like with the character’s limbs and joints, it’s mostly just setting sliders for the different parts of the face; the most movement involved is primarily in how the head is positioned. Obviously this will vary, but in the spirit of keeping myself sane I’m sticking to the simple stuff.

Some of you may have noticed that Elements of Eve didn’t update yesterday (if you didn’t, I may not be doing it right). I promise this is not the start of yet another hiatus; I merely had a script issue which has now been sorted, so updates will continue on Thursday. The problem with writing by the seat of your pants is that it’s very easy to work yourself into a corner and be unable to escape from it, something I had more than one experience with when I first started writing. Luckily I’ve become better at spotting such corners and was able to adjust accordingly this time; let’s hope I can keep the corners at bay.

I also splurged a little today and bought the first volume of Brian K. Vaugn’s Saga (yeah yeah, welcome me to four years ago why dontcha) on the recommendation of a fellow student, so that’s going to be my reading material for tonight. I’ve heard good things about it in the past but never got round to reading it, plus I had a falling out with my local comic shop some time back, but I swallowed my pride and finally made an appearance again. Fortunately the subject of my previous ire was nowhere to be found, so that made it easier, and I might start frequenting the place a bit more; I am so behind on everything right now…

That’s all from me for tonight, I’m going to finish up the latest Critical Role episode and then hopefully be able to sleep without converting my mattress into a water bed overnight, if you get my meaning.

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 – 15/09/29

botdcardHappy After-Monday, everypeoples, I’m sure we’re all glad to have finally forced our way into the week hopefully unscathed.

This past week has been a time of rest for me; after last week’s rather depressing post I was in serious need of some R&R, which college was welcoming enough to give. While I was in half a mind to actually get some work done, I ended up primarily goofing off because my heart wasn’t in it. Still, my batteries needed recharging, and this was aided by the new feline addition to our household: a little black kitty that my housemate gave the juxtaposing name of “Blossom” (I can roll with that, makes me think of Black Lotus). She’s full grown and quite tame, definitely having been a pet before, but was seemingly abandoned last week, as no-one has come forward to claim her. Blossom won’t be staying here permanently (she’ll be moving across the road to my housemate’s girlfriend’s new place soon), but she and I have grown quite close, and I’ve been feeling better for it.

Another positive influence over the past week has been my new binge watching pleasure, brought to me once again by the fantastically nerdy folks over at Geek and Sundry and their Dungeons and Dragons livestream show Critical Role. I’ve never played D&D before in my life (not for lack of desire to do so), so it’s fascinating for me to watch a group of grown adults sit around a table and fight, laugh and improvise their way through a fantasy world. With the whole cast being celebrated voice actors and overseen by the incredible Matt Mercer, they really bring a whole new layer to the role-playing experience that had me on the edge of my seat. I’m only half-way caught up on their videos (they run from 3 to 5 hours each), but I’m having a blast. They livestream every Thursday night, but for those of us living with third-world internet and in the wrong time zone the videos are archived on the Geek and Sundry website the following Monday.

Sadly, the holiday is now over and I have started my final term at college, and it’s looking to be one of the most intense yet as we delve into the technicalities of animating our 3D models. Hopefully I’ll be able to settle into a rhythm and be back to making comics next week, and this weekend might give me a jumpstart. This Saturday, October 3rd (as well as being my dad’s birthday), is the 24 Hour Comic Book Day challenge; the idea is to produce a 24 page comic in 24 hours, penciled, inked and/or coloured, and lettered. Given that my Saturday is going to be busy as is, I may have to start later in the day and just die of exhaustion on Sunday, but I’m willing to give it a shot. Wish me luck…

That’s about all the news I have to dump, still no webcomic review for tomorrow, but fingers crossed that I’ll be getting back to that next week too.

Ciao for now.