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 – 16/02/09

botdcardEvening everypeoples, this is coming to you rather late, because this has been one roller-coaster of a week. By that I mean ups and downs.

Up! I got XCOM 2 over the weekend, and I am loving it! I’ll be the first to admit that I’m terrible at strategy games, which is why I prefer those that have turn-based combat, much less stressful, right? Not this one; XCOM 2 makes up for the slower-paced turn structure by throwing enormous piles of fear and loathing at you. Always having been notorious for its challenge, the XCOM series continues strong, this time including endless multitasking, limited resources, surprise challenges and an escalating difficulty curve that you just have to hold on for dear life to keep up with. I am moderating myself though, I only play in the evenings, or else I’d get nothing done during the day.

Down! I recently was contacted out of the blue by someone I’ve actively been doing my best to avoid talking to for years. I was deliberately trying to stay away from awkward situations, but I guess I still had some issues to work through, which came out in the conversation. One thing led to another, heated words were exchanged, and it now seems the bridge has been burned for good. Maybe I could have phrased my words better, maybe the other person could have refrained from trying to guilt trip me (I felt bad enough already), but at the end of the day I was honest and said my piece. Perhaps now I can finally put this to rest with the affirmation that there will be no further contact, once the “what if I’d said…” scenarios stop buzzing in my brain.

Up! I was hired for a commission yesterday! It’s not much, just a couple of pictures, but it’ll net enough of a profit to afford some food for the next week or two, plus I’ll be able to go see Deadpool when that lands this weekend. The subject matter is also right up my alley; doing work one enjoys is always rewarding spiritually as well.

Down, but Up! I won’t have a special someone to spend Valentine’s Day with this year, given my situation, but at least I’ll get to spend it with loved ones. There’s a family picnic happening with relatives all the way from Canada, whom I don’t get to see as often as I’d like, so that’s going to be a good day out.

Steadily Up! My new ongoing project continues to be… ongoing, and I’m keeping a tight schedule on it. So for my daily drawing, here’s another piece of official art:

air scholarC

Down! This blog post has come to an end.

Up! Sleep time.

Ciao for now.

Bottom of the Deck – 16/02/02

botdcardHey everypeoples, it’s been a bit quiet around here lately, but I have very good excu- er, reasons – to explain that.

Last week I started trying out a few new things, trying to expand my comfort zone and practicing some digital techniques. I’ve since taken on a new personal project, one with enough variety to keep up the incentive that will keep me immersed for a while. I don’t want to give away too much too soon, but you can expect to see a few art pieces from it on the site in the near future.

However, this will be cutting into my time for other things; you may have noticed Elements of Eve didn’t update yesterday. If I’m being honest, I’ve been so wrapped up in this new idea (as well as the usual over-active pile of nonsense that is my brain) that I haven’t been in the right mindset to focus on Eve properly. So for now, I may have to reduce the update schedule to once per week on Thursdays, just to give me time to focus on everything that needs doing. It’s not a compromise I make lightly, but needs must when the devil vomits into your kettle.

Hopefully I’ll be hearing back soon on the possibility of getting a car, and subsequently getting out of the house a bit more. The bus services here don’t go everywhere, and there are some places I’d like to frequent more often ie comic book stores that aren’t run by… “negative people.”

That’s all I’ve really got for this week, back to the tablet and the forging of ideas.

Ciao for now.

Bottom of the Deck – 16/01/12

botdcardEvening everypeoples, it’s nearly 8pm and it is still 28 degrees Celsius, having cooled down from the lovely 35 degrees from earlier. I am stunned that my fingers have not melted into the keyboard yet…

The job hunt continues, with emails flying out constantly. Haven’t received any replies yet, though I’m chalking that up to the studios still recovering from the holiday break and just beginning their work year. That’s the optimist side of my brain talking, and it needs to talk like that because it needs a workout to drown out the pessimist side, which as we all know thrives in humidity and my room is basically a tropical jungle minus the life-giving plants.

My personal work is falling a little behind, I get really sluggish in the heat, but I haven’t given up on anything. It might not have looked that way this past weekend, but I still did upload my daily sketches and finally got  yesterday’s Elements of Eve page done (right here, check it out). Hopefully a nice storm will roll in soon and wash away the mugginess.

In other news, I just finished Parks and Rec, loved the new episode of Critical Role, and I am now going to get some writing done before converting to a liquid state and being soaked up by my mattress.

It is. Really. Freaking. HOT.

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 – 15/11/10

botdcardHey everypeoples, another Tuesday rolls around and I continue to roll around in my ever-expanding sea of consciousness, filled with shark-toothed ideas and stinging jelly-work-fish. I’m not good with the ocean…

It’s crunch time at college as we use our final month to finish up our big projects and clean up all the stuff we had to rush through to get to this point. I’ve already noticed a few others in my immediate work vicinity who are starting to voice their opinions in a rather negative way; they don’t do it when the lecturer is around, of course. I won’t say I’m not completely without sympathy, I am after all in the exact same boat, but I stand by the philosophy I’ve stated before: this is the situation, complaining will accomplish nothing, so get on with it. If there’s something wrong, find out what it is and fix it, it’s not a complicated process.

Ranting aside, keeping up personal projects continues to be both challenging and satisfying. Elements of Eve just concluded its eighth issue yesterday, after suffering from two breaks in updating, so this next issue will not be delayed in its release. Issue #9 will start on Thursday, come hell or high water, and will only be interrupted by the Christmas break (I’ll be building a buffer for the rest of my time out of town). I also finished up the first draft of the script I mentioned in last week’s column, so I hope to have that fully refined by next week. This idea has been a long time coming, so I want to make sure it’s as perfect as I can get it.

Not much else worth mentioning this week, I’m going to go and finish my binge through a webcomic archive I just discovered. If it’s any good, you’ll hear about it tomorrow.

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.

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 – 15/10/20

botdcardEvening everypeoples, going to keep this one short and simple…

I basically went from fully revitalized this weekend to running on fumes within the space of a Monday; animation really is a nit-picky process and weeding out all the little details is really draining. Throw in the fact that I’m doing my best to keep up with my comic drawing, script writing and now sending off emails looking for jobs, I am appreciating every spare moment I can get.

It doesn’t put me in a great mood socially, but no sense in complaining about something you can’t change, so back to the grindstone. If you’ll excuse me, I have a comic page to colour and upload and it’s already a day late.

Ciao for now.