Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Last-minute epiphanies

I'm a strange place with the current Precocious storyline. I know where it's going, but I also have MANY paths I can take to get there. There *was* a plan for this week, but I am having second thoughts about it. Originally the school rebellion was going to be cut short in the main strip, with the Copper Roads filling in the gaps. It was then pointed out to me that doing so would only work for THIS week, then the chaos is lost to time. That's no good! Maybe I should move the rebellion back into the main plot.

That, of course, complicates everything. First of all, I NO LONGER HAVE A COPPER ROAD to post! This kinda sucks, as it's already overdue. Second, I have to reorganize the scripts to fit everything together so the Sunday falls on Sunday. Third, I need to think up, script and produce the strips... tomorrow. Damn, I wish I had thought of this change earlier. It's going to be tough for me to make my deadlines, but I'll try.

Oh yeah, and I have to do this WHILE TRAVELING! I've been called into DC, where it's really hard to make comics, AND I have the pressure of working day to day on what might turn out to be a bunch of double strips! Awesome! This is gonna suck! At least the strips should be great.

So in the end, we're gonna lose a Copper Road - but gain a bonus week of Precocious! That's a trade-off worth making, right?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Painting for the people!

It's been a comic work day, but that wouldn't give me anything to show here. Time for a painting break!

Not much progress, but it's something. I tried out a few new colors to see if they meshed, with decidedly mixed results. Time for more outlining? That solves all my problems!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Where did my files go?

Today has not been my day on the Precocious front. First of all, Tuesday's strip has been a killer for me. It's simple! It's easy! It... REQUIRES ME TO DRAW STRAIGHT LINES! This is something I cannot do. I had to draw doors - friggin' doors - and I have not been able to do it. My final result was to draw two crappy doors are copy/paste, which is a new low for my comic. Ugh.

With that resounding victory, I went to upload my latest comic. I did the same thing I always did, clicking the "strips" folder to open. I moved my mouse back to the other side of the FTP, selected my strip and moved it over. To empty space. See, somehow my FTP decided I *actually* wanted to delete EVERY SINGLE STRIP from my site. NOOOOOOO!

Hey, friends, let's just make this worse! I re-upload all the strips I had in the folder. The OLD folder. With the OLD numbering. Ahh! Fix it! Fix it! Fix it!

Anyway, I *hope* I have everything right. My BIG fear here is that I've accidentally re-uploaded old strips with typos that I've since fixed. I'll have to reply on the readers to point this stuff out - possible YEARS down the road! Hooray!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Daddy's tired

I am dealing with less friends than yesterday, but I'm all tired out from socializing. You're lucky I got Monday's strip done in time! Anyway, this is my lone sketch of the day. Tomorrow I'll be more rewarding.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I have friends today!

I did a few sketches, but my day is devoted to socializing. This is a rare event, so let me have it!

Friday, September 25, 2009

The friendly hermit

Work on the "I hate everyone" painting is continuing - in spite of some people being nice to me! I think it's becoming more of a "this is what I can do" statement than the "so shove it" part of the motive. I still may start mass murdering or supervillaining at any moment, but at least I'll do it with modernist flare!

On the comic front, I'm trying to get a few days ahead. I'm pretty bad at using my free time right now. I've been playing too hard, so free days end up "sleep like the dead" or "walk like a zombie" days. It's Friday, though! While normal people go out and play, I use the silence to get as much work done as I can.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

There's no time for swirly colors!

I have a comic to do, dammit! Oh, whatevs. THE ARTIST'S SOUL MUST BE SATISFIED!

I tried a new trick with this painting: I turned to twitter for inspiration! Twitter IGNORED MY PLEAS! Go to hell, everyone on twitter! New painting idea: Everyone on Twitter sucks! I'm all alone in a vast uncaring universe because people are too infatuated with themselves to lend a hand! Wait, that's stupid and cliche. New new painting idea: I'm paranoid and whiny because I don't get enough attention. All I can do is thrive on my own and make everyone else look the fool for not acknowledging my supremely obvious awesomeness! Vengeance shall be mine!

Well. vengeance shall be mine in a bit. A good friend is coming to visit this weekend and that means I need to get the comic far enough ahead that I don't have to worry about it. That means I have to get my Sunday strip knocked out TODAY. Ack! At least it should be relatively simple. It's only three panels! Bonus: It contains a joke I've been trying to fit in for over a year! Yay!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Portrait of the inside of my head?

No, it's not about my clear insanity - it's about my teeth! Complete chaos? Nothing aligning quite right? A bit of decay at the bottom? Yeah, sounds like my mouth. Artists like me are so deep.

I'm nearly done with this bit of playing around. On to the next one?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cool color is cool

As foretold by the gods, I have indeed swapper out the yellow in my latest painting for pistacio (and pale olive)! I like this much better, although there's still a long ways to go before this is worthy of even a cheap hotel room wall. (Dream big!)

I'm still getting the color situation straightened out. A lot of my typical black and white outlining might do wonders here. If not, I'll probably do it anyway BECAUSE I CAN'T CONTROL MYSELF!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Shane! Come back, Shane!

Well, he's been drawing my characters enough, so I'll return the favor! What we have here is my drawing of Al S. Romero's character Shane, the dingo. I wish my scanner handled colored pencil better, but that's the price I pay for it working so excellently on the comics. Anyway, enjoy it, Al!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

To redraw or not to redraw

When you do a daily comic, you have to resign yourself to sometimes letting imperfections slide. There just isn't enough time to fix the little things. Did I color the wrong ear black on Frida? Is Bud too tall or short? Sometimes I gotta let 'em through. Usually these mishaps are minor and no one but me even notices.

And then we have this week, where two strips are not cooperating. One (Thursday's) is completely but wildly imperfect. Looking back, I have three packed panels that need more space to properly draw the action and one panel that doesn't need to exist. It should have either been a three-panel strip or double-sized. Plus, I screwed up the timing of everything because I chose to take a visual shortcut and forgot how the comic was supposed to flow. It still works, but it doesn't pop at all like it should. It won't be too painful if I run it, but the perfectionist/artist in me cries.

Odds are, I won't redraw. That's because SATURDAY'S strip is already on its second attempt - and it might need a third. It's the ever-frightening group shot, with eight characters standing around. That's a lot of personal space and dialog to juggle, and I'm choking this time. If this strip keeps taking up my time, then I can't go back and fix Thursday. Heck, there's also Copper Road, which I was supposed to be drawing NOW. Can't fall behind on that. Ugh. See what I mean about dailies? I take a nap and suddenly I'm behind! If I take the time to go back and fix Thursday, then Sunday's strip gets pushed back. And I slack HARD on Sundays as it is!

I am excited for this next story, though! Tomorrow's strip makes me smile! The story plays out like it should, forming one long arc while breaking into nicely digestible week-long bites. Well, that's the plan. I haven't fully scripted it. In fact, I haven't scripted the last three/four weeks of it, which is very unusual for me. But I have faith in myself! Just not in Thursday.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Return of the schoolgirl

It's been a while since I put Autumn in her standard schoolgirl outfit, and the reason is quite simple: I'm horrendously lazy. It takes a few extra precious seconds to draw things such as collars, sleeves and skirts! Tank tops and slacks are just so easy!

Now that the kids are back in school, I have no excuse to lazily dress Autumn. It's time to suck up and stop cutting corners. Sadly, when you do a daily, corner-cutting becomes a way of life. It would have been fairly easy this week to cut corners, as Autumn spends most of it sitting at her desk - but I was good! (Autumn's outfit *does* get a feature in tomorrow's Sunday strip.)

Things like Autumn's outfit are easy to lose when dealing with a strip as complex as Precocious. It always irks me when I sit back and realize someone or something got left out in recent weeks. Jacob once disappeared for three weeks! Autumn faded for two during a story. Currently, Bud - THE CENTRAL CHARACTER - is the one suffering from airtime deficiency. I know it's the natural ebb and flow of such things - recent and upcoming strips both deliberately focus on the supporting cast - but it's my job to keep everything juggled. As soon as I lose control, the strip becomes a mess!

Bud, like the schoolgirl outfit, will make a comeback in time, but it might take a month to give him proper attention. Usually I use Sundays to make up for any missed characters, but this time...

Friday, September 18, 2009


Oh, Quincy, you are fun to use because you have no shame about enjoying your passions. Meanwhile, I whip myself and wear a hairshirt every time I play Pokemon. (My favorite part: The breeding! *hangs head*)

Here are some sketches I did for the next Copper Road strip. How much dorky dress-up can I fit in? I came up short in anime cosplaying. I don't know what's popular and well-known in anime circles anymore. Heck, I don't know what's going on anywhere with these kids these days. I'm old and useless! *sob*

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A primary concern

In today's episode of "When Paintings Go Wrong" we feature this chaotic mishap. Have I wrecked what was once a promising start, or does TRULY REFLECT my dental disaster influence as intended?

I think it all went wrong when I chose to use primaries as my color scheme. I don't work well with 'em. Specifically, I don't work well with YELLOW. Once I go that route, I eliminate a lot of color harmony. It doesn't mesh well with my favorite light blue violet, and when combined with red oxide (another fav) it makes the painting looks too Washington Redskins. I think if I went back and painted over all the yellow with pistachio. it would look significantly better. You know what? I *have* Photoshop. I can test it out there. LET'S DO THAT!

You know, my theory was right. Next step: ATTACK OF PISTACHIO! (What's really depressing is that Photoshop's color range tool made me realize this thing would look really good in just black and white. Color is my enemy!)

That won't solve every problem, though. There's still the matter of "what goes in the white space?" and "what's sharp and what's loose?" facing me. I really like what's going on in the lower right and I'd like to spread it out to help differentiate between the main form and the supporting structure. Right now nothing really pops. That must be fixed.

I have a long way to go before this painting is serviceable, if it's possible at all, but all in all it wasn't a bad result for a day of agony. I'm just hoping the soreness is reduced when I wake up.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It's fine art tomorrow - Today!

As threatened, here comes the fine art - full of tortured emotions, inner pain and twisted emotions. It's deep! It's dark! It's scary! Ok, fine, it's about my mouth.

For those in the audience who are not also outside my window stalking me (please stop that, those who are), you may not know that this pile of stress has TMJ as a result. That means I suffer from jaw pain periodically and it can flare up at times. This might be one of these times. There's so much wrong with my mouth on that side it's hard to tell. It's not very pleasant right now, and it gets worse if I eat on that side, but I'm putting my faith in ibuprofen. (It's kinda hard to think of the funny when in pain.) Anyway, that side is out. It should go away soon enough if I keep wearing my bite guard at night. (It's my fault for slacking on that in the first place.)

On top of that, as part of an ongoing restorative project, today I got a temporary crown on the *other* side of my mouth, which means staying clear of *that* side when eating for two weeks.

Ruh roh.

Well. I need to slenderize some anyway. Starvation is easier than exercise! (Oh, who am I kidding? I can still abuse noodles!)

Anyway, I'm taking a day of from making the comic (unless I can somehow script) to do some painting/napping. This start of a painting here is all about inability to choose sides. I actually flipped it over part of the way through and started playing anew. As always, I have no clue how the heck this will play out. I'm extemporaneous!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Variety spices up my life

I am a great artist! I am versatile! I can draw modernist masterpieces! I can draw cartoon animals! Today: Cartoon animals win. Maybe I can get back to my fine art roots tomorrow.

Enjoy a random husky dude and poodle gal. See, I can draw other characters. No, they will never make it into Precocious. That's sort of an insular group.

Monday, September 14, 2009

When does hockey start?

Oh, who am I kidding? Football is my abusive lover. It can break my heart and my spirit, and I'll keep coming back over and over. Why must I root for such lousy teams? (Seahawks, you may be my only glimmer of hope.)

Is this what I get for choosing my favorite teams via color scheme? Hey, it may sound weak - but I've been rooting for these teams for over 20 years now. I think I've earned proper fandom! Aside from my beloved Redskins (being born into a sports-loving DC family ensured my loyalty), I chose to branch out one day by looking over the other teams in the newspaper. I chose three more teams: The Seahawks, the Browns and the Falcons. I loved the stylish bird logos, and I had to admire the balls it took for the Browns to not have a logo. "We're the Browns and all we give you is a field of orange - AND YOU WILL LIKE IT!" Solid! As new teams were added, I adopted (to like-but-not-love) the Panthers, the Jaguars and even the Ravens. (I know I'm supposed to hate them with a passion - but they ARE the team I grew up rooting for and their theme and colors are so damn good!)

Anyway, I've already covered my bizarre rooting strategy on this blog last year, so I won't tangent there any more. I'll just say that optimism is not very high. It's times like these when I look to FANTASY football to pick me up - except I'm doing even WORSE there. I had horrible drafts. Terrible luck out of the gate combined with my poor decisions making is shaping up to result in three narrow losses this week. My only win will come in the league I got Adrian "a bajillion points" Peterson - and that is marred because I went against him in another league.

It's hard being a DC sports fan. I grew up with the Redskins heyday, with Joe Gibbs and all those Super Bowls. I gained expectations! The Orioles never won the World Series, but Cal Ripken gave us pride! Heck, during those days the Browns were the winningest team in the league! My, how times have changed.

Nowadays the Redskins are owned by a petulant fool who ruins team chemistry and racks up bad karma every year. The Orioles have been awful for a loooong time. The Nationals became the new home town baseball team, and they might be the worst team in history! I don't give a crap about basketball, so the Bullets/Wizards were out from the start.

At least the Capitals are decent in this era. Yay hockey!

I know this post was kinda lame, but a "Fail to the Deadskins" reaction was due! Plus, I've done nothing except the tiniest bit of comic work today, so it was all I had to share.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Hail... victory?

It's football time! (The Steelers-Titans game didn't count because I hate them.) As I savor these last moments before the games begin, when optimism exists - who knows, the Redskins might have a winning record! - I shudder with anticipation. I'm a football junkie and, finally, Sundays have become holy for me!

I need to finish (read: START) the next Copper Road today, but it'll be hard to tear me away from the stats as they pour on on (I'm also a FANTASY football junkie.) Hope still exists though. The games will be glorious!* The work will get done!* My teams will all win!* It'll be awesome!*

*may not prove true.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Adventures in advertising

As you might have noticed, I've added a new obnoxious ad space to Precocious. Let me assure you, it *is* a soulless act indeed!

I'm trying to figure out a new ad combo for the site that brings in a bit more revenue. For a site with my readership, my PW bids are WAY low - and that's a problem. Part of this is lack of name recognition. I may have more readers, but I don't have the reputation yet. Not surprising. I'm a young comic, with little niche market appeal and I'm bad at networking. The other contributing factor is that I chose to be nice instead of greedy. Each of my ad spaces offers multiple slots of bidders. The more ads the bid on, the less advertisers big AGAINST each other. That's what drives up prices, after all.

There's also the idea of campaigns, which bid on a buttload of ad spaces with no discretion. Most campaigns are leaderboard, skyscraper and banner. My main ad box is... half-banner. A lot of advertisers don't even HAVE half-banner ads. By adding the leaderboard space, I now have campaign bait. Even though the placement is not optimal (for now), campaigns are blind to that. It's cheap, I know, but I am getting really tired of lagging behind in revenue. This money is the SOLE funding for my own ad campaigns. The less I make, the less ads I bid on and the less readers I bring in. New readers are good things!

The problem with throwing in ANOTHER ad box is that it further dilutes my ad spaces., which means even less competition (and thus bid wars) for ad spots. Having 10 optimally placed button ads will nab you 20 cents a day. Having one leaderboard in that space instead can nab you a dollar. (In PW terms, a dollar is a lot!) What I may do is swap out my half-banner ads with the leaderboard. At least on the home page. It messes up the spacing, which bugs me, but it might help revenue. I put it on the old Precocious page if you want to see how it'd look. It also might mean I have just one space earning 3o cents instead of four earning 10 cents. I am, unfortunately, an artist - my business acumen is lousy. All I can do is throw ideas at the wall and observe the results.

Friday, September 11, 2009

No takebacks! (Or are there?)

It's time for more experiments with a pen! Once again I'm sketching without a net! If I make a mistake, it's there. Nothing can erase ink! Ink owns all!

Ok, fine, I can still photoshop out some screwups - namely the right Max and Roddy, which were the first two sketches done, of course. It takes time to warm up! That's how it works for all of them. On the right is my first pen attempt, with the follow-up on the left. (It's a left-handed thing.) As you can see, just a bit of practice and I did get better. Go me!

I like these sketches because it's always fun to get into the Precocious supporting cast. Scripting is underway for the next big storyline, and these things give everyone a time to shine. (Bonus: I also FINALLY have next week's strips scripted. I cut that awful close.) Now I'm ready to start churning away at the strips, ideally building up a buffer - but there's a big difference between having the next 14 strips SCRIPTED and having them DONE. Motivation, I chose you!


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Untapped rivalries

I've spent so long playing the us vs them game, that I've only touched upon the underlying personal rivalries. This is a consequence of me still being in introductory mode, and my world building like a mofo.

I can simply state that Autumn hates Max, but that's lazy and cheap. I need to show why, and I need to do it MORE THAN ONCE A YEAR. Hey, when you have a universe as complex as mine, it takes a while to get back to these things! As I've whined about this before, nothing in the future is dependent on this (one sided) rivalry being known or not known, nor do the Bud-Dionne, Jacob-Suzette rivalries have much importance for now. Still, I want to be able to tap that resource should I desire it. Looks like I have to up my storytelling skills!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I thought it could do everything!

So I have my interview tonight, and I'm doing the required STRESSING THE FUCK OUT over it. I should prepare some responses to anticipated questions, but instead I think I'm going to wing it and hope my inner awesomeness pulls it out.

Today's already brought one shock. I asked what I needed to do to prepare and the replace was simple: Give him my skype information and all would be fine! My...what? I'm not on Skype! I have an iPhone! I want to call in and use my iPhone to be jerky and/or cool! This whole Skype thing passed me right by.

So now I have to learn Skype before I embarrass myself further tonight. Blah. I hate learning new things!!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Stolen pen therapy

Today was yet another visit to the dentist - I go back AGAIN next week! - in my long progression of fixing my awful mouth. This time a second shot of Novocain (or a similar drug) was needed to keep me from screaming. I react oddly to that stuff. Now I get to wait and see what happens to me. Will I pass out? I hope not. Novocain's given me a case of the snoozes before, but I'm seeing a friend later so that would be inconvenient. Will it fade soon? That second shot means I could have a mush-mouthed dinner. (As or now, my mouth is a dribble glass!) What if it does fade? So far, I haven't taken these drillings well in the pain department. I guess I've become a dental wuss.

The shining light of this whole crusade is the spiffy pens I keep swiping! This time I was a POLITE thief. I told the receptionist I was taking the pen. "Oh... ok." Score! That's three in my collection now! Hey, I think losing a $2 pen after I paid my more-than-$2 bill is a worthwhile trade-off for them.

Using a pen to sketch is akin to doing a crossword puzzle in ink - there are no takebacks! I can't draw my guidelines and circles - I have to nail the sketch on the first try. This is good practice for me, should I ever make it onto the convention scene. Pencil sketches fade away, but ink sketches last! If I can improve my ink drawing, then I can con with increased confidence! It's also plain-old fun to mess around with a quality drawing instrument. I'm a cheapskate, so these high class $2 pens are normally beyond my spending. (It's not like I have a job, here. Money is precious!)

Monday, September 7, 2009

I need a new grill

To commemorate the holiday I totally did not remember was going on - as an unemployable person, things like holidays and weekends lose all meaning - I had a little "death of summer" cookout. I consider it a last hurrah for a grill that's done all it could for us.

If this grill was a dog, it would be put down. At this point, it's just a mess. The igniter is busted, so we have to use matches. The gas thingy is stuck open, so we have to shut off the propane at the tank.) The handle broke off, so it has to be opened and closed with an open mitt. The grill area is rusted from my idiot brother leaving it outside in the elements for some goddamn reason. It's old. It's busted. It barely works. It's dead, Jim.

We're going to replace it soon, once the end-of-season sales kick in, and I look forward to that day. This is a house that does get its grill on when the option is available. Sure, now that grilling has become a stupid Rube Goldberg-ish endeavor, we've cut down - but we're just waiting for the new hotness! (Of course, said idiot brother can't be allowed near it. He is why we can't have nice things.)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I SAID, "Think unsexy thoughts!"

I've been whining about wanting Precocious to make it onto TV Tropes for a while, which someone finally did in order to shut me up. I'm on the notable furry comics page - even though the disclaimer at the top of that page points out that Precocious doesn't qualify. Basically, if a comic with walking talking animals exists, but it would work the same if those animals were swapped with human forms, then it's not furry. It's funny animals by definition! WHAT-EV-TO-THE-ER! More people pay attention to furry comics, so go ahead and classify me! If friggin Calvin and Hobbes gets classified as furry because of the whole tiger thing, then Precocious is fine with that. Yay furry!

Except that comes with consequences. Precocious now appears on a second TV Tropes page: The FETISH FUEL page. Do what now? Seems Tiffany is just so beloved, that love has turned to perversion. I think this was done just to mock me for all my whining, so I guess I deserve it. Still, DUDE, SHE'S NINE! I will say I laughed my ass off when I found this out. Then a part of my soul died. C'mon people - *whine* - let's get on some less frightening places on TV tropes! (I can only imagine what awful entry will come now...)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Think unsexy thoughts

As promised yesterday, I'm going to disappoint you! Yippie!

Today, as foretold by the sages, is a work day. So far I've finished up the Sunday (which is good, as today is Saturday), lettered the next week, drawn two of those next week strips and started inking on Copper Road. I also threw up a Copper Road teaser on my website during my break time. Not bad. Not SEXY, but not a waste of a day.

I fully intent to waste the evening, however.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Not a people person

I'll try not to get too "emotions and stuff" here, but I have a blog and I have some frustration - IT IS THE NATURAL ORDER OF THINGS!

Today I posted my 300th strip. That's kinda a big deal, even though it fell in just about the worst place. I'm on the second-to-last page of the current story, meaning any curious new reader is not likely to stick around and give a crap. Readers are profoundly lazy beings, and there's no way to change that. The burden falls to me to MAKE THEM CARE. Today's 300th strip was a wasted opportunity.

I'm absurdly lucky to have the fan base I have now, because I thoroughly suck at cultivating it. Precocious lacks a solid HOOK to get the easy readers. (Unless you count the artwork as furry - and I don't know how effective that would be as I don't cover an furry topics in the strip.) I don't pander to a target group. I don't do T&A or more adult humor. That's an issue, since that stuff is what the internet is all about! We go online to find groups of like-minded people, so we WANT to find comics that fit our interests. The average internet user is more sharp-tongued and edgy with their humor, so comics with that voice naturally attract a large readership. All I have to offer is funny. That's a LOT OF PRESSURE!

It falls to me to make people care enough to stick around - and once they stick around, I have to make them want to help Precocious thrive! That's hard to do with my personality. Unfortunately, I'm far more the artist than the advertiser. Doing the social things, like tweeting around, hanging out on message boards and being proactive in audience interaction are hard for me. All I want to do is work on my comic! I've got all my eggs in the quality basket!

I'm frustrated with myself right now. Precocious may be ahead of the curve in the readership to comic age ratio, but it's not where it COULD be - and that's all on me. Not only have I not actively cultivated a readership, but I've done a lot to distance those who put forth the effort to reach out to me. I do my best, but I'm an awful communicator. (I'm two weeks behind in my email, and feeling reeaaaallly guilty about it.) Of course, I knew this going in. That's why I went daily. That's why I do all my extras. I need quality to make up for my poor social skills. But quality will only take me so far.

I'm sorta lacking direction here, so I apologize. I'm having a hard time communicating about having a hard time communicating!

See, the problem is my ego is at work here. I have a WONDERFUL group of dedicated readers, and I want MORE. This post is not a knock on them, as I mentioned they stuck around despite me doing NOTHING to win them over. They are amazing, and reading their feedback is what keeps me putting in the massive amount of hours that are needed to produce a daily. And do I tell them how awesome they are? No, I whine about how I'm not satisfied.

I look at the numbers by Precocious for ranking sites and I cringe. I produce a new comic every week as a vote incentive, yet a really small fraction of my readers bother to vote. IT'S A NEW COMIC! I can't do any more to get them to care! Problem is, they don't even care enough to READ MY NEWS POSTS about it, so they don't know! I'll keep trying to get their attention, but you can understand how that frustrates me. I put a lot of work into Copper Road, dammit! On the ad side, my revenue has been dropping recently. I am making no profit at all, which bugs me to no end. The numbers say highly visible ads on a site with as much traffic as mine should be making far more than they do. I look at sites with half the readers and they're making twice as much per day, if not more. My ego is not pleased to see stuff like that! I'm worthy of more people caring, dammit!

Anyway, forgive this little outburst. A lot of crazy when in to messing up my day, and I'm taking it out on the few people who do read this blog. I'll try to bring the awesome back tomorrow. Actually, scratch that. Tomorrow I'll be in full panic mode to get Sunday's comic done. I'll just have to be awesome in the strip, and hope that balance out my utter lack of entertainment over here!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

To Flanderize or not to Flanderize...

Ahh, Flanderization! It can lead to glory or could lead to cheapness. In the right hands, maybe both?

Anyone who has read through my archives knows I'm big on the Flanderizing, making all my supporting characters pop in pre-Flanderized. I did this on purpose, to give you a cursory, bullet-pointed summary of THIS IS WHO THEY ARE AND THIS IS WHAT THEY ARE ALL ABOUT!!! I figured introducing them and driving home the characteristics would help readers get into the story. Was this good or bad, I dunno - but it WAS on purpose!

So now I'm about to introduce Vincent in Copper Road - and he's a character I can seriously Flanderize. I think I'm going to go ahead and do it, but it makes me feel guilty - like I'm forcing it something fierce. (Maybe I am.) The humor of Vincent so far is that he's been languishing in obscurity... so to make him suddenly burst forward and be all aggressive is taking him to new and awkward heights!

It's going to be cheap, and I admit that... but maybe it'll also be funny?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The mark of the illustrator

Here are the two paintings I worked on today. My versatility owns you all!

Hey, my modernist fetish won't be paying the bills any time soon. It's those cute cartoon animals the offer my best route to salvation.

What we have here is the latest update of my "A Loving Family" commission. I've laid down the first layer of color (mostly) and things are starting to come into focus. Jacob's blanket and the background color are still up in the air. Once I figure those out, it'll be finishing the colors and then one last black and white pass to crisp things up! The end is near!

On the other side, we have what I do for FUN! I quite like how this bite-sized painting came out. While the colors are all on the lighter side, they pop nicely in the composition. All I have left to do here is add a pale olive border. A work of mine with NO BLACK? Blasphemy!

It's important that I keep my skills up with all my art styles! I have a strong fine-art portfolio, both in printmaking and painting, but that will only get me so far. If I want to do illustration in grad school, I need to prove I have the chops for some commercial art. The PJ Harvey illustration was fun, and I really do need to draw more celebs. But that's for home and I'm in sleepy DC land. Painting is the key!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sleepy time

Man, I forgot what a sedative the grandparents' house was. Even my paintings are sleepy! Well, sleepy for ME. Controlled chaos is me at peace.