Monday, May 9, 2016

Webcomic barnstorming, I mean brainstorming!

So, lately... I've got the itch.  

An itch I haven't' felt in literally YEARS.  Been on a crazy drawing kick lately, perhaps my game time is dwindling down a bit or I've managed to find time but I've had some crazy funny ideas pop in my head and I've jotted every single one down.

Now what I'm torn on is, I've been into gaming for years.  Wanted to try my hand at a gaming centric comic.  As I got older however, my hobbies have expanded thanks to bored days on the internet.  At my age, gaming webcomics just don't do it for me anymore... I want a little more story, a little bit pop culture here, little bit slice of life tomfoolery there.  I want to poke fun at all the negative shit that plagued me for years living in Dumpwater (not it's real name), Arizona.  Poking fun at the hypocritical Christians, and racists, and people-so-full-of-themselves.  Poking fun at both sides of the political spectrum of unreasonable supporters.  I still want to do stuff related to videogaming, but it's not going to be the main focus... just a decent chunk of it is.  I want to make fun of all the crazy stuff I've seen on the internet and social media because I've missed out on some juicy stuff these past few years.

Okay, so that sounded alot like South Park, but hear me out.

Thing is, doing both is the difficult part.  My limited time right now won't allow me to do both styles, so I'm trying my damndest to do BOTH without taking away much.  Some people like one page jokes and gags and DESPISE story arcs, while some readers are the opposite.

When I was in the CCA, it was easy to release a full comic that pretty much got the job done and in a few months, I'd release another one.  When I did Beatrush Plus, and I'm admitting this:  I let the damn thing drag to the point where I lost interest.  I did Beatrush Plus to somehow try to differentiate myself from "That Guy Who Does Tifa Comics" but it failed.  Fans didn't want non-Tifa comics, and I didn't want to do crossover comics anymore.  Overtime I got stuck finishing college and wanted to get into making games professionally.  So my comic making days were over.

Which didn't exactly pan out, save for a couple indie games.

Over the past few months, I've been reading comics and trying to rekindle some long lost love for drawing.  I think since the end of highschool began what I call the "demoralizing and discouragement" of my passion for art.

Story goes as thus,

I was that tubby high schooler that watched way too many adult cartoons and played too many videogames.  Simpsons, Ren and Stimpy, Critic, DBZ (Ocean Dub), and needless to say... while it was fun.  Did these chicken scratch comics with a cat character and his friends, and some oddball spinoffs.  Drawing was probably early Beavis and Butthead Tier.  Did it from my sophomore year to senior, made some great friends doing it and people got a kick out of it.  

Then hormones took over... ooooh boy.  I was dumb enough to try and impress one I thought liked me but even she started shunning my comics.  Then, people who used to read them shunned them... and over time before graduation people actually made fun of my newfound passion.  Most of my followers were either graduated or dropped out, and It was back to the lone nerd status quo.

So... the dream died until my early 20s.  I did these dumb gaming themed crossover comics which I trashed because they were done in colored pencil on lined paper.... yeah... don't ask.  Started doing chariactures at work which got lots of attention.  Then the internet was fairly early so I started webcomics with Person Man... and ill fated work of trying to make it into print media, which was tough as balls to get in unless you were a somebody.  My boss at the time had these grand schemes of wanting to be a big shot... but here's the thing.  He wanted to be the "writer" and I'd be the one doing all the work.  I seem to attract these guys.  
I knew that guy was a slouch, but didn't have the spine to tell it to his face.  People would promise me that they'd help me get successful with my art, remember what I said earlier about people full of themselves?  Bigshotter in a small town attitude.  

I did run into the Crossover Comic Archive about a year or so later, because I really liked the ease of doing photoedited comics.  I'd use my handdrawn works for it eventually... but OH GOD I never realized how horrid my scanned colored pencil/markered arts looked.  But It gave me a boatload of popularity for years... or maybe because I was dumb and tried to rant about why Tifa and Cloud weren't meant to be or some dumb shit, ugh... I hate 23 year old me.

The fun ended when I tried dating...

Did you know that most potential mates think a cartoonist is a loser's profession?  I sure as hell didn't.  I thought that was a thing Jon Arbuckle has to deal with, but nope.  Dumpwater was such a small town, if you weren't white, mega educated, already making 40k in some glorified desk job profession, Christian (the fake kind) and came from a nice family your dating prospects were pretty much nil.  Something about my generation became hella stuck up compared to the millennials.  Say what you want about them, at least they're way more fun to talk to than your average rat racer.

I mean if you had standards that is.  Next thing I knew work became High School 2.0 for me.  Another subject I'm going to ENJOY poking fun of because how most of those people turned out today. (HAHAHAH, ehem.)

Now that I look at it, between this, my crummy home life, and school time for making comics pretty much died.  I thought Beatrush Plus would get me some kind of popularity but man... even if it was an original idea the execution was baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.  Too many JRPGs influenced character designs.

Then came the crushing defeat, towards the end of my jaunt at the Art Institute, one class had us contact... yes, contact, various artists to be mentors.  It was vague as hell and the facilitators had no fucking clue how we were supposed to do it so I went ahead and emailed a guy.

Biggest mistake ever.  

Maybe he thought he was being helpful, but the cruel kind of helpful.  I recall working really really hard on a life drawing twice.  He wanted me to keep repeating it until it looks exactly like the photo... he also started asking me some wayward questions.  Came off as a bit pretentious, then again who was I to talk as I was the same way.  

After that, my interest in drawing has died.  Until now.

Okay story over, so the dilemma is that I can't decide if I want to do one page jokes, stories, or both... I have funny ideas for stories.  Maybe do some one shots, and do a story arc and interrupt it with one shot gags here and there.

Meh, I'll figure it out.  But first... daddy needs a new drawing tablet!


Take care and thanks for listening to this man's rant, you earned a cookie.





Saturday, April 9, 2016

E3 Predictions 2016

*blows dust off*

Wow, I neglected this again.  

Okay, straight to the point.  Each year I like to predict the outcome of E3.  Pointless, yes!  But it's a fun little game for me so deal with it.  I'm being lazy so here is a copy/paste of what I posted in no particular order:




This will serve as a bingo card for me to see how many of these I get wrong... ahem.  Other than that, I'm feeling unusually optimistic.  Perhaps the old Nintendo fanboy in me is trying to break out of my head, I have to remind myself how I've felt about the WiiU and how my hype has deflated.

As many of you might know, the WiiU has been officially discontinued production later this year:  http://www.polygon.com/2016/3/22/11284972/nintendo-ending-wii-u-production-2016 

That's four years folks, since it's debut in 2012... late 2012 mind you.  The console had potential for something great, started out with stronger third party support (though it was ports of then current gen games) it fizzled out within months, watching every AAA dev jump ship one by one.  The biggest issue being that it's woefully under powered compared to the One and PS4, even though first party titles RUN AT 1080p AND BACKWARDS COMPATIBLE FROM THE START WITH Wii GAMES wasn't enough to convince the now millennial mainstream gamers to hop on.  While I think 12 million units sold worldwide isn't BAD, compared to the 100mill of the Wii it's was hard to justify that the console has issues.  It's online infrastructure, while better than the Wii was a bit behind the times compared to its competitors... though you can stream Youtube and Hulu... just no voice chat... but considering the current online ecosystem of gamers, it can get uncomfortable to say the least.

I'd say, make it optional like Destiny.  The game functions GREAT without it.  Who wants to hear a bunch of try hards scream at you for screwing up, honestly the Crucible was probably the most fun I've had in mulitplayer.

Nintendo had a rough year in 2015, with the loss of Iwata and shareholders demanding a shift in focus at least the 3Ds was able to sustain them.  Japanese game companies are almost abandoning home consoles in favor of smartphone and pachinko.  Once former gaming giants Capcom and Konami are pretty much embracing this.  Miraculously however SNK has come back from the dead with one more console release.  Perhaps they realize smartphone money isn't all it's cracked up to be?  Rovio knows for sure.

They were also full of surprises, and really going so far to please fans in the form of Smash bros.  I mean, who would of thought Cloud freaking Strife of all people would show up in a Nintendo game.  I mean, we were satisfied with Snake, Mega man, Pacman, and Sonic as part of the fray... we also got Bayonetta and Street Fighter's Ryu.  Link is also playable in Mario Kart 8.

Square has shown much interest in the NX, they're even considering porting the newest Dragon Quest and FFXIV over if it proves it can handle it... here's hoping.  I sure hope they know what they're doing this time around.  You got me to play Wind Waker, a game I've ignorantly shunned back in it's original debut but now I enjoyed every moment of it.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

As for Sony and Microsoft, I get the feeling VR will be the centerpiece of both conferences.  Especially Microsoft.  While MS has gotten better at showcasing games, they just can't resist showing off new theoretical technology that most of us probably can't afford.  I've sort of checked out of Microsoft camp since getting the PS4 so there won't be much holding my interest sorry to say.

Sony will have more to show, mostly games from other companies with their biggest reveal being God of War 4 thanks to the leak.  I'd kill for a new Infamous, and I'm sure Uncharted 4 will be awesome, most gamers seem to be salivating for Dark Souls 3... guess I never got into it but I'll have to rent it or something to see what the hype is about.  

Square will show off even MORE trailers for FF7 remake, which has fans cautiously optimistic since it will draw influence from FFXIII... let that sink in.  FFXV will have more things to show off, and another trailer for KH3 which still won't have a release date because Nomura hates us so... or it'll have a Star Wars segment which will PISS off the fanboys, and I'll be laughing heartily at all of it.

Oh, one more thing...

How awesome would this be?  Konami isn't going to make a MGS game for a long time, and you might be able to work something out with Konami.  You could make a lot of money if this came to pass.  Metal Gear fans will love you.

Until next time!