J175 – Hydrogen-tan 4koma

[12/31/2007] Happy (solar) New Year, everyone! To kick things off in the new year, we’ve got something old — a comic I drew way back in October for a chemistry homework assignment. We were supposed to explain, with pictures, whether Hydrogen Fluoride (HF) or Hydrogen Iodide (HI) had a higher boiling point. Of course, I took this chance to bring out the ever-awesome (in my eyes, anyway) concept of moé anthropomorphism. Unfortunately, I don’t think it did a particularly good job of explaining why HF has a higher boiling point than HI. The original version of the comic can be seen here.

At any rate, Happy New Year folks. Enjoy the weirdness.

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Two Paintchats

Paintchat on October 24

Paintchat on December 1

[12/24/07]

So, first a bit of background. openCanvas is a nifty little program, that, in its earlier incarnations, allows people to connect with the magical powaa of the interwebs and do something called “paintchat”, which is basically drawing on the same picture over the internet. After Derek and I figured out how to do this (with a bit of help from this webpage), we tried doing so. Hence, we get what you see above.

A few things before I explain what the heck is happening in those pictures. First, a caveat: Derek had a tablet. I didn’t. This may partly explain the difference in quality of art, though I didn’t do too bad a job using just a mouse, if I do say myself. Secondly, the actual openCanvas program can be had here (right-click and choose “Save Link As”) if you so desire. It may help follow along with the next thing, which is the event files for the first session and second session. Basically, they’re recordings, sped up, of Derek and me painting. Now, onto the actual art:

First Session: Our first attempt. My lack of skillz with the mouse (or in general?) is visible. Derek tends to draw faster, so I didn’t get as much done. Not sure what the girl in the middle is about. The ship in the middle was drawn by Derek; the thing in the lower-right hand corner is my biscotti-and-waffle parody of it. For those of you following along with the event file, the comment “Nice Boat” is a reference to a recent internet meme. Can’t really explain it concisely, so I’ll refer you to Tokatu’s rant here (scroll down to where it says “Nice Boat!” in bold).

Second Session: This one contains a lot more randomness. Those of you watching the event file may notice Derek Drawing a ship, which then explodes and is deleted. Meanwhile, the picture randomly turns dark and inverts its colors. That would be me trying to figure out which layers I’ve painted on. Anyway, once again, in the corner we have Senator Käska. After Derek redesigned him with a prominent ahoge, I’ve always been tempted to draw him as a spazzy asshat. Much like a certain other character who says “MAHO” a lot. The little white things behind Käska are dango, as seen in this rant. The event file contains a short period in which a profusion of them are generated all over the picture. At this point, I drew Hungry Hungry Käska to take care of them. The two girls are ME-tan (left) and XP-tan (right), two of the most commonly seen OS-tan.

My god, there’s a lot of links in that rant.

dcomic 448

[071223]

BLARGH!

Nothing I really wanna say this time around. I’m in Hong Kong, coming back in two days. Quick trip this time. My parents and siblings are going to some resort in Malaysia, but for me there’s no better resort than home sweet home. So I’ll be coming back early.

Prolly won’t get a chance to go anime merchandise shopping. Tight schedule with the short trip. Hell that’s why I’m running behind with this update. Even so stuff happened and funds are tighter than I’d like so I prolly wouldn’t buy much aside from a few gifts…

Working on the part one redrawing at the moment. Nothing more to say really.

J174 – “Niftay!”

[12/17/2007]

I have finals right now. But I drew this (well, except for the shading) before they started. So we get a comic.

Too bad the quality is questionable. As Derek said, actively not-thinking doesn’t seem to be working. Also doesn’t help that I can’t think up plots.

Maybe I should just go back to my old pattern of 4koma, which occasionally happened to fall as a plot, while still being funny. Like, this comic could probably have been done as 2 or 3 separate 4-panel comics, which would individually be funny, and still convey the same information. Hmm. Maybe I’ll try that.

At the bottom of the sheet of paper is a note, “rant: fridge?”. I think what I was thinking was that most fridges I run into these days are the top-bottom style, with the fridge and freezer units stacked on top of each other. I wonder why side-by-side isn’t as popular. Maybe there aren’t too many tall, narrow things people want to put in their fridge.

I go home Wednesday! Yippee~!

dcomic 447

[071217]

WHOO, this update is a little later than my usual ones.

This weekend has been the big story overhaul weekend. And while it was pretty slow going, drawing can once again progress.

First things first, I have finally given the characters consistent names, based on the names (with my regular one letter deviations XD) of the people whom the characters take after. D and J are now Derek Lin and Justin Lam (none of this san crap anymore, despite being a big fan of japanese people, I am not japanese and do not speak japanese and as much as I hate to admit it, this is an american comic. Hell it even reads fuckin left to right), Duong and Young are now Tho Zung and Jack Yung, Armstrong and Crawford are now Kris Armstrong and Nat Craw and Silverman is now Dan Silver. The names are reflected in the completed compilations of parts 3 and 4. These will be uploaded before January, as I am planning to set Colette up as a permanent server before then.

Speaking of compilations, Part 2 is going to be rewritten from scratch. As it stands, because of the way in which I transitioned into the story, the introduction provided by Part 2 is relatively poor. I want to make everything as obvious as possible and the storyline as easy to follow as possible. Hopefully the rewriting won’t have any effect on normal updates. I do have a stockpile through… march or something. It’s big.

This page marks the beginning of Part 5 where shit in this story starts hitting the fan. This is about the halfway mark of the story, but as I said, stuff should start happening now. Everything before this was just an introduction XD The story should also run a bit smoother – at least, I’m trying to write it a bit smoother; not so much jumping around as with the early parts.

Also the summary has been reloaded (after J decided to accidentally delete it). There is also a link that goes to nowhere but claims to direct to a character page. Well, I’ll get to that along with the part 2 rewrite. Chikara is my new avatar for the site. Philia was getting old. It’s been months since I last thought about ToD. Anyways, I’ll be in Hong Kong before the next update. Have yourselves a nice day.

Oh, one more thing. Images are now going to be saved as optimized png instead of unoptimized gif. You ask why not use optimized gif? Well what if I just don’t feel like it? Huh? Huh? Optimized gif is prolly how J gets his filesizes to a reasonably compact size next to my monsters of 300-400kb.

J173 – “I Was Hungry…”

[12/11/07]

Comic note: I’m attempting to start a new plotline here. I’m also attempting not to overthink things. Also attempting not to underthink things. Hitting this balance is going to be tricky to say the least; I think I failed the last time I tried.
EDIT: Looks like I’m probably going to fail again. See secondary rant at bottom.

And now, ranting.

I like crossovers. And references (to other things). Perhaps a bit too much. Nah, definitely a bit too much. I’m surprised I don’t hang out at the crossover imageboard. (Handy wiki references for “crossover” and “imageboard“.) The only problem is, and I quote the original script for this comic:

I like in-jokes … but I’m never in on anything.

Basically, I find references hilarious, but for a lot of things I haven’t actually seen the thing being referenced and don’t realize it’s a reference until I look it up, at which point I go and investigate the thing being referenced in the first place, after which I finally get it. Then I laugh. But not as much as I would have if I had gotten the references in the first place.

And so, things like Pani Poni Dash! land right in my niche. I probably got about 50% of the references while watching that, learning of others though the pdf notes one fangroup released to help explain all the stuff seen onscreen. It’s still funny, even if I didn’t “get” the references.

Speaking of this particular niche, I expect I’ll probably enjoy Lucky ☆ Star for the same reason — funny + references — but I’m currently resisting, for the same reason I resisted watching Haruhi: “too popular”. I’m not sure if I’m inherently reactionary or counter-culture, or if I’m worried about becoming one of “them” (gigantic horde of fans). Of course, this resulted in a pretty weird result when I discovered that Pani Poni Dash! is pretty darn popular in Japan. (Perhaps this is to be expected, seeing as it’s a “WJT”.) I still like it. A lot. Possibly a bit too much?

Nah, not possible.

MAHO~

So, basically, I think I’ve lost the ability to draw stuff that’s genuinely funny; for example, I’ve been unable to hit stuff on this level lately. The general conclusion (meaning, “Derek and I think this is the case”) rests on the concept of “Garbage In, Garbage Out” (GIGO). Basically, I’m recieving inferior data inputs, in the form of my environment, but particularly in the images / manga / anime / other stuff I choose to view / read / watch / whatever, respectively. Basically, the concentration of “good” stuff was higher in the early days of the comic. I should really make a chart of this to see the trend visually.

So, this next story arc’s probably going to be a weird ride, folks. I’m hoping it’ll redeem itself somehow, though.

dcomic 446

[071207]

Last page of part… what is it, 3 or 4? Four I think…

So art’s been going pretty shitty after finished work 071126. As it usually is, art quality tends to peter out after I’ve done a few higher quality works and it takes a while (or a whole lot of brute force) for it to recharge. Comic 464 was put together through brute force and I don’t really feel like being frustrated right now.

Luckily the comic has reached a point where I don’t really want to move on until I’ve reviewed the rest of the plot (future and past). So that’ll give me something to toy with while my art skills respawn.

Speaking of frustration I had a major reorganization failure in my room last week (aka a reorganization that didn’t free up any space) and I found it ironic that I was proactively rearranging shit these days. I used to be the most unorganized member of the family. I’m pleased to say that now I’m probably the most organized.

In fact I finally figured out a file storage structure for my digital archives the other day. I’d been working on it for months (more like delaying it for months) and I sat down during an hour of boredom and solved that blasted problem. I was surprised. Boredom is apparently a powerful thing.

Other than that it’s been a pretty uneventful present. I have finals next week. Whee.

J172 – Classic; Certified

[12/4/2007]

So, today I forgot to draw in the speech bubbles in the left column. So I drew them in using the brush tool in Photoshot. For some reason, though, on the last one the program decided to make everything I tried to draw a pale pink color. I had to spend quite some time sorting it out.

Today was the first time, I think, that I’ve used all 6 thicknesses of pen that I have to ink one comic. One of them, the thinnest one, hasn’t seen any work at all for a long time. I don’t know why I did this; perhaps I was just in an experimenting mood.

I originally thought of the comic on the left first, and came up with the one on the right quickly to fill the other column. The irony here is, as Derek pointed out, the one on the right is actually funnier. Ah well.

D-san’s pose in panel 1 on the right may look vaguely familiar. For a long time after I first drew that pose, I thought it was hilarious. I’m not sure what it is about it. Glasses can be funny.