24 April 2011

My balpen skills

They're not as good as this guys skills!

I read about that guy in a little free newspaper on the train called "metro", it might have been somewhere else though. But it doesn't matter where I discovered these balpen drawings, the important thing is that it gave me the motivation to draw something in the same technique. Sure mine isn't as photorealistic as his, but mine is only A4 sized and has no reference whatsoever. But who cares about that anyway.

In other news: apparently spring has started again. A nice summer breese is flowing through the window and I hope it'll take a bit of this computer generated heat with him, or her. I'm not sure if the wind would be male, female or just plain genderless. But for the sake of imagination I'll go for female, cause really. Who wants to have a male wind burst through the window with an axe, a keg of beer and an "arrrrrr" while he trashes the place.

Then again, a female wind might be trouble as well. If she would slip in the room with the perfume she bathed instead of sprayed, nagging about the dirty clothes on the floor and complaining that the curtains don't match the carpet. Before you know it this female wind is transforming your room in a bubbly room of cutelsy.

So on second thought I'll go for the genderless wind that just flows inside the room carrying with it a sent of fresh mown grass, or newly blooming trees, or if I'm lucky the sent that comes up right before it is going to rain. Yeah, I can live with that one.

17 April 2011

One man party

If you have to, you just have to.

When I go to work right now I spend about 30 minutes on a train. This can be rather usefull to draw, read or sleep. But once in a while something happens in that time. Just like this week. As usual I walked on the train and took a seat. This time I did notice that almost all places were occupied except a little island of empty chairs. First I though, "yay lucky me". But then I noticed why the seats were empty.

As I sat down I noticed this guy, in the centre of the empty seat island. He was talking to himself, to the person in front of him (which was an empty chair) and during that half hour on the train he had sung, danced, commented on the good quality of Brussels and Antwerp, greeted other people who sat on the train. In general he had a little party going on in his seat. All in all it was actually rather funny to see and I couldn't help myself but make a little sketch of the situation.

12 April 2011


Why this sort of layout for my comics?

When I look at normal webcomics on the internet I see that most of them use the traditional way of stacking the frames. The biggest experiment most of the artist attempt is usually the looong drop down, when you have to scroll down more then just one webpage. This would be concidered the equivalent of scrolling through pages of a normal comic book.

Somehow I find it a bit frustrating that very few artist try out new ways of ordering their frames. Back in the day when the first artists made comics they had to make sure that the comic would fit inside a giving space in the newspaper or magazine. So the frames and layout was mostly done with that in mind. The same go's for comic books that were printed, the standard shape is a rectangle most of the time. If you want a special layout or shape of your comic book you have to be able to spend enough cash on it or else you just can't pull it off.

Most, if not all, of the comic layouts are based upon a standardised shape of a comic book that the printing factory once concidered the most practical and cheapest way to make them. I could be wrong of course, but I do belief that is a possible way of how it came to be this way.

Now, with the arrival of the internet and the freedom you experience on a webpage, you can do whatever you want. You can make the viewer scroll sideways, upside down and even diagonaly up to the left. Heck, you could even use still images with small animated backgrounds if you really wished. Of course some of those ways would be confusing for the reader, but its the freedom any person that hosts a website has. I would think that with this freedom a lot of artists would try to use this newfound liberty.

But, Sadly that is not what I see, for some reason a lot of artists still stick to the good old program of "left to right, down one row, left to right, down another row and stop when the complete layout looks like a rectangular". To me that seems like you get an entire empty house and you only use the bathroom to put your belongings. All stuffed togheter in a cramped space.

So with this comic I try to use the entire house as much as possible, in as much different ways I can think of. I don't claim to be succesfull at it and a lot of times I to get hooked to the old fashioned way. But really now, I would be stupid not to use something that has proven its succes in the past 70 or more years. But now with these modern ways of showing off comics I think we should embrace this technology and use it with the best of our abilities.

10 April 2011

Traveling through space

They better send an entire fleet or else they'll get pretty crazy.

Imagine the following situation. There's this chap on earth, an astronaut, and soon he'll be off on a big journey through space. Apparently the human race has invented a way to travel at speeds that almost reach up to the speed of light. The journey that this man will make is about 300 lightyears away. (thats the distance that light can travel in 300 julian years (which is about 300 years, give or take 75 days)).

But apparently there is a star at that place with a lovely green planet that might be interesting to look at, or to build a portal that makes traveling between the two planets faster and easier, whatever reason is good for you. But first he will have to travel to that location, and since his spacecraft won't go faster then the speed of light it will take more then 300 years. For easy calculations I'll use the number of 50 years. So it'll take him 350 years to get there. (yay for science and making human popsicles (artificial hibernation)

After the astronaut has been launched of this third rock from the sun he's off for a long trip. Of course to make sure that he doesn't feel to lonely they'll make sure he gets a nice welcoming message when he arrives at that star. But, since radiowaves travel at the same speed as the speed of light they can't just send the message right away. They'll have to wait 50 years to make sure that it arrives at the same time as the astronaut.

Knowing human behavior I'm sure they'll record a message on the day he left earth, and fifty years later they'll probably record a second message as well. So they'll probably send two messages into space towards their astronaut, who is at that time still in hibernation at a spaceship somewhere between the two stars. One message with a mother and a baby in her arms and the second message a grandmother with a fifty year old sibling who probably has kids of its own.

For the people on earth that event is probably the last they'll hear about it for the next 650 years, cause if he ever sends a message back it'll still have to travel 350 years back to earth. That's like sending a message into space in 1361 and receiving a reply today, (or 2011 to 2661). Think about that when internet is being slow again.

But the craziest thing about it is probably from the perspective of the astronaut. Cause for him those 350 years will pass in what appears to be a short daydream snooze. Sure it might be a snooze that gives him a bad headache and muscles that ache like hell, but it'll still have passed like a snap of the fingers.

So he waved goodbye from the hatch of his spacecraft, went into his hibernation capsule, a bit later it closed down and soon he'd feel sleepy. In what seemed like a few seconds he wakes up again and he might feel like something has gone wrong and the mission is aborted, but when he sees the flashing light of his radio transmitter he realises its 350 years later and everybody he waved goodbye to a few seconds ago is actually long gone.

But then he see's the two messages, the "old" old one and the "new" old one. He'll probably send a reply but he knows that whoever he sends the message to will receive it when he himself has also hit the dirt. I bet that being in such a situation must be crazy as hell, knowing that everything around you was orchestrated 350 years ago. That the guy who was your boss is now dead and that you actually have to work for your own survival without any backup from earth.

Whatever he can acomplish will have no specific meaning for earth in the near future. Everything that he does will have to be done to make sure that in 350 years or more contact can be established between the two planets, or if the astronaut is lucky they'll have invented a faster way of traveling or transmitting data. If he zooms in on our solar system he'll only see the history of 300 years ago, which would be 50 years in the future for himself in one way or the other.

Chances are that he'll never have the benefits of any work he does at that far away star, unless he freezes himself again, waiting to be unfrozen when he gets a reply. Then again, I suddenly realise that his family from 350 years ago might as well be frozen on earth and awoken at regular intervals over the centuries to keep communication logical for both parties. (now that would make one hell of a sci-fi love story, I can see the headlines already "Time, space and everlasting love"

Posting the following sketches up here seems completly out of place now that I've finished writing this blog update. ow well.

03 April 2011

Black hole vacuum cleaner

It was a tiny little bit to strong

The title and the little intro line are pretty much the entire explenation for the drawing below. At least its one of them you could give for it. Frankly it was just me trying to figure out how to draw something creepy. I'm not sure if its really creepy t all. Its drawn in my style which isn't that scary. I mean, I could draw a hideous monster and still make it look cute.

In other news, I had this crazy idea of not drawing for an entire month, which would have been the month of April of course. But since I had a few unfinished drawings left and one or two requests for which I had to be available I figured it would be smarter not to do my drawing break in April. I'll probably move the event to either next month or the month after that, not sure.

But I'm definatly doing it some month of this year, unless there is an awesome drawing oppertunity every remaining month of this year. Thought I belief it is highly unlikely to happen. But you never know, faith is always acting weird when I plan things. Talking about planning, I'm not sure if I should make plans for FACTS 2011.

Thought FACTS 2010 was very awesome and a cool experience all by itself I didn't get enough money out of it to cover all my expenses. So I'm not sure if I should try again this year. The financial stuff is holding me back, but the experience stuff is telling me to do it once more. So that's one thing I'll have to figure out sooner or later.