J199 – Briefing

[6/30/2008] Getting Grav’s metal hand/foot shoved into your chest must hurt.


dupdate 080630


Ok folks, I’m going to have to pass on today’s update. The story’s a real mess right now and I don’t really want to get anything up until I’ve got it sorted out (again, really) and that’ll take some time. Specially since I don’t really feel like dealing with it atm. Luckily it’s all a matter of text/story.

I got all the drawings for the Part 2 refresh done last week, it’s just a matter of deciding what I want explained and when I want it explained. Then there’s pretty much the coordination of the various chapters such that there’s enough information for the not-so-closely following reading to figure out just what the crap is going on…

The large problem comes down to a lack of planning; I don’t exactly remember what I’ve explained and what I haven’t explained throughout the course of the story and I have to retro-actively go back and change shit such that current and future parts make sense. This process has already been carried out twice at the ends of part 3 and 4 and it just gets more complicated each time.

Initially I didn’t think I would have to make any changes to 3 and 4 in the future, but I feel like that isn’t quite the case anymore, so refreshed (though probably only through text) versions of those will come out sometime in the future as well. Hopefully with the completion of the Part 2 refresh, none of those 3 original parts will have to be modified yet again in the future. But of course, plans and actuality… well…

I’ll put up some paintings later this week if I get ’em done. I’ve got a bit work of going on due to summer class and all, but the ETA for whatever it is should still be before the end of the week. And prolly multiple comics to make up for the days that I’m going to miss comics due to this current story based snafu. So it’ll all even out in the end.

J198 – Legos: Roulette Roulette


Fans of Sandstorm, rejoice!


Okay, erm, whatever. At any rate, if you remember this thing from Sandstorm:

It’s a hover-barge. As I mentioned in a previous update, the idea is that, on a backwater colonial world in a science-fiction setting, these things serve the role that tractor-trailer trucks serve in our society.

Well then, here’s an alternative rendering of what one of these things might look like — In LEGOS! Presenting the Roulette Roulette:

This one, too, seems to be based around a salvaged steam locomotive
(which was based on this picture). This one also has:

Counter-rotating propellers! For stylistic win! And also…

A continously variable transmission! For moar win!

“A continuous whadda whadda?” I hear you ask. Well, a Continuously Variable Transmission is basically a gearshift, but instead of only having first gear, second gear, third gear, and so on, it has (in this case), forwards fast, backwards fast, and every speed in between. For a demonstration, see the movie in this Brickshelf folder (it’s small, I promise).

Props (no pun intended) to anyone who gets the naming reference.

The Roulette Roulette was brought to the most recent meeting of the Bay Area Lego Users’ Group (BayLUG). If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, and you like Legos, feel free to come to one of the meetings! (Derek and I probably won’t be there during the school year, but you know how it is.)

What’s that you say? You want a non-Lego update? Fine then, enjoy some maid Grav!

Coloring experiment. And because I felt like it. C’mon, the extra arms/legs would totally help her on the job…

J197 – Some Restrictions May Apply

[6/17/08] I almost updated before Derek again. Then he remembered. *sigh*

At any rate, I found this comic becoming a clone of the panel layout and pacing used in this comic. Gah. And I almost used the same angles for Grav, too. I had wanted to used the same angle used in panel 2 of the older update on panel 1 here, but I resisted … and weakened the comic as a result, because now it no longer feels like Grav is talking to D in the first two panels.

Speaking of angles, panel 4 was an experiment to see whether or not I could draw Grav from approximately a left-side profile view. The main hurdles to this angle, of course, are that I’m not quite sure how that faceplate works and also that Grav, when viewed from the left side, shows no eyes, and so I get to convey all the emotion with the mouth only (not that Grav has really shown any expressions aside from “smug”).

Ah, Grav in panel 3 was great fun though. Gesturing with the metal arms/legs…

dcomic 470


Man, this is actually late. You totally forget about the days when there is no school. I was actually about to hit the sack before I remembered… ho fuck, it’s Monday. Or rather, Tuesday as of 41 minutes ago, PST. Today’s comic reverts back to good old fashioned pencil and paper. For great justice, really. That digital stuff… yeesh. Comics are done up through 486. Still sixteen ahead as of now, but they’ve been going really slowly as of late.

Anyways, last week I built a table I’d been meaning to build for a while now. I was fed up with the small surface area of the small folding table I was using in my room as well as with the inefficient use of the space underneath the table. So way back in like May I decided I was going to build one myself. Just so I could make it exactly the way I wanted it to be made. The only to do that seems to be DIY these days… whether it be computers or furniture or whatever…

So I went down to good old Home Depot and bought some wood (I’m really glad they cut it for us, I would probably be significantly less accurate with my circular saw) and some other little tidbits and brought the lot home. I had a really simple design layed out for this thing involving only 10 piece of wood: 6 four-by-twos and 4 four-by-fours and thus I was somewhat concerned that it wouldn’t be very sturdy, especially once I felt how heavy some of the wood was.

My requirement was that the table have casters (for some semblance of portability) and that it be able to support more than my weight and ultimately it did both. A lot better than I expected for that matter. Construction took barely an hour and a half and it took another hour to slowly move the thing downstairs. The completed table is 68 x 24 x 32 inches. And here is a picture [100614: Dead link].

The new table replaces the one centered in this picture. Since it’s 32 inches tall, it lines up perfectly with the sill that my monitor stands on. However, that means I really need a new chair, since those folding chairs are already a bit short for a “standard” 30 inch table. I’ve been wanting a rolling chair in this room for a while now…

This is the (and I just thought of this name – it’s epic!) Ebon Magician Curran – or what’s left of the original draft before I dismantle the superstructure completely. Justin and I are planning to attend the next Baylug meeting (this Sunday) and I am thus trying to rush a new MOC into life without much success. The Curran, at the moment, seems to be falling into the same pitfall as my last large ship, the Sakurazaki.

Somehow these proto-modular ships have this tendancy to become extremely bulky. I was originally trying to get RID of some bulkiness by doing away with the modular aspect of my earlier ships, but it seems to have failed for larger ships. My one success (of three now) has been this ship (she should be the Pikeru now that I come to think of it XD) which I think is really slim for her size. We need moar like that one and we are unfortunately not getting it.

The real pinnacle of the modular system (in my book) has been the now deceased (sacrifced for the son of a Curran no less!) Tsuruka. For the most part Tsuruka verifies my thoughts that the modular system works best for smaller ships; much larger modular incarnations, Narusegawa, Kagurazaka, Aoyama, and even the failed Sakurazaki to an extend have been extremely fragile and largely ungainly. Even the Tsuruka – especially the cargo module – was such to a degree.

Hopefully the next incarnation of the Curran will bear some fruit. That’s all for now.

J196 – Grav Presents

[6/10/2008] Ah, late again (where’s Derek’s update? EDIT: He forgot. I did it for him). Anyway, I decided to include a full-body shot of Grav this time to further stave off confusion. (Great word, “stave”. I’m probably using it wrong.) In this shot, you can clearly see the third leg, and why the pleated skirt is absolutely necessary, as I mentioned last time. If she stood up fully, she’d probably be really tall. You’ll probably see her pull more cool tricks with the legs in future comics.

By the way, this time’s comic is sort of a reference to the fourth-ever Nonsense Wars update. And also to all those “D-san Presents!” comics.

Aah, Grav. So fun, yet so complex, to draw…

J195 – Grav

[6/3/2008] First off, to cut off any confusion, Grav has a third robotic leg in the back, which is why she’s stable in panel 3. We’ll see more of it in later comics.

As I mentioned last time, Nonsense Wars has a shortage of “normal” female characters. Even in D’s half! (Granted, he’s got that glasses-girl in the latest comics, but I’m not sure if she’s going to be a recurring character.) In my half, at least, this is probably due to my weird tastes. I’m not sure about D, but I think his tastes are more normal than mine.

At any rate, the usual way to deptict non-normality is with the ears, as the resulting character winds up still looking relatively normal and can be drawn in a fairly straightforward fashion. Chikara, Aerith, the Lesser Demon (lower left of panel 1 here), and Cachiera follow this pattern. Come to think of it, the Lesser Demon’s Co-worker and Unit 518 also follow this pattern to an extent. Even “Golem-chan” gets stuck with this trope.

One of the fun things with Grav (who does not use the “different ears” gimmick) is that from certain angles she looks pretty normal (as in panel 2 of today’s comic). (D thinks’s she’s lower down on the “weirdness scale” than 518 is, and I suppose that makes sense.) Making up for this, of course, are various other headaches I get to deal with whenever I want to draw Grav. First off, I’ve only got a tenuous grasp of how Grav’s hairstyle works, so I’m pretty sure I’ve screwed it up already. Second off, the nature of Grav’s legs basically demand a pleated skirt (how else are you going to get the flexibility?), which is one of the many things I have trouble drawing. Add this to the fact that the faceplate makes for interesting angle shots, and, well, yeah.

Oh, how I torment myself.