Made using Paper on my iPad. I need to just draw more and more and more.
I wrote a blog post about Solanin for another site yesterday, but I think I enjoyed it so much that I needed to give it some proper love on my own site, as well. Of course, writing here allows me to get a little more…. personal, and I think this book was kind of aimed at my age group.
In short, Solanin is a manga about twenty-somethings that have graduated from post-secondary and are now stuck in jobs they hate. Its characters go through a bit of an upheaval, realizing that sometimes you have to sacrifice to chase the dreams you want to achieve, and there’s always a chance life is going to throw you a big “fuck you” along the way.
I think part of the fun of the Internet is that we can trace back certain friends to communities that we no longer go to any more. Kelly Turnbull (alias Coelasquid) and I were both denizens of 4chan’s /co/ (Comics and Cartoons) board, and its offshoot Plus4Chan. While I wasn’t much of an artist/writer, I really do like comics; Kelly, however, took a little bit more of an active role. She’s done animated work for shows like Ugly Americans, and you’ve probably seen some of her stuff on the Internet.
We both don’t really go on each site any more due to being busy with our own stuff, and to be honest, I think it’s for the better. I can’t speak for her, but imageboards in general were a massive timesink, and I’m honestly really happy that I’ve left them for good.
I’ve always been a big fan of SuperGiant Games’ Bastion; it was easily my favourite game of 2011. It was unique in that it had a completely narrated story, giving the player a secondary source of information on almost everything they did. It made up for having a silent protagonist by supplanting that dialog with a third-party – and well, the game was damned fun, too.
So naturally I’m a little happy to learn that SuperGiant is going to be making a new title, Transistor, which will be similarly themed as Bastion was. Instead of a steampunk-y setting, however, we’ll be flung to the not-so-far future, where the titular Transistor will guide a female lead through hazards, puzzles and adventure.
There’s a number of things I like about this:
Part of having a little more free time lately has been branching out. I really enjoy being able to try new things now that I’m a little more financially stable, and this vlog was part of that. I started my attempts to get more comfortable on camera with my Let’s Play, and this was an extension of that. Only this time, instead of talking about a video game while I was playing it, I would be expressing my opinion – something that’s a little daunting in itself.
There’s always a vulnerability when you put yourself out there, because there’s a good chance people will think you’re wrong. Normally, I’m okay with this: I actually like being proven wrong if the counter-argument is logical. This is because it opens my horizons and allows me to learn, letting me be a generally better person in the process. However, you really have to be secure in what you’re saying; you have to prepare for the response. Here’s some more things I found:
Fridays are now going to be devoted to my terrible attempts at journal comics. As I’ve never been much of an artist in my life, I’ve always kind of put that as a roadblock towards getting my own comic done; I’d need to hire an artist, or I wouldn’t be confident that an artist would be able to get my vision across. While this isn’t me throwing down the shackles of my own ego and saying “I’ll do it MY way,” I figure I’d at least get a little more perspective in things like panel layouts, logical storytelling, and all the other small things.
So, here’s what I learned from this:
- Use a consistent brush size, dammit!
- Use a consistent tool, dammit!
- Draw shelves consistently, dammit!
- There’s no logical story because I threw this together today. Comics take prep work. They need to make sense.
- I actually had a lot of fun drawing Link, and being able to say “No, you know what? I’m gonna give it a floor, too” was a bit empowering.
- Drawing books on shelves feels so much more fun than just making jail bars with a link tool.
- Perspective is hard.
- Photo references are awesome.
- Trying new things gives me confidence.
Have a good weekend, everyone!
Like many other writers, I can’t write in a vacuum. Often I need something in the background to keep my fingers going; sometimes I even have a weird thing when my keystrokes match up with the beat. I find that when I have a good “rhythm” in that sense, writing goes a lot better.
Of course, you can’t just throw on any album. It needs to have certain qualities conducive to writing – for me, it can’t have lyrics, and often can’t be too engaging. It can’t distract me from what I’m trying to do, and usually that means hitting up film or video game scores. They usually don’t have much in the way of words, so they seem like a perfect fit.
Below, you’ll find four of my favourite albums to write to. You can click on the album art to be taken to where you can purchase them.
Part of the loveliness of webcomics is finding things that you otherwise wouldn’t have, and then coming back and saying “Man, how did I come across you, again?
Balderdash! is one of those comics for me. I recall discovering it through someone who said it was a mix of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker-esque visuals with some whimsical, Harvest Moon-esque storytelling. I was sold instantly.
I’ve spent a lot of time around mobile games, because as a dude who wanted to break into tech writing, it presented the point of entry with the lowest amount of barriers. As long as you had a smart phone or tablet that could handle the games, you weren’t likely to plunk down more than a couple bucks to get something to review. It also helped the publications that were (hopefully) going to pay you focus on, well, paying you, instead of dropping money on the game.
As a result, I’ve seen a lot of bad mobile games, and Ridiculous Fishing isn’t one of them. This $2.99 iOS game has everything that a successful title should: it’s addicting, it’s well-crafted, and the developers have a really good head on their shoulders. Continue Reading