Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Adventures of Cynical Woman: Episode 19 - Napkins


I swear, I thought I’d never get this one done.

In an effort to find a more effecient way to do these cartoons, I tried doing the pencilling and inking the old fashioned way, on actual paper.  Both stages went very quickly, and I was extremely happy with the results.

Until I scanned in the inked cartoon, that is.  It did not look good when I went to clean it up.  Manga Studio gives me a very nice, crisp pressure-sensative line.  My pens do to, but they also bleed a bit on the paper, and that showed up very quickly on the scan.  So it took me a while to fix that little problem.

Then there was the matter of adding the screen tones to the cartoon.  You know, those little shades of grey I color with?  Yeah, those were a bitch.  I had to make them all by hand in Photoshop, and then the pasting in took lots more time than I would have prefered.  I did learn a few things in the process, which was nice because I’m still feeling my way around Photoshop, but man I was not satisfied with those tones.  Manga Studio has some very nice tones, and they look great when I paste them in.  My handmade ones do not measure up, I’m afraid.

The lettering and adding of word balloons did go much quicker than it would have in Manga Studio, and that has led me to the following conclusion.  For the next episode, I plan to do the pencils on actual paper, scan them in, import the scan into Manga Studio, and then ink them there.  Then the cartoon gets exported out to Adobe Photoshop for lettering and word balloons, because that’s one area where Manga Studio really falls short.  At least Debut does.  Not so sure about EX.  I’ll have to see.

And about what’s going on in the toon itself?  Those screaming kids in panel one are all part of my “mom posse” playdate group.  Patty and Mary of course are there with them, and yes, I have wandered off to capture story ideas on whatever paperlike surface I can find.  Writing on cheap fast food restaurant napkins sucks, by the by.  I know.  I’ve done it.

See you in a week, hopefully!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Some Mornings

Some mornings, I get up waaaaaaaaaaay to early to do stuff. Like today, to work on the podcast. My knees are killing me and I'm dead tired. Do I go back to bed, or do I tough it out?

Like that's a hard decision.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

NWS Test post for audio embedding

Erotica story in mp3 format.  Not work safe.  Trying to see if Blog Jet will make using a blogger blog feasible for a podcast by embedding audio.

File Attachment: heat_flash_ep01_20071005.mp3 (1436 KB)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Episode 18

Episode 18

At long last, episode 18 is here! This week you get to meet Patty, another one of the moms in my posse (I don’t do MOMMIES GROUPS!).  Patty is pretty practical and has a solution for everything.  While she never said this line to me (actual credit goes to Alessia Brio, I think), this is something she would have said.  Her solutions are great, it’s just me and my freak life that makes them impossible to use.

This week, I handled the pencils the old-fashioned way – with an actual pencil and paper!  I found a drawing pad that was 24” by 8”, which equals a long, skinny sheet of paper perfect for sketching out four panel comics.  I’m still experimenting with the inking.  Will it be quicker to ink in Manga Studio or to do it by hand as well and then import everything into Photoshop or Illustrator for lettering and word balloons?  I’d stick with Manga Studio because it’s so much easier to handle toning and the pen tool gives such a nice dark line, but honestly, Manga Studio Debut sucks at handling text.

Manga Studio 4.0 comes out sometime soon, so I’ll check that out and make a decision then.  But I think I’ll stick with actual paper and pencil for the initial sketching.  That happened much quicker.  I’ve already got next week’s strip pencilled and ready to scan.

Enjoy the cartoon!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Randomness - Pass It On!

Okay, can anybody tell me exactly what the hell a meme is?

Sparx over at Notes From Inside My Head is doing one and by virtue of reading it I have apparently become infected with it.  Willingly though, because I could just pretend I didn’t read her meme and thereby not have to pass it on to you.

Okay, so Sparx’s meme (meme… me-me… meeee-meeee… what kind of weird ass word is that anyway?) is to write 6 totally random things about yourself, or myself, although if you read this, you have to do it to now because I said so and we all know who’s in charge around here, don’t we?  That’s right, the kids.

1. Seriously, I don’t know what a meme is beyond some form of internet cooties, and I have no idea why people on Twitter keep writing “I can haz…” What is that?  Bad grammar disease?

2. I love soft boiled eggs. I just finished eating a soft boiled egg on toast for breakfast. It was gooey and yummy!

3. I also love coffee, but I think the General Foods International stuff is just as good (if not better, at times) as the real thing.  That’s because I’m lazy and if I’m tired or I don’t feel like it, making real coffee is a pain.

4. Speaking of coffee, when I was at Camp All American in Fort Bragg, my junior year of college, all the female cadets would get sooooo tired that we would open up the packets of instant coffee crystals and tuck the coffee inside our lower lips.  It tasted nasty and we got in trouble for it because our TAC sergeant thought we had all started doing snuff and you know snuff is only for boys, but that raw coffee sure did help us stay awake.

5. By authority of me, there is no number five today.

6. Sometimes I miss being single. It was waaaaaaay easier for me to take care of my tiny one-bedroom apartment and my three cats than it is for me to take care of this big ol’ house with husband and two kids.  But I didn’t think so at the time. I thought cleaning the apartment and feeding the cats was a heck of a lot of work.

And there you have it. Six — no wait, five (because I have decreed 5 illegal today… but wait, if I decree five illegal how can I have only five random facts… Oh hell…) – six random facts about me today.  And now six of you who are reading this have the internet cooties known as ‘meme’ and must pass it along or your dog will go bald and you will grow a third arm.

Which, if you have kids and a house covered in dog fur, might not be so bad.  I mean, a third arm to help out and no more dog fur.  Not a bad deal, right?

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Official Blow Off Day Theme Song!

I cannot tell you how many nights I’ve lain awake pondering a question of the utmost importance and greatest magnitude.  And that question is…

If Blow Off Day had a theme song, what would that song be?

Well, today, after pulling an all-nighter to finish off the 1–year anniversary episode of the Heat Flash erotica podcast, it finally came to me.  Yes, I was lying there in bed, drooling just oh-so-slightly as my youngest kicked and screamed for Dora the Explorer… no wait, she wanted Wiggles instead… nope, no she wants Charlie and Lola… whatever.  Anyway, as I lay there contemplating the bleak aspect of having to spend all day dealing with a cranky, snot-filled toddler after less than three hours of sleep, the lyrics for the Official Blow Off Day theme song popped right into my head!  It was amazing, really.  I mean, one minute all I hear is kicking and screaming for Dora/Wiggles/Charlie and Lola/Scoobie Doo, and the next I’m humming happily along to this perfectly bouncy little song.  And I knew right away I just had to share it with everyone.  So without further ado, the Cynical Woman blog proudly presents the Official Blow Off Day Theme Song!

(Sung to the tune of ‘Camptown Races’ (better known as the Foghorn Leghorn song))

The house is dirty, I don’t care!
Do-dah, do-dah!
Gonna lie around in my underwear,
Oh-de-do-dah day!
I cleaned the house last night
And the kids destroyed it today
But it’s Blow Off Day and I don’t care
Oh-de-do-dah daaaaaaaay!

And there you go, the Official Blow Off Day Theme Song.  Feel free to share this little ditty or to make up your own verses and hum them mindlessly throughout the day.

Now I’m going to lie down on the couch in my undies.  See ya.