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 – 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 – 16/01/14

sbk029

Was randomly flipping through the Monster Manual this morning, came across the section on genies, which come in elemental flavours. The most badass one, in my opinion is the efreeti, the fire genie. Do not ask one of these guys for a wish; even if they grant it, you’re likely to end up in servitude if they don’t kill you afterwards.

Daily Sketch – 16/01/13

sbk028

I recently started getting back into fantasy novels, most predominately Raymond E. Feist’s Riftwar Saga, and given my recent obsession with Dungeons and Dragons, a few new characters were inevitably going to pop into my head.

This one’s a half-orc girl raised by humans, as a servant/squire in the castle of a minor lord in the middle of who-knows-where. She’s a bit of a scrapper and direct thinker, as half-orcs tend to be, but I’m still fleshing her out. Haven’t even settled on a name yet, you try finding a set of harsh syllables that World of Warcraft didn’t already mash together to form an orc name (her adoptive “family” didn’t give her a human one to avoid becoming too attached. Social stigma and all that sucks…)

Ciao for now.

Bottom of the Deck – 15/12/15

botdcardEvening everypeoples, I am coming to you from the opposite side of the country right now. Wait, I went to the opposite side of the country from my hometown at the beginning of the year, but since I live there now, does my hometown now count as the opposite side of the country? Semantics, how do they work?

Anyway, not too much to talk about, I’m planning on taking my holidays very easy, because when they are over I’m going to be diving head first into the job market, and isn’t that going to be just a lovely time? I am looking forward to finding a job that suits my skill set, but given the nature of the workplace these days, I may just have to hope for a miracle. Still, plenty of free time to beef up my portfolio while I’m waiting for replies to the tidal wave of emails I’ll be sending.

So far, holidays have been very chilled, it’s been great seeing my parents again after nearly six months, and settling back into my old house has been very natural, although being back in a single bed is rather jarring; I’m used to having space to stretch out and contorting my body to fit a cat somewhere on the end. I’m also without most of my artistic tools, such as my computer and light table, but all I really need is my sketchbook and my notebook to satisfy my creative outlet. I’m also catching up on a lot of the graphic novels I subscribed to, really should change the delivery address now that I’ve made the choice to move out permanently…

I’ve also been prepping for my upcoming D&D game with my uncle’s family in Joburg; after my first taste of being a Dungeon Master, I am really really keen to do it again. Over the past few days I’ve made my own DM screen, dusted off and repainted my old dice box, and am currently making quick-reference notes for all the encounters likely to happen in the campaign. It just saves me having to scroll through pdfs repeatedly, which was a problem I had with my first game; I actually ended up making some of the encounters too easy because with all my jumping around I forgot to include half the monsters. Well, not this time; my next set of adventurers are going receive multiple goblin boots to the groin and they will like it, dammit!

Also, I’m going to see the new Star Wars on Saturday, so no spoilers please!

That’s all for this week, hope the holidays are treating you all well.

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 – 15/10/06

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.