dcomic 412

[061128]

I’ve got things to say again. Oh my God. I’ve noticed two things really, one is an observation, and the other… well, it’s an observation, but less of an observation and something I need to do.

So back at d105, I posted a set of sketches that was the first of several similar pages. Though it was not completely intentional, the outcome was really what pulled me out of what, in d106, I called the “Sloppy Line Period II”, characterized by the comics from episode 119 to 124. When I say “sloppy”, I don’t mean that the lines themselves, put together are sloppy, but rather, the construction of every line itself is sloppy; for a long time, I had a tendancy to go over lines several times regardless of the initial darkness/fill. Look closely and you can see what I mean.

From the sketch in d106 on, this sloppy line effect has actually been greatly minimized; though I’m really not sure how I did it. Consider the page of sketches I posted in d108. I’d hope that even the unobservant observer could tell the difference. But the observation that has triggered me to write about this change is this: I find myself using relatively more time to “think” rather than literally “draw”. After putting down a rough skeleton, I tend to contemplate/visualize exactly where a line should go before putting it down, as opposed to more of guessing where the line should go and going over it or erasing it and trying again. This gives a bit more insurance that each original line will be the “final” line, and you avoid dealing with sloppy lines and erased lines. Of course I still do a great deal of erasing. Just… less than before. Usually, though, erasing is concentrated on one part of one picture that just keeps giving me trouble, rather than across many lines and many pictures.

The second observation I made whilst drawing 413 – 415 (Today is 412, fyi). I need a reference set. If you’ve ever read some select manga that has reference drawings in the back, you’ll know what I mean. What little reference I have is scattered across various sketchbooks/comics, and I realized that it would be very helpful to compile a set, rather than 1) search through all the old reference 2) refer to the previous comic for help. I’ll really have to get around to this sometime. Meanwhile, you can look at all the cross-comic inconsistencies. Yay.

J was telling me how I wouldn’t get much character evolution (in the form of style change, drawing change, etc) if I kept a reference collection. I considered it after my initial response, and I came to the conclusion, that yes, he’s right. But that’s the point. For the first time in a long time, I’m satisfied with my “style”. Much of the work I have to do involves technicalities that can, but generally won’t touch anything related to “style”. I’ve got a huge “to do” list on drawing improvements that I’ve been trying to take down little by little… I suppose my painting “style” still has work to be desired, but that’s a whole different story.

So yeah, I’m done talking. It’s late, and I’ve spent too much time typing.

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J121 – Obliged

[11/27/2006] Gallery update~! Please vote in the poll at the top! Every vote does count. Really, I mean it!

EDIT [11/29/2006]: (re: this post) An obvious extension of D-san’s idea of “thinking” more than “drawing” is creating art through sheer force of mind. Witness the results of my experiments with this subtle yet versatile technique:

As you can see, the slower, careful pace of this technique has allowed me to be more expressive than ever before. Unfortunately, I pulled a brain muscle while doing it, so I don’t think I’ll be trying it again anytime soon.

dcomic 411

[06/11/21]

Well, I’m out of ToTA fanarts. So here’s a comic. I’ve got up to 413 in inventory, maybe I’ll even start drawing 414. I kinda know what I’m gonna do in the next parts of the storyline. Maybe we’ll turn it into a shojo. Mua ha ha ha ha.

Also, I’m not too sure what’s happening in J’s comic this time. Specially in panel 2 and 3. Just which way is that sword going?

J120 – More Violence!

[11/20/2006]

Unit 518 gets hers in this comic. Internal bleeding really sucks…

During one break in Statistics class the past spring, I was prototyping Unit 518 by sketching. This guy walked by and asked me:

“Is that a lobster claw?”
“No, it’s a crab claw.”

Small distinction, but it’s important to me. Lobsters, well, they’re expensive food. And I don’t like the taste. Now, crabs have always been described as “armored”, which they are. (To me, lobsters are just lobsters.) Plus, lobsters carry their claws differently. I think crabs can maneuver their claws a bit better.

And in case you’re confused, Sam’s sword is a rocket-sword. It’s got little thrusters to steer itself, and the funny circle near the tip is a sensor dome. In case you were confused.

C061106

[061112]

I forgot. The reason I don’t say anything about J’s work is that he never listens to me. So I’ll just keep my smartass mouth shut from now on.

Anyways, I wasn’t going to write something long and rambly, but J’s comment and another comment elsewhere in a galaxy far far away prompts yet another long rambling. Now, if you will, ignore whatever you might consider arrogance in what I’m about to say, as it is certainly not my intent.

A buddy of mine online commented as to why I didn’t think my work was well, for lack of a better term, “able to be commercialized upon”. Apparently this person holds me drawing in reasonably high regard. So how you look at a drawing depends largely on how much drawing you do and how much drawing you’re exposed to, and how you make use of the two. If I were to look at the picture in this update three years ago, I would have said the same thing as this person – that is, that the illustration is “print worthy”.

Hell, three years ago, I tried to print Starcrossed thinking the that material was “print worthy”.

I’m getting at is that in order to improve, you need to train yourself to be able to step back, take a look, and say “This is what is wrong with my drawing and this is what I need to work on”. Eventually, with each generation of work, you can see what’s wrong with the current generation, and make amends with the next generation, and so on and so forth. Being able to improve in that sense is being able to, in a sense, “enlighten” your perception.

Eventually you start seeing errors in works of yourself and of others that you previously couldn’t see, again, how “good” you are at drawing could almost be considered as “who can see the most flaws in a work”.

Well, that was actually a pretty retarded and disjointed rambling now that I think of it – but hey, something’s better than nothing.

J118 – CRN 5th Anniversary

[11/6/2006]

Hello there! Plot is interrupted once again by … the FIFTH anniversary of Crummy Radio News! What is Crummy Radio News, you might ask? Well, CRN was created on 11-7-2001, when I had to write a journal entry for class and couldn’t think of what to do. So, I wrote up a transcript of a fake radio broadcast. That’s how CRN got started. I kept writing “transcripts” for it all through that year. Two years later, I started drawing manga for it. That year I even made T-shirts.

In the image, the guy in the center with the implausible hair is Mr. Reporter. He’s the anchor for CRN. To his left is Traf Ikjam, the traffic lady (great names, huh?). Sitting above them in the green polo shirt and khaki shorts is Prob Bice, the financial guy. At far right is Incor Rect, the weatherwoman. The guy with the wrench is the Technician. I’ll try to post the old transcripts and manga scans so you can get an idea of what I’m talking about (problem is, they’re still on my dead desktop). Oh, and tomorrow, tune in again, because I’ll post a brand-new transcript to commemerate CRN’s fifth anniversary. See ya~!

Crummy news for all!

EDIT [11/7/2006]: Here is the completed transcript:

Mr. Reporter: Hey there, so-called folks at home. For CRN’s fifth anniversary, we’re broadcasting live from Paris!
Traf Ikjam: Do we really need to act out this idiotic fantasy of yours? You do know that we’re still in the United States of —
Mr. Reporter: Whatever. Don’t touch the cardboard backdrop, it makes me happy. The folks at home can’t tell anyway.
Traf Ikjam: You do know that we’re transmitting right now, right?
Mr. Reporter: Um … Commercial Break!
Sponsor A: Tired of being cut off in the middle of a sentence? Be tired no longer! We can help, with our —
Mr. Reporter: And, welcome back, so-called folks at home! For our fifth anniversary, we’ve decided to interview our staff. Let’s start the ball rolling, shall we?
Traf Ikjam: How about not?
Mr. Reporter: Okay, let’s call the technician. Our technician is our background handyman: he does field research, repairs, sets up our sound system, and most importantly, drives us out to lunch!
Technician: Yo, what up?
Mr. Reporter: Looks like a busted light bulb.
Technician: Yeah, I need to fix that.
Mr. Reporter: Anyway, tell the so-called folks at home a little about yourself
Technician: Well, I’m 28 years old. I studied unspecified engineering at UC St. Louis.
Mr. Reporter: I didn’t know that degree existed.
Technician: Well, UCSL is special that way.
Mr. Reporter: Um, pardon me for asking, but … what’s your name?
Technician: *falls over* My real name is Technician.
Mr. Reporter: “Technician”?
Technician: Technician the Third.
Mr. Reporter: Okay, thank you, Technician. Now, let’s interview our financial guy, Prob Bice. Hey Prob, how old are you?
Prob Bice: Sixty-seven.
All others: WHAT?!
Prob Bice: That’s adjusted for inflation.
Traf Ikjam: Like many of your other comments, that meant nothing to me.
Prob Bice: It’s a simple matter of subjective quasi-logarithmic time-elastic age dilation.
All others:
Prob Bice: What? Aren’t you familiar with heuristically-compensated automatic —
Mr. Reporter: Moving on!
Incor Rect: Hihi, everyone! You all know me, Incor Rect, the weatherwoman for CRN. I got my degree in QFD at the West Hamburg Institute of Technology.
Traf Ikjam: QFD?
Incor Rect: Quantum Fluid-Dynamics.
Mr. Reporter: How old are you?
Incor Rect: (sweetly) Mr. Reporter?
Mr. Reporter: Um, yes?
Incor Rect: Never ask a woman about her age.
Mr. Reporter: Yes, ma’am.
Traf Ikjam: On that note, I am not going to disclose my age either. All I’ll say is that I got my degree in statistics from the Wold University of Hamburg. Alright, your turn.
Mr. Reporter: Who, me?
Traf Ikjam: No, the busted light bulb above your head. Yes, you!
Mr. Reporter: Um, uh … Commercial break! *runs out*
All others: HEY! *run out after him*
Technician: This has been CRN’s 5th anniversary broadcast. Crummy news for all! *shuts off transmitter and exits*

EDIT [11/7/2006, some time later]: D, I did it weird on purpose. Clearly. This is CRN, after all. And how did you know I was thinking to try coloring like that once I got my tablet set up?

dupdate 061104

[061104]

Well, here we are, another week, another update.

I’m stuck with the NWars storyline, and there’s one extra comic left, so I’m refraining from posting it until I have absolutely nothing else. It gives me a false sense of security, I’m sure. Ok, so it’s not that I don’t know where I’m going with the storyline, I just don’t really know how to get there. Like, if point A and B and D are points on a line, with D between A and B, and segment AD = 1 and segment DB = 9, I know that I’m going to D from A, but I don’t really know whether to draw a straight line, or a curved line, or a hyperbolic one, and so forth.

Wow, that was a lame analogy.

But, onto the update (More like we’re just uploading stuff rather than “updating” anything), here is the first of several ToTA fanarts [100613: Dead link]. Nothing terribly special there; I need more ideas for more complex poses to practice. I’ve been keeping up with the clean lines, though. Yay.

This and this are in color [100613: Two dead links]. Considering my “usual” way of coloring (Refer to something like this), this is a deviation. My general thought is that J’ll give it try just because it’s such a lazy-ass way to do things.

WELL, this is a tack on to this rant. J isn’t online much these days, even with his own comp… that bum.

I’d like to point out, that not only is Mr. Reporter’s hair implausible, so is his foot. I usually don’t say much about J’s anatomical skills, cuz they usually are pretty good, but wtf man. Try standing like that. I’m also concerned about his hand. Is he supposed to be pointing sideways?