December Sun – A Web Comic

September 29, 2009

LastFm Internet Radio & Mislabeled Music

Filed under: 3 — Tags: , , , — admin @ 9:29 am

Mislabeled Michael JacksonI get a kick out of Lastfm, and I’m blabbed on about it a lot here.  I can deal with their intro advertisements (for now) for hydrogenated breakfast pastries, because, to me, it remains one of the best, and fastest, online radio systems.  Having the ability to limitlessly (and quickly) skip tracks is a definite plus, and their databank of albums and tracks is pretty comprehensive, with the occasional oddity by a group appearing and surprising me, such as a B-side track of some band.

It’s not perfect, though, and I’ve found far too many mislabeled or miscategorized tracks (this happens a lot with John Williams and Jerry Goldsmith scores, for some odd reason.)  Even with Michael Jackson, they still have him listed as on tour?  What?

I have had occasional issues with startup.  I don’t know if it’s a Firefox issue or what it is (actually, it’s crashed in Chrome, too, now that I think of it) but the radio will just stop working, and the only loophole around this, to get it started again, is to just bounce back to the root url and fire it off again.  That usually does the trick, but there is clearly something wrong with the flash application that runs this thing (speaking as a full-time software QA, it’s endlessly frustrating when you end up unearthing bugs, particularly when it’s a site that SHOULD have been thoroughly debugged by this point, considering that lastfm probably has millions of users daily!)

One other gripe would be that Lastfm, much like YouTube, does an awful job screening out profanity in the user comments.  A profanity filter should be a feature of user accounts, but apparently it isn’t.  Same for inappropriate user icons.  But this is a minor gripe, as I usually just pay attention to the music, and not really the songs.

September 28, 2009

December Sun #4 – Page 5

Filed under: 1 — Tags: — admin @ 9:06 am

Another week of thrilling restaurant dialog, with more artistic experimentation.  I won’t lie: looking at these panels, I’d probably redraw most of these had I the time.  But instead of reworking old pages, I just like to move on.  DS#5-7 are all about brush, and no more pen experiments as done in these pages.

September 24, 2009

Cox & Kings Catalog: I’m too poor to be on this catalog distribution

Filed under: 3 — Tags: , , , , , , — admin @ 7:49 am

If I were a rich man, la da de da de da de....I just received a Cox & Kings catalog in the mail, advertising “exquisite cultural and wildlife adventures”, but ideally, this should have included the caveat, “for rich people”.  While the catalog is nice and colorful and packed with exotic locales, I can’t get over some of these prices.  For a mere $7,985(!) per person(!!) double occupancy I could visit India!  Then again, I can just go to work in the morning and virtually meet friendly people from India for free! (my co-workers).

This catalog just floors me that there are people who can afford this stuff.  It’s definitely marketed to the well-to-do folks of the world, and it’s interesting to note the stark absence of kids in this catalog:  clearly, these adventures are for couple “unhindered” by offspring.

I’m sure there is some cultural richness to be acquired from some of these trips, but so can malaria.  I’ll stick to local travel, with the family.

September 23, 2009

Prison Ministry Comic – Unused Artwork

Filed under: 3 — Tags: , , , , , , — admin @ 11:36 am

Unused comic artI was just going through some old artwork and found this, which was an unused panel from a Prison Ministry comic that I did with my friend Brian.  The link to the actual comic is here.  The art/writing in the book was done by two others, including Brian, and I did the last story of the book, which was basically an interpretation of Psalm 40 in a prison setting.

The book was, like most everything I do with comics, another avenue of experimentation.  But this time, the experiment was how much mileage I could get out of using a very old, frayed Windsor Newton sable brush, with very old, paste-like ink (you can sort of tell from some of this image.  Notice the thicker, brushier quality to some of the line work.  The experiment proved to me one thing: get a new sable brush, and get new ink!  LOL!  There’s nothing worse than having to fight with the media, and the results were not exactly what I wanted, but I still think they turned out alright.

Sable brushes, however, aren’t the cheapest, but if you take good care of them you can get pretty far with one.  I’ve notice that the brushes I use start off razor-sharp, then slowly degrade into “fray-stage”, where the hairs don’t hold the point and your line becomes two or three lines, etc.  Nothing really obvious here, and probably anyone who’s used a sable brush knows this, but it seems as if, no matter how well you care for a brush, they are destined to fall apart eventually (maybe not for all, but the way I use them, yes… and I try hard to keep the ink from caking up at the base of the hair near the metal banding.)

Anyhow, just some unused art.  I thought I’d put it here (instead of on my miscellaney blog, which, to be honest, is becoming more and more of an experiment in how dead a blog can be.)

September 21, 2009

My site SCRAMBLED by Google Chrome!

Filed under: 3 — Tags: , , , — admin @ 11:33 am

My site scrambled up by Google!

Apparently if I open this site up in Chrome, the site is totally scrambled, including most of the sidebar links totally vanishing!  What’s the deal?

So for those handful of folks who visit this site on a regular basis, use Firefox.  It’s not always the fastest, but at least it keep this site looking like it’s supposed to work.  I like the speed of Chrome, but it’s not perfect (plus I seem to get crashed pages more frequently with Chrome, moreso than Firefox.)

December Sun #4 – Page 4

Filed under: 1 — Tags: — admin @ 7:52 am

Exciting restaurant dialog!

September 18, 2009

WebSiteGrader and Technorati

Filed under: 3 — Tags: — admin @ 11:31 am

One of the buttons from my old geocities site, taken from DS issue 1I just had this site “graded” over at WebSiteGrader, and it looks like dscomic isn’t doing too bad in terms of SEO and meta stuff. What I like about WebSiteGrader is that it gives you helpful tips and advice to improve your site in terms of being more search engine friendly, etc.

Also, In order to claim a blog with Technorati, I’m supposed to post a code here for verification purposes, so here it is:  8n6iwjga4c

Technorati was suggested by WebSiteGrader as a good, free directory for listing my site, so I’m going to give it a shot.  Seems odd that they code would need to be put into a post: couldn’t it just be added as a sidebar widget/ad or something?

Oh well.

Free comic books! (albeit, comic books about monetary policy, foreign exhcange, and the federal reserve system!)

Filed under: 3 — Tags: , , , , , , — admin @ 10:46 am

Thrilling comic book action about federal reserve policy

For anyone looking for some thrilling comic book reading about topics such as economics of scale, inflation, or foreign trade and exchange, if you visit the Federal Reserve System you can request some free comics to be sent to you (well, “free” only in terms that your taxes already paid for these, so I suppose in a round-about way, you already paid for these comics).

I just ordered a bunch of these, and the content is interesting (and pretty heady material).  The art is fine, but considering how droll and deep the material is, it’s informative, but not always the most exciting.  But hey, it’s free, sort of!

September 14, 2009

December Sun #4 – Page 3

Filed under: 1 — Tags: , , — admin @ 9:12 am

Third page of issue #4, and I did a lot of this page with quill and wax pencils.  I like the effect in the second panel, but it can be difficult to get the shadows right (and also hard to scan and get right with Photoshop).

September 11, 2009

24 consecutive comic book pages in 24 hours?

Filed under: 3 — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 12:23 pm

So I was reading about the “24 Hour Comic Day Challenge”, on Oct. 3, in which creators are challenged to create 24 consecutive pages of a comic book in the span of 24 hours. I look at something like this, and it just makes me sad, because with December Sun, I’m more of the time-frame of 24 pages in 24 months! (well, maybe not that bad, but close.)

I’ve often wondered (Rob is going off into muse mode now) what it would be like to be a full-time comic book artist. I mean, not having to work a “real” job, but instead able to just wake up and get to work drawing and inking. I wonder if it would take away the pleasure of the craft, having to do it for a living? Could you, in fact, get tired of drawing, and burned out of inking?

As it stands now, I draw, ink, and Photoshop-manipulate the pages in the evening as a way to unwind. I hate television and most movies these days, so comics make up one of my few hobbies (that, and this awful Tetris site… evil! Especially now that they have a beta of “Tetris Live”, with “weapons” and things to use in 6-player matches.)

24 hours to do 24 pages would be a joke for me. No way I could do that. But it’s a neat idea for those who have the time and resources.

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