I do not fave pictures that have watermarks right across them.
This isn’t me being monumentally arrogant and thinking that I alone faving a piece of work bestows upon it some kind of greatness. This is just me having an artistic eye.
If you’ve slaved to create the most astounding piece of work to have ever graced the galleries of deviantart, something that puts all your peers to shame and will remain a benchmark that others aim to match for years to come…..and then across the middle of it you decide to slap a watermark that you spent 5 minutes farting out: you just f**ked up your artwork. You have added something that detracts from my enjoyment of the piece and I’m not going to fave it.
There are a number of brilliant artists out there who I’m on the verge of unfollowing, simply because it irks me so much to see a tacky watermark (or worse, the default DA skidmark) ruining what would otherwise be a beautiful image.
I listen to Hollywood Babble On, a thoroughly puerile show (probably one of the reasons it’s on my playlist) which is hosted by Ralph Garman and Kevin Smith. A little while back, a teacher of Garman’s kid was said to be in the audience and Garman joked that he’d better be on his best behaviour otherwise the teacher would call child protective services ‘round.
Smith’s jokingly sexual humour over the course of the show didn’t help out with this at all, AND it gave me an idea for a quick pin-up to draw….. which I did….. and which I thought, at the time, would be really funny to send to them….. which I did…. along with a gag about me drawing smutty comics…… which has come back to bite me…..
Oh, god, there isn’t a rock big enough for me to hide under.
It was revealed earlier this month that CNN had in place an “ultimate closing message” in the event of the apocalypse actually arriving (and there being enough time to change the tape). It was footage of a military band playing “Nearer My God to Thee”:
This.... would have been a really crap thing to permanently sign out on.
The BBC obviously thought so, too, as in light of that story they asked their readers/listeners what they would like to hear played across the service, should doomsday occur.
Most responses were musical numbers, such as REM’s “It’s the End of the World as we know it (and I feel fine)” and Queen’s “Don’t stop me now”, but other’s were a little more deranged, such as the final clip of a Warner Bros cartoon, with Porky Pig saying “That’s all folks!”.
One chap just wanted to hear the shipping forecast.
The ultimate suggestion though was Monty Python’s “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”, which is probably a suitable representation of how most Brits hope to check out: looking at the approaching end and sticking two fingers up at it.
First is the ever-lovely Demoncon, on February 15th - www.facebook.com/events/792800…
The second is the London Super Comic Con, over March 14th & 15th - www.londonsupercomicconvention…
(I'll provide a map of where I can be found at this one closer to the date)
At both, I'm on the table with the big Denizen pic behind it
Unless I somehow perform a minor miracle, Little Victory: Chimera #5 will not be available at Demoncon. Though the content will be ready by then (and a digital copy available via my website), the hardcopies probably won't be. 2014 was a reeeeeally sh*t year and production on all my projects was slowed up.
Hardcopies of the comic WILL be available at LSCC.
Joke news network Fox was clearly so caught up in it all that they went into full reality meltdown, claiming that parts of Britain had become no-go areas for non-Muslims, and that “Muslim Religious Police” were patrolling parts of London, attacking anyone who did not conform to Islamic law.
Birmingham, they said, was a city populated purely by Muslims, and people not of that faith just didn’t go there…..which was news to me. I live just outside it, I venture in on a weekly basis and, as far as I am aware, I am not a Muslim.
The, clearly bat-sh*t, journalist that made these insane accusations was immediately pointed to and laughed at by, well, everybody, and went on to apologise for his “terrible error”.
Weirdly, this apology felt more insulting than the fantasy he was originally spouting. It makes you think he believes any claim of Muslim presence in a city is an immediate black mark upon it.
Having a keen interest in history, I generally hold a dim view of all major religions, but I’m certainly not automatically afraid of anyone who follows one of them. If I was, I wouldn’t live around the corner from a mosque.
The media are keen on stirring up panic over the recent movement of Muslims into the west, claiming that it will be the end of western civilization, but there is no difference between what is occurring now and what happened 100 years ago. Between 1880 and 1920, millions of Jews fled from Russia because of persecution. The newspapers in Britain claimed their arrival would be the end of all things, but one century on, as any updated atlas will tell you: the island has not sunk into the Atlantic.
People are moving from the Middle East to the West because the Middle East is currently on f**king fire and a rather unpleasant place to live, not because they’re invading. There is no “war” against “terror” because “terror” as the media like to play it simply does not exist. “God told me to do it” has been a cliché motive for decades and a handful of petty individuals using it now as an excuse to kill innocent civilians does not equal an all-out assault on the West by foreign hordes.
Perspective needs to be maintained.
Let’s list the “terror attacks” in the west since 9/11. Not attacks on embassies in Middle Eastern countries or attacks on soldiers operating in war zones, but attacks HERE. The attacks that panic-mongers like Fox News claim to be the reason why we all need to cower in our homes::
Madrid 2004 (Train bombings)
London 2005 (4 bombers attack London underground)
Birmingham 2007 (Foiled plot to kidnap/behead British soldier)
Little Rock 2009 (Lone gunman, drive-by shooting at a recruiting office)
Fort Hood 2009 (Unstable serviceman. No connection to terror groups)
New York 2010 (Car bomb attempt)
Stockholm 2010 (Suicide bomber)
Frankfurt 2011 (Mass shooting at airport)
Toulouse/Montauban 2012 (Shootings targeting French soldiers and Jewish civilians)
Boston 2013 (Marathon bombings)
London 2013 (Lee Rigby murder)
Melbourne 2014 (Counter-terrorist officers stabbed)
Brussels 2014 (Jewish Museum of Belgium shooting)
Quebec 2014 (Attempt to run-over soldiers)
Ottawa 2014 (Shooting at Parliament Hill)
New York 2014 (Hatchet attack on subway)
Sydney 2014 (Hostage crisis)
Joué-lès-Tours 2014 (Knife attack)
Dijon 2014 (Ran over pedestrians)
Nates 2014 (Ran over pedestrians)
Paris 2015 (Charlie Hebdo murders)
That’s 21 attacks. There are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world. If there really was a war going on between they and the west, I think we’d have seen one or two more incidents. I also think the attacks would be a little more sophisticated than just running people over with a car while shouting “allahu akbar”.
Now let’s list the (major) mass shootings in the US alone across the same time period:
Meridian 2003 (Lockheed Martin shooting)
Wisconsin 2004 (Chai Vang killings)
Tacoma 2005 (Tacoma Mall shooting)
Red Lake 2005 (Red lake massacre)
Brookfield 2005 (Terry Ratzmann killings)
Goleta 2006 (Goleta postal facility shootings)
Indianapolis 2006 (Hamilton Avenue murders)
Seattle 2006 (Capitol Hill massacre)
Omaha 2007 (Westroads Mall shooting)
Blacksburg 2007 (Virginia Tech shooting)
Salt Lake City 2007 (Trolley Square shooting)
Crandon 2007 (Wisconsin shooting)
Tinley Park 2008 (Lane Bryant shooting)
Knoxville 2008 (Knoxville Unitarian Universalist church shooting)
Kirkwood 2008 (Kirkwood City Council shooting)
Los Angeles 2008 (Covina massacre)
Henderson 2008 (Atlantis Plastics shooting)
Lakewood 2009 (Police officer shooting)
Pittsburgh 2009 (Collier Township shooting)
Carthage 2009 (Carthage nursing home shooting)
Binghamton 2009 (American Civic Association immigration centre shootings)
Oak Creek 2010 (Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting)
Huntsville 2010 (University of Alabama in Huntsville shooting)
Kennesaw 2010 (Penske shootings)
Manchester 2010 (Hartford Distributors shooting)
St. Louis 2010 (ABB plant shootings)
Irwindale 2011 (Southern California Edison shooting)
Seal Beach 2011 (Seal Beach shooting)
Carson City 2011 (IHOP shooting)
Copley Township 2011 (Ohio shooting)
Rochester 2012 (Webster, New York shooting)
Minneapolis 2012 (Minneapolis workplace shooting)
Aurora 2012 (Theater shooting)
Brookfield 2012 (Azana Spa shootings)
Washington DC 2013 (Washington Navy Yard shooting)
Saylorsburg 2013 (Ross Township Municipal Building shooting)
Los Angeles 2013 (Los Angeles International Airport shooting)
Hialeah 2013 (Hialeah shooting)
Spring 2014 (Spring, Texas shooting)
Marysville 2014 (Marysville Pilchuck High School shooting)
40 incidents. So, purely based on numbers, Americans have more to fear from other Americans than migrants of a foreign faith.
According to Fox, though, that’s all the fault of video games.
For f**k’s sake. Terrorists are not under your bed. They are not hiding around every corner. They are not in the seat next to you. The few that are out there only win if you start to think they might be.
In 2005, a gaggle of weak-minded twits blew themselves up on the London Underground. I and 1.2 BILLION other passengers per year still use it. Could another attack happen? Of course. But so could fire, flood, collapse or accident. You could get hit by a bus as you exit the station! There are a thousand-and-one terrible things that could happen to you today and, I assure you, unless you live in some third world sh*thole, the odds of a random yahoo causing you physical harm for political or religious reason is one of the least likely to occur.
By watching The Interview in theatres, you would have been more likely to choke on a popcorn kernel than get caught up in any kind of threatened reprisal.
F**k you Sony. I’m buying an Xbox…….
Comedy films are the best example of this practice. I’ll see them eventually, but they almost never tempt me into a cinema viewing.
The Interview however, I may go to see twice. I don’t have any kind of inside knowledge about how funny it will be, nor does the known plot scream “must see!”. I’m simply going to make a point of catching it at the flicks out of pure spite toward the hacking group who are making terror threats over it.
The Interview is about a celebrity journalist and his producer, who land an interview with the leader of North Korea. The CIA recruit the duo and charge them with the task of assassinating him.
The whole thing smells a bit like the Cold War classic Spies Like Us. The DPRK, however, isn’t as renowned for its sense of humour as it is hysterical overreaction, and has taken the movie’s release as an act of war.
Though no official ties have been made between North Korea and the group behind the Sony hack and ensuing threats, it’d be surprising if someone else was behind it all.
Comedy has always been the best way to destroy a tyrant, so let’s all point and laugh.
I monitor content on DA via “browse” as it changes regularly and has work that the community thinks to be high quality. It’s generally where I spot artists whose material I want to see more of. Over the past few days, though, after posting a response to DA inexplicably choosing the letter “Z” to be their logo, people mentioned that the “Super Pretentious” cartoon had surpassed DA’s own “Boldly” journal on the “What’s Hot” list. Thinking that to be funny as hell, I switched to “What’s Hot” to keep an eye on it.
Obviously, over time, both entries started dropping down the list, but within the past 48 hours or so, the “Super Pretentious” cartoon seems to have vanished altogether, but the “Boldly” journal that it was ahead of still remains
I have no idea how DA’s “What’s Hot” list is maintained, but that seems rather odd.
Have I just been censored?
"Hi there! The algorithm for What's Hot is based on surfacing deviations that are receiving a lot of traction right now, so while your comic was receiving an exceptionally large amount of traffic in its early hours (the reason for its appearance near the top of What's Hot), it's not receiving that level of traffic anymore, and as such appears further down. Given the level of views your comic is still receiving today, it is entirely possible that it is still on What's Hot, although some amount of pages back. I hope that clarifies." - DA Staff
For those not in the know; SPECTRE was the villainous organisation that was constantly trying to trigger World War 3 in the early Bond movies and pretty much every super-villain that 007 was sent out to stop was a member of the SPECTER hierarchy. At the top of this criminal network was the shadowy figure known only as “Number One”, who, after a multi-film build-up, personally introduced himself to Bond (and the audience) during You Only Live Twice as Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
Now, the last anyone saw of Blofeld was when Roger Moore dropped him down a chimney, and SPECTRE was never mentioned again because of an ongoing squabble over ownership of the name. During Daniel Craig’s tenure as Bond, an underworld organisation identical to SPECTRE was hinted at but, disappointingly, named “Quantum”. More disappointingly, despite being really rather good, Skyfall ignored the previous two films and veered away from the narrative that had been laid down. There was no mention of Quantum or of Bond’s investigation into it, as there had been across Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. I was hoping for an introduction to the new Blofeld, or at least a hint of fluffy Persian, but all we got was that rather fruity fellow who liked monologuing about his rat-killing grandmother.
But here we are with Bond #24 being named SPECTRE and money being put on Christoph Waltz to play the role of uber-villain Blofeld.
Screw Star Wars. THIS I am excited about!
The shape created by the bullet-hole is enough to have me geeking out.
The new Star Wars teaser has me bouncing up and down in my chair with glee. I’ve watched it a dozen times and I cannot wait until I get the chance to see it on the big screen, but there is one teeny, tiny thing that just rubs me the wrong way. It’s a really stupid thing, too. Something that, when I tell you what it is, many are going to ask why it’s worth getting in a twist over.
That stupid lightsabre.
And it IS stupid. It’s a really, really bad weapon design and people are going to be taking the piss out of it for years to come, I’m sure.
Ever since Darth Maul showed up with his two-bladed sabre (I believe it was called “The Compensator”) a new sabre gimmick has been required with each further expansion of the mythology. We’ve had purple sabres, Ventress had her twin sabres, Grievous did his Cuisinart-thing, etc, etc.
The gimmick Star Wars VII seems to be employing follows the age-old practice of defining a villain as “evil” by “adding more spikes”.
The lightsabre design in the trailer appears to be based on a traditional sword or rapier, but one that was devised by a person who has no experience with bladed weapons.
The cross-guard (that bit that runs the horizontal to the blade’s vertical, just above the hilt) is there to protect the user’s hand. Turning it into a focused jet of searing hot plasma rather negates the purpose as it’s more likely to lop the user’s fingers off than injure their opponent. Which is dumb.
THAT is what is sticking in my mind from the teaser. It’s not the incredibly cool and rather lethal looking squad of Stormtroopers or the low flying XWings or the barrel-rolling, TIE dodging Millennium Falcon. It’s the stupid sabre. And that annoys me, because I want to love everything, but bad designs just slap me in the face like a rotting fish.
Having played through both Borderlands 2 and The Pre-Sequel, I’m not entirely sure that either Gearbox or 2K really knew themselves why Borderlands worked, because both additional entries into the canon failed to grab me in the same way.
Here are the reasons why I thought Borderlands was great, and why it’s sequels weren’t.
1: The opening.
There are very few games that set the scene as perfectly as this. In just under 2 minutes, you know everything you need to: Going by that weird dog-thing, Pandora is an alien planet. The crusty looking billboard suggests it’s a frontier world which people were lured to a long while back. Marcus’s pep talk implies a “gold rush” atmosphere and his heavily armoured bus lets us know you can’t be sure when and where danger is going to come from. Not that any of that should make you think this is a serious, po-faced game. Backed as it is by a kick-ass tune and the squelching sound of road-kill, this whole sequence informs us that Borderlands is a comic book illustrated by a crazy person using dark humour for ink, and you’re going to enjoy the ride.
The intros to Borderlands 2 and The Pre Sequel simply didn’t spark in the same way. They had a checklist of everything that featured in the original and it shows that they were simply ticking boxes. Tune? Check. Character introductions? Check. Gore (without understanding why it was funny in the original)? Check. There’s just no charm to it. I could watch the original over and over. These I just skip past.
2: It was set in a desert.
Pandora seems to be a very arid place. Nothing but jagged rocks and dust. The only places you’ll find any kind of flora is around the pipes discharging waste from the scattered, run-down looking population centres.
This was awesome. It gave a real Mad Max vibe and made you feel like you were in the middle of nowhere. It gave more of a reason as to why everyone was so crazy, here; they were all desperate, fighting tooth and nail to stay alive.
The sequels f**ked this all up. You have no idea how annoyed I was when I found Borderlands 2 kicked off in the tundra and remained in a more-or-less temperate climate for the duration of the game. You get to see a little bit of the old desert, but there’s some dull, Mordor-like volcano-level between you and it. It didn’t actually make any sense that it was still there, either, as the planet had undergone some sort of climate shift since the original.
3: There were a sh*t-ton of guns.
I’m sure there were more guns in the original game than in the sequels. Probably not as many potential variations, but there were certainly more gun-cases lying around. I felt like I was tripping over them. Borderlands basically invented the concept of “shoot-and-loot”, which is why the lack of “loot” in Borderlands 2 and The Pre-Sequel really grates. In both sequels there seemed to be an age between the moments when I found myself torn over what gun to keep and which to ditch. That was one of the most memorable aspects of the original. It felt it had been diluted in favour of set, special weapons granted by NPCs upon completion of missions, which detracted further from the sense of achievement found through exploration of the environment.
4: You were alone.
There wasn’t much NPC interaction in Borderlands. Your main form of communication with Pandora’s population was by shooting them in the face. Those not quite as crazy talk briefly over the Echo communication system, outlining some of the missions. On the whole, though, there’s not a lot of chatter. I liked that. It added to the sense that you were on your own out here, and no one really cared if you lived or died during your treasure hunt.
In the sequels…..people don’t shut up.
Scooter was memorable in the first game because he had a few good catch-phrases and some really funny lines, all of which added to the backwater nature of Pandora. That all changes in Borderlands 2 when he, like the rest of the returning cast, have their roles expanded. They talk and talk and talk and aren’t funny or memorable at all, partly because they’re not terrible well written but mostly because their voices are drowned out by the gun-battles they always choose to call you during.
5: It wasn’t epic.
Your role in Borderlands was entirely selfish. Regardless of what the weird Angel kept saying over the radio; you were a prospector, going out into the wilderness to pan for gold. There was no other agenda, no grand, world-saving goal, which really made the game stand out from other shooters. As with the desert setting and the lack of NPC chatter, it added to the sense of isolation. This was a game about YOU. YOUR progress is the focus.
Again, this wasn’t something that carried over to the sequels. What happens in Borderlands 2? Oh, there’s an evil, invading empire and you have to join the resistance to fight them off and save the world.
How very original.
Having completed the Pre-Sequel, and heard mention of an approaching war, it seems that we’re not going to see a return to anything that made the original Borderlands so special, which is a damn shame.
Ass Creed: Unity hit the headlines because of it doesn’t just play bad, it’s flat out broken.
I’ll repeat what I said in the journal with the Watchdogs prediction: look at the back catalogue of a studio before spending money on their products. If that back catalogue is nothing but a brown, faecal smear, don’t buy them! It doesn’t matter if it looks like the greatest thing ever, it most likely won’t be. Or worse, it’ll be as shoddy as a Ass Creed: Unity.
As with Michael Bay films, I swore never to waste any more of my precious time on Ubisoft games. There’s just better things to play than the likes of clunky Ass Creeds or hateful Far Crys.
One of Ass Creed: Unity's many glitches.....or proof that Ubisoft is run by those aliens from They Live.
“The Force Awakens” is right up there with “Return of the Jedi” and “Revenge of the Sith” in that it implies a focus on the hokey religion; in my mind, the most boring element of the Star Wars movies and what always seems to be the focus of Star Wars video games these days.
When we otherwise see epic space battles and Machiavellian plots, I just hate it when things cut to a pair of guys in bath robes talking very slowly about how everything of f**king interest leads to the f**king Dark Side. All they seem to want to do is sit in a beige room on space-futons. It’s just dull.
The first Dark Forces game saw you play as a bounty hunter, blasting his way through waves of Storm Troopers. It was ace! In the sequel, the same bounty hunter became a Jedi and the franchise immediately lost its charm.
Knights of the Old Republic is always put on a pedestal, and while I’m sure it’s an exquisite RPG, it’s all about Jedi, which means I’ve never had any interest in playing it.
The XWing and TIE Fighter games were all about space combat in the Star Wars universe. I’ve played both to completion many times. Why? Because there’s no Jedi bullsh*t gunking up the works. No lightsabres. No banal waffle about the Dark Side. Just epic space battles and political intrigue.
Star Wars is at its best when it’s about WAR among the STARS and at its weakest when the Jedi are wheeled out as a cure-all for whatever situation has cropped up.
YAY! But, at the same time: YAWN.
1: The managerial lead behind any software patch or update must have their home address made public at the time of its release.
2: A metal plate must be placed beneath the doorway of all shops and stores, which will become electrified if anyone should stop within them.
3: You must pass a spatial awareness test before being permitted to use a shopping trolley.
4: Use of marijuana must become compulsory in Russia.
5: Nurses must receive the same wage as the players of any professional sport.
6: Politicians must have experience working in the field that they want to govern.
7: The entire staff and their families of any company that employs cold calling are to be executed.
8: Firearms must be made to look like giant, purple dildos.
9: News outlets may only ever publish or broadcast facts, not opinions.
10: Someone must explain why religious texts should be taken more seriously than fairy tales.
Add your own!
It’s all being taken very seriously by certain parties. Some scientists have approached the UN and asked for the issue to be addressed in a more formal capacity, with a hope that laws against these machines taking certain roles will be put in place. Specifically “killer robots”. They don’t want to see a machine deciding when it’s right to pull the trigger.
That concern is perfectly understandable, but there’s another that is less touched on: are robots getting too cute?
Robots that look like cute animals, or big-eyed children are designed to evoke a nurturing instinct in people. There are worries that this will have a negative impact on social interaction within society, with the people that rely on them, such as the elderly, preferring them over actual people.
Personally, I’m hoping such machines exist when (or if) I hit old age. I like the thought of having SOMETHING watching over me that has the capacity to call for help if I cannot. We’re not all zombies because of television and texting hasn’t eradicated verbal communication. I doubt a robotic helper will cause the downfall of society.
My rants when tech fails on me may make me sound like a Luddite from time to time, but I find the relentless advancement of science incredibly exciting. All I think when I read articles about robots is “Cool! Can we choose what they look like? How much will it cost to get my robot housecleaner to look like Morrigun from ABC warriors?”
During the lead up to the Winter Olympics in February, for example, while large gentlemen with flails were beating the sh*t out of small, female protesters, Putin seemed to make a great effort to always mention homosexuals and paedophiles in the same sentence, as though the two were somehow linked.
I’m not suggesting that politicians elsewhere in the world don’t pull the same trick in order to rally a hysterical mob in their favour, but the Russians do it with all the subtlety of a brick.
In what I’m assuming is less an effort to protect the fragile psyche of Russia’s youth and more an attempt to thwart another dastardly Western concept (namely fun) from taking root: members of the Public Chamber want the government to curb Halloween celebrations, stating that horror-themed parties “induce low feelings” and “turn into orgies”. Halloween is “ideologically and culturally alien to the Russian way of life” and “extremists can use such holidays for criminal purposes.”
“Russian officials should promote national holidays and celebrations instead of imported ones."
What kind of alternative to Halloween is offered by Russia? Well, October 31st is the “Day of the detention centres and prisons workers”.
The chief thing I take from this latest gem of Russian political totalitarian bat-sh*ttery is how conflicting the ramblings actually are.
I’ve, regrettably, never attended an orgy, but I doubt that it would induce “low feelings”, or that “low feelings” would go on to incite an orgy.
A Russian take on the Western "Zombie March"......more horses than I would have expected.
After reading through the comments in my previous journal, I feel the need to clarify a couple of things.
First: Tracing. Does. Not. Help. You. Improve. Your. Art.
Never has, never will and you’re kidding yourself if you think otherwise.
Second: Emulation is not tracing. People seem to be having trouble telling the difference.
Tracing does not teach you anything because all you’re doing is copying the line work of an existing image. All the real work has already been done. You’re not learning how the image is constructed or discovering for yourself how to use your drawing tools to create the desired effect. You’d be better off just outright copy/pasting the base image and saving yourself the time.
Emulation on the other hand, be it simply trying to recreate an existing image by eye or (even better) going all out and trying to adopt an existing style, does improve your method. By “reverse engineering” an image, you work out how it was created and gain an understanding of how to create the same effect again, or even improve upon it. Assimilating and adapting this knowledge into a method that feels natural for you is a good foundation/support to your own personal style.