Data structures, then and now. And a bit about the script for the next chapter.

For those of you wondering where todays comic update is or isn’t, take a look at the Changelog. I moved a seven page update earlier this week and as far as I’m concerned that counts as a content update. Visual continuity and all that. There have been quite a few edits since last week’s update and this past week being one of those weeks in which Work stubbornly refuses to exist I had no other pressures that I could meaningfully address so “todays” edits were moved as they were completed during the week.

Today’s update is classical and modern directory tree screenshots. Data organization erotica, if you will.

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Poor Impulse Control: The Naomi Edit

While this weeks edit is going up a couple of days later than planned it is fortunately shorter and wasn’t subject to the sprawl that engulfed the Charger Edit. The Naomi Edit came in on time and on budget – I threw the back half of a work session at it and cleaned up the proposed panel as well as the shots that came to mind after the gun editing photoshopathon recalibrated my priorities for this editing pass.

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The Charger Edit

I proposed a few edits in a recent blog post. What had been intended as a couple of tweaks and some tactical plot surgery got out of hand and spiraled into a surgical strike, with all of the collateral damage that that implies. Fortunately no civilians were killed and the only serious damage has been to my commission schedule.

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Between Chapters: a Few Possible Edits to The Dualist.

ATC revisions are kind of a hobby. Hell, all of The Dualist and the first chapters of Dead City Radio and Transitional Voices have been rewritten twice. Three times for parts of The Dualist. Four, for a few scenes.

I’m not doing anything that big this time, I promise. In fact the point of this blog post is to lay out what I’m thinking of doing and why. If all goes to plan I’ll then follow this post up by performing the edits. There won’t be new story while I’m working on the script for Transitional Voices chapter four but there may well be new or at least revised art.

Here’s what’s under consideration:

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TV.3 Asset Development Analysis (or, the pre-post production blog post)

The last page of TV.3, air -44-, ATC page 635 (story page 612) rolled off the assembly line around 0600 EST this morning. That makes for a total of seven pages in the buffer. On the current Sunday schedule that covers the rest of October and all of November, with the last page finished this morning having a projected post date of November 30. Air -42- will be posted on the 16th and is closest to ATC’s 20th birthday. I can never remember the exact date; I know it’s November 1994, somewhere in the middle. One of the “teen” days.

The comic is currently two pages into the last major production block of the chapter. I took advantage of a scheduling hole in late September and got the rest of the Daedalus shots rendered in a marathon work session. After that, pages 3.36 through 3.38 were done in one production block and 3.39 through 3.41 were created the week after. After finishing line art for the chapter I spent a fortnight on asset development, which is the point of this blog post. As I’ll be discussing material that will be technically spoilery for the next few weeks I’ll tuck the rest of this post below the fold. Read More →

Untapped Potential

16:41 < ejp> YouTube: Xiki: Can your shell console do this?
16:41 < xeno> >_<
16:41 < ejp> I have no idea how I feel about this
16:42 < solios> oh my god that guy is loud as hell and has a voice that should not be doing audio work
16:43 < solios> (like 98% of videos)
16:43 < ejp> oh yeah, there’s that
16:43 < ejp> I didn’t notice the loud
16:43 < solios> seriously folks just give me a transcript and twenty bucks and I’ll make you a non-shitty audio track
16:43 < ejp> …
16:43 < ejp> have you looked into that?
16:43 < ejp> because seriously
16:43 < solios> it just occurred to me
16:43 < ejp> GO GO GO
16:44 < solios> hm!

Qualifications: A few months interning at a radio station in the late 90s and years and years of people telling me I have a radio voice. Which is a thing I do have. If you don’t then you can totally pay me to have one for you. Laconic AM radio late night Jazz DJ voice instead of the sneering veneer of sarcasm and/or superiority it seems like every software tutorial video has. Make your tutorial sound as good as you know it is. Only four easy payments of $19.95. Act now, supplies are limited!

Disclaimer: My home audio recording equipment is garbage.

Air Show Special: Wings Over… Westmoreland?!

The Pittsburgh Air Show has been good and cancelled for awhile now. In 2012 it wasn’t a thing; in 2013 it wasn’t a thing but I didn’t care because thanks to the commemorative air force I was taking a picture. Apparently it was un-cancelled this year, briefly – just long enough to list as maybe a thing on a couple of websites. Then it cancelled itself again and the Latrobe airport in 90-minutes-away Westmoreland county snapped up the headliner.

Back when I blogged a lot I got wordy about air shows, and those air shows were things to get wordy about – there were fleets of aircraft. Multiples. A-10s, F-15s, F-16s, F-22s. Plural. DC-3s, C-5s, C-17s, C-130s. B-52s, B-17s. Prowlers. This year there were a total of three aircraft on static display, and they were covered with people the entire time I was present. Two things took the edge off the lack of statics and the sea of bipeds – the macro mode of my SD1400 and a bit of maintenance or throat-clearing on Blue Angel #6.

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Henry Darger

17:13 < mdxi> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Darger
17:20 < solios> dammit I’m missing Metal Church at the Rex
17:20 < solios> wait, I’m ALSO missing South Side on a Friday night.
17:20 < solios> :D!
17:21 < mdxi> ‘In 1968, Darger became interested in tracing some of his frustrations back to his childhood and began writing The History of My Life. Spanning eight volumes, the book only spends 206 pages detailing Darger’s early life before veering off into 4,672 pages of fiction about a huge twister called “Sweetie Pie”, probably based on memories of a tornado he had witnessed in 1908.’
17:21 < solios> O.o
17:22 < mdxi> this dude makes robert jordan and GRRM look like chumps
17:22 < mdxi> that’s his SHORTEST book
17:22 < solios> jebus
17:26 < xeno> That’s solios in 20 years 😛
17:27 * xeno has always thought ATC was solios’s Vivian Girls
17:27 < solios> ?
17:27 < xeno> (henry darger)++
17:27 < xeno> solios: you’re Henry Darger
17:27 < xeno> < solios> No YOU’RE henry darger AND SO’S YOUR MOM
17:28 < solios> heh
17:28 < solios> if anything ATC has a bit more in common with VALIS
17:28 < solios> though it’s taken so [expletive] long to get anywhere with it that most of the crazy has oozed out. Which is good for the plot but cuts down the page count considerably.
17:29 < ejp> when you’re arguing which flavor of obsessed crazy you have, it might be time to take a step back

Webcomic Blind Date 2014

wcbd_2014_dmh_and_jasmine_lopezEarlier this year I signed up for The WCBN Webcomic Blind Date 2014. I figured what the hey – I’ve tried a few times in the past but it’s been a long time since I’ve collaborated on comics and the “Blind Date” idea cuts out the legwork and soul searching. A bite-sized bit of fun? Why not! 😀

I was paired up with Jasmine Lopez of Salmagundi. We swapped ideas over a couple of get-to-know-you emails and quickly got down to business – I got the script last week, we tweaked it a bit, and the page went through a very ATC process of framing this weekend, 3d mockups on Monday, pencils, inks, cleanup, assembly and base backgrounds on Tuesday followed by shading and lettering on Wednesday. Jasmine approved the results early Thursday (late Wednesday PST) and I submitted the comic to the WCBN and started this blog post shortly after. 😀

Technically this is the first time I’ve worked on a romantic comedy instead of setting one up and thwarting it, and this is the first comic I’ve done with thought balloons. It’s also the first comic I’ve produced in quite awhile that lays aside the otherwise strictly enforced ATC color coding in favor of “whatever looks good” – after the holiday color cues, the only intentional color-coding in this comic is the Anime Protagonist hair color of Tom’s paramour. This collaboration is about as far from ATC as I’ve gone without involving automation . It was a lot of fun to create and I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

22:10 < mdxi> steve vai and devin townsend in 1993
22:11 < solios> mdxi: there’s a thought
22:11 < solios> mom’s wearing a zep shirt so it fits
22:13 < mdxi> hah! the pear on the phone.