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Say WHAT?

Nov. 16th, 2007 | 08:55 am

New comics soon.

Still very busy, now postponing work on my own websites to build one for a friend. Oi.

Comics are on the backburner, but the backburner still cooks.

But what news? Well, new name for the comic. Don't look for this one anymore because you won't find it here. This LJ will be left to fizzle. New comics? You'll have to find them. No clues anywhere, not even Comicspace. Now how does this goofball artist expect people to find his comics if he doesn't tell people where they are? Well, the answer is that I am telling them, just not all of them.

Call it a new start instead of a continuation.

Peece owt.

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The Stirring Shadows

Oct. 18th, 2007 | 09:41 am
mood: contemplativecontemplative

The good news is that I'm drawing again. The bad news is that I don't have any new comics up online.

One thing I've thought a lot about is what caused me to stop wanting to draw. I decided to go back in my mind to my past to find that time when I did a lot of drawing, and try to recapture how I felt about it at that time. Here's what I found out.

Patience. I lost it. I need to get it back.

I used to draw because I wanted to draw. That was all. No deadline, no need to entertain others, I just made stuff because I wanted to make stuff. That's the secret to being a good artist: you draw because it's what you feel like doing.

Funny, doing work for money ruined my desire to make art.

Bottom line, I wasn't happy with what I was producing. Working to fit some schedule didn't help me become faster or more disciplined, it made me sloppy. It made me rush drawings until I was never pleased with the result. It made me dread doing it.

This has to stop.

I'm going to take as long as I need to make comics I won't hate to look at. If that means losing readers, oh well. The art I produce will be finished when it's finished. I have to learn to work on a project no matter how long it takes until I'm satisfied.

In short, what this means is that I still don't know when I'll be updating the comic or how often. When I get the new website up and running, I'll include an apology for this. But I think it's most important to put up webcomics that I feel are well done.

It shouldn't be too long now until my new stuff is posted on the new site. Don't ask me when that will be, but you'll hear about it here first.

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Signal Interrupted

Jun. 14th, 2007 | 08:47 am
mood: aggravatedaggravated

No new Anthropo Rail yet, I'm just too swamped. I have tons of work to do for my business and nothing is getting done due to setbacks. The good news is that I made a few bucks and was reminded again that I could potentially make some really good money. That snowball is rolling mighty slow now.

What I did do is jot down some more ideas for the strip, so I'm still thinking about it anyway. It hasn't stopped, just a hiatus.

I also was ready to get started on the official website, even though the provider has some issues (who doesn't?). To do that, I'd have to pay for the site (need money for my business first) design the site even if it is bare bones, set up the blog code for the comic, and research that ComicPress code to see if I can run several versions for other people from the same server (I have NO idea).

I still want to give a few other artists their own page, and I think it would be best if I could give them their own subdomain to log into so they can upload their own strips and do what they want with the page. That's a lot of shit to do. If anyone knows the answer please let me know. I feel that the site would be a minor success if I have new content on it very often, then blog entries like this one wouldn't phase you.

But I got another virus and am trying to fix my modem again. RrrRRRrrr. I wish I could take a few MONTHS off from life and just draw funny pictures. Where's a rich sponsor when you need one?

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What's The Holdup?

May. 30th, 2007 | 10:58 pm
mood: draineddrained

Well, it seems I bit off more than two in the bush. Or whatever. I've been working on the comic in that experimental style I wanted to develop, but it's turning out to take waaaay too long to do.

Airbrushing involves things like making masks to create sharp outlines and lots of layering and "sculpting" with the digital paint. It's fun to do, but the previous paintings I made with this style were spontaneous expression, and the comic requires layout "pencils" which take more time.

Below are some clips from the strip I was working on so you can see some of the detail. There's part of Flerg and a finished figure of Dee.

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In this closeup of Flerg, you can see that I chose to mask off separate areas to paint in order to get sharp outlines to shapes that are painted with airbrush. This looks cool, but it's a lot of work. Building robots piece by piece is never quick.

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This one of Dee required less masking, but I still used some for the head and outline. It's more of a painterly style, but again TAKES TOO DAMN LONG for a weekly comic.

I just wanted to show you that I haven't forgotten about the strip or my readers. Maybe you know how it is when the muse grabs you and you have to go with it.

Here's the new plan: I'm going to set aside this strip and the one I had planned to do next as side projects to work on when I have time. Meanwhile, I'll go back to the old "pen and ink" style so I can get the strips back on a regular schedule. I'm even going to work on adding backgrounds.

Thanks for hanging in there while I indulge myself. I still want to pursue the painting, and down the line I can use it for some nifty desktop wallpaper images. I was planning on adding some as extras for the official website anyway.

Speaking of that, I have a provider all picked out. I'm thinking of setting it all up BEFORE I have 100 archive strips ready only because it occurred to me that I'll have to move all that stuff when I make the switch. Seems like the sooner I do it the quicker it'll be live.

One thing at a time. Back to a regular weekly comic, and any news about the move to the official website will be posted here first.

See you next Wednesday with a fresh start.

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Finnish Inspiration

May. 22nd, 2007 | 09:08 am
mood: amusedamused

Leave it to a twenty year old webcomic creator to add perspective.

blastwave

This link will take you to the FAQ page for this very well done comic. Here's a couple of my favorite lines:

" make a new page whenever I feel like it. They will appear online on sundays (sometimes in the middle of the week, but I always aim for the sundays.). There is usually multiple weeks between updates. During the first year I made 19 pages, so don't expect too much."

From his FAQ:

"Q: Why not update every week? Why is there so many hiatuses? If you don't like doing the comic, why do you continue?
A: I still consider Blastwave to be a sideproject. It's just something I do for my own amusement. I understand that people like it and want more, but I just don't feel like forcing myself into it just to make my readers happy. I do like making the comic, just not as much as my readers would want me to.

Q: You're gonna lose all your readers when you don't update!1
A: Doesn't really bother me that much. Free to come and go as they please.

Q: You should add a mailing list so we would be notified whenever you update.
A: There is a thing called RSS feed already on the page. Basically it does the exact same thing. Any modern browser should support them automatically. Just click the "RSS Feed" button at the top of the newsbox to subscribe to the feed."

There's a healthy attitude. I'm wondering if I can appropriate it for my own purposes.

Actually, it's not too far off from my own philosophy. I had to blow off some important things to do the strip, and I shouldn't do that, so I'm trying not to even though I do enjoy making it. That's why I'll be glad to get a large archive going so people will have plenty to read even if I haven't updated.

But traffic isn't everything, and if I'm not being paid for this, it's got to be low priority. If I won the lottery (if I PLAYED the lottery) then I could sit around all day making a webcomic.

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Time?

May. 17th, 2007 | 09:06 am
mood: accomplishedaccomplished

Sorry for the lack of updates. I've been busy with my business which takes a lot of time away from other things like drawing the comic, in addition to my day job and the hideous just-under-2-hours commute. Here's some advice kids: when you start your own business, make sure you set aside lots of time to read and fill out paperwork. That's what I get for doing EVERYTHING myself.

Good news is that I turned a profit. A very SMALL profit, but being out of the red and into the black is what it is. Let's hope all goes well and continues to improve my lot in life, such as it is.

I'm going to try for Friday or Saturday update to the webcomic, though I'm still up to my nose in work. The good part in all this is that if I go a couple of weeks without making the strip I get the urge to draw again until I can't help but make the time.

I've got two more Heroes parodies coming up. Also, more weirdness. For example, you'll see a lot of interesting people move into the apartment where Flerg and the guys live. Actually, "people" isn't quite an accurate word. Also, Kawaii Bear and Kyootie Bee will make a return, and there will probably be more blood.

So hang loose, Anthropo Rail isn't going away.

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What The Hell

May. 10th, 2007 | 12:58 pm
mood: busybusy

Where's the comic? Shit, Idunno.

This new thing I'm doing takes a long time, and that's the opposite of what I needed to do which is cut down on the time I spend on the strip. I worked on it a little more on Tuesday, but it's slow going. Couldn't do it Wednesday, I'll try to get it posted by Friday night.

Y'see, the good news is I spent time working on my business, and brought in a little money, so that's off and running. Well, it's walking, but that's something. Sorry gang, paying gigs come first. Eventually, I'm planning on doing a little cartoon freelancing again. The webcomic is supposed to keep me drawing and staying loose. Also, still planning on setting up the official website, but I'm going to wait until I rack up some decent archive strips.

I'll get there. You stay loose, too.

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Got A Good Thing? Change It!

May. 7th, 2007 | 10:55 pm
mood: contemplativecontemplative

I'm going to try cutting back to updating one comic a week. Wednesdays are when I'll update, because I get a lot of traffic then for some reason. I know that's not much, but I have to spend more time on other more pressing things. I'm determined not to stop doing the comic entirely because I want to keep doing it. I may not make it this week until Friday because I'm trying something new for the next few comics.

I have a kind of airbrush-type method I've experimented with before that I'm going to apply for the next two or three comics that are parodies of Heroes. I'm looking to do a gritty "realistic" style for Flerg's dreams. Now, if it works, and I can manage to do it in the time I'm giving myself to finish the strip, I just might stick with it. Even if it turns out to be too much work, I could compromise and just use it for coloring, though I'll have to for the next few to make that contrast because I think it looks cool and it's fun to do.

Here's a taste:

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It's going to be a bit wonky, since I've only used it for a handful of experimental pictures and I uh... forgot how to do it for the first couple of hours I tried it last night. It's hard to explain the process, but it isn't exactly just airbrushing in Photoshop, it's working with values instead of colors since I have trouble seeing colors.

It's cool like some PBS special where I'm doing color because I want to and I'm not letting my handicap get in my way. Yeah! I'm doing color and I see like a dog!

I just don't know if I want keep using the look of ink on paper that a majority of comics use. Black lines were first developed early in the history of printing due to the limits of equipment at the time, and those habits have become ingrained into generations of artists. If I'm publishing on the web, I shouldn't have to be bound by those same methods. Different medium.

Just playing around with the form for a while. Worst thing, I can always switch back. The good part is that if I make myself do more work, going back would be easier after I become accustomed to a greater workload and I could probably go back to updating twice weekly.

Plan B is to return to the regular style, but COLOR THE LINES. I like black lines, but damn it's been like 24 years for me.

Let's see how it goes!

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Have Some Art With Your Suffering

May. 3rd, 2007 | 07:42 am
mood: sleepysleepy

Man, that last strip was a pain in the ass. I stayed up WAY too late finishing it. Gonna go to bed early tonight, so Fridays strip will be posted Friday night.


I watch almost no television, but I have dvd on all the time. I usually pick a couple of shows and make a hobby if them, so I watch Heroes. It's not perfect, but it's decent superhero tv, better than fucking Smallville by a mile. Yeah, I said it.


I'm going to milk I mean continue this storyline for another three or four strips, so fans of Heroes will want to stick around and watch the silly.

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Some People Are Meant For Something Less

May. 1st, 2007 | 10:36 pm

This Wednesday's comic is going to be a little late, almost definitely going up Wednesday night (tonight).

Funny thing, though I'm getting faster at making the strip, I keep experimenting and trying things that take longer to do anyway. Thanks for sticking with me while I indulge myself. Hopefully it'll add up to a better webcomic experience, then I'll end up indulging you.

Meanwhile, a couple of preview hints:

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Flerg is having a snooze. He might be dreaming, and here's a clue to what that dream might be about:

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Hmmm...

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