December Sun – A Web Comic

November 30, 2009

December Sun #4 – Page 14

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The chase continues.  Potentially you see the parallels with issue #1 going on here…

November 23, 2009

An imaginary interview with Steven Spielberg

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Speilberg - the one who will buy the rights to December Sun.... someday...Spielberg: Hey Rob, I checked out your webcomic site, and while I think there’s a great idea there that could be ruined by a big-budget Hollywood motion picture, I’m just not interested in this time.

Rob: But why, Mr. Spielberg? The comic has everything! Adventure, excitement, romance! (well, not yet story-wise, but it’s on the horizon.)

Spielberg: No, I’m actually in the market for taking cherished 1980′s toy icons and ruining these at the moment. But maybe someday Dreamworks will offer you millions of dollars for the rights to ruin your character.

Rob: You really mean it?

Spielberg: Oh yes, our studio triumphs in taking interesting ideas for a film and utterly ruining them. Take “A.I.” for example. Can you really think of an idea more interesting – a cyborg child who wants to be human? Well, I took that story and absolutely made it creepy, disturbing, and utterly boring, and then totally ruined everything with CGI-animated aliens at the end of the film (much like the CGI aliens in that crummy “Indiana Jones 4″ movie… and hey, didn’t I once make a comment that I didn’t like CGI-animated characters because they didn’t have any soul?)

Rob: Yeah, I think I remember reading that in a magazine once, but I don’t remember the source. It was probably a remark aimed at George Lucas.

Spielberg: Probably. Well, I’ve gotta go. I’m off to a pre-screening of “Go-Bots: Revenge of the Knock-Off Toys”…

Rob: Are you sure you won’t consider?

Spielberg: Afraid not.

Rob: Wait…. what if I rewrite the script, so that instead of being a thrilling adventure of a reluctant super-hero against an exciting and plausible alien menace, I change it so that…. the entire story revolves around December Sun and his fractured relationship with his father, that unfolds in painfully-slow detail throughout the film…

Spielberg: Really?

Rob: Yes. The film opens with December Sun as a boy, and his Dad at a table, and December Sun mimics his Dad leaning his head on his hands. Later, they throw a ball around to one another, but the Dad leaves, and December Sun grows up to be a bitter lad named “Mutt”. They reconcile when the Government agencies show up to reclaim a lost, gross-looking pale muppet living in Drew Barrymore’s closet, then father and son scoot off in a motorcycle with side-car, fleeing the fake-looking CGI-dinosaurs and distract the Nazi’s airplanes by sending thousands of seagulls up to their grizzly death!

Spielberg: (awed silence)

Rob: Then Tom Hanks dies and the big, radiation-producing spaceship lands and picks up Richard Dreyfus’ ghost that died in a plane crash in an air battle in 1941…

Spielberg: Who do I make the check payable to?

December Sun # 4 – Page 13

Filed under: 1 — admin @ 10:07 am

Yes, page #12 isn’t there, but the pages are all accounted for… I just goofed up the numbering in a huge way.

This morning, when attempting to post my weekly comic, I hit the following message:

Error 500 – Internal server error
An internal server error has occured!
Please try again later.

Pretty creepy, but a quick google search and some tips on this site helped me get everything figured out. If you hit the same Error 500, check out that link above for the fix.

November 20, 2009

Why I Find ‘Second Life’ Boring…

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Sitting outside the chapelNot long ago I toyed around with Second Life, creating an avatar of myself (as a short, bald old man with a walking stick that I designed…) and spent time trying to figure it out.  After spending some time completing the exhaustive training island and then exploring for awhile, I just didn’t see the appeal anymore and I uninstalled it.

Well, BBC had an article I was just reading on “what happened to Second Life”, that more or less addresses the drop in popularity of this virtual world.  An interesting point made in why some businesses avoided going online with SL is that it’s not always easy to get a grasp of the technology (perhaps even the navigation) and not all computers can handle it.  This is definitely the case with my 8-yr old Sony Vaio, which can barely run SL.  On a different computer, it would work better, but I’d still find myself waiting for places to fully load, so I’d almost be playing SL while reading a book at the same time waiting.Bridge over boring waters

Anyhow, for kicks, I’m linking in some Flickr pics that I grabbed long ago of my SL adventures.  I had an account and spent the time traveling and just taking in all the details of the place.  Some of it could be interesting, like the interactive monastery (presumably with monks lingering around somewhere.  Why would someone want to be an online monk?) while so much of SL just seemed trashy to me: there would be so many places just devoted to selling junk for your avatar.  Likewise, it seemed as if places offering adult content, and advertising for these places, was prevalent throughout SL.  I *thought* that I had some sort of adult filter on my profile, but apparently not.

What really struck me about SL is that its NOT really accessible unless you want to be a paying member.  So much of the gimmick of SL is just buying stuff and homes and garbage, but when you start the game as a freeloader like me, all you get are a couple bucks (for a pair of shoes or something.)  At least you don’t need to feed or house your avatar, but all the same, having no home in a massive online materialistic faux-world can seem at times a little bit humbling… until you lose interest and turn the game off and play Tetris instead.

Out in the great wide open...I keep referring to SL as a game, and maybe that’s the problem.  It’s not a game… it would be a horrendously boring game if that was the case.  Rather it’s just one of those things I classify as a massive online time-waster.  There can be some interesting things to see, like some of the detailed buildings and avatars, but above and beyond that, I don’t see the appeal.  I’d rather “talk” with a real human over an avatar format (maybe this will change for me later, but for now, I just don’t get it.)

November 16, 2009

December Sun #4 – Page 11 (the real page#11)

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I got my numbering mixed up last week, so this is the real page #11.  Next week I’ll be at the real #12 and back on track again.  For the sake of the pages on this site, you’ve seen everything in order.  I just mixed the numbering up, like a dope.

November 13, 2009

Superman III Clark & Lana Reunion | Heavily-edited video that I uploaded to YouTube

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Here are my comments for the video that I posted on YouTube yesterday, with some more details:

Basically, here’s my heavily-edited remix of Clark meeting Lana again in Superman III, an absolutely dreadful movie, and quite possibly the worst of the Superman series (although still better than ‘Superman Returns’). There were two defining moments in Superman III for me: the “Evil Superman vs. Clark” sequence, which was just the greatest, and the sub-plot of Clark meeting Lana again. The rest of the film, featuring Robert Vaughn and Richard Pryor, was just terrible. In this clip, I’ve removed all of the extraneous characters such as Brad and Ricky, and instead presented this reunion the way I would have liked to have seen it, but no matter how I rework this, the ending was still horrible and nothing could really be done about it.

The Clark/Lana meeting could have been done so much better, as this was such a genuine reunion of two characters with a wonderful chemistry together (more so than Clark and Lois). I can only go so far with the material because the picnic sequence had a terrible ending in the film, so I just crop the video with some comments and music at that point. Ken Thorne did a great job with the music for these scenes, particularly the picnic.

I really could not stand characters like Brad, the unlikable drunk, who occupied far too much of this film, so I completely wiped him out of this clip. The fact that he was in Smallville, entrusted to guard some insanely powerful computer system, is totally beyond reason, and how/why does he show up again at the end of the film? (in Metropolis?)

Likewise, I felt that the Ricky character was just another unlikable character basically added to the script for young viewers to “identify” with, but ultimately he served no real purpose other than to be irritating.
The picnic sequence - one of the excellent but brief sequences of Superman III
Superman III suffered from a LOT of problems above and beyond just the writing. There was far too much profanity, adult content, and lack of it’s consistency. But at the core of it, here was a genuine reunion of two characters, Clark and Lana, that really had a lot of potential, but was never really developed as well as it could have been. After the picnic, and the downhill slope of the film, Clark gives Lana a new ring, but any any all romantic element seems to have vanished between the two. The ring is little more than a nice gesture from an old friend.

Interesting too was how Lois was completely diminished in this film. I did NOT care for her character in the first place, so this wasn’t much of a negative, but I find it curious how quick Clark was to dismiss Lois during the Reunion cleanup sequence with Lana. I did not like the “romantic” sub-plot of Superman I or II (it made me uncomfortable more than anything. Margot Kidder sounds like she’s smoked a pack of cigarettes prior to any dialog she delivers… what is the attraction here?) Likewise the woman from Superman IV – I can’t even remember her name, but there was no real chemistry there between her and Clark, and again, it’s curious that Lois was just a background character in that film as well. Superman III was the only film in which the romantic sub-plot seemed at all genuine, and it figures, it was ruined in the film.

Wow, I’ve wasted too much time on this. I need to get back to drawing. I had an idea for a longer remix, featuring sequences taken from all 4 films. The story would be that General Zod and crew defeat Superman (I would have used the scenes of Zod and friends blowing away the helicopters, etc, but cut in Superman) and, once defeated, Superman would shake his head tearfully doing the “no…no…” thing. They’d all travel to the Fortress, and Superman would have his powers removed and bow to Zod. The story would then pick up with Clark re-meeting Lana (similar to how it happens in this clip) and then a news article would describe a kryptonite meteorite landing on Zod and friends, wiping them all out ironically. Yeah, now that I write out the idea, that sounds really lame and I’m glad I never bothered with it.

November 11, 2009

Silly Photoshop Image

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My wife just found this on a Fisher-Price site.  It’s a very, very bad job with Photoshop.  Notice how the kid and the play structure cast absolutely no shadow, and how proportionally (compared to the furniture behind him) the child must be extremely tiny (or the chair and table are just massive.)

photoshop-sillinessYeah yeah, this has nothing to do with the comic, but I still think it’s funny.  I’m not much better at working with Photoshop either…

November 9, 2009

Unused Dragon Artwork & Thoughts About Color

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Dragon... in color!Here’s a dragon image that I drew, inked and colored for a “Dragonboat” contest at my employer.  I didn’t win, but I had fun doing the drawing.  Sable brushes, scanned, then colored with Photoshop.

Whenever I color with Photoshop it makes me want to branch into doing December Sun in color, but problems are:

  1. I enjoy black and white
  2. I don’t often delineate my figures clearly: either my lines are broken, or they are “brushy” or cross-hatched and don’t lend themselves to easy coloring.
  3. I can never get flesh tones right.
  4. My goofy Gem monitor has issues and occasionally goes pinkish in coloration, so I’m never sure if my colors are completely accurate (not really an issue when working strictly in black and white.)  I’m long overdue for a new monitor.
  5. If I go to color, it would be a downer to “downgrade” into black and white again.  I’m speaking from my own experience: if I was reading a title that started in black and white, then went to color, I’d probably not be likely to want it to go back to black and white and gray-scale.  So if I try color and get burned out, I’m sort of obligated to stick with it, right?
  6. Color just take a lot of time.

I’ve had a number of ideas for a December Sun Holiday issue that would be in color, but then I’m so used to doing the title in black and white, I’m just not sure if that would work.  I’m also thinking of revisiting the “Manga Sun” idea, but that’s a whole new can of worms.

December Sun #4 – Page 10 (Technically, page 11… long story…)

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

For some wacky reason, I accidentally skipped page #9 when posting these.  This was during my time out of state when I was thrown off for a week.  Strangely, though, even with page 9 cut, the comic still seems to have a decent flow to it.

I’ll post page #9 with the deleted pages once I’ve finished posted all the pages for issue #4.

November 7, 2009

Arcadia – Election Day – And my silly interpretation of the lyrics

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Videos that I make tend to be pretty stupid, and this one is definitely no exception. I made it in the space of one night: it’s the song “election day” by the group Arcadia, a spin-off (or renaming or something) of the group Duran Duran. This song got a lot of radio play when I was young, and from then, up until today, I still have no idea what the song is talking about, other than the fact it’s about election day (or re-election day, or something.)

So I wrote down what I’ve heard/understood the lyrics to be, and then grabbed some silly images from everyclick (a charity search engine that tends to be mostly clean. Even google image search, with safesearch on, still tends to bring back junk. Plus using Everyclick, I’m at least making money for charity, so this effort wasn’t a total waste of time.)

Best I could pick up was a message about shooting, fruit, clowns, detergent, and insects. This was a complete waste of time, and now I’m back on December Sun. I’ve got an idea for a Christmas issue that I’m going to start on now (in addition to getting the issue #5 pages ready for this site.) Plenty of material for 2010…

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