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The latest Demoncon, which, despite the name, is the most pleasent convention I attend, is being held in Maidstone on the 23rd.
I'll be down there, should anyone want to stop by for a natter and a sketch :)

www.facebook.com/events/616904…

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxyfv4…

I did the poster art for this one, too:

The concept of "quickfire sketches" seemed to go down quite well, so I'm going to do another round of them.

10 slots are available on the quickfire sketch list. Each slot will cost £10GBP. For that, I'll produce a (single character) digital image on par with the pic of Scarlet at the bottom of this journal entry. All you have to do is let me know what you want drawn, providing reference where possible.

Should you want to be on this quickfire list, just submit a comment below, reading "Add me to the list".
First come, first served.
I'll contact applicants in sequence to discuss what you're after.
If you do not respond to my note within 24 hours or if you change your mind, I'll move on to the next person on the list (so if you're the 11th applicant, there's still a chance you might get in on this).



1. How long have you been on DeviantArt?

12 years……woah. It was 10 last time I looked.

2. What does your username mean?

“JollyJack” is the handle I used when I played my first multiplayer FPS game, Quake 3 Arena. I chose it partly because my name is “Jackson” and partly because I was really in to Victoriana at the time, and nothing said “Late 19th Century” like Jack the Ripper, who was oft referred to as “Jolly Jack”.

3. Describe yourself in three words.

Really quite busy.

4. Are you left or right handed?

Which is which, again?

5. What was your first deviation?

Mature Content

Flying Carpet by jollyjack


6. What is your favourite type of art to create?

I like to tell stories with my art, so, anything that can effectively relay a narrative.

7. If you could instantly master a different art style, what would it be?

Digital painting. I’m quite happy with my linework, but I really wish I could apply colour in the way far better artists do.

8. What was your first favourite?

P . A . R . A . D . I . Z . E by KmyeChan ……huh. I was expecting something a little more salacious.

9. What type of art do you tend to favourite the most?

I love slick, dynamic linework and colouring.….. which is a classier thing to say than “BOOBIES!!”

10. Who is your all-time favourite deviant artist?

There are 36 million artists on DA, and you want me to pick ONE?

11. If you could meet anyone on DeviantArt in person, who would it be?

It’d have to be :iconfredgdperry:. I must shake that chap’s hand.

12. How has a fellow deviant impacted your life?

I first encountered :iconfredgdperry:’s work in 1999, and both his art and style of writing/world building have been the benchmark I aim for ever since.

13. What are your preferred tools to create art?

Just give me a pen and paper and I’m a happy bunny, but for polished projects I love my Cintiq. Best bit of kit I ever bought.

14. What is the most inspirational place for you to create art?

The bathroom. Don’t ask me why, but when I seal myself up in there, I write really good stuff.
I’m not on the throne taking a dump or anything. I sit on the floor, listen to the whir of the extractor fan or I have the shower running and just seem able to focus more on what I’m doing. I can spend an age in there.

15. What is your favourite DeviantArt memory?

Reading that people have found advice which I gave them useful.
In warfare, if the Brits are known for one thing, it’s lunacy. Read the history books and you’ll see the most bat-sh*t plans and proposals usually come from their demented generals and mad scientists. Go to war with them and there’s every chance you’ll win, but not before they’ve given you several reasons to go “what the f**k?!”.
During the Second World War, the Germans had technological superiority over the entire world. They had pretty much the best of everything and the resources of Europe with which to make everything even better. Britain, by comparison, had a few shoelaces and a bit of wood with a nail in it. So, they had to be clever and/or mental. The Nazis had scientists in fully equipped labs. The Brits had crackpot inventors in garden sheds.
Aircraft carriers made from icebergs, exploding rats, inflatable tanks, miniature submarines, a flying jeep, bombs filled with anthrax-laced darts, even RADAR was born from an attempt to build a Death Ray. The general attitude seemed to be: if you can’t achieve victory over your enemy, just f**k with their heads.
And it didn’t really matter how heavily fortified a target was, the Brits would come up with some deranged plan and take a shot at it.
The U-Boat pens and dry dock facility at St Nazaire in France bristled with armaments and was watched from all angles by anti-aircraft cannons, railway guns and 5000 German troops. Attacking it would be madness….. so the Brits built a floating bomb, loaded it with commandos and ploughed into it.

One of the more famous raids involving crazy people using crazy weapons was Operation Chastise, or as it has become more commonly known: the “Dambuster Raids”.
In 1943, the Ruhr valley in Germany was an industrial hub, powered by hydroelectricity from a number of large dams. Dams which the Germans knew would be prime targets for Allied bombers, so they put in place antiaircraft guns, barrage balloons and torpedo nets. Defences to counter all known forms of attack. So the Brits made up a new one: the bouncing bomb.
They were large, barrel-shaped devices that hooked under specially fitted bombers. When rotated backwards at a particular speed, they skimmed over the surface of the water, over any torpedo nets and into the dam wall.
Sounds like genius, but British genius is always partnered with British crazy. In order for the bombs to function properly, the planes had to be flying low. Very low. Very, very low. How low? One of the planes approached its targets by way of a firebreak in the surrounding forest. THAT low. And remember: this isn’t a fighter plane, it’s a bomber.
Also, in order to gauge their exact height prior to dropping the bombs, the aircraft had to point spotlights at the surface of the water. Which the Germans probably noticed and would have interpreted as the universal sign for “shoot here”.
The raid took out two of the three targets and 11 of the 19 bomber crews made it home.

Today, Squadron Leader Les Munro, the last of the Dambuster pilots, died at the age of 96. I felt it worth making mention of both he and his balls of solid steel.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-…

www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-ca…

I was never really a wrestling fan, but I love John Carpenter flicks, and They Live, in which Piper starred, is pretty much the definition of "Cult Classic".
It was also a hoot when he turned up in Saints Row 4 to assist in the rescue of his co-star, Keith David.

As tribute to both he and one of the greatest lines in movie history: let us all chew some bubblegum..... and once we're out: kick some alien zombie ass.

Lots of people have been asking for commissions lately, but I'm afraid I can only take on a handful of "full" commissions during the spare moments I have between project work.
I want to try something out, though, to see if I can't provide for a few more fans.
I'm going to make available 10 slots on a quickfire sketch list. Each slot will cost £10GBP. For that, I'll produce a (single character) digital image on par with the pic of Scarlet at the bottom of this journal entry. All you have to do is let me know what you want drawn, providing reference where possible.

Should you want to be on this quickfire list, just submit a comment below, reading "Add me to the list".
First come, first served.
I'll contact applicants in sequence to discuss what you're after.
If you do not respond to my note within 24 hours or if you change your mind, I'll move on to the next person on the list (so if you're the 11th applicant, there's still a chance you might get in on this).

This is just a test and will not impact on any existing projects or commissions.
If successful, I'll do more of them in the future.

Some little ball of faecal matter posted a comment on my profile, proudly announcing “Tom Preston finally left DA”, no doubt in an effort to stir something up.

Now, I don’t know a huge amount about Tom Preston (AKA Andrew Dobson), I’m just aware of the sketchy details: he drew fetish stuff, he tried to deny it, he posted some incendiary journal entries and some people claim his art is no good.
Excluding the denial part, that sounds eerily familiar to my online shtick. The only difference seems to be in our approach to faceless internet hate. Where TP appears to have taken it very, very personally, thus fanning the flames, I treated mine for what it was: faceless.

That’s the first thing you should always remember when reading through comments about your work: everybody is a phantom. An avatar with a silly name. Their comments could be good, their comments could be bad, but ultimately, unless you’re certain the individual behind them has some influence over your future, the words only have as much meaning as you yourself give them.

I love positive feedback. It’s an indicator that I’m providing what people want to see. But, at the same time, I like negative feedback. Especially irrational hatred, though I don’t receive it nearly as much as I once did. The more absurd someone is and the more petty their argument, the more fun I can have with it. It’s ammunition. A catalyst for more cartoons, tailored just to spite them. They try to turn them back on me, of course, branding them as “strawmen”, but that’s just another word issued by a faceless heckler. I now have a visual that will forever stand there, simultaneously staring them down and, with my name plastered all over it, bolstering my online presence. People share it around when similar topics are discussed elsewhere. It spreads while the detractor’s anonymous bile is lost and forgotten.

Of course, that success is entirely dependent on you following the second key guideline: don’t be a dick.
The internet has a memory. If you don’t want something to be known by all, then don’t post it. If you have an opinion, make it as bullet-proof as possible, and unless they have proven themselves unworthy of it: treat people with respect.
You don’t do that and it will be you providing ammunition to potential haters, rather than the other way ‘round.

Run when you really need to, sure, but never let yourself be chased from a favoured internet haunt because some impotent nobodies said bad things about you and your work. Face them down with your art. Bombard them with it. Show that you’re here to f**king stay and there’s not a god-damn thing they can do about it.

Watch any kind of Bear-Grylls-let’s-drink-some-tasty-urine survival show on TV and the pee-swilling host will invarably bring up the matter of humans detaching and distancing themselves from the source of their food. Namely the farms and slaughter houses.
As with anything in the first world: if we can pay people to do it for us, we do. There’s nothing wrong with this, nor is there anything wrong with electing to hunt down your own food.
There is, however, something very wrong with hunting down and killing an animal just for the sake of it, be it a common deer or something more exotic:

www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-ca…

“Hunting is a legitimate sport!” Some people will no doubt cry, while stroking their favourite firearm.
No. It’s not.
Waiting for an animal to wander over to the bait you laid out for it so you can shoot it in its dumb face with a ranged weapon from your beer-can littered sitting position will NEVER be a “sport”.
“We can’t forget our hunter/gatherer roots!” is usually the next thing they throw out there, which is as bull-sh*t an argument as the previous one.
If you stalked the thing and took it out at close quarters with a knife, OK, yeah, that’d be a display of skill and physical prowess on par with the ancestors you’re supposedly venerating. You’d be facing the same hardship and desperation as they did, and it would make you appreciate just how easy we have things in this modern world.
But you’re not doing that, are ya?
Nooo.
What you’re doing is playing the FPS of life in God Mode. All so you can say that you, for no reason other than psychotic blood-lust, killed something that had a bigger dick than yours.


Well done, Walter. You killed an animal that would normally have run away from a human. You brave, nobel hunter.
The Chloe statues, modelled by the talented :icontexelion: are now available in 3 different sizes via Shapeways.

Should you be interested on one, just follow the links found here: Chloe Available on Shapeways by Texelion
When I was at the London Super Comic Con back in March, a few people brought me some cool gift art which I had been meaning to show off here on DA. I kept getting sidetracked, but now that I finally have a moment:







Thanks so much!
:)
OK, numerous people have done this and I'm not trying to get at any one individual by bringing it up. I know you lovely people are just being polite, maybe even a bit timid (dunno why. There’s only been one fatality during correspondence with me. And in all fairness it was their fault for holding the aubergine incorrectly), but if you have a question you want to pose me: just ask it. Don't send me a message or note reading only "can I ask you a question?". The answer is always going to be "Yes. I'd be delighted to answer your question as best I can. Please; fire away", which is a waste of both our time.
I love answering questions.
I hate wasting time.
Waste my time and….well…..there will be aubergines.

Well, we’ve all seen the trailers now. Watching the current WB/DC “We must catch up with Marvel” cinematic universe gradually be revealed is like watching a car crash in slow motion.
Obviously we need to actually watch Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad before final judgement can be passed, but the trailers make one thing fairly clear: the casting is terrible and the world being presented is just…..ugly. Not deliberately so, in the way that many depictions of Gotham’s backstreets has been rendered by people with an actual flare for imagery; I mean it’s uuuuugly. Urban decay has a macabre charm. What we’re seeing here is just a charisma-free mess…..of which the walking, talking embodiment is that new “Joker”.
When it was first announced that Jared Leto was playing the role, I looked the guy up. He struck me as your run-of-the-mill, bland, Hollywood pretty-boy. The kind of blank canvas you actually need to paint a character as big as The Joker. Unfortunately, the artist obviously doesn’t know what The Joker looks like, because they’ve given us Keith f**king Flint.



The latest Bats v Supes trailer also shows us Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor for the first time.
A lot of people were saying “wait and see” and pointing toward the “Attention” monologue from The Social Network. Well, I waited and now I’ve seen it, and if that “The Red Capes are coming!” line in the trailer is the example they chose to try and get us hyped, god knows how devoid of personality the lesser parts of his performance will be.
I posted a picture of Lex Luthor from the comics when Eisenberg’s casting was first announced, and I’m going to post it here again. Take a good look:



Now I shall pose one question: Why the f**k wasn’t Ben Affleck cast as Lex Luthor?
His performance in Runner Runner was PURE Luthor: a charming villain who lures everyone over to his side so that he can manipulate them into doing what he needs them to.
We could have had that…..but we’re getting Eisenberg: An actor only really suited to providing the default voice on a SatNav.

My ideal casting for the WB/DC universe, as we thus far know it, would have been:

Henry Cavill as Superman (I guess it kinda worked in Man of Steel. I can’t think of any better options. Weirdly, he looks more like Superman in The Man From UNCLE than he does in either of the DC movies!)

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Batman (I’ve said it before. He’d have made a great, grizzled Batman)

Ben Affleck as Lex Luthor (As said above)

Gina Carano as Wonder Woman (This was a no-brainer. She looks the part! Instead they ran with that twig-with-lips, Gal Gadot)

And

Michael Emerson as The Joker (He actually voiced The Joker in The Dark Knight Returns, and a more mature Joker would go well with a veteran Batman. Just give him a prosthetic nose and a purple suit)
A teaser for the new DangerMouse cartoon surfaced yesterday.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dmq13…

Though obviously aimed at those disgusting little things we call “children” (it is a product of CBBC), I do rather like the look of it. Primarily because it’s an actual cartoon rather than some cheaply knocked-together 3D CG monstrosity (Inspector Gadget).
Comedian Alexander Armstrong is taking over as the voice of the diminutive super-spy.

The decidedly 21st century Sherlock is jumping back to the past in some sort of one-shot special, coming soon….ish.

No, really: "ish". That’s what they’re telling us:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEVgqy…

As a fan of Victoriana, I’m quite looking forward to it, despite the presence of the damn hat and pipe. Though obviously expensive to do, I always think adaptations of stories work better if set in the correct time period. How much better would War of the Worlds (2005) would have been if set in 1900? Keep the setting American, sure, but put Tom Cruise in a little tweed suit and have the Martians marching over Victorian New York. Instantly a better film.
I’m of the opinion that a return to more classical imagery will do wonders for Sherlock.

Woah. I didn’t see THIS coming!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0Plc1…

I’ve only ever played one Lego game and it was horrible. When it wasn’t being mind-numbingly tedious it was being hair-pullingly obscure. The reason I bought it, though, was the same reason I’m looking with a degree of lust at Lego Dimensions: the characters. The mere concept of seeing The Doctor and Emmett Brown together on screen, albeit in Lego form, has my inner child shrieking “TAKE MY GOD-DAMN MONEY!” and it’s going to take a great deal of willpower not to purchase the title.

Also, the teaser for Doctor Who series 9 dropped yesterday: www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVMUPZ…

Now, who is that Stark-sprog at the end? A Young River? Or someone from the distant past?

How acceptable, modern gaming conventions would have ruined classics:

Downloadable content:


Quick Time Events:


Brown EVERYTHING:


Microtransactions:
****Spoilers****

Arkham Knight
is a Rocksteady game, and it wouldn’t be a Rocksteady game without some utterly abysmal design decisions that make you wonder how certain people within the studio both keep a job and make it home each day without gamers, deranged by the frustration Rocksteady’s titles have generated, brutally murdering them.

In Arkham Asylum it was the terrible boss fights, particularly the Ivy one.
In Arkham City it was the Riddler death traps that you continuously encountered before you had the right equipment to deal with them. A problem if, like me, you actually wanted to PLAY the game and you have the hints turned off, because you’re never informed that what you’re trying to achieve is impossible. You’re running on the assumption that the game is actually well-designed and that you wouldn’t be duped into thinking you can accomplish something that you cannot.
In Arkham Knight, it’s the presence of the Batmobile.

Now, there are certain types of game that I am flat out bad at. Racing games, for example. I’m terrible at them, which means I don’t enjoy playing them. I just get angrier and angrier if I try. So, what do I do? I don’t play them. I play things I AM good at, things that I DO enjoy…..like stealth/action games. Things like the Arkham series.
What are we forced to do in Arkham Knight?
Race.
F**k you, Rocksteady. F**k you right in the f**king f**k.
I knew those lazy bastards would do that as soon as the Batmobile was mentioned. As soon as you introduce a vehicle, a hack designer will shoehorn in a race. It’s guaranteed.
Here’s a little tip for any studio head: from this point on, should one of your designers put down on paper “Get from point A to point B as fast as possible” within the design document of any project that is NOT overtly a racing game; fire them. You’re paying them to be creative and they’re not.

Arkham Asylum is, without a doubt, the best of the series, and the best Batman game out there, but Arkham City and Arkham Knight prove Rocksteady didn’t actually know why: it was small, it was focused and it felt complete.
I could, and have, played Arkham Asylum again and again, because it feels like an episode from the animated series (probably because of Paul Dini’s contribution). It’s a great ride, with a fantastic opening, a great setting and a sense of closure in completing it (even if you did have to wade through a badly designed boss-battle to reach it). It feels very “Batman”.

Everything starts to go down hill with Arkham City: it started making things too big, too flabby and key elements of the plot required you know more about Batman lore than you should. There’s a difference between adding something for the fans, as they did in Arkham Asylum, and what we see in Arkham City, and later in Arkham Knight. Who are these suddenly prominent characters who have had no introduction? Why is their reveal supposed to be shocking? Didn’t read the comics? Then you’ll never know.
Bad storytelling.
Terrible world building.
Had they set Arkham City across a couple of blocks of Gotham and just focused on Batman dealing with a turf war between 2 Face and The Penguin: that would have been ace. But instead we get Ra’s Al Ghul randomly showing up, Lazarus pits, Frankengrundy and a weird plan to kill everyone in the super-jail using missiles (If the inmates rely on food from the guards, why not just poison it? If everyone had to go through processing before being dumped in there, why not inject them with something THEN? Why missiles?! Who planned that protocol? Michael Bay?!).
After THAT nonsense, Arkham Knight goes completely off the map by flat-out bringing the apocalypse to Gotham. Batman is just a guy in a cape! He tracks bad guys down and punches them in the face. That’s what he does, that’s why we like him. Dealing with crap of this magnitude is Superman’s shtick, and that f**ker doesn’t even show up in Arkham Knight, despite being mentioned!
Gotham gets covered in a toxic cloud. What do you want Batman to do? Punch it?
As soon as hero duties start being delegated to more capable parties, it stops being a Batman game.
If you want to make a Batman game, come up with a scenario that Batman can believably deal with!

DLC is the final nail in the coffin. Initials seem to raise red flags these days. Games with QTEs don’t actually contain gameplay, and games with DLC generally feel incomplete or unfinished. Arkham Knight’s conclusion, even if you went to the trouble of activating Knightfall in full, doesn’t bring any kind of satisfaction. Arkham Asylum may have ended with Batman flying off to deal with a 2 Face bank robbery, but that felt like a conclusion to the story! Arkham Asylum was over. Done. Dusted. You had turned the last page.
Arkham Knight doesn’t feel like it has a last page. It feels like the last page has been torn out and Rocksteady is holding it hostage until you pay them more money, further poisoning the experience.

The Arkham series has gone from shining example of how to do a licensed game right to a fine demonstration of a corporate money-grab.

All the entries can be seen here: fav.me/d8zheip
But the winners are as follows.....
(This was really, really, really hard)
Drumroll, please.

Runners up:

Artiestroke: 36.media.tumblr.com/b735dbfa45…

Ollashiro: Love Triangle by ollashiro

Miss-Dutch: 10 Years Sequential Art Entry by Miss-Dutch

Ritualist: Jollyjack art contest by Ritualist

Ksterstone: ::Call Us Beep Us:: by Ksterstone

Harveydentmustdie: Sequential art - Tribute by HarveyDentMustDie

Louizu: Sequential Max : Furry Road by Louizu

Rabbitmaskedman: Sequential Art by rabbitmaskedman

Kawa-V: 10 Years Of Sequential Art by Kawa-V

Hanimetion: SAC entry - Art block by Hanimetion


Best Art:

Mark-MrHiDE-Patten:
Whose name I think I got wrong in that earlier video. I do apologise!
Bounty of the Slaughtermaster (Sequential Art) by Mark-MrHiDE-Patten

Funniest image:

Hamhunterx3:
”I came to say I’m sorry……and to kill you”
That line just made me laugh :D
j.j. by Marisa (sister) by HamHunterX3
It’s been a while since I’ve felt I could recommend any output from the BBC, given their tendency to axe shows that I’m enjoying (EG: Ripper Street), but a rather splendid series has just concluded that fans of magic and period drama will no doubt enjoy as much as I did.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is set during the Napoleonic era and follows the titular characters as they attempt, and succeed, in the resurrection of English magic. With arguments over what kind of magic is “respectable”, deals with rogue fairies, murder, conspiracy, and the employment of magic in the fight against the French; these two magicians gradually become enemies.
It’s apparently adapted from a book, but I don’t have time to read much fiction these days, so its appearance was a surprise and delight!
I shall say no more. To do so would spoil it. It’s well worth a watch.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=iE1nsO…