25 January 2009

Comic Love

I don't think I ever outgrew comics. I've always been a fan, starting with X-Men. I collected for quite a while, but sold them for a measly 100$ when I went into the Marines so my mother didn't have to store them.

I've started collecting the Star Wars Legacy comics from Dark Horse. Unfortunately I started at the end of the storyline, so I missed most of it, but that's okay. The art is over the top and really great. I also picked up Ender's Game comic, based on Orson Scott Card's novels. It's a five issue set, and I have the first two so far. The art is completely different than that of standard hero comics, and lends a touch of innocence to the harsh battle school.

Manga (japanese comics) are wonderful too, and are not just about super heroes, although they have that too. Some of my favorite manga are school days, daily life, and harem (one boy surrounded by four or five crazy girls).

I think my favorite manga ever is Inu Neko Jump by Mitsuru Hattori. I love his art, and the story is great. I saw one other manga by him, Otogi no Machi no Rena, and the art was great, but the story is pos def more adult than Inu Neko Jump. I guess he has one other manga that has been made into anime, but I haven't seen that one yet.

Web comics take up a significant amount of my weekend, also. I try to catch up on Goblins, Order of the Stick, Ctrl+Alt+Del, and Penny Arcade. And don't be discouraged by the comic on those links. It was first issue of each. The comic gets better with time.

My wife pointed me at Garfield Minus Garfield yesterday, and I read thru it both laughing and feeling deep pity for Jon Arbuckle. It shows the darker side of Jon's pathetic life with no comic relief and lightedness coming from the orange furball.

For my birthday my wife bought me a Wacom Bamboo drawing tablet. This is a thing of beauty. Being a 4x6 drawing pad, it fits the aspect ratio of my widescreen 19" monitor perfectly, and i can easily correlate where the spot on the pad should appear on my monitor. Now, it pos def does not work for gaming. At least not yet. It might do okay with some RTS, but Neverwinter 2 almost made me dizzy. There is a setting to make it mouse-like instead of tablet-like, but i have a mouse for that, so meh.

I've acquired Manga Studio and now there is much comic to be done. I've wanted to draw comics for a long time, but until recently i didn't have the faintest idea how to properly draw. All my previous drawings were one-shots. Either i draw it right the first time, or I don't bother. (My favorite were two characters I did for D&D 3.0 in the little 2" window on the bottom of the character sheet, but they were destroyed when my old cellie panicked about a raid by the guards.) But i've picked up a couple books on manga drawing and saw that they spend a lot of time drawing lines over the tops of their lines so they can erase the lower lines and... whatever. that's why I got Manga Studio. Layers without erasing. So now I have the concepts, I have the tools, I just need to work on my drawing ability. So in the next few weeks I might be posting some attempts and trials, and even a short comic strip or two as I develop my characters and pick my theme.

Mostly my ideas stem from the friends I have, now scattered to the winds, but still in my mind and other mushy stuff. Skipphag gave me a few ideas for funny stuff, and Lone provided me with one or two. The one I did for him, he laughed and said he didn't know if he should be flattered or insulted. Well, that's up to him. It made for an amusing read. I'll redo it digitally and post it later.

While I was doing my time I drew a lot because there is actually nothing else to do, and I got pretty good. I did a comic for my kids, but last time I asked my ex- about it she said she saw it under stuff on the kid's floor. Well, that didn't make me too happy, because I put a lot of work into that, and couldn't make a copy because of my situation. So digital is much better. I can post stuff to my blog and send links. They don't have to read them if they don't want to, and if they do, it won't end up on their floor.


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