Sunday, February 26, 2012

Some more book art!

I was moving some papers around and I discovered a few bonus drawings I made for the upcoming Precocious book that I'd forgotten to scan. Allow me to share one with you! (I believe this one was a request from the Precocious Facebook group.)

In other news, the hand is doing a bit better. I can draw with it now, although not as much as I'd like. Precocious shall continue undisturbed, and Copper Road *should* return on the 1st!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

No Copper Road this week

If you've been following my Twitter, you probably know that I've been having hand problems again. Because of this, I'm going to take a day or two for proper rest, work on non-art stuff and let the Copper Road update slide to next week.

I do have some Copper Road scripts ready to go, but they're fairly drawing-intensive. Once the finger calms down, I'll get to making them. I have a five-day buffer on Precocious at the moment, so I don't expect any hiccups there. (If this hand thing lingers, I will be very very upset with the universe!)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Hi, Hi Hu, who are you?

This entry was supposed to announce a new Copper Road, but I haven't thought of an idea that I like and I'm willing to draw yet. (Soon!) So instead I'll talk about this Hiram dude!

Copper Road has evolved to be more a general riff on things that tickle my fancy than something entirely character-driven, like Precocious. This is good, because I can tell jokes I can't get away with in Precocious. This is bad, because it requires me to pay attention to the world and be somewhat active in it so I can get inspired. (Or is that also good, since I really should be doing that stuff anyway?) Point is, the characters have to be a bit less defined and more flexible. We don't really go into the depths of the supporting cast because that's not the point of the comic. But sometimes I want to go there anyway!

In brainstorming for Copper Road, I got to a big thing I've avoided up to this point: What exactly does Hiram do for a living? He must make enough to support his family, as Shii Ann doesn't seem to work full time. He tends to dress very casual, but that may just be his off-duty self. He's proven to have some flexible hours and the potential to set his own schedule. What does this man DO?

The default idea that's been in my head the longest is that he owns/manages a liquor store. I liked that it's an unconventional approach, but I know my audience can bristle when I talk of anything that could be seen as not being kid-friendly. It's fun to joke about, but that job probably won't stick.

What that job CAN do, however, is be adapted to something more tasteful: He runs a specialty market! It has organic produce, fancy foodstuffs and, yes, a nice selection of alcoholic beverages. Such a job could also tie in nicely with Shii Ann's cooking/baking enthusiasm. She could even work part time at the place if she wants to! There's also a potential Bud sighting, but that would conflict with Bud's claim to have never seen Hiram before when they met in Party Crashers. I guess that's a strike against this idea. (You can explain it as Bud doing the "pretend no one outside my world exists" thing, but I'm pretty sure Bud would give respect to his fancy food supplier.)

There's also the potential to make Hi an absent-minded professor at the university - purely to milk a "Doctor Hu" joke from it. The idea of him being a trusted source of education would be both silly and sad. I wonder what his discipline is? This would also give him a connection with Soren, although I doubt Soren would be thrilled with that.

Making Hi a general office manager guy isn't an option. At best he'd be another Michael Scott from The Office. At worst, he'd be covering the same territory Gene Et covers - and Gene does it better! Hi is a hard worker, so boring him in a corporate office is a waste.

It was suggested to me that he could run a movie theater, and that idea would have potential, but I've made a movie comic already and it doesn't mesh well with Hi being a theater man.

So right now the market idea is in the lead, but I won't commit to it until I'm sure it's the correct path. Nothing is canon until it makes it into the comic. Who knows what I'll have decided on by the time I show Hi at work?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

New Copper Road - 2/14/12

OK, I gave in and made a Valentines Day strip. I couldn't let this awful holiday go by unobserved. Enjoy! Vote here to see it!

Also, at some point today I will be updating the Copper Road archive page with the most recent comics. If you missed a recent update, you can see it there. And comment on it! Woo!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Ranking the Ponisodes!

Because I want to. That's why.

Edited to rank the latest episode. Also, dudes, this did not take a lot of time to do. I went through the list of shows, copied and pasted into tiers and did some rearranging. Easy.

Roughly in order from favorite to most-hated.

Celestia Tier:
Party of One
Green Isn't Your Color
Suited For Success
Lesson Zero
A Dog and Pony Show
The Last Roundup
Hearts and Hooves Day
Sweet and Elite
Secrets of My Excess
Winter Wrap Up

20% Cooler Tier:
Swarm of the Century
Sonic Rainboom
The Return of Harmony Part 2
Applebuck Season
The Return of Harmony Part 1
Hearth's Warming Eve
Owl's Well That Ends Well

Meh Tier:
The Cutie Pox
The Ticket Master
Luna Eclipsed
A Bird in the Hoof
Family Appreciation Day
Baby Cakes
The Best Night Ever
Call of the Cutie
Fall Weather Friends
Friendship is Magic Part 1
Griffon the Brush Off
Boast Busters

Bleh Tier:
Bridle Gossip
Look Before You Sleep
Sisterhooves Social
Over a Barrel
The Show Stoppers
May the Best Pet Win!
A Friend in Deed
Feeling Pinkie Keen
The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 600

The. Worst. Possible. Thing. Tier:
Stare Master
Friendship is Magic Part 2
Read it and Weep
The Cutie Mark Chronicles
The Mysterious Mare Do Well

Best writer: Meghan McCarthy wrote 7 episodes - 6 of which are in my top 11. (I'll forgive her for the unremarkable Call of the Cutie episode, as she's also the only writer to create a GOOD Cutie Mark Crusader episode.)

Best pony: Rarity. As if you had any doubt.

My opinions > Your opinions.

In other news, I can't sleep and my hand hurts too much for drawing. What else could I have done? (Oh, right. More scripting.)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

New Copper Road! - 2/11/12

Vote here to see it! It is totally historically accurate! Except not at all.

I'd like to see more challenges like the one Kaitlyn attempts in the comic. I know I plan to do more in the future. Maybe it could be a thing for me.

I'm certainly not original in using Wikipedia for a challenge, but oh well. Here's my proposed rule set. Go to the page. Hit the random button. Draw a comic inspired by your landing page. You are allowed three "re-rolls" if the content is excessively uninspiring - my test roll just now got me a New Zealand politician from the 1940's - and hitting a stub or super-tiny article is a free re-roll. Remember: If you pass on a page, there's no going back. I just passed up on the promising "Astronomy in Serbia" on my last roll to get this. Now I have to make a comic about that! The original plan was to do that and post an example, but I'm running behind today so instead I'm going to CHANGE THE SUBJECT!

Look! It's a Bud badge! This piece of art comes from Ceiling Cow, who is tabling with me at Furry Weekend Atlanta. (March 15th-18th. Be there!) If you're planning on attending FWA and you'd like to commission her for a badge or something, go give her a shout!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

New SpiderForest Members!

I'd like to welcome the newest batch of spiderlings to the SpiderForest webcomic collective! If you haven't browsed the SF comic list (which can be found at the "more" arrow in the SF banner up top of the homepage) you're missing out!

Here's the list of new members. Click on their names and be happy!

- Silent Pirate
- Dark White
- Gods of the Game
- Spine
- Footloose
- Ley Lines
- LaSalle's Legacy

The buttons in action!

Here are the button ideas mentioned before, now in a format that allows me to safely post them to the Precocious front page! I might have to change the font on the Rule #4 button, but the rest seem like they'd work at the 1.5" size.

The buttons will be sold at my table at Furry Weekend Atlanta. Who's stopping by?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Dance for me!

While I don't have much time for commissions these days, I do still have a few obligations in my inbox. I want to be the best, so let's work on some today!

This project has a few of my ladies cast as belly dancers. I seem to recall the three being Bette, Mitzy and Deirdre... maybe I should have checked my email to confirm them before sketching? Eh, doesn't matter. I can swap some heads around if needed.

To start things out, I did searches for good belly dancing poses. The dresses can be finalized afterward. In this sketch of Mitzy, the dress from the photo would be practically impossible to convert to watercolor - but the pose was nice! By the way, forgive any shading discrepancies. They were not the priority during the sketching and, frankly, I haven't thought of how most of my cast would look with skimpy clothes on.

There's some dissonance going on in my head with my cartoony characters matched up with human poses and dimensions. I tried to "correct" the anatomy from correct human to way-off Precocious, but I definitely need to figure out how I will melt these two elements better.

I didn't think the pose would work out with cartoon anatomy, but it kinda does. I'd like to keep working with this idea.

Deirdre seems like a weird match for this hobby, so I wanted to make her pose a bit more unsure and less dynamic. I found a dress that was more conservative for her.

I've got a lot of work on this project if I want it come out looking grand. Getting the anatomy to look right with my undisciplined method of drawing is hard, and getting the dresses and veils to flow properly is a task as well. I hope to find some time during the next few weeks to keep sketching for this project, as well as the others in the queue.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Button attempts!

I've been playing with the button ideas I sketched out earlier. Enjoy what I have so far! Anything you want to buy?

I used a button template for the layout. The green circle is the text-safe zone. The red indicates the edge of the 1.5" button. The blue indicates the area that can be seen on the side of the button. The black is the bleed area.

I also played around with adding text to the banner draft:

New Copper Road! - 2/6/12

I promised another small and silly Copper Road update today, and I shall deliver! Vote here to see it! Enjoy!

Playing with promo art

Here's a draft for an upcoming Precocious banner, for when I go fully con crazy.

It's about time to start upgrading my online banners too. This is difficult, as I don't have much of a feel for graphic design. I don't know what sells, and I certainly struggle to get my oddly-proportioned characters to fit nicely in any of the standard ad spots. That's sketchbook work for the future, I guess.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

New Copper Road! - 2/1/12

It's a new month, which means votes are EXTRA IMPORTANT over at TWC. So let's reward your voting efforts with a new installment of Copper Road! Vote here to see it! I wasn't planning on having another update this soon, but I ended up writing a couple strip comics on a whim yesterday. We all win!

So, I was chatting with Ceiling Cow - who will be my tablemate at FWA - and she was wondering why I made pony references in a comic of only canids and felines. I explained that the ponies are fictional cartoon characters in the Precociousverse and we all know anything goes in cartoons! So, if I could have cartoon ponies, why not cartoon cows? Then this comic happened. I dunno. It just did. Enjoy it!

I'll probably hold off the other Copper Road strip until Monday - but it could be posted earlier if I get more inspiration for tiny Copper Road humor bites! (That means VOTE EVERY DAY, because you don't want to miss a comic!)