I have two big occasions coming up next week. On Tuesday, Precocious' 500th strip will run. On Wednesday, I turn 30! So.... what do I do to commemorate such events? Hell if I know! All I can say for certain is that you are encouraged to give gifts. ;-)
Every year, I use my birthday as an excuse to splurge on something needed. On year I got the light table, which is infinitely valuable to me! Another year I bought a TV to use as a monitor, which is also fully beloved. Another splurge of this kind was in getting my giant scanner, which CHANGED MY LIFE it was such an improvement! This year... what to get?
I've been thinking of giving in and buying a wacom tablet, which would allow me to draw digitally. While the comic would remain traditional, being able to work digital would help a lot in commissions, wallpaper designs and merchandising. Assuming I learn how to use the damn thing. If I go this route, I'll go for the low-end model, like the bamboo, and learn from there.
But then there's the issue of what to digitally draw IN? My copy of Photoshop is so painfully old, I don't have many features modern incarnations have. Problem is, I don't have $600 or whatnot to shell out for CS4 (or whatever the current version is). Even worse, I really don't have any more to purchase Illustrator, which is vector-drawing deliciousness. (Manga Studio may also work for this, but I know next to nothing of the project.) Now, my Photoshop 7 works well enough for now... but if going digital causes some problems, I may have to take drastic measures to procure an Adobe product: Donation drives! Ahh, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Not that a donation drive would be a bad thing. The art supplies that go into Precocious aren't free, and a daily strip blows through them like nobody's business! Add in drafts and Copper Roads and sketchbooks... it adds up! The problem with a donation drive is that I feel like I'd have to give something back, be it a wallpaper or some signed prints or hand-printed cards, and I need the time to get those suckers into production. Another problem: Who would donate? I may have a lot of readers, but most of them are the *casual* variety. They love me because I'm a lot of content for free. The second I make something difficult to get to (like, say, voting to see a Copper Road) the readers evaporate! Darn those lazy people!
Another problem: I think I need a better printer to do the signed print thing. (Is there a market for that?) A REAL nice printer would cost me as much as those out-of-reach computer programs I want, so that's also out for now. My current printer's quality is fine, but it's so old that I can't rely on it. Since it's also hodgepodged into working with Vista, I have no fine tuning control over documents. They just print at whatever default the printer has.
I don't know what would benefit me the most. The tablet is the likely choice, if only for cost. Besides, that could open up new frontiers, which is good news. I wish I could have it all! Why must I be so desperately poor?
(This counts as an on-time blog post because it was started before midnight, ok?)