Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Hosting hoo haa

At the minute strangebiros.co.uk is routed to the blog, which is fine, but once I have enough content stacked up for the story we are preparing for the Uk WebComix Thing 2010 then I'll switch the blog back to a blogger link, and the URL to the comic.
But where should i host it? I've experimented with wordpress on a uk host, using the comic press theme, but I'm not convinced. I like the look of the slick smooth and funky square space, which seems to be plugged like crazy at the minute.
Perhaps I'll run a trial squarespace site to test out their templates.
Anyroad, the

Friday, 23 October 2009

Spend spend spend

Strangely in a time when the good ole postie isn't delivering letters to General public, my recent impulse purchases all turned up at once, making Alison suspicious at my spending...
Manga Studio, and set of inks from Dinkybox... oh and when I was up in London the other day judging an art competition CASS art was having a half price sale, so I bought a bag full of paper, and pigment pens.
Using Manga studio is like learning to drive a special japanese clown car, everything goes great and then suddenly you accidentally step on the brake, and gravy squirts you in the eye.
I have no idea where half the things I need are cunningly hidden, like the capacity to crop an image... I guess I'm dealing with pages rather than images. On the positive side it has some lovely pen nibs that squish and flex and make swooping curves.
I have continued my strict discipline of trying to draw some girls every day, and whilst a lot look like hogarthian gin fiends, with wonky eyes, I feel I am getting there slowly, and gradually gaining confidence, that I can bloomin' well draw anything I choose too. Todays effort done in manga studio is based on the devilishly masterful works of Mr Allison of the Scary go round, and lately the Bad machinery..http://www.scarygoround.com/ he is without peer in the sphere of drawing girls with slinky hip jeans and tattoos. (top pic photoshop, bottom pic mango sususudio)

Sunday, 18 October 2009

New fangled technology

I spend my work day looking deep deep into the vile heaving black heart of technology, teasing it, twisting it to my pedagogic whim.
So when it comes to doing a drawing, it's all to obvious and easy to harness the same familiars, and invoke the adobe demons.
But, I'm not sure that I actually like drawing on the dinky little wacom, maybe I thought.. maybe I should buy a bigger one, or a cintiq... maybe I should buy a copy of Mango studio, maybe I should upgrade photofop... maybe I should just pour all my cash straight down the paypal tube.
Instead I've bought a new nib pen, and a selection of "Deleter" Manga inks.
I'm going all traditional. We'll see how long it lasts.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Honk honk

Dom has Autumnwatch on the TV. I misheard them talking about barnacle geese, and thought they said Bionicle geese.

Friday, 16 October 2009

old hat

I am being reasonably good, and carrying out my pact to try and draw some girls every day, and have attempted to replicate the stylings of Mr Reddick, who seems to ooze skill and talent from every pore. My efforts however seem to remind me of the pepperami monster, or Lesley Ash, one time screen siren, after her ill advised lip inflation episode.
Most of my other attempts have ended up looking like slightly roman versions of Scully, out of the X files, which is a good thing I think, though some of my attempts have drawn audible laughs of contempt from my dear wife, who doesn't know how delicate my artist's soul is.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

I cannot draw Gurls for toffee

Robots, YES, Vicious squid creatures, WHY SURELY, Aliens with funny heads in jars, and a squillion legs, OF CORSE MI DERE FELLOW, WHAT COLOUR?
But Gurls? I cannot draw for toffee. So everyday for a month I will make myself draw a gurl, till I am the master.
On the other topic of our exciting family webcomic adventure, we have a start, we have a set of characters, and heaven only knows we have a lot of dissent in the camp.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Wych Wolf

So with the target date set, Dom, Adam and I have started fitting all the disparate ideas together to form the spine of the story. We put up a dirty great bit of lining paper the length of the front room and started adding ideas, and plot points. So far so good, though there have been a couple of "artistic differences" already.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

iPhone SDK

I downloaded the Stanford Uni iPhone developer course a while back, and this evening had a gentle listen. I tried the first exercise, but Xcode kept crashing... because I hadn't upgraded to Snow Leopold version... a 2.5 Download for the new SDK.. I did such a doubletake.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

And again, this time with feeling

I often tell my kids that the world was black and white till around 1984... which is a lie, it was sepia.

IWB again

Working on some more resources to show the capability of the Interactive Whiteboard Common File Format.
This one is a 12 bar blues tutorial, using the drag and drop features of the IWB to move tab notation, and Chords. The Object is hosted by "Honkin' Weasel Johnson", though he looks a little to young and funky at the minute.
The resource will go up on the iwbcff project site on sourceforge when it's done under a creative commons licence.

Comic Thing 2010

Have signed up for a table at Comic Thing 2010, http://ukwebcomixthing.co.uk/index.php
The idea being that if we have a real point in space and time that we have to get something finished for, it is much more likely to happen. Dom (my younger son, aged 13) is going to help work on the Project.
Adam (my older, feckless teen 16), has offered to write a script for Dom to draw... so it's going to be a family affair.
When we launched "Strange Biros" at the UKCAC 1991, we took along a wad of comics, and sold a few, had a great time talking to other creators... all that and the guys I went with were dressed as characters, Paul as Judge Death, and Adrian, as someone purple...I seem to remember we drove up in Adrian's Classic Ginormous white Merc.
I'm not sure I can rekindled that level of oddness, but it should be a good day out.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Whiteboard Chess

Finally finished coding the IWB common file format file... tricky thing is there are no tools available to write IWB yet, so it's a case of hand coding.. which should be very simple, as the code is basic svg with a couple of other elements chucked in. However the viewer app is a bit picky, and kept refusing the file... in the end I realised I'd got an underscore in a file name instead of a hyphen.
It was a strange feeling finally getting the file to work, and reminded me of the joy of proper coding, where you sit there pulling at your hair, and finally get that great sense of satisfaction when the code works.
I'll post the code up on the sourceforge site, so when we release the viewer there's another sample file to go with the rest.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Harder than it looks

Blinkin' flip.. it's been a while since I've done any coding, and even simple image positioning and referencing is making my brain hurt.
I coloured up the chessmen, and started putting them into the file, but realised I need to make them a little more uniform in size... and smaller if they are going to fit into the 800x600 viewbox area.. bum...
Another late night ahead...