Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Cyber Cadet Blog

I haven’t updated my blog in a while so I figured I better do something at least.

I added page 14 this week, which will lead into the second to last segment of the story. I actually had the page done earlier, but left the narration to the last minute. Credit goes to my wife for suggesting a change to the wording in the final panel. I had something a little different, but I wasn’t happy with it. She said I should make it a shorter, so that’s what I did. Who says I don’t listen to my wife (well, at least sometimes)?

Btw, there’s another blog I would like people to check out. It’s called Cyber Cadet and features the sci-fi ramblings of a disturbed mind. I’m not sure whom this cyber cadet guy is, but he should probably be watched carefully, or at least kept away from battle droids of any kind.

Here is a frame from page 14 showing one of the Imperium Marines. I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of the armor model in this shot (see Alexander the Prince), but I really like how it looks.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Another Week, Another Page

I published page thirteen over the weekend. As I mentioned in my previous post, I had hoped to get more than a single page done last week, but obviously that didn’t happen. I’ve been in a creative malaise again it seems. I haven’t really done much of anything. I have gone to the hospital each day: my father fell and he’s been in there for a couple of weeks. However, I can’t blame my lack of production on that since I’ve had plenty of time to get things done.

I tried again to put a forum on my site. This time I’ve offered to host other sci-fi comics on the forum too, for people who want a forum but don’t want to go through the trouble of setting it up. I post my offer on the online comics web forum, but nobody has shown an interest so far. I’ll give it some more time, but I’ll remove it yet again if nobody is interested.

Here’s an image from page thirteen:

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A Magnanimous Birth

I published page 12 on Sunday afternoon, which was the only page I got done last week. Today, however, I did almost all of page 13, so hopefully I can keep myself motivated enough to get number 14 ready too.

The story is called “Born in the Grave,” and page 12 actually shows why. Black’s mother, after being shot and left for dead, gives birth to Magnus in the mass grave of the other settlers. The idea might not be very realistic, but I really wanted Black to have such a fateful beginning to his life. Since I’m a fairly straight-laced person, I obsessed about the panel that shows Black’s mother – not because she was dead, but because she is showing her left breast. Since I show the baby in the same frame, the breast signifies motherhood. I wasn’t really going for anything heavily symbolic, but I thought it was important. However, for some reason, I thought people might not like the nudity. I was silly to obsess about it for two reasons: one, it’s really not gratuitous and two, I don’t think I have a big enough audience that anyone would really care.

Page 13 shows, in quick fashion, Magnus growing up and learning how to be a pirate (and a killer). I’m a little worried that readers will get bored with all this narration (versus dialogue). I was always taught that it’s better to “show” than to “tell.” However, I need to tell the middle of the story this way in order to get to where I can get back to the real action. I expect I can do that in another couple of pages.

Here’s a picture of Black and his pirate clan tattoos. It’s a little beefcake for those interested. ;-)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Welcome to the Suck

I’ve been working on page 11 for a couple of days now, but I still need to add Black’s monologue before I’m done. I actually started with the middle panel, which shows several bodies at the bottom of a pit (or open grave). That was the “highlight” of my experience, but the rest of the panels aren’t that great. They all involve a lot of composite work (adding different renders together into a single image). However, they came out rather artificial looking; not “natural.” Basically they look like what they are, a bunch of images slapped together. *Sigh*

Here is a shot of Black’s mother’s eyes (shortly before she’s killed by the Magna). I decided not to show her actually dying, since I thought it would leave more to the reader’s imagination. It also adds to the drama somewhat.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


I added pages 9 and 10 for this week. I completed ten yesterday, or at least so I thought. I published it, and then this afternoon while I laid down for a quick nap, I realized that I had forgotten to add sound effects to the page. So, I fixed that and republished it. Since I had my wife look at it before I published it the first time, I chided her for not catching my mistake (which is one advantage of having a proofreader: you can blame them for your own mistakes). However, she said it looked more dramatic without sound effects (so there!), but I reminded her that this is the comics so she resigned herself to the fact that every page will have at least one “booom” or “zzzat!”

As for page 10, I did much of it using Bryce. This only exposed my shabby Bryce skills. I especially didn’t like the trees in panel one since they looked fakey to me. I thought about just going a different direction completely, but eventually decided on just going with what I had. It’s okay looking, I guess, but I know someone with greater Bryce abilities could’ve done better. Blah!!

Anyway, I was very happy with the second panel, however. It shows Black’s father burning to death. I really just played around for a while in Photoshop until I came up with the final product. The real breakthrough came when I applied a smudge brush after erasing out part of the image. This gives the illusion of Black’s father literally disintegrating within the flames. I hate it when that happens. ;-)