Updates, News, Announcements, Etc.
"Redesigned" the Bite-Size page again. Considering how little has changed, you wouldn't think it took half my day. The torment that webdesign puts me through is incredible. -_- And to think I actually entertained the notion that I might learn how to program a video game.
Also posting a new (old) commission to the gallery:
June 10, 2013 - Cons
I've been thinking that, in order to step up
as an artist I'll need to attend cons. But it's hard to do that! If anyone
has any thoughts or tips on conventions (like how to get a table, or which
cons to go to, etc.) that would be appreciated. I've only exhibited alone
at tiny conventions, and they didn't turn out so well. =\ But I'm willing
to get back on the saddle, hopefully by the time Bite-Size vol.2 is done.
May 27, 2013 - Calibrations
Begging pardon - Today's strip represents yet another of my experiments. Having switched to a larger drawing size a few months ago, it occurred to me that I could try using nibs again. (Drawing big means mistakes are less noticeable when you size them down.) A nib is the type of pen tip which you attach to a holder and dip in ink. One of the advantages of using a nib is that you can use a technique called "feathering", which means the pen tip has variable pressure. The more you press, the thicker your line becomes. Likewise, slight pressure produces a thin line. A skilled artist may produce all kinds of beautiful effects and really bring their line work to life (whereas ballpoint pens and felt-tips produce lines which could be described as "flat" - not that there's anything necessarily wrong with that).
I've always been the most comfortable with Sakura pens, and have used them to produce the majority of my work thus far. They're convenient, easy to control, portable and require no maintenance. They even also offer variable line weight, but to a much lesser degree than nibs of course. (They're not supposed to be used that way.) Drawing at a big size I kept running into the wall of wanting to have more versatility, to use super thick and thin lines. It was annoying to keep switching pens: An 0.1 for fine details, an .03 for faces, an .05 for general lines and an .08 for clothing and fabrics, a 1mm for panel borders, not to mention a 2mm or 3mm chisel tip for spot blacks. I often ended up with my "Wolverine claw", keeping several pens between the fingers of my left hand so I could switch quickly.
Many artists whom I admire use (or used to use) nibs. Inoue and Schulz are great examples. Inoue has since moved on to a brush (sitting firmly next to Watterson) - but I'm not ready to move on to that legendary tool yet. (I use a brush for big ink spots, but that's about it.) Digital is still something I'd like to avoid for now. So, yeah. I've been trying to learn how to use a nib for years but I think this is a good opportunity. My nib of choice, for the one or two curious people out there, is the Japanese manga industry standard "G-Pen." It's fantastic - you can get razor-sharp lines as well as thick ones. It may turn out to be the ultimate tool, if I could just harness its power...
The reason I write this totally uninteresting post is in case some upcoming strips look a bit different than usual (for better or worse). After a few dozen, my hope is that using a nib will become second nature and the art will look a bit more "alive". I guess in a few months we'll see. So far so good, I'd say.
(Update: I've also made a few changes to the Bite-Size's layout. While not perfect, I do think it might be an improvement and a good test for when I eventually overhaul the website's design again.)
(Update 2: It just occurred to me that the new
layout requires readers to scroll up every page. >_< That's a pretty big
design flaw. I'm gonna have to figure out a clean way to fix that... for
now I've just pasted the navigation bar at the bottom of strips.)
May 15, 2013 - Bite-Size will now update Monday, Wednesday and Friday
(Gulp.) Well: The rocky patches have more or less passed / the dust has settled, and I feel like I've gotten my equilibrium back. I bit off more than I could chew (trying to make video games, comics, graphic novel scripts and working at my regular job at the same time) and was overwhelmed, but life has simplified now. It looks like this summer will be pretty mellow, so I'd like to resume Bite-Size updates on a regular schedule. I've chosen the three-per-week format. Let's see how it goes. At this pace I should be able to publish Bite-Size vol. 2 by the end of the year. o_o
In researching other webcomics,
seeing what helps them succeed, I'm looking at things like regular
updates, news posts, maybe even merch... but I dunno about that last one.
It would have to be done right. Can't be cheesy junk, lame cash-ins, or
sweat-shop manufactured. If anyone has any ideas, please feel free to let
May 10, 2013 - In with the old, in with the new
This morning, I remembered a certain manga competition and it got me thinking about the old days... so filled with hope, passion, vibrancy. I went and dug up some of my old J-pop and K-pop CD's and let the nostalgia wash over me. Old anime soundtracks, back in the day when I used to download subbed episodes of my favorite series on my 56K modem... we even had a sort of black market in my high school days, trading episodes of this or that anime when we couldn't wait for Toonami to air them or pick them up. We were so alive back then! My buddies would supply me with sweet mixtapes (CD's actually) and all we'd talk about is how awesome these cultures were. (Or at least how we perceived them.) I could even brag a decent Japanese vocabulary thanks to the music and anime, memorizing the language phonetically. Man, those were the days. THOSE WERE THE DAYS! What happened?!
I don't know if anyone out there watches anime, but man, it was so good when I was in my teens. I feel like my heart is going to burst listening to this stuff. It's cheesy, but in the best way possible. I realize this is sung in English, but anyone remember this song?
Now I remember why I learned how to draw... it was love! Pure, sincere, innocent, naive adoration for a culture. I suppose, as I got older, I lost touch with it. That really sucks. I want the fire back!
On a related note (maybe?) I'd
like to tackle a more regular schedule for Bite-Size this summer. Two
strips per week, possibly three. I spend too many days moping around when
I could be moping around and drawing.