December Sun – A Web Comic

August 25, 2009

More hilarious problems with my Sony Vaio! (the dying Windows Explorer dillema)

Filed under: 3 — Tags: , , , , , , — admin @ 3:56 pm

Well, the hilarity that is my Sony Vaio continues.  I finally got Adobe Flash reinstalled and working (so I can listen to LastFm again, the ad-free alternative to Pandora that I enjoy) but now the latest problem is: whenever I open Windows Explorer to a folder that contains any sort of video clip, explorer up and dies for no reason with the following error:

windows host process rundll32 has stopped working, as has my patience with this old PC

I’ve googled a number of tech sites describing potential causes for this, and taken many of the steps, including uninstalling Nero (the backup software with a terrible name) and no matter what I do, the error persists whenever I open a folder with a video.  This makes uploading videos from the camcorder a real pain, and I’ve actually resorted to using a CMD prompt to move/change/delete files.

I’m just waiting for smoke to billow out of the side of this ol’ Sony, then it will be time to break down and get a new PC.  But for now, I just keep squeezing as much life out of it as I can.

August 24, 2009

December Sun #4 – Cover

Filed under: 1 — Tags: , — admin @ 8:49 am

I’m starting issue #4 today, and this week I’m going to be making some changes to the layout and format here (including a new image map, which as of this writing, I haven’t started working on yet…)

Because work has kept me busy recently, and because I’ve got a number of side-projects going on (more about this later) I’m slowing down the pace of posting here to a FULL page, but once a week.  This makes it easier to post, more consistent to a comic book format, and helps me balance out other projects as well.  The comic will continue!  I’m not stopping!  Just slowing down the pace a little so that I can balance other projects.

So this is the cover to issue #4.  A little different in format, but similar to the first three issues in that the cover is framed around one character (this will change with issue #5).  Lots of artistic experimentation with this issue.  So here goes…

August 20, 2009

Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” 25th anniversary disk with not-so-thrilling extra tracks ruined by other artists

Filed under: 3 — Tags: , , — admin @ 9:59 am

Yes, there is no way that Michael Jackson is standing before a painting of a cityscape.  No way...I wanted to write about some of Michael Jackson’s music here, because I have enjoyed a lot of his music from the Jackson 5 days and earlier solo years (back before Jackson turned weirder.) I think the threshold for me was the “Thriller” album. Lots of great material on this album with some very creative videos to go with it, such as “Billie Jean” and “Beat it”. Beyond the “Thriller” album, I have no interest in anything Jackson did musically (plus his personal life details were really strange and awful beyond that point). “Thriller” to me is like “The Joshua Tree” by U2 in that it’s the pinnacle, and I really don’t enjoy anything chronologically beyond that. That was the top, and nothing past that has really had the same appeal.

Anyhow, I’ve been listening to Jackson’s “Thriller” album lately, courtesy of the public library (I couldn’t justify buying it) and I find that it’s Jackson’s lesser-known (but still big) tracks that I really enjoy the most, such as “The Girl is Mine” and “Lady in my Life”. He has some great vocals on all of these songs, combined with some excellent production by Quincy Jones. This CD also includes some new “remixes” of his old songs that are, frankly, awful. I think these were put together in 2008, and feature various rap artists and what not, and they basically take these good Jackson songs and ruin them. This was just a bad decision: I would have, instead, liked to have heard more rarities, like the unreleased “For all time”, that was included on this disk (unreleased, because it’s so saccharine, but still worth checking out,) I wish they had added more unreleased material, and not included the lousy rap remix stuff.

The most realistic city set ever!The Thriller disk also includes a couple videos. “Billy Jean” is creative but also staggeringly cheesy. I remember as a little guy how amazing this video seemed at the time, and now it just looks like lip-syncing on a tremendously cheap set. The “Beat it” video is nicely done, but it’s not without it’s corniness, such as the tough gang members doing their knife dance and then, at the insistence of Michael Jackson, breaking into a dance routine. I didn’t even bother with “Thriller”… I don’t like this song, and I thought the video with the dancing zombies was just silly.

Jackson’s life to me is just a tragic one. He was initially a very talented singer and performer, but I can’t think of any other performer who’s career and personal life was more of a down slide. And what a tragic end, following years of surgery and modification to ultimately die from quackery and pharmaceuticals: souped up on western meds.  Great musician and performer but an unfortunate direction and end to his life.

August 19, 2009

December Sun #3 – Back Cover

Filed under: 1 — Tags: , — admin @ 8:53 am

This is the back cover of December Sun #3, and that’s everything. 20 pages, a handful of cut panels, and this back image. I’m going to let this sit for a couple days, and then on Monday of next week, I’m going to start ish#4. I’m going to change the format of things a little bit next week, but I plan on continuing to posting pages from ish 4-6 and beyond. So stay tuned…

August 18, 2009

How to quickly make money online that you’ve got no possibility of actually getting anytime soon

Filed under: 3 — Tags: , , — admin @ 7:32 am

So I was toying around with Rich PTC online (wasn’t that a Michael Jackson song on the ‘Thriller’ album?) and it looks like an interesting enough system: you create an account and look at ads and get paid.  And supposedly, as of this writing, I managed to make $4, per this box below (dynamic content that it is, though, maybe this will change, but who knows.)

So $4 is the same amount my Project Wonderful ads have made in nearly a years time, so in the space of one day, I topped that earning.  However, looking at the setup of this thing, you need to have banked $1,000(!) before you can make a funds withdraw?  There are only about 4 sites offered a day, unless you go premium, then I think you get more, but nowhere near 1000 sites are offered to view.  So it’s an interesting system, but could potentially take years to see a return.

I just revisited the site to confirm the withdraw amount and received a “Doing site maintenance, we will be right back in 15 minutes”.  Not a good sign.  But regardless, if you’re persistent with these sort of systems, and build something of a downline, I suppose there might be something to it.  I just don’t have the patience personally.

December Sun #3 – deleted material #5

Filed under: 1 — Tags: — admin @ 7:20 am

One more deleted page, then I have some related images to the comic, then next week ish #4. This was anothe scene taken from the fight in the woods, and on the right is another variation of the Appalachian Shadow design that I nixed.

I know, this hasn’t been the snazziest material this week, but it’s gotta go somewhere… :)

August 17, 2009

The mixed blessing of Adobe Flash being wiped off my computer

Filed under: 3 — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 2:15 pm

As I’ve lamented in past blog posts, I have a rapidly-aging Sony VAIO PC, that I bought almost 9 years ago.  It’s gone through several upgrades, a hard drive crash, and a ridiculous number of software installs, but for the most part, it hangs in there (on the front case of the PC box, I’ve drawn stitch-marks in black marker.  The case also doesn’t close completely now, and has a permanently open gap along the top right.  No big deal though.)

Anyhow, I still don’t have much luck with YouTube videos lately (or some flash applications) so I recently uninstalled flash, and, on trying to reinstall it, it doesn’t work.  I get the screenshot attached. 

So now applications galore have been shut off for me across the web, and while it’s a little disappointing to go without Pandora, I find that blog pages in general load a lot faster now.  Plus I’m not wasting time with flash-based apps too, but just sticking to the information on the site alone.

This will probably get old after awhile, but for now, I’m really not all that bothered by life without Flash.

December Sun #3 – deleted material #4

Filed under: 1 — Tags: , — admin @ 10:09 am

A couple sketches and ideas I rejected.  Another couple cut images, then issue #4….

August 14, 2009

A completely imaginary conversation with George Lucas

(George Lucas, having finished driving the final nail into the Star Wars franchise with “Revenge of the Sith”, and currently further squeezing the life out of this rapidly-diminishing legacy with “The Clone Wars”, decides that it’s time to branch into something new, and, while surfing the web one day using the key words of “december”,”sun”, “comic”,and “elk” [this actually works in google, btw] stumbles across my webcomic.  After overcoming the poor navigation and really bad site layout, he finally manages to read through issues #1-3 and decides that he wants to contact me to make an insanely lucrative offer.  What follows is the completely fictitious and nonsensical conversation that takes place…)

George: “Rob, I’ve read your comic, and noticed that there really isn’t anything strikingly original about this comic, much like the Star Wars series.  I’d like to offer you a gazillion dollars so that Lucasfilm can own the rights to your character.”

Rob: “I’m shameless enough to consider your offer.  Tell me more please.”

George: “Here’s what I’m thinking: I’ll buy the rights to your character and turn it into a movie.  You’ll never see another penny.  My plan is that 98% of the film will be rendered with a computer, and the other 2% will feature a lead who’s a horrific actor… but this principle character will occupy the majority of the film.  The bad acting will be augmented with a wacky and very uncomfortable computer-animated cartoon character with a high-pitched squeeky voice”

Rob: “Huh”

George: “Wait, there’s more.  I’ll basically take your storyline, and completely rewrite it to have even LESS logic than before, and I’ll ruin the character by making his power little more than a strange micro-organism in his blood.  I’ll also tell the story as a PREQUEL to issue #1 of December Sun, and I will make sure that there are glaring plot-holes and inconsistencies that don’t make any logical sense in the books continuity (granted, Rob, you’re already doing a good enough job at that yourself, but I’ll make it even worse.”

Rob: Well…

George: Oh, and in addition to the bad action, bad script, and copious CG, I’m going to have John Williams score this film!

Rob: Hey, that’s great…

George:  Actually, John Williams will write 20% of the music for this film, and the other 80% will be lifted by my sound editors from other films, similar to what we did with “Attack of the Clones”, “Revenge of the Sith”, and even “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”.  I’m actually thinking of dubbing in cues from other John Williams films like “Empire of the Son”, or maybe even “Stepmom”.  I might actually borrow a few cues from some Jerry Goldsmith scores…

Rob: Uh, well, I don’t…

George:  Oh, and as far as marketing goes, you won’t see a cent.  I will take EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER from December Sun continuity, cannon or otherwise, and market it as a toy.  This will include characters from the as-of-yet unwritten novelizations that have nothing to do with your comic, alternate universe toys, and Cartoon Channel spin-off series loosely based on the comic.  Plus there will be a series of video games having virtually nothing to do with the character, but that will basically just milk the character to death slowly.  So what, do you think?

Rob: (thinking…) Sure, sign me up!

(Cue “Imperial March”…)

Wilford Brimley and a “remix” of ‘The Firm’

Filed under: 3 — Tags: , — admin @ 10:29 am

This is one of the funniest videos I’ve seen in awhile: basically, it’s a scene from the legal thriller film ‘The Firm’, featuring Tom Cruise and co-starring Wilford Brimley, and this clip, while fairly close to the film, features some dialog reworking to make it closer in spirit to Brimley’s “Liberty Mutual” commercials. The fact that the person making the film went all out to Photoshop shots of Tom Cruise in an anti-Liberty Mutual t-shirt make it even more funny.

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