Friday, 31 August 2012

The Ballad of the Renegade Subplot (Dubstep Remix)

At the beginning of the month I wrote a blog post contemplating problems I was having with NEXT TO GODLINESS. Today I think I have come up with a solution.

I think this subplot will be an eventual additional NEXT TO GODLINESS side story. A little bonus to read independently of the actual novel. That way I'm not holding NEXT TO GODLINESS back and this story eventually gets out into the world.

It's a possible way to have my cake and eat it too.

Feels good to play in the NtG-Verse again. I love these characters a lot and I want to get them out there, but clearly crow-barring this subplot in is not the way to go.

So now I'll comb through NEXT TO GODLINESS, then pass it off to my editor(s).

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Art: Too Much of A Good Thing

This image is a combination of factors. I was talking to a friend and told them "There are three ways into my heart: Cthulhu, Anubis and bats. And if you combine them, then well!"

"Oh no," said they, "We've created something!"

"Don't worry, everyone who spends time with me eventually ends up creating something with me." I thought about it, it was true.

So I sketched it.

Some time between sketching and inking, I read a blog post by Sam Kieth. And I think seeing such a deconstruction of his work somehow wormed its way into my subconscious (As Mr. Kieth's works nearly always do...)

Last night I inked Anuthulhu as I've taken to calling this amalgam, in GIMP, and then coloured it in Photoshop.

And I just. Couldn't. Stop.

I ended up with 5 different renditions of Anuthulhu.

Here they are, more or less in order from original idea to off-the-rails-Q. Which do you like?


Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Art: Anubis - With the Lantern I Made From My Skin

Anubis



This did noooot turn out how I wanted it to.

Anubis from NEXT TO GODLINESS, letting his heart guide him.

Will be sold for Vcon.

I'm ashamed when the flames sell me fire
for the lantern I've made from my skin
can the stitches hold on through these travels
if the hunger removes them within

As I race through the passage I find you
and we dance till eternity ends
and void is not full up nor empty
when the song of our empire begins

--RISHLOO To Tame the Temporal Shrew

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Suicide: Black and White

I finished that picture of Suicide, but it has two different backgrounds. Which do you like better?



Suicide - Playboy Bunny WHITE VERSION by ~AnarchicQ on deviantART

Suicide - Playboy Bunny by ~AnarchicQ on deviantART

Which Version of this Picture Do You Like Better
 
 
  
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Thursday, 9 August 2012

Vcon Sneak Peek!

Here's some stuff I'm planning to finish for Vcon. I felt like sharing.
These images in order from most recent to least, with some information about them.
Suicide Bunny
I have been sketching this most of the week and inked and scanned this today. I think it is officially my favorite picture of Suicide EVER. I love his fur pimp coat.

Drow Smoking
Hi Drow!
This is something I've been very slowly working on since March or April of 2012. I have very specific plans for the lighting in this image. I started inking it in GIMP because the arm flipping the bird is actually drawn on a different part of the page. Unfortunately I've gotten better with GIMP and I feel almost like I have to re-ink everything from his neck/wrists down. The proportions are wonky as heck.

GIMPy Anubis
THIS IMAGE IS A NIGHTMARE!
It's two completely different images cobbled together in Photoshop and I started inking it in Paint Tool SAI but it hurt my eyes so I downloaded GIMP and liked that better. But then I kept switching between GIMP and Photoshop (for some reason) and the image file became corrupted. I actually commented on Twitter that "I just wish this image was DONE!"...and then it never opened again. This particular picture you're seeing is a screen-grab of the GIMP interface with the lines visible. I have to re-ink this one from scratch.

I have so much aspirations for this one pic. It has a lot of inspiration behind it and I know the exact feeling I want to cultivate with it, which is why I won't give up. But it's bittersweet at this point.

So, think I'll get all this done before the end of September?

Art: Mr. Zebrocodile


Mr. Zebrocodile by ~AnarchicQ on deviantART

An image for someone I know.
Mr. Zebrocodile on Soundcloud - http://soundcloud.com/mr-zebrocodile

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Book Review: Scratch #1-#5 by Sam Kieth

ScratchScratch by Sam Kieth
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Each and every one of you who are reading this know I am a huge Sam Kieth fan. The Maxx made me aware of story telling methods and narratives that I had no clue existed, I didn't even know one could go to those places in comics or animation. In short, Sam Kieth was my gateway drug.

I had first heard about Scratch in 2003 or 2004 and I was eager to read it. I mean, Sam Kieth drawing werewolves AND Batman?! I had flipped through it several times at my local comic book store but never put down the money for it. It never grasped me enough to actually buy it.

Today I got myself the series and read through all five issues

Sadly, I found Scratch to be just...kinda...meh.

Searching the internet, I found that apparently I wasn't the only one, hell, there wasn't even a Goodreads entry on it. I had to make it. Wikipedia doesn't have anything, DC Comics wiki has nothing, the series isn't even collected in a trade paper back. There isn't even a "Scratch" tag on Kieth's blog! All I could scrounge up was a CBR interview with Kieth.

So, why is it so...meh? Probably because I know Kieth is better than this. The writing is sub-par (For Kieth's standards) and simplistic.
The story doesn't move at break-neck speed so much as it just sort of bounds along, jumping from place to place with not very much connectivity. I don't know if there were time-jumps that simply weren't labeled or if big chunks were edited out or what but it all just moved too fast for me. Kieth is great at setting ground work (The Maxx, Ojo, Four Women, the Zero Girl series, Batman: Secrets) but there wasn't enough time spent on much of anything. Who was Zack? Who was his family? Did they miss him? Did they abuse him and call him a freak? Was he emancipated? What?

The art veers too much into crazy whimsy (Batman's Chin(s)!) and not enough somber eeriness (Batman! Werewolves and Batman! And Circus freaks!), and some parts Kieth just goes into "Pfff screw it" mode and renders basically kiddy drawings of characters, which works for him a lot of the time but it simply doesn't here because it doesn't feel appropriate.

But to be fair, some shots of Sage are absolutely stunning. I love how Kieth draws women. They all look so natural and cuddly.

Finally, Batman. Batman is narrating this story and I found myself asking "Why?". Why does Batman care? For that matter, how did Batman learn about Scratch/Zack in the first place, let alone go out hunting for him?

There were some good moments of course, some scenes were poignant and some of the lines were funny, but all in all it was weak and moved me very little.

It's not all bad, it's a nice little time-killer and I recommend it for hardcore fans, like myself, who want to leave no Kieth story unloved. But if for some reason you're new to Kieth, go read The Maxx, Ojo or Batman: Secrets and then get back to me.


View all my reviews

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

The Ballad of the Renegade Subplot

I know myself too well.

I know myself. I know what parts of a story not to touch until the end, otherwise I'll lose interest. It happened with Project C, it's happening with Elven Lacryment, so apparently it's just the way I work.

Months ago I thought of a new subplot for Next to Godliness but I had trouble wrangling together the logistics of it all.

In June, I was mere paragraphs away from completing Next to Godliness. The climax had been written, and everything was settling and being recollected. It was then, and only then, that I figured out how to work in this subplot. It hit me like a truck with how obvious it was. If I buckled down, I could finish it in no time.

Then I didn't touch the document for weeks.

Early in July I finalized the closing lines, as well as banged away on this elusive subplot. And I have barely poked Next to Godliness in a month.

I worked on it a bit more today but the urge isn't there, because all the important parts are already at their natural conclusion.It makes me wonder if this subplot really needs to be there. I feel it does because it has salacious Gods being salacious as well as fleshes out the reasoning or triggers behind some important events in the overall story.

But, given all that, technically, I'm finished. I got to the point.

I got to the end and this other plot is just a casualty. I'm one of those people who put in all my (obviously biased) ideas in the story and look to my editors and beta-readers to say "no, this doesn't work, take it out.", because my logic tells me that it's better to put something in then take it out rather than not having it in there at all.

So now I'm working on the plot in a separate document and am going to plug it into the main story when it's done. Given this, I can't tell you what Next to Godliness's current wordcount is but the rough approximation is 68,000 words. I can tell you the current page count is 296.

That's what's going on with Next to Godliness. I'm not done, I'm still working, but it's slow.

But I haven't given up.

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