Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Episode 33: Goblin Gossip!

So, Episode 33 is out!  You've probably noticed, what with it being directly above this post.  We get to meet King Gurubunder, and get to better understand Bandihutu.  Enjoy!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Episode 32: Balancer

So, uhm...This one is wider than usual.  I used a much wider panel format to try to create a larger scene, all to better explain the rise - and fall - of mana!  I have to say, I really like how the images turned out.  I hope they help to really bring the story home.  To be honest, this isn't even that bad of a panel to start someone off on!  I liked it so much, I'm releasing it before Wednesday!  Will I get another done, by then?  Probably not.  Maybe a short/silly.

Also, for some reason, my newest batch of pictures are in a different resolution than I'm used to.  That's something I need to correct, and will, but it shouldn't be noticeable in terms of image quality, in the comic itself.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Episode 31: When Brute Force Fails

I'm not entirely thrilled with the bug-eyed Goldhook at the end, there, but at the same time there's a certain charm about how he reacts to hearing something absolutely incredulous.  Especially after brokering a rather crooked deal with a prince-prisoner.  Double-especially after hearing Habbo ramble on, which I guess isn't too unusual.

Anyhow, I hope you like it!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Episode Thirty: "Bald!"

Episode 30 is up!  I'm experimenting with a new font - I hope you like it!

Goldhook remains a conceited human being - err, Lego!  And he's bald!  Hence the title!  Guys, enjoy the read; Episode 31 is coming up sooner or later, but since it probably won't be done before Memorial Day, have a happy one!  And thank you to those who serve, or have served, and have honored our country in doing so!  (P.S. If you're from a foreign country, uhm, hi!)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Episode 29: Royal Rude Awakening

I know.

It's been forever.  I had a computer failure and a computer rebuild to go through; it wasn't so bad, but it cost me my ability to take photos outside.  I wanted to get some new episodes up and running, but the weather sucked, so I resorted to just, y'know, taking indoor images.  Hopefully they don't look too bad!

Anyway, see you next time!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Episode 28: "Candlelight Connections"

First of all, all of the best wishes to those who have suffered and lost in Boston in the April 15th, 2013 attack on the Marathon.  It's a shame we live in a world where these kind of things happen.

So, we've come to the end of another batch of photos.  I'm debating whether or not to do a few episodes about Lostech and how it effects the world, mainly because they'd be relatively easy to set up and shoot.  But I'm also just trying to figure out how to best arrange the next real scene - the return of Habbo and Goldhook!  Chances are, I could do both.

Anyway, if you remember, we last saw our Pirate heroes fighting the Goblin sorceress, Bandihutu.  That did not end well for them, clearly, but just what is their fate?  Stay tuned, and as always - enjoy!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Episode 27: Candlelight Continuation!

I want to apologize for it taking so long to post.  Between a vacation, a return, and a pair of quick-succession illnesses I've been pretty beaten up.  Okay; that, and I've been promoting Protostar:  Memoirs of the Messenger rather heavily!  There's nothing I can really do about that, I'm afraid.  Sales have been unusually spectacular, and I have to keep pushing that forward.

That, and the weather has been way too damned unwieldy for me to actually go outside, set up, and shoot the next set of scenes.  After all, while we're just now meeting Victoria and Samuel, and we're getting to know Biran, we do need to find out whatever happened to Habbo and Goldhook - and whether or not Prince Darius is really planning to attack the Goblins who defeated our pirate "heroes!"

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Episode 26: Candlelight Conversations

So, today we learn Biran's background, and also some of the thoughts on his colleagues.  We also learn that there's a city in Alleron called "Troy," and Troy happens to be the capital of the country.  In particular, it refers to the castle at Alleron, but we'll get into that when I, ahem, finish building Troy 2.0.

Also, while the source of light is obviously a tea-candle, consider it a type of oil lamp for story purposes.  Because that's better than, "We built a giant damned candle."

IN OTHER NEWS:  Let me turn to real-life for a minute.  I'm a big supporter of Thorium as a source of electricity for America's future.  And, well, the world's.  It's technology we used in the 1960's then abandoned for various reasons, and I started a petition at "We The People" asking the government to look into it again.  Give it a read!  It only takes a few minutes, and it could really help put a check to climate change.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Episode 25: Listen Close...

So!  This completes the entirety of my first outdoor shoot!  I hope you all liked it.  I guess it also means Season 2 is complete!  Don't worry, we'll get back to Goldhook and Habbo.  And I promise we'll get back to outdoor shooting.

However, for my next few episodes, I need to return to using - ugh - the floor.  I know that's kind of regressive, but it seems to be the only place I can get the lighting I desire.  I contemplated bringing in, like, a box of dirt, but that's taking something which is already playing with fire and putting kindling around it.  At least carpets are flame-retardant, and any small fire could be contained.  Boxes go up much more quickly.

On the upside, you'll get to meet Samuel, Biran, and Victoria in more detail!  Three characters who you will need to know, because they're all pretty damned important to the plot.  And then we go back to Goldhook and Habbo, and what becomes of them.  Sounds fair?


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Comic 24: Earthen Bones

So, another comic!  Time to finish up with this particular encounter, now!  Will Habbo remember what he's supposed to do?  Will it be the obvious Habbo thing to do?  What will become of our heroes?  Not those Pirates, because they need a bath, but the warriors from Alleron who are near-by!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Comic #22: Two Princes

This episode got some rave reviews by my test-screeners.  Bonus points if you get the musical reference!  You should also know that Comic #23 and Comic #24 are already done.  I'm swiftly running out of pre-shot images to work with, and the weather isn't cooperating, so I may have to resort to some camera tricks to do the next stuff.

On the upside, I have lots of "next stuff" planned!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Strip 20: Don't Scan Too Deeply

Hey all,

I just wanted to share this one.  I did it a few days ago, and I like how it came out.  I know that the mood thing is a bit counter-intuitive to read, but that's the consequence of the Scan spell!  It isn't always exact, and Goldhook isn't an expert.  But it does reveal Galliardo's mindset, his physical well-being, and his skills at combat as well as his level.  Expect this "level" idea to occur now and again.

Galliardo is the first character with a defined point of strength, and he's pretty damned powerful!  Goldhook certainly respects his strength, but is he any stronger than Admiral Whitesand?  Swiftshank?  That's hard to say.  Galliardo's HP certainly isn't that high, though - but maybe you don't get a lot of HP in this world, huh?

Anyway, RPG elements aside, have fun and stay tuned for the next episode!

Oh!  And I'm going through the old episodes and adding "Previous strip/Next strip" functionality when I get a chance to do so.  It's tedious work, but it should make your lives easier.

                                                                       Previous Strip #19 | Next Strip #21

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Strip 17: Habbo Strikes Again!

Last episode was the "wrap-up" of the Privateer Point battle, and for good reason.  Today's strip is the last one filmed, well, on a bedsheet, with pillows for background.  I'd like to believe it captures the more whimsical, childish aspects of Lego - like when I was a little kid and I played with them, and a staircase could be a mountain.

Now, next episode is the first strip to come out of the batch of pictures I took outdoors.  Yeah, there are some flaws - and some things I reallllllly don't like, but didn't realize were in shots.  That's kind of the risk of improving one's art, I suppose, and learning new techniques.  But, overall, I love how the outdoors shots really make the world seem real.  Above, and even in the Swiftshank/Whitesand bites, it looks fake.  At least with strips #15 and #16, there's a good reason for the dark backgrounds.  Above, it just...Pales.

Then again, this whole comic is about telling a story in a way I'm not used to, and in a way which doesn't always have to make sense!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Strip 16: Striking a Deal

I'm sleepy.  I'll try to be brief with my notes.  This is the last strip theoretically set during Privateer Point's battle.  There's a lot of light-versus-dark metaphor intended in the photography.  It's not subtle, but please think on it.

So now we know Swiftshank's motivation, and we know what the next storyline is gonna be:  GOBLINS!  Hurray!  Enjoy and if you do, share it!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Strip 15: Demand

Previous Strip, #14 | Next Strip, #16

Chronicles of Alleron, Strip 15:  Demand

This is probably the first part of a two-part strip.  Or, at least, it was.  I guess now its Strip 15.  I was honestly surprised to fit four panels in, but it worked!  Awesome!  Anyway, some things I improved...

 - Character positioning (watch Samuel/Victoria/Some Dude Try to take on Ricardo)
 - Effects (less overall, more direct/impact-laden; I especially like Swiftshank's sword.)
 - Focus (took it off auto-focus)
 - Dialogue.  (Simple, but to the point.  May need to actually shrink the text, though!)
 - Lighting (When necessary, I used a desk lamp with a sheet of paper over it's mouth to soften it)
 - Two-Legged Storytelling.  (Samuel and Victoria engage a powerful foe while Swiftshank and Whitesand duel)

The next one will probably be mostly talk, then we'll return to Habbo and Goldhook and scene two.

                                                                       Previous Strip, #14 | Next Strip, #16

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Strip #14: Special Delivery!

This is technically the last strip of Season 1!  My god!  Imagine, we've gone full circle:  Habbo and Goldhook hanging out on a boat in Strip #1, to the reason that Alleron's navy found Privateer Point!  We've even seen hints that Alleron's government isn't all its cracked up to be, what with a decorated Admiral defecting.  Wow!

I'd written more strips for Privateer Point, mostly focused on Samuel/Victoria's establishment as characters, but Habbo and Goldhook are the protagonists, here.  This story is seen through their eyes, mostly; at least until well into Season 2, and probably always with them as a lens for the reader.  However, I'm thinking that an exchange between Swiftshank and Whitesand might be a wise idea.  In fact, it could be fun!

So Season 1 will officially end with what I've already whipped together, that being the land-fall Habbo and Goldhook make.  Season 2 also starts with footage shot outside, in the real world, meaning it'll look much more awesome.

In the meantime, enjoy!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Strip #13: I fought the law...

It's the weekend.  I tried re-sizing the text this time, instead of re-writing it.  I think it worked out well, though its a touch fuzzy.

Also, as far as the effects are concerned, they're much better.  The smoke looks like smoke, the flying Goldhook (and the ad-hock sky I put him up against) look decent, all in all?  A pretty decent production.  I'm almost up to new strips!  Better get to work!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Strip 12: War At Sea

I decided to keep the original resolution, which is ultra-sharp, and even add in the "on-board graphics" of panel 2.  It's very raw, Terminator-1 Esque, even; but I think it helps make things a bit easier to recognize.

I still way, wayyyy over-blurred the guy falling off of the cannon near Swiftshank.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Strip #11: "Mis-Spoke," plus a bonus strip!

Just a quickie, a re-post of a single-shot dialogue.  Strip 12'll be out tomorrow.  Here's something I posted for a weather-report I wrote.  It's funny because we got an inch and a half of snow literally the day after I filmed scenes for Chronicles in 50 degree weather.  Enjoy!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Strip #10: Incoming!

This one seems to have fared a lot better, when it comes to effects.  The shield overlays are much more what I'd search for in the future, while even the energy cannons (at full charge, naturally) look pretty decent and seem to bleed well into the defenses.  I touched up the facial expression on Swiftshank's pal and refined the dialogue a bit.  I even tweaked the cannon/engine on the Beryllius a touch, just for effects' sake.  Now they look disabled.

Anyhow.  That's all.  Enjoy!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Strip #9: Fire!

Strip 9 was another of those "effects-heavy" strips, and I feel it came out a lot better than 8.  Something I've learned (sadly, I hadn't learned yet) is that blur effects to indicate motion are good, but in moderation.  The cannon-ball, for example, streaks wayyyy too much in panel four.  I think the same applies to the bow of the Bobcat, which is crashing into the ocean.  The smoke also looks kinda blah.

On the upside, hey!  It's strip #9!  I also improved the dialogue a bit.

I also did about seven or eight strips worth of filming, outside, today.  I wanna include sort of a comparison/teaser.  This'll highlight both the new camera (in relation to the old one, used above) as well as the difference that shooting outdoors makes to the realism and atmosphere.

Filmed indoors.  Not bad, no real focus, definitely looks artificial.

Filmed outdoors.  Focus effects increase the magnitude of what's going on, while the hill looks real.  Expect to see this shot a lot!

Strip #8: Incoming!

I enlarged the in-strip text.  This is the first straight-down strip I have, I think, and it was taken using a camera which is entirely unavailable to me.  It was also the first really big attempt at graphical effects I made. It's okay, but I don't like how the shield effects turned out on the Bobcat.  I think the shield looks too circular on the back-end, but the front-end is okay.  In the future, I'm going to "splash" the effects more.

Other Housekeeping!

So, first of all, as you might or might know when I moved out of my apartment, I lost a couple of key characters.  Namely, I lost Lysander and Darius.  It was tough, but I've managed to recoup those losses.

Second!  As I'm also a writer/novelist, I've put out a few books.  My latest novel, Physics Incarnate, is officially one year old as of today!  It's available in paperback and on the Kindle.  Check it out!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Strip #7: Good Warning!

(Animated comic added 12/15/2019; original below)
Previous Strip #6 | Next Strip #8

I tried to reduce the overall image size and increase the font size.  Hopefully this is more legible.  Also, hopefully, the effects are a touch better.  I upgraded the magic-gathering images.

In the shooting department, today, I got 2/3rds of what looks like my camera set-up established, and used it to take some test shots.  Some are "promo" pics, and will be re-shot.  Others probably will not, just to guarantee the sixteenth episode!

In the meantime, continued feedback on how the revamping is going is, well, needed.  I need the input!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Strip #6: First The Good News

(Animation added 12/4/2019; apparently it makes the image less sharp, so the bottom includes the original at a larger size with better text resolution)

Not quite sure how I like this font, or this camera resolution.  On the upside, I certainly won't be using it anymore!  On the downside, it seems I'm missing certain "vital characters."  Some can be more easily replaced than others...:/

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

No new comic, but...

And, yes, I realize all of the "new" comics are just re-edits of the old ones; but here's something new.  I'm still testing out names for this little place, but for now call it Stronaard castle.  The wall on the left-hand side I actually got today, as part of a The Hobbit set that I actually felt would fit nicely.  I need to add some more ramparts, maybe do some color-balancing where applicable, but it looks good, so far.

If you're wondering, some features are...

 - The left-hand wall is supported by pillars, and has a small catapult on it.
 - The building near the ramp has a ladder leading to the roof, as well as a bridge.  It will serve as a "resting place" for a hand-held heavy plasma cannon, mainly used for anti-vehicular reasons.
 - Underneath the front barracks is a jail-cell.
 - The top bailey is also fully enclosed.
 - On the roof of the top bailey, accessed through a ladder just to the side of the castle, there are a number of throwing spears as well as the castle's primary defensive weapon, a five-barreled anti-aircraft gun with computer-aided targeting, 360 degree fire, and vertical lift/descent to allow all barrels to cover the entire castle.

Plot-wise, this place is more "Season Three" than "Season Two," but I like it.  It's neat!

Anyway, tomorrow I plan to get some more old episodes up; and soon, weather permitting (hehe), I shoot some new scenes!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Chapter #5: My Kingdom For An Antivirus!

So.  This is that fifth strip that really was ugly.  It was all five panels arranged left-to-right.  The text was much harder to read.  I say "harder" because this is still not the best, ahh, example of text embedding.  It has to do with the camera I took these shots with.  It was a huge, huge pixel image.  I dunno.

On the other hand, this is the first episode where the plot actually starts to take shape.  To offer some "it's been a few years" explanation:  Goldhook and his crew hit up an Alleronian facility involved in building their newest boat, the "Panther."  Swiftshank and Ricardo refer to Alleron's navy as their former employer.  That ought to make pretty obvious their importance.

So it's shaping up!

Strip 4: Privateer Point

(Animated version 12/14/2019)

(Original pre-animation)

So, now we get a look at Privateer Point.  I've tried to cut down heavily on the dialogue at this point, and I'm pretty confident that it looks...Decent, at least.  The next one is the really hard to fix one.  Ugh.