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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Employees Only - Artist Mind Tricks

I know, I know...more filler. I suck.

I actually had an idea worked out for a comic today. Unfortunately, I was delusional enough to think it was a good idea. Perhaps sensing what corner I painted myself into, I brushed the idea past my brothers who each gave less than enthusiastic responses to it. But of course, by then I had already worked on the drawing up to the point of actually inking it and...well, I couldn't create a good replacement for today without seeing the sun rise as I finished it. What was the idea? It had to do with the whole Gizmodo/iPhone fiasco that's been in the news. I won't even attempt at telling you my lackluster punchline, which maybe we all can be glad about.

So, you guys get the intended artwork as a filler comic, and I once again consider how it is I'm supposed to do these comics and not suck at it.

One of the things I have discovered about doing these comics is that I no longer feel miserable about my art career, but while the act of working on something I want to work on is almost medicinal, not having perfected the time management is now a new worry. The whole point of this venture is to be happy about my career's direction, and it's important that I take the overall satisfaction I derive into consideration. Yet, as I type this I'm thinking about how I really haven't done anything at all with my other artwork projects...

...and that can't continue.

For those of you who have faithfully come around to see what I dished up, I don't want to let you down. It's important to keep you guys happy and if possible entertained, so I want to deliver on that consistently if I can.  I'll take more time to figure this out, but instead of comics every Tuesday and Thursday it may fall to comics every Thursday and artwork updates every Tuesday - updates of things like my paintings, pastels, watercolors and the like. Hell, I know no one reads the rants, but I'd like to write more of them too.

Look on the bright side though - one of these things will eventually become my full time income and that means I can quit my current full time job and dedicate myself completely to this stuff. On that day En•Blog will become a completely different beast altogether.

Until then, I'll go about my business, and move along.

-ic

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Employees Only - Helping With The Big Words

The Mix informed me that Icelandic is supposedly the worlds hardest language to learn, which if you followed the news during last week's volcano news wouldn't surprise you. I think the actual pronunciation of the Iceland Volcano that grounded flights in Europe is the equivalent of diction kryptonite for most broadcasters since I only heard one give it a go - and afterward he said, "There I said it."

Of course, there is a force in the world that doesn't shy away from helping us with the big words, and I speak of course of the amazing Sesame Street. The Street's pronunciation teaching skills are unmatched in my opinion, but I'm hoping I'm not the only one who thinks videos like this one should be the format for all foreign language learning.

Plus how bad ass is it to say you learned something on the Street? I'll say no more.

-ic

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Employees Only - The Upsale

I remember getting trained on up-selling when I started my first job at the movie theater, and I'm sure all of you know what I'm talking about with that. How many times have you heard the phrase, "A large is only a dollar more?" I like to think I've built up an immunity to the up-sale, where inside my head a little siren goes off yelling, "YOU DON'T NEED A LARGE! YOU WON'T EAT IT!"

Obviously it works though, otherwise they'd have stopped doing it a long time ago. Now it's gotten to the point where a suggestion sale is even on gas pumps...and I'm thinking it won't end with that. Douglas Adams' vision of moody doors and hesitant elevators perhaps isn't far off, and sadly the conversations we'll begin to have with machines will become much more involved.

Frankly, I'd kind of like to see an LA Story sort of scenario where I'm guided to true love by a gas pump if it comes to that. At least that would be worth the attitude I have to put up with.

See you all next week!

-ic

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Employees Only - Turning It Down

So no more color - at least not regularly. I've been wanting to go back to the old sans-color approach for awhile, but I kept on telling myself that it was a cop out to not keep up with full color. The fact was that doing it was keeping me awake and not letting me do anything else, and that sucks.

There's things I want to do, and this comic is definitely one of them - but it can't be all of them. Well, it can be all of them but I'm not ready to let it take over. Having only been at this for a month now, I'm hoping the return to the old style will let me get into the groove I'm desperate to be in with Employees Only. While I don't imagine my sleepless days will disappear anytime soon, I do think that it will be nice to sit down and paint again, and maybe even write, and I don't mind losing sleep over those once in awhile. Just as long as I'm able to approach all my interests I will hopefully be artistically happy.  Hopefully.

And don't think this is the end of all color. It's isn't. I'm just going to put it in my pocket and use it for bigger projects and occasional special Employee Only strips. Color works well for me, I just need more time to commit to it. When the day comes that I can dedicate myself to it more (like when I work full time as an artist) I will happily cut the hues loose upon the world and bask in the chroma along with all of you, but in a hopefully well rested state.

See you Thursday.

-ic

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Comic In Progress - Ferret Filler

Sorry to say, but I'm still trying to iron out a good schedule and method for these comics. The next one deserves more time from me, so I've dished up this quick scene of Space Ferrets launching a surprise attack against the nefarious Space Rabbits.

I know, I'm sorry.

Tonight's theme is brought to you by the Mix, who's penchant for all things ferret can perhaps never be quenched. I'm glad I have no such infliction of the brain, and only chose to throw this together because single panel comics are so damn hard to think up for some reason.

Although I have to say the idea of a continuing mini-series of Space Ferret and Space Rabbit interstellar battles is rather appealing in a strange way. I imagine the sensation will pass by the time I wake up tomorrow.

Good night!


-ic

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Employees Only - Night Rider

Being as April is Bicycle Month for us out here, I figured it was worth an attempt at bicycle humor.

Today's comic is inspired by www.sharethedamnroad.com, a bicycle jersey shop with slogans directed at the drivers who can hopefully appreciate the humor the shirt's messages convey.

Since I'm plugging bike jersey shops, be sure to check out Twin Six as well; they probably have the best looking bike jerseys I've seen. No word yet on any brand of ultra-reflective-visible-from-space shirts, but I'll let you know as soon as I hear about them.

-ic

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Employees Only - Free Wifi on Mt. Sinai

Stone tablets carved by the hand of God are all well and good, but in this day and age I have a feeling Moses would need something along the lines of a TED presentation to get his point across. Before last weekend I would have thought that PowerPoint is the best a modern day Moses could expect to work with, but low and behold - there's an App for that!

Almost just as “Revolutionary and Magical” is the fact that you are seeing a post today! But, I did it! I cannot even believe it myself to be honest, but so far I’ve kept up with this Tuesday/Thursday schedule – and I haven’t cut back on quality (much) to get here. Sadly, I’m not expecting to keep it up. By committing myself to this release schedule and wanting to create color comics even as simple as the one to the side, I pretty much stripped out any time I had for painting and illustration jobs. Something needs to be tweaked for me to keep on going; perhaps a few somethings.

I’m going to see how I can get away with paring down some of the extras without compromising on overall quality. It may just mean simpler backgrounds, which would help a lot, but it could also mean more stylized characters or even smaller strips. To be honest, I’m still learning and relearning a lot, and just by doing this more often I expect to get a bit faster. There is also the question of what sort of material I decide to go with – a regular cast has it’s appeal (especially for going faster) but I’m also worried I’ll paint myself into a corner someday if I try to do it. Thankfully the fact that I’m just really starting out and my audience is so small (and unbelievably awesome) means that I can gladly tread these waters without fear of people being pissed off that I’m messing with the formula.

One thing is for sure though, you’ll have to come back Tuesday to see if I managed to hold out through the weekend and didn’t crack under the pressure of laziness and procrastination! Until then!

-ic

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Employees Only - Riding the Luck Lion

I'm hoping the Neverending Story reference comes through along with the Wind Waker Reference...but just typing that makes me wonder if this comic bit off more than it could chew. Ah well, it was hilarious in my head, and I wasn't even drunk at the time!

And so we've reached the last comic in the application. As both you and I now know, the only audience these comics were fated to be seen by was you; and I'm not saying that in the Royal "You" sense...it's probably only you who's actually reading this right now. Which isn't such a bad thing, especially because I'm just starting out (for the seventh time).

I've been reading up on the trade of webcomics in general via a fantastic book by four artists I admire called How to Make Webcomics. It so far hasn't exactly encouraged me that webcomics are going to solve all of my problems, yet I'm still interested in seeing how far my resolve to create them will take me.

It's safe to say that I envy what webcomics have done for others out there in internet land, and I'm not just talking about the big players who have actually lived off their work.  Last Thursday when I was preparing this post I came across two comics that put into perspective just what is possible for anyone who really puts their heart and soul into these things. It isn't just that opportunity opens up for some, or that they meet people who they wouldn't have met otherwise, or that a great majority of them are happy doing it - I'm learning slowly that none of that really matters. People don't get into webcomics because they expect all of those things to happen, they do them because they enjoy doing them. It really is simple as that.

I don't know if that applies to me though, which is disappointing in a way, but not in a way that would make a difference; I enjoy doing so many damn things that my problem is how do I feel good about doing webcomics regularly along with all this other crap, which really is the root of the problem. If I can pull off the regular contribution thing, the art will get better, the comedy (might) find an audience that doesn't need apologies and explanations at the beginning of these posts. What is more important is that I keep enjoying the act of making them.

If I manage to post something Thursday you'll find out if I was successful for this week at the very least! Until then...

-ic

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Employees Only - Priced to Move

I'm just going to go right out and say that Natal scares me a little bit. Probably not enough to keep me from buying it, but I'll probably throw a t-shirt over it's ALL SEEING EYE when it's not in use.

As the big two console makers seem to try to keep pace with Nintendo's innovation, I think it's pretty inevitable that the fall of man will result. Not right away of course, but probably right around the winter of 2012. So, could it be that the Mayan calendar actually was predicting the launch of the Playstation 4? Only time will tell.

At this point, I think the only thing that can save us is a new iPhone in 2013 - that way mankind will put off the apocalypse to get the new Apple product and feel better about having the next shiny toy. Steve Jobs, if you're reading this, the fate of the world may be decided on how long you can put off iPhone video chat. Make sure you keep those Google punks in line.

-ic

Didn't think of an April Fools post this year, but check these guys out if you're looking.