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.