Thursday, August 30, 2012

Moving: Take two!

Behold: The original art for my Copper Road contribution to The Webcomics Tarot Project! There will be one for Precocious too, but it's a major arcana and I intend to make it spectacular! Unfortunately, spectacular requires art supplies that are currently in Savannah. (And I do want these to be spectacular, as I'm thinking of putting the originals up for sale.)

...Which leads me to the next topic! Tomorrow I make an attempt to rescue my stuff and bring it up to Virginia! It will be a daring adventure, as we'll arrive in the dead of night, grab the truck in the morning, load it up and attempt to leave around lunchtime. Grueling hours, but if it means I will FINALLY have my stuff, it's all worth it.

What does this mean? Well, obviously, my lack of a studio has ruined all planned August productivity. Once the studio is back and set up, I will have to lock myself in it and hammer out some Precocious strips to give me some breathing room. (And, of course, the preliminary plan had me drawing double strips. I may be rewriting those.) Stuff like portraits are on hold. (Which really sucks, because I fell ONE portrait short. It is nothing personal, portrait dude! Just bad luck!) I won't post the last portrait sheet until all four are completed, but you can find the ones already done on my Twitter account.  The tarot card mentioned above will also be pushed back slightly, although it does have high priority.

The rest of the big projects? Pushed back as well, or at least not getting full focus. Instead of launching some special projects early September, I think I'll wait until after I get back from Intervention in DC (see me there Sept 21-23) before making a splash. (I still might try streaming a bit, though, since the new webcam is already here.)

In a week, I will have a much better sense of what my new schedule will be. I don't want to make any new promises now, because the house I'm in now needs A LOT of work and unpacking/cleaning/sorting is draining. I hope to catch up with everything soon!

Monday, August 27, 2012

The portraits keep coming!

Completed another page, so here you go! (If you want to see them as they are done, follow me on Twitter!)

I have one more promised portrait to do, then a few optional ones of my family. Tomorrow the cleaning of the house begins in earnest, so my portrait productivity will go down. On Friday, I am driving back down to Savannah to retrieve my stuff, which will eventually lead to madcap comic production as my buffer will be completely gone when I return - so Thursday is the last day I'll be doing portraits. I'll take up to three more requests, then I'll put portraits on hold until I'm caught up on work. Doing first come, first serve, so act now!

Update: One slot left. Also, I am so very very tired after hauling junk around this house all day. (And I had the easiest job of the four people here, so you should really pity them!) If I don't get 'em all done before I leave on Friday, will you forgive me?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Guest Week 3!

To help keep me sane through my move ordeal, a bunch of supremely great folks have stepped up and provided some wonderful guest comics! Every day, you'll get a guest comic AND a bonus comic/art piece as a vote incentive on TWC! Don't miss anything!

This post will be updated every day to list all the contributors as their work appears. Make sure to go check 'em out and be lovely to them. They saved my skin this month!

Monday, September 3
(What? I'm not starting the back to school arc on LABOR DAY. That would be tacky!)
Comic: Carl Sjostrand, of Ginger's Bread! Slowly but surely, we're warping each other's canon, even though our comics clearly don't take place in the same universe. Stuff like this is why webcomics are neat!
Incentive: I'm leaving Sunday's incentive up an extra day, because I was so late in getting it up. (Check the sketch blog tomorrow for the story behind that.) I'll put the last bonus art up on Tuesday.

Sunday, September 2
Comic: A lovely reader comic by Jess! Is it not adorable!?
Incentive: This time, Iron Ed takes on Copper Road! Vote here to see it!

Friday, August 31 + Saturday, September 1
(I will be driving all Friday and Saturday, with almost no internet access, so I'll post both now.)

Friday's comic: The amazing Heidi Black! She is a wonderful friend and a wonderful artist and just the best at everything. (We'll be at Intervention together, btw, so come and express your appreciation in person!)
Friday's incentive: Erick Amill, of Biff the Vampire, has drawn probably the best pic of my characters ever. I should retire, because I can't top that.

Saturday's comic: Michelle Van Zandt of Ginpu! Her style is so adorable, and she was at the top of my guest comic wish list! Yay! Maybe it's best that you get day's head start on reading her comic. It might prepare you!
Saturday's incentive: Enjoy a guest comic by readers Jeremy and his sister!

Thursday, August 30
Comic: Lemmo, of Blank It! This man is a rare gem. He melted my heart with cartoonist generosity, and will melt your mind with cartooning excellence!
Incentive: A cute guest comic by reader Iron Ed!
Wednesday, August 29
Comic: This one comes from reader Ms. Dark! It's her second guest comic, so, for you scoring at home, that means she's in the lead!
Incentive: Once again, the bonus art goes hand-in-hand with the comic! This one comes from Precocious' part-time colorist and full-time savior, DRB_II!

Tuesday, August 28
Comic: Jackie Wolenhaus of Between Failures! This is one of the dudes that make you feel better about yourself when they talk to you and don't attempt to stab you in the face afterwards. I feel honored to have him contribute to this week. I wasn't face-stabbed! (Yet.)
Incentive: Bonus art from Lucy Lyall, the wonderful creator of Spare Keys for Strange Doors!

Monday, August 27
Comic: Ahmed Fahim of Silent Pirate! This is one of the cutest strips out there. A young lad who is not much for words ends up aboard a very odd pirate ship. Silly adventures happen. It is so delightful, you want to hug it!
Incentive: A bonus guest strip by Jordyn Jensen!

(By the way, if you missed a vote incentive, the guest art will eventually be compiled into a post for the sketch blog.)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The reader portraits continue!

So, it turns out that sitting on a squishy bed - and I cannot stress enough how mindbogglingly squishy this thing is - and trying to draw can do a number on your neck. If I was a cool cartoonist, I'd make a journal comic about it. But I'm not, so you just get more portraits and some griping.

Neck pain has slowed me down, but not defeated me! I got this one, as promised. One more remains for today's queue. We'll see how I hold up. That one might not appear until tomorrow evening.  (I'll be gone for most of tomorrow visiting my relatives in DC.)

I have three portraits to do on Monday. After that, it could be you!  This promotion will last until I get a new project, or my neck snaps, both should happen around the middle of next week. Don't miss your chance!


Another part of the portrait experiments. This time, I took on my friend's twins. THIS IS TERRIFYING! Not only are babies/toddlers/whatever-you-call-two-year-olds a whole new ball game, but THESE ARE PEOPLE I WILL HAVE TO LOOK AT IN THE FACE ON A REGULAR BASIS.  They judge.

The scan was very unkind to me, dropping out a lot of subtle stuff. (Note how much of the background got eaten.)  I did ok with Juliet (on the left), but Zoe's gonna need a few touchups once I get brave again.

And, yes, I left in Zoe's hand gesture so you people could craft a narrative. (I combined them from two separate pictures.) Be funny, but nice.

Friday, August 24, 2012

It's a portrait party!

Here we have the efforts from today's portraiting. I thank everyone for allow me to defile their faces. Some are closer than others, but they are all valuable because I need the practice!

Do you want to be a part of this? Email me your picture! I'd love to do a bunch of these, and you might get lucky and have me make a non-cruddy portrait of you!

I like doing this for both the skill-building and because it lets me DO something while I wait for my moving situation to work itself out. (I've given up on trying to make comics in this small space, which means the first week back will be me flying by the seat of my pants! Hey, I've done it before, and I'll do it again.)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Experimenting Continues

There's a reason I'm not charging anything for drawing portraits. I gotta work out the kinks first.  I knew this one was gonna get me, because my test sketch for it was pretty good. For the rest, the sketches were atrocious - just ways to block out the space. You don't want to waste artistic goodness on the early stages. You only get so much per piece!

This one also got botched in the scan, unfortunately. The flesh tone appears to have been completely eliminated, only leaving the shading.  Well, ok, whatever. Scanner, you are mean. (And this is the *good* one doing that!)

The scariest part of doing these portraits:  Discovering where the gaps are in my Copic collection.  Maybe for the next one I'll get creative with the coloring, just to see what happens.  I'd rather the "artistic" approach succeed than see my bank account take another hit as I order more markers.

So, who will the next victim be? Step up! At best, you get a cool pic of you. At worse? No one will recognize it's you anyway!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I swear this dude has teeth

In this post, we rediscover what scanners do to subtle coloring. Any place with a W2 or below coloring level got zonked.  Well, maybe that means I was too timid.  I chose this pic because it was the most difficult look of the images offered, so I was scared at times. Smiles are hard. Smirks are easy. EVERYONE NEEDS TO SMIRK MORE.  Also, when one buys Copic markers, grabbing a bunch of potential skin tones is a good idea. I don't have that collection, so I have to improvise. Grayish Cherry doesn't seem that face-y, but it proved quite useful today! The smattering of colors can be kinda cool if thrown around well enough, though.

Also, I am starting to conclude that Precocious is for bearded dudes, by bearded dudes. Will someone please submit a picture to disprove this theory?

The first portrait

First come, first serve!

I was given three photos of our friend here. Two clean-shaven. One beard. C'mon, you know I can't resist!

This is approximately 4.5x6" and done on a Canson drawing pad. I want to keep playing around with these to see where the comfort zone is and what tricks I can pull. If anyone wants to be a part of this experiment, send me a photo!

Fumbling through August

I'll get to the image above (and note how you can get one of you) in a minute. First, here comes the promised update on things:

My move was a disaster. I made it to Virginia. The stuff I crammed into my car made it to Virginia. Everything else? Not so much. It doesn't look like I'll be able to get anyone down there to pick up the rest of the stuff - the most important of which is my drafting table! - until the very end of this month. Lack of a proper work space in VA is gonna cause some delays with side projects, but I'll figure out a way to get the comics done. A new arc should still be popping up when the guest week is over.

Speaking of, GUEST WEEK IS COMING! I have lined up fancy comics for every day next week, plus extra comics and art that will be appearing as vote incentives each day. I'm very excited about this. I love seeing how other artists handle my crew, and it's fun to share the cartooning love of these talents!

Now to that art stuff above! September is an important month for me. I will be expanding the illustration side of my work, and that means picking out new angles and practicing them.  One approach is to try cute portrait stuff. I've had a lot of fun doing the character portraits at furry cons, but why stop there? Let's human up this place!  It's been a while since I did stylized portraits, and I want to tackle it again.  I let myself be a test subject and played with a few degrees of cartoony. I can also attempt some fine art twists. The goal here is to see what works best and give the people what they want. The name is there because I got jealous of all the cool furry badges I saw at cons. I don't have a character, so I just put myself on the dang badge! THAT'S HOW I ROLL!

Want to be a test subject for this new approach? Email me a picture of you or a loved one, and I'll chose a few to practice with! (Sticking with the headshot drawings for the free stuff, so don't send full-body shots.)

I'll have more art/promo/commissions news for you in a week or so.  For now, send me some photos and start checking out the sketch blog for the results! (Update: The first one has been posted!)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Chrispy has left the building

I have returned from FA:United a day early. While I met many wonderful people and had some great conversations, foot traffic in the dealer's room was dreadful and sales were brutal. We decided to cut our losses and bail, and we definitely were not the only dealers to do so. Oh well, a lesson is learned.

...and much good did come from this journey! The artist edition book sketches are done, and mailing begins on Monday! Yay! It was so much fun doing all these sketches, and I hope all who get them enjoy them!  For those who are jealous, start making plans to visit me at Intervention and/or Midwest FurFest! You can purchase an artist edition at the table, or bring your copy and get me to upgrade it to superawesomecool!

I'll try to give you another update on how moving/buffering/whatever is progressing next week. Because of the chaos, there will not be a Copper Road on Monday. Sorry! (Vote for me anyway, because I need to feel loved!) The week after will be filled with lots of bonus guest art and comics incentives though!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

FA:United and moving! (And more!)

Folks in the Jersey area, you'd best be making plans to come see me! This weekend I will be hanging with the RCSI folks at FA: United and it will be awesome. Look at the map! We are easy to find! Also, since it's three people at one small table, I will have lots of free time when I'm not selling. I will be wandering and looking for friends! You can totally abduct me and get a good head start with me in your trunk before anyone noticed! (Please don't do that.)

As part of this conventure, I am moving shop from Georgia to Virginia. And I am doing it RIGHT NOW. What does that mean? For one, my internet access on Monday and Tuesday will be restricted to using the 3G on my iPhone, as those are the moving days. Actually, since I'll be setting up and soon traveling to FA:U, my internetting will be random all week.

Things will be hectic while I settle in, which is why I'm doing the upcoming guest strip week. (Still looking for more entries, by the way!) Another consequence is there might not be a Copper Road for the rest of the month. (If I have extra guest strips or art, I will use them as incentives.)

The benefit of this move is that things will get very awesome in September! I will try to figure out how to do livestreaming, so you folks can watch me draw commissions/bonus art and we can do regular chat sessions! I also have some promotions planned, which I'll get to soon.

Furthermore, I can announce that my presence at InterventionCon in DC (Sept 21-23) has been upgraded from "dude wandering around" to "dude with a dealer's table!" Even better, I am bringing some awesome friends with me! The programming for this con looks spectacular, and we hope to be taking part in a few panels there. You should definitely come to this one! It's a "local" con now, so it needs love to ensure it gets big and strong. (Also, it's an internet nerdery con, not a furry con, for those who have been scared. This is your new home!)

Friday, August 10, 2012

New Copper Road! 8/10/12

As it is moving time, I won't have proper internet on Monday for a regular Copper Road update, so you get it now! This one hits a bit closer to home than I'd care to admit. Vote to see it!

Reminder stuff:

I will be at FA:United next weekend! Come say hello! I'll be drawing in the artist editions of the book at FA:U, so shipping will happen soon after! Also, if you haven't ordered a book yet, go get one! It's awesome, and it has lots of bonus content! EVEN MY MOTHER SAID IT WAS COOL!

I'm still taking guest comics and guest art for the break week I'm taking to get my new studio set up. They are due on August 20, but I do ask that you email me ahead of time to let me know something's coming.

I'll post more details about my moving and convention schedule Sunday night.

Monday, August 6, 2012

New Copper Road! 8/6/12

Due to the miracle of webcomic time, characters' birthdays aren't always set in stone. As long as the date happens *sometime* over the course of an arc, it counts! (And even then, it's flexible.)

From the Party Crashers arc, we know Kaitlyn has a birthday in early August... so happy maybe-birthday Kaitlyn! (Yes, it began in August. Ignore the archive URL dates. That's a quirk of adapting a numbered comic into a date-based system when I switched to Clickthulu.)

What gifts did she receive? Vote and see!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Flavors of Autumn

UPDATE: The glitch with the store has been fixed. Order away!

First off, for all those who missed out on the pre-order, the first Precocious collection is back in the store! Order your copy today! Second, don't miss the new Copper Road! Third, I'm still looking for guest strips.

And for those heroes that not only pre-ordered, but reserved an artist edition - your time is coming soon! I will be drawing on your books in two weeks! That means it's time to start figuring out what those sketches will be. The breakdown of the sketches is quite amusing. One Bud, one Jacob, one Tiffany, one Casey, TWENTY ONE AUTUMNS. I know she's the cutest, but wow! (My guess going into the pre-order was 10 Autumn, 10 Tiffany, 5 everyone else.) The challenge now is to find 21 unique Autumn scenarios, so let's do it! EDIT: After talking with RCSI, it seems the count they told me was merely, to paraphrase, "what it seemed like as the orders came in." Since the sketches weren't happening until mid-August, they hadn't even bothered to go back and look yet! Oh well, there's still a ton of Autumn requests, but the other story was funnier.

Actual total:
Autumn - 11
Jacob - 3
Bud - 2
Tiffany - 2
Dionne - 1
Max - 1
Roddy - 1
Yvette - 1
Casey - 1
Suzette -1
Anyone - 1

And now back to the original post...

Unless I get a good idea for a Copper Road, my next few days will be for character sketching. I'm in packing limbo right now, with most non-essential stuff boxed up, and the rest still needed for day to day life. I want to be ready to go, but I guess there is no option but to throw all the important things in boxes at the last minute. (Yesterday I cleared out half my kitchen, only to put it right back in place once I got hungry.) Anyway, if you want to help, give me some ideas for the Autumn sketches! What should she be doing? If you're one who ordered the artist edition, you can give me a specific request - although I can't guarantee you'll get it. Look at the above art for examples of what will appear in the books. (The book sketches will also be shaded with blue colored pencils.)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

New Copper Road! 8/1/12

It's a new month and the stats have been reset, so let's get to voting so Precocious' ranking stays in the happy place! I've done my part by uploading a new Copper Road to entice you!  (EDIT: Head over to the archive page and enjoy all the comics from last month too! Read 'em again! Comment! Love them!)

Whether you've been paying attention to the Olympics or not, you've probably heard folks complaining about how poorly NBC has been handing everything. As someone who has desired to spend every day of the games so far with three screens of competition playing around him at all times, let me assure you that the complainers aren't just doing so because griping about things makes them cool. NBC's been a joke, and their handling of the games has seriously hurt my enjoyment. (Note I said I "desired" to stream the games. I didn't say I was able to successfully.)

I could list all the reasons they suck, but long news posts scare people. Speaking of... GO READ MY LONG NEWS POSTS BELOW! They are important!