I've always known that there are a ton of tutorials out there, especially on YouTube, but I've never really taken any time to try and watch any of them. I've been remedying that recently, and holy crap, there is a lot of good stuff out there. Especially by way of painting/coloring in PhotoShop and like programs. I've particularly enjoyed ones by www.idrawgirls.com. This guy might be a bit confusing to listen to--as he often seems to forget to narrate as his painting is playing out--but just watching him is inspiring and gives all sorts of good ideas.
Also, I discovered this collective of people documenting the zombie apocalypse. Lost Zombies is what it's called, and it seems like a cool project to be a part of. If I didn't already have so much on my plate, I'd love to contribute. And even if the theme of zombies doesn't float your boat, you have to appreciate the general idea/structure of the thing.
To me, this is what the internet is all about, sharing info, the cool stuff that you've learned, and working together to create something truly awesome and could never have been accomplished without a communication device such as this. Truly, we all need to get over ourselves and start more collective/collaboration projects.
My power-drafting was successful. I printed off, packaged up, and shipped off my novel to an agent yesterday. It might not be 100 percent polished, or even quite where I wanted it to be, but it is one step closer to that step.
And really, it was nothing short of a miracle for me to get this done. I get distracted so easily, it's not even funny, but for the past two days, it's been nothing but my novel. And by nothing but, I really mean it. I think on Wednesday, I worked on that thing for a good 11 hours... and I'm not exaggerating either. Hours of writing. I'm pretty sure my brain is mush.
Anyway, if you're a believer in any sort of well wishing, I'd be much obliged for any good vibes, prayers, or crossed fingers you'd send my way. I'll be sure to keep everyone updated--even if you don't care.
...what it was that I was trying to do with yesterday's comic, but there is more like it tomorrow. Good times.
In other, more click-track heart shattering news, I've got an agent willing to check out my novel. I keep freaking out and pushing myself to the edge of a panic attack whenever I think about this, so it's better if I don't. Because of this though, I'm power-drafting through the rest of my novel, trying to get all the ducks in the row--even if a few of them are slightly ugly ducks. My top priority is for the whole thing to make some semblance of sense. I've been reworking it so much lately, that my ending makes no sense with what came before it. I'm trying to remedy this. Fast.
My wife and I started our garden yesterday. We made a trip to our local Mennard's and bought all the yard equipment that we didn't own to help us make our outside area look mildly presentable. Mostly, we did a lot of cleaning up, as there were still many a dead leaves and sticks leftover from the windy days and Fall. Plus, our small patch designated as our "garden" was in quite a state. I spent most of my time outside tilling the ground and avoiding stabbing our cats--as they were enamored with the random patches of catsnip growing in the garden area. Within the next few weeks, we'll be starting our different plantings. We've got cucumbers, corn, watermelon, pumpkins, green beans, spinach, carrots, tomatos, and some spices. I'm especially looking forward to the fresh basil. Mmmmm.... basil...
In other news, I got my acceptance to the FreeRealms beta yesterday. I poked around their little world for about an hour, maybe, and it seems alright. It's definately aimed at a younger age group, and overall, it is kinda stupid (though I did get to turn into a big monster, which is just my kind of stupid.) It might be worth a look. And it's free, so there's not much to argue with. Perhaps it will be more fun in a group. But until my friends join, I doubt I'll be playing all that much.
Gibberish tomorrow, and be expecting something rather bizarre this week.
I'll start with the good news. I finished my third painting, and best of all, this one was a commission, and I'll be getting paid for it. This one came out both better and worse than I had hoped for, but all in all, I learned some new techniques and have a few new ideas about how to do some of my future paintings, which there will definitely more. So, if you have any ideas of something you'd like, either a painting or a cardboard magnet, shoot me an email or leave me a comment with contact info, and I'll talk pricing with you. My work is relatively cheap compared to most, so hit me up, and we'll figure something out.
The main reason I'm soliciting work and money is that my stupid Xbox 360 died the other night, giving me an almost full red ring of death after I tried to play some more Mirror's Edge. Stupid shoddy Microsoft system. I have an old Nintendo that's almost as old as me, and it still works great--I was playing it last night. Anyway, the short of this is that my warranty is out, and it'll cost $99.00 for a fix, plus shipping. So, I need money so I can get my Rockband back on again. And mayhap actually be able to play games I rent, like Mirror's Edge.
Take the weekend to ponder what you might want, but I expect commissions people. You should be getting your taxes back soon, you've got money to blow...
Until Monday, have a better weekend than my last few days.
As promised, these are my cards that I made for the Artist Trading Cards, "Tim Burton" swap. For some reason or another, it looked like everyone was making cards from Nightmare Before Christmas, Corpse Bride, or The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy. Granted, those are some of Burton's best places to pull from, in terms of arting, but he's done so much that I had to represent some of his other work. And seeing as Beetlejuice was one of my favorites as a child, I had to go that route.
With the exception of pulling these things together, I--for whatever reason--feel like I have no idea what I'm doing today. I've got stuff I need to write, comics to make, and the usual tedium of work to avoid. All I'd like to do is go back home, curl up, and sleep for another few hours. That or play some more of Mirror's Edge. Seems like it will be quite the cool game, albeit frustrating.
For now, I suppose I'll do what I can and hope to get something accomplished today.
I've never really thought about how draining it is to hang around with people you only have a little bit in common with for an extended period of time.
Some in-laws came to visit this weekend, and while they are good people, we don't really click on every level. Had this just been an afternoon visit, or even a full day, I don't think it would've been so awkward, as by the second day, both my wife and I felt the strain of keeping the conversation going. This was only compounded by the fact that a sick baby was also on the loose. All of these things basically added up to a weekend of bad sleep, awkward silences, and a glimpse to what it will/might be like if and when we have a child.
That being said, we still got a few good games of Catan in, including a few ventures with our new Seafarers Expansion. (I swear, those game pieces must have nicotine that releases with every touch. You get to where you need your Catan fix.) Also, I finished my cards for the Tim Burton swap for the Artist Trading Card thingummy I participate in. I meant to post them, but I ran out of time to scan them. They'll probably post on Wednesday.
As you may or may not remember from an earlier post, I've signed up and have been working on Artist Trading Cards. One such swap that I'm signed up for and participating in is a Tim Burton swap. Being a huge fan, I wanted to join in the fun.
After seeing what some of the others have submitted as their cards, I was noticing something rather startling: a lack of Beetlejuice characters. So I rewatched the film to get some ideas for my cards. I can't say that the film has aged well, but even as a kid I remember thinking that Michael Keaton did a great job as the ghost with the most. Seriously, this is one of the most-underated performances, right up there with Jeff Bridges' The Dude in The Big Lebowski. Keaton's voice changes, general zaniness, and random gropings make it hard to even recognize that this is the same guy that played Bruce Wayne. Good stuff, Mr. Keaton, good stuff.
In other news, I produced a comic for Michael Elder's Lost in Thought. He is the fine artist/writer that gave me yesterday's guest comic. It's a bit of a swap, and a partial payment for all his help in designing the new site for Gibberish. I plan on doing more for him too, as his characters and storyline offer up all sorts of gibberish-esque goodness. Plus, I've forgotten how much I enjoy working with multiple panels.
And lastly, my thesis is seriously one step away from being done. Once I encorporate the final changes from my mentor, it is off to my second reader, then off to the binder. And the best part is, is that this means my novel is also one step away from being finished. So be wary all you literary agents and publishers, awesomeness is on the way.
This mighty fine comic was brought to you by Michael Elder. If the name rings a bell, it's because he produces the webcomic Lost in Thought. Mike, in all his awesomeness (for which there is no charge), is working on the official Gibberish site. He's handling all the technical gobbledy-guk and turning my doodles into a rocking site.
So do both him and me a favor by checking out his site, poke around, say "Hi." I'm sure he'd appreciate it.
For some reason, this blog has taken the back burner of my mind. All too often, I think everyday is a comic day and I don't need to write anything. Then I realize it's Wednesday, and that my life has been more than a little uneventful in these last few days. So here are some quick tidbits that may or may not have been twitter-worthy (if I ever get such a thing as twitter):
Ate chicken fingers at Raising Canes, which were awesome, as usual. Ate them with lots of pellet ice Dr. Pepper. Confused a hockey helmet for a clock.
For once, I was really rooting for the film to work too, as many of the voice actors in the film are some of my faviorites. Plus, I like the film's basic idea: Monsters versus aliens, what more do you need? In MvA's case, it needs some originality.
I realize that the directors, Rob Letterman and Conrad Vernon, were giving throwbacks to the sci-fi films of yesteryear--which is fine, if not necessary, but they didn't have to use such cheap tricks as low-brow humor and shots that were set up specifically for the 3D experience. (This is precisely what I feared with the new rise of 3D, directors framing/using shots for gimmicky thrills and producing rather ugly shots, but that is a rant for another time.)
Really, with the exception of Seth Rogen, the film wasn't funny. Again, this bothered me, as I find Will Arnett and Stephen Colbert, usually, very funny. The biggest problem was the poor dialogue written for the both of them. Arnett's Missing Link was a weak character, and anything remotely amusing that Colbert had to say showed up in the trailers. It's never good when the moments that garner the most laughs in a film are the same moments the trailers highlight. Plus, where the film might have suceeded in playing with the sci-fi stereotypes, MvA only turns the genre on it's head once--in one of the better scenes where the "couple parked in the middle of nowhere" scene has a refreshing twist. Had more of this humor been present, the film might've appealed to more than the 10 and under crowd. Unlike some of the previous Dreamworks flicks, MvA didn't have enough to offer the older audience. One or two double entandres, but it never tapped into the true essence of humor, opting out for stereotypes, cliches, and genrally silliness as its backbone.
This one is more for the kids than the adults, which is fine, it's just a shame that Dreamworks keeps fluctuating between great films and bad ones--though now we're one for three, a ratio I REALLY hope improves. My biggest fear is that this one, like Madagascar, will garner a sequel--even though it doesn't deserve, or need, one.
See it if you have kids, and in 3D if possible, however older animation fans can steer clear without missing much: just a few chuckles and a hot digi-babe (but this is the internet, and hot digi-babes are a dime a dozen.)
Until Wednesday, I was not aware that one could give Prozac to their pets. I don't know if it is a different formula than what doctors prescribe for us humans, but it can help level a cat out.
I may have mentioned him in the past, Mr. McTookis, but this cat has been ridiculous from day one. Granted, he IS/WAS a feral cat, and he's so ornery, my wife and I haven't known what to do with him. And it's not that he's peeing on stuff or clawing our couch to shreds--from what I can tell, he hasn't peed anywhere but the litter box--but he attacks our other two cats non-stop. This isn't just the playful tussle either: Tookis stalks them, corners them, boxes them out from coming or going from certain rooms. As his name suggests, he's an asshole. And this is probably my fault for naming him what I did.
So, even though I hate to do it--I think the world is incredibly overmedicated--for my other cats' sake, my wife and I decided that it really is for the best. Of course, if it changes his personality too much (I love that little booger) we'll stop the meds, but for now, he seems to be the same Tookis, he just sleeps a bit more. I've got my eye on him though.
Enough about my cat--which I'm sure you're already thinking--I've got things to do, plenty to do, and will give a full report on Monday, as some of it--to me at least--is quite exciting.
I wish my comic ran five days a week. Having pre-made materials and not having to worry about what I'm going to say is nice. Very nice. Especially when I'm stupid busy.
So, as I've been obsessed with this band for some time, and this song has been on CONSTANT rotation on my Zune. Here is a link to what I imagine that if I were a musician, this would be the music I'd make.
You've found me. You don't win anything besides the joy of discovering the "official" blog of Christopher William Smith, would-be teacher, wanna-be artist, and purveyor of passable doodles and interesting stories. My fiction has appeared inInhale/Exhale,Pindeldyboz,MicroHorror,Blink|Ink, and forthcoming in Pear Noir! #3.I'm also shopping the "final draft" of my novel, Jumping Off Bridges, working on a new novel tentatively titled A Startling Lack of Color, and creating a bi-weekly webcomic, Gibberish.
In the meantime, feel free to peruse these seldom used highways of my brain, and once you're blown away by my fantastical mind and decide you'd like to publish one of my stories or put together a collection of Gibberish, drop me a line. Thanks for stopping by, I look forward to hearing from you.
If you've enjoyed yourself or would like to become one of my best friends in the world, donate to the cause. Or just send me hate mail--that is also acceptable.