Saturday, October 31, 2009

Putting the pieces together

Happy Halloween!

My day tomorrow will be racing to color the background before Halloween expires! For now, enjoy a few mock-ups of how it might look.

Still not happy with how the houses came out, but there was no way I was going to devote the time and tech pen to do a super-detailed and perspectively-perfect neighborhood. It *will* look a lot better with color added, so please imagine it. Also, the blue aura will have some transparency in the final.

Now the mock-ups. The oval one will fit best in a wallpaper, keeping it smallish so the image doesn't conflict with desktop icons. The wider shot looks nice, but it may not fit well with wide-screen monitors. There's also the question of how the neighborhood drawing looks at that larger size. We'll see if color fixes everything, eh?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Stomping grounds

Here's the sketch for the doomed neighborhood that is soon to succumb to the Halloween Tiffwitch. I'm not satisfied with it, but time is running out. This will be stressful to ink, as I'm not sure what level of detail I should use. I guess we'll see what happens tomorrow. (Or tonight, if I end up having no life.)

The colors are wonky because the sketch is in no-copy blue - something my scanner normally filters out.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

When in doubt, add color too!

Things did not go well today with the wallpaper, but I did color the Tiffwitch. So I got that going for me. Which is nice.

I wanted to see if I could add the other Precocious kids into the foreground and have them running away in terror, but perspective was not allowing it. I think I'm stuck with drawing her storming through the neighborhood.... which itself is a perspective nightmare. Gotta get it done tomorrow! Ack!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

When in doubt, trace!

Work on the wallpaper is underway! Step one: Trace the design everyone liked. No reason to reinvent the wheel here.

I'm going to try drawing this piece in parts, using photoshop to combine them later. This is one time when I wish I had a tablet and manga studio to work with, as it makes stuff like this easier. (Not that I have the skill to use those programs.)

Breaking the image up also allows me to pick and choose what I want to show - which is good because I'm not sure of what else to include at this point! I'll have to sketch a bit more tonight to decide.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tiffwitch for the people! (Eventually!)

Oooh, I'm gonna cut this one close. Today was a comic and Copper Road day (it'll go up soon!) and no time for wallpapering appeared. At least this bought me a few days of freedom that will allow me to wallpaper it up! (In theory.)

Monday, October 26, 2009

The *other* Halloween project

Hey, guess who forgot he was also doing a Halloween Copper Road? If I was on the ball, it would have been up today. I am not on the ball, so expect it on the 1st.

I'll start work on the wallpaper tomorrow - hopefully. It looks like the giant TIFFWITCH is the winner., but there's still time for the other options to rally!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Choose your wallpaper

After checking the calendar, I see time is running out for me to get this wallpaper done. That means I need a final direction, and for that I turn to you!

Thanks to everyone who suggested wallpaper ideas! Now it's time to choose. Look over my recent posts and tell me what you'd most like to see, and how I should expand upon those ideas. Did you like Tiffany as a witch? The campfire stories? Supervillains? The horrific Rocky Horror mistake? (If so, what is wrong with you!?) Let me know what you want!

Hey, know your vote will count. Not many people will be giving feedback, so your voice could push one idea to the front of the pack! If I see a clear majority, I will follow it. Otherwise, I do what *I* want... which totally defeats the purpose of asking you guys, so SPEAK UP!

Also, I apologize for not getting to every suggestion. Some proved a bit harder to sketch than anticipated and others just got cut for time.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

It's witchcraft

After yesterdays horrific sketching accident, I decided to play it safe today and go back to the Tiffany witch idea. This time I twisted her shrinking spell. That's fun and all, but what if we went the other way? GIANT TIFFWITCH!

I'm going to have to settle on an idea very soon if I want to get the wallpaper done by Halloween. Time to look at what I've done and narrow the choices down...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Rocky horrified

It only took one sketch before I realized this classic game of dress up was just not suitable for 9 and 10-year-olds! Hot patootie, bless my soul...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Costume Fantasy Tactics

Here we have a tribute to my favorite of games: Final Fantasy Tactics. (Pick any from the awesome series.) Bud is the ever-mysterious black mage. Tiffany is sweetness and light as the white mage. Autumn is the spiffy and spunky red mage. Jacob... Jacob is a moogle. Kupopopo...

(Click the image for embiggenation)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Give us the candy and no one gets hurt

One of the suggestions for the Halloween wallpaper was to have the kids rely on their supervillain identities. A villainous ploy to procure candy? Sounds about right!

Here we see Dr. Oven sorta playing Dr. Octopus with his many arms of doom-bringing. Just give him the candy, people. You have 30 seconds to comply.

I didn't get around to drawing the others, but I can see The Scarlet A wielding a super soaper (filled with who-knows-what) and Chaotic Butterfly... oh, man, I have no clue. All I know is Target Man (or mild-mannered Some Guy) must do all he can to keep them in line. (Or at least keep them out of the back of the police car.)

I'm probably not going to use this idea for the wallpaper, mainly because I'm planning on using something like this for the Halloween Copper Road. That reminds me, I need to get scripting on that!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Nesting dolls

This idea takes on the Et swarm in costume, with my choice of having them depict Russian nesting dolls!

I struggled to find an idea for what the doll design should be, and then it occurred to me: Themselves! It doesn't come across well in sketch form, but I want the designs to be simplistic, painted versions of their normal attire. If I pull it off, it can be cute!

What do you guys think about including the top parts of the dolls? I included two to show how it would look. The other tops can always be put in the background.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A good witch or a bad witch?

Man, I nearly forgot to post this in time! I did the sketches early, thought "I can make some more" and then got distracted by shiny objects for the rest of the day.

Anyway, this is based on an idea from Alan, in which Tiffany goes witch and curses her friends. I had trouble figuring out what curse would work, but I think shrinking them works well enough.

The other sketches are me trying to do costume designs without checking source images! Autumn is a Swiss Miss type and Bud is, duh, Superman. Note to self: Next time USE THE SOURCE IMAGES! I am powerless unless I have a reference!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Campfire stories

Here's the first idea sketch for the Halloween image!

A la Treehouse of Horror, we have the children sitting around telling stories. Bud, naturally, is the devilish storyteller. Jacob and Autumn are horrified by the things coming out of his mouth. Tiffany, naturally, has been there, done that.

Maybe I should drawn them in some traditional costumes for this idea. I dunno. It's hard to draw them in full costume while sitting down. I'd have to settle for telling hats or something. Then again, in a larger format, the details would be easier to tackle.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Costume change!

Still taking ideas for the Halloween Precocious wallpaper. I'll probably start the fancy sketches tomorrow! For now, let's review what ideas we have (and what my brain did to them.)

- Al's suggestion of making Tiffany dressing up as the scariest thing possible turned into the sketch you see above.

- Daniel, I'm taking your Dr. Ovens idea and splitting it into two: The Doctors Oven dressed as various doctors and the main Precocious cast dressing up as Rocky Horror characters. Both angles could be fun!

- Alan's idea of dressing up the Et swarm is great. Imagine them lined up as Russian nesting dolls or something!

- Darc suggested a take-off of The Simpson's "Treehouse of Horror" episodes, or maybe just having the kids telling scary stories around a campfire. If I can pull it off, that would look great in color!

- Samuel suggested something where Jacob, poor guys, has to wear a lame costume, while everyone else rocked something awesome. As a bonus, this tangent twisted in my mind into a Final Fantasy games theme - which can also be fun to do.

- Odd1 used Halloween as an excuse to get the kids in their supervillain gear. I am ALWAYS down for that!

Anyone else feel inspired? I must confess that I *like* having my week's blog entries planned out. Saves me an 11pm panic attack!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Help me with Halloween

So the current Precocious storyline will probably take me through Halloween, meaning I won't get to play dress-up in the strip. I can't just let this go without some fun! That's where you all come in!

I'm thinking of making a Halloween-themed desktop wallpaper, and I'd like to hear some ideas from you. (Clearly, I must promote that this blog is back in order to get replies.) You can give me costume suggestions or suggest a situation. Whatever makes you happy! If I get enough replies, I'll use next week to show off sketches for the ideas. Then we can vote for the best, and I'll make the wallpaper!

You can reply here, on the Precocious site or via email. We're informal here, over at the Sycophant.

(Oh, and this means the orchestra wallpaper is further delayed. Sorry, Daniel!)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Brighty, shiny dayzzzzzzzz...

Ah, vanity. You are a raging, abusive bitch! I had my teeth whitened yesterday, and it was quite the hellish incident. Note: THIS WAS NOT MY IDEA! This was a "gift" to me. Woohoo!

To describe the process involved, imagine A Clockwork Orange but moved four inches down. They hold your mouth open, pack it with gauze, paint over any exposed pink stuff - because it will BURN otherwise - and apply the super whitening gel. Then the head must be held still for 15 minutes as a bright light of laser death cooks the coffee stains away. Then we repeat it! Two. More. Times. AAAAHHH!!

Screw vanity. I'm content with being a quirky artist without the need for a perfect body. I bring the sexy with a real, all-unique personality! The goal is for you to develop rose-colored glasses for everything else. Fall under my spell!

Oh yeah, and the *best* part of everything is what happens AFTER the procedure. See, the teeth are super dehydrated after the whitening, so they need to get the water back inside. And that is accomplished by way of BLINDING PAIN! The dentist calls them zingers! It's like a bunch of tiny men with a bunch of tiny rifles (and mini cannons!) reenacting Gettysburg in my mouth. Most of the time they're just firing guns into my teeth, but every so often that cannon goes off and, BOOM, I scream!

But, hey, at least I'm pretty.

Anyway, I've spent the entire day in bed medicating the pain away. I *was* going to get Saturday and Sunday done for Precocious, but instead it looks like I'll be fighting the clock on that one. I'm still in sleepy mode, ready to nap for another 18 hours. That seems like a plan!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Back, with a loving family!

Hey, y'all, the blog's back up and running! To commemorate my return, I present to you the *almost* final version of "A Loving Family."

The camera needs to painted, and a few places on Harvey needs a second coat, but I'm about one night's work away from having this done. I had thought of going pink with the background, but I have no pink paint. Since I wanted it to be uniform, I went with pistachio. It might not look it, but it's really hard to "draw" characters in paint, so I'm looking forward to going back to painting my modernist pieces.

Let's see if I can keep this daily blog going again. Also, let's see if that hiatus left any readers...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Time out

As hinted at in the last post, I'm going to spend this week in DC focusing on spending time with my family. Precocious will keep going, but I am going to take a break from blogging and skip this week's Copper Road. The next Copper Road should be up next Monday and I'll start blogging again once I have enough free time to work on something to post!

For those not in the know: My grandmother's heart just gave her a hospital trip. My grandfather has advanced Alzheimer's and requires full care, most of which has been handled by my grandmother. My mother is here to help for a few days. My brother gets back tomorrow. On Thursday, my aunt and her partner are coming to visit. There's going to be no free time! I'll barely be able to keep up with the comic. (Tonight and tomorrow are for working ahead!)

Family always comes first.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Copper Road Rage

It has been a stressful day. Grandma is out of the hospital and back her to mischievous ways, so that's good. Still, all this craziness has not been conducive to making a humor comic strips. I have Precocious strips up to Wednesday, and I should be OK with keeping that up - it's Copper Road that's killing me.

See, when I decided to switch up my storyline and integrate Copper Road into Precocious, I wasn't just sacrificing one strip. I was sacrificing two! I had two Copper Roads scripted and ready to go - and then I wrote myself into a hole! Since I extended the revolution an extra week, the tie-in Copper Road strip now can't appear for another week. Once again, I am left on Sunday night without a vote incentive. I really REALLY hate missing deadlines.

Problem is, I have nothing. I am drained. I have to focus on my family right now, and I can't sit around for scripting and drawing. There is no time for it. I'll try to get something up, but I can't make a guarantee this week will have a Copper Road either. I'm sorry.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Do not want!

It was a good day. It was TERRIBLE night. I debated not blogging at all, but I'll just say things are not fun right now. I hope good news comes tomorrow.

I'm still trying to be productive, though. I need to get myself ahead. Living deadline to deadline is not healthy for me or anyone around me.

Friday, October 2, 2009

On the road again

I'm in DC again, and will be for the next 10 days. That means it's time to set up the new studio and get back to work!

I still have a work overload - not the best time to run a extra-large Sunday - but I'll get it done. The big scary monster in the room right now is scripting. I'm four strips and a Copper Road short of where I'd like to be - and ideas aren't coming freely at the moment. No time to sit around and pout, though. Saturday is going to be very hectic, and that's without the Sunday strip construction factored in. This is the hardest test I've had yet to keep Precocious up to date, but I'm up for the challenge!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Reshuffling chaos

Now that I've changed my story around, I have the suffer the consequences. Tomorrow's strip will be up JUST IN TIME, and Copper Road remains missing. I'm loosely scripted until the middle of next week, but most strips are still in process. The timing of all this couldn't be worse, with my DC trip and all, but I'll try to fight through it.

Anyway, forgive me if all my bonus stuff is on the light side for the next week or two. I have a lot on my plate and the comic comes first.