J207 – BKS 10th Anniversary Update!

[8/25/2008] Hihi, everynyan~! Today, I fly back to the Massa-chu-chu-chu-chu-chu-chu Institute of Technology~! But first, more important things about today’s update!

See, on July 15, 1998, Derek produced the first issue of “The Adventures of BKS”. Basically, these were comics that tied into a series of stories we made up.

Why the heck should this matter, anyway? Well, essentially, that first comic was essentially the start of our journey to where we are today as comic artists today. It’s a part of our history, and that’s why we’re paying tribute to it with this update.

What’s that you say? The 10th anniversary would have been over a month ago? Pshaw!

And now, a little backstory on how today’s update was actually made. The scripts were hammered out in one IM conversation in November (!) of last year. Last week, Derek and I got together, refined the dialogue some, and then drew the comics. Derek drew the odd-numbered ones, and I drew the even-numbered ones. The cover was rather interesting. I drew the sketch for Keno, Derek drew the sketch for Bradly, and then we exchanged art and colored each others’ pieces. Then I put the cover together in the form you see above.

And, for those of you who are interested, you can download the “Collector’s Edition” of today’s update here! What benefits does the “Collector’s Edition” confer, you ask? If you zoom in on the cover posted here, you get this:

That’s right, the “Collector’s Edition” comes without this little pixel in the corner! You know you want it! (The “Collector’s Edition”, not the pixel.)

dcomic 473


So it’s funny that today’s comic is what it is. Like a week ago, J was making some comment about drawing blood and I said that I’d tried it a few times. Well, 473, which, just FYI, was drawn in March, just happens to be one of those tries. C070211 is another, and as you may have guessed, so is next week’s 474. While I don’t really have anything against the attempt at blood here, I have to admit, the shading sucks pretty hard. As such, you will notice a series of shading fuck ups within the next ten or so comic pages while I try to sort something out.

So that’s pretty much all there is to say about 473. Today I finished my first story comic (488) since June this year. I’m missing my 6H pencil, so it’s kinda hard to do any sort of outlining atm. Other than the fact that it’s the first story comic since June this year and that it has some pretty heavy-handed shading (really still some backlash from the crappy shading of today’s 473), there’s nothing else to say about 488. It’s very average. Moving on now.

Yes, it’s been about ten years since J and I started doing comics. Yes, that’s a long time. It’s more than half the time I’ve been alive. Yes, I’m almost twenty now. Yes, that means I was nine in 1998. Yes, I was younger than I actually thought I was. Wait what…

Here’s a dumb comparison that I can really only make now in the tenth year. If you look at the episode one linked in Justin’s entry, you’ll notice it says… well, “Episode 1”. As I may have mentioned before, this is first in the numbering system that I am still using to this date; this “Episode 1” is “Episode 1” as in 473 (today’s comic) minus 472 (number). This is technically Epsiode 473 though that makes absolutely no sense as one page now certainly doesn’t qualify as an “episode” in any sense of the word. Then again, neither did the pages back then, really…

Back to the comparison, “Episode” 200 (too lazy to scan it – looks about like the first page of Starcrossed) was drawn just over five years ago, in July of 2003. This also marks the approximate time that I started taking this comic thing a bit more seriously and thus the approximate time that the art stopped looking like crap. Relatively. When 200 was drawn, the pages were still numbered chronologically (as in Episode 1 was drawn before Episode 2 and Episode 2 was drawn before Episode 3, etc) (though nowadays, a00 numbering series used in the part 2 remake) which implies that I drew exactly 200 comic pages (of varying quality from shitty to very shitty) between July 2008 and July 2003.

You work out the numbers (488 – 200 + 17, 17 from the a00 series) and you’ll see that I drew just over three hundred comic pages (of varying quality from very bad to bad XD) between July 2003 and July 2008. Not bad I daresay – there’s a jump in quantity AND quality. WOOT.

Another anniversary is that of my D830. I’ve had it just shy of a year today and I’m generally pleased with it – performance, build quality, appearance – all very good. The problem is that it’s a 15″ machine. Having owned this machine for a year, I’ve come to despise 15″ form factors. And 17″ form factors. And fuckin 20″ form factors and all the piddly shit between (and yes, HP and Dell have both made 20″ “laptops” – they are fuckin hueg like XBOX).

Somehow between 2003 and 2007, fifteen inch became the new mainstream laptop size. Subsequently since J and a few other ppl I knew already had 15″s, I figured it’d be fine to get a 15 myself. My 500m and Latitude CpT C were both pretty mainstream for the time, so what’s wrong with buying another mainstream sized machine? It’ll be nice to have a bigger screen for anime or drawing right? WUXGA fantasic on 15 inches right?

No, not quite. First of all, WUXGA at native resolution on a 15 inch screen is miniscule. I really liked the SXGA+ on my 500m so I figured one step up in screen size would justify one step up in relative resolution… no, not quite. WUXGA on a 15 inch screen is PUNY. Furthermore, I learned that I cannot tell the difference at all between 720p and 1080p. I think a pleasant viewing experience is more about filling up the screen rather than the resolution of hte relevant video. This is completely bullshit when it comes to widescreen as some dumbass decided that TV widescreen and notebook widescreen shouldn’t be the same resoltion. What the crap is up with that shit. 3:4 anime looks nicer on my significantly smaller TC4200 than widescreen anime looks on the D830. As for drawing? I’ve got a a very practical TC4200 to draw on right now and I don’t think I’ll be using a conventional tablet for a while, especially considering the size (and subsequent immobility) of my Intuos3.

I also had to buy a new backpack which I am not terribly fond of for a computer that doesn’t fit on the puny-shit auditorium desks that most of my classes have so far been held in. Did I mention that 15 laptops are hueg? Liek XBOX? I maintain that weight still isn’t really a problem. 6lbs is about how much my old CpT C weighed. My how technology has progressed.

So widescreen 15″ laptops are suddenly the mainstream, displacing the standard 14″ machines that have held the market for such a long time. This is complete bullshit. I don’t seen how people can live with it. I don’t even want to go on about glossy chassis and glossy screens. HP dv6x00 and dv9x00 (15 and 17 machines, respectively) series machines are among the ugliest pieces of computer to grace the market for long time now. “Entertainment Notebook” my ass. And people say Dell is ugly. Sadly the dv6x00 and dv9x00 series machines are pretty much representative of the typical consumer machine. It’s absolutely terrible what has become of this market.

I’m hoping to get at least a grand from D830 since it’s in good shape even for a one year old machine. I want to put that towards an E6400. It’ll be cool. If I can scrape together enough, I’ll have a C600, a D600, and an E6400 (which should have been called the E600). In another six years I can buy an F600!

Anyways, I actually didn’t mean to rant about 15″ laptops. But the industry is cheap and consumers are dumbasses.

dcomic 472


If today’s comic makes even less sense than the rest of part five, it’s because some chunks of part 5 have been rewritten since the time a part of part five was posted. My one and only beta reader (alsot the author of the now non-existant “m-filler” – you can look for where it used to be in the drop down list) proclaimed that the revised version made… “more sense”. Too bad “more” is, by definition, a very relative description.

So I’ve uploaded the revised part 5 pages to the site; they’ll simply override the older versions of the part 5 pages as the archive filename and site filename are now the same… so I can do this kinda shit now. Very convenient for when I revise it for the hundreth time.

J and I drew this cool thing today… but I’ll save that ’til it’s actually posted.

J206 – Cabbie

[8/18/2008] Once again, we’re back in the Sandstorm universe. Hopefully with less suck this time.

Anyway, I tried to go back to some of the stylistic conventions I used then, but I totally screwed up. See, the way I distinguished backgrounds from foregrounds in Sandstorm was drawing the background in pencil only, with no inking. I inked the sand-car by accident (more on the vehicle later). So I decided to fade it out again. Consider it a new take on the background trick.

The last time I did blurring of foreground objects was this comic. Actually, the only time, I think. This trick sort of approximates the way cameras can’t focus on something really close or far away at the same time.

Anyway, back to the sand-car. So, we’re back in the Sandstorm universe, which takes place in a location with a lot of deserts. Of the more rocky variety. Big sand grains. Think something like this. So I tried to design a car for this type of environment. Sandstorms are not unheard of, and in some areas, not uncommon. So, I started by asking myself, “How does the Humvee do it?”

Answer: I have no frikkin’ clue.

Take 2: How would I do it?

Answer: Make everything vulnerable either covered, coverable, or fold up.

With this awnswer, you get the vehicle seen in the drawing. The wheel wells, usually a large gap in the body, are covered. The bottom is probably also shielded. The windows and headlights have slide-down covers to avoid scratching, and the door seals. The car probably runs on an alcohol-burning internal combustion engine, so you need to protect the intake and exhaust ports. The grille of the car has louvers over it (those rectangles in the back, kind of like those tilty window blinds — probably not the best design, but I liked the look), and the exhaust pipe folds down and seals. Ja-ja~n! Sand-resistant car!

J205 – Location Shock

[8/11/2008] Back from the trip~!

Aaand … cut to D. Also, style change! I’ve found that if I don’t draw a character for a while, the way I draw them changes somewhat. Probably it’s just stylistic drift. Also probably confounded by the fact that I changed shading styles.

Oh, yeah, consider the dialogue in today’s comic a response to the dialogue in this update by Derek.