Saturday, March 26, 2011

Variety of Variants

I would imagine this is something that drives completist-collectors nuts.
Variant Covers for issues of comics or graphic novels or whatever. (usually comics, from my limited experience).

And then something super-fun happens.. the Blank-Cover-Variant arrives.

The 4thWall up in Montreal had a thing a while ago, where you could buy a blank-cover comic, do your cover, and then they had an auction for them, if, I remember, half the money going to the artist, the other half going to a charity.

I didn't have the funds at the time to buy any blank-covers to participate in, which was a bummer.. but I managed to pick up a blank-cover a couple days ago, and plan on sending it to the <a href="http://www.the4thwall.ca/">4thWall</a> honcho <a href="http://twitter.com/4thwallmoss">Jeff Moss</a>.

One thing I kind of like about nobody following my blog, and the limited readers that read it is.. I can share with you my art, thoughts, and plans of things, without spoiling (to my knowledge) the fun for the people I'm plotting against/to/for/whatever. Yeah, plotting. Because sometimes, plotting is more fun than planning. I think the only real difference is that plotting has negative-connotations to it.

Anyhow, here's what you get to see, and Mr.Moss will get to see in a few weeks via the mail. I'll be doing a different one for <a href="http://twitter.com/lartist">Lar deSouza</a> in a little while.


After some simple pencils, I used a Micron 03 & 08, Copic Sketcher C3 Gray, 001 Black and a Copic Ciao 001 Black. All freehand.
Not to spoil anything, but I really miss the days where a comic's cover gave you a hint as to what was inside it, not some generalized over-arching storyline crap. Anymore, covers smack of bait&switch, with only the thinnest of threads attached to the storyline.
Blank-Cover comics can't fool you into buying it with a pretty picture, which is actually refreshing.
And yes, I flip through a comic before deciding to buy it, or put it back, but I don't read the thing.. it's a freakin Comic Shoppe, not a Library, afterall.

Logical Cause

So.. as I may or may not have mentioned in a post a while ago.. some updates were installed, and I upgraded to the new flash/shockwave..and then Ustream stopped working. Live and recorded video just refused to play, even though it was supposedly loaded..a simple black screen is all that was presented. The chat module crapped out too, but that happens regularly enough I ignored it.
Turns out, ustream is randomly not working for a lot of people..and it's not limited to IE8 as I had thought.
Ustream wasn't the only site that didn't work for me.. Justin.tv and various games on Crackbook(facebook) didn't work.. so after trying to down-grade back to what I had didn't work, I installed google Chrome, and crackbook worked again, but none of the streaming media sites that I normally would frequent.

After a bit of searching, yeah.. weird. It turns out, no browser is immune to this BS, as IE 7 and 8 were junking it, as well as Mozilla FireFox 4.+ and Chrome as well. What's annoying is that it appears to be a completely random happenstance, though, given that computer programs are completely code-based things (therefore, somewhat logical), there's bound to be a root to this mess. Kill/Fix the root, get rid of the mess.
What really bothers me about this is that I can visit various anime-streaming sites and have perfect video and sound.

So.. I can think of only one truly rational, logical cause of this thing:
Magneto's messing with the intangible electrical fields from up on Asteroid M again.


Yeah, makes as much sense as whatever reasons other folks are coming up with, other than that Ustream has been going downhill at a rocketball's pace for a while now.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Blank Cover Fun

So, there's these things called `blank cover comics`.. basically, it's a variant option of a comic, with a blank cover(duh) that allows you to doodle your own cover on it.

Here's a little something I painted up to tease Lar deSouza and Jeff Moss with:
If you don't follow them on twitter, you really should.. Lar's an amazing artist with a heart of awesome-gold, and Moss is.. well, he's the freakin man when it comes to comics.. check out The Watchtower Podcast to hear for yourself.

Old ideas

When I was younger, I loved the game Final Fantasy for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).
It had so many elements of books and movies and ideas and creations that I'd never heard of or seen, and lead me to want to learn about them. The 4 Fiends of the Elements, for example, were based off of different mythologies and such, hindu, mayan, romanian.. all sorts of worldly influences made it into that game, and really, brought it together in such as awesome thing.

So while I'm on a lil kick about dragons.. it makes me smile to see so many different iterations of them.. there's the traditional English Dragons, squat, four-legged, winged, fire-breathing beasts.. the serpentine Chinese Dragons and similarly-styled yet very different Japanese and `asian` dragons.. Indian Dragons are really neat.. the Aztecs(I think) had feathered versions...and really, just from those few examples above, you could create some really cool designs.

The bible talks about dragons, alludes to the Devil being a dragon, among other things...various role-playing books have dragons as player-characters that are shape-shifters of all things.

Dragons are typically viewed as 'bad'.. but sometimes someone goes the other route and portrays them as 'good'.. or a kind of grudgingly-bad-character, like in the movie How to Train your Dragon (so misleading with that title.. there was no dragon training to speak of..though 'how to survive a dragon' might be more suitable)

Anyhow.. here's a multi-winged beastie.. uncoiling into the.. whatever that is that I've done for the background.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Who's a 'Holic?

Ahhh, SketchOholic.com .... kinda missing the Chiustreams, and contests-for-prizes(not that I ever win, mind you).. but at least some decent contests are still on.

And this is my entry for one with the theme of `shy`.

Shy folks hate the spotlight(though perhaps secretly crave it?), right?

Simplicity itself

Ok.. today was very.. just ..yeah.
I could punch somebody, that's how mad I am with a broken system that has no accountability to it and no repercussions if they screw up, other than the people who's lives they ruin, that they're supposed to be helping.

VERY ANGRY.
And I am hoping there's a really simple explanation for all this aggrevation, and even if there is, nothing will be done about stopping it from happening again.. and again.. and again. Damn them.

I got home and slept for a few hours.. more than I wanted to. Wanted a simple maybe-hour-long nap..and woke up multiple-hours later. Probably needed the sleep, but still.

There's a really simple trick, and if it's done well, it's noticeable and nice, and if it's done right, it's downright elegant. I think I can do it alright.. and while I have some other photos I could use instead, I think I'll just use this videogame reference.


Sometimes, it is the simple things that make things seem...better.
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This work is created by Dan Shipton unless otherwise noted, and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada License.