#100HappyDays — Day 15 — The DC Comics Guide to Digitally Drawing Comics

#100HappyDays — Day 15 — The DC Comics Guide to Digitally Drawing Comics

 

Some days, nothing all that amazing happens — some days you’re just maintaining. #100HappyDays Day 15 was like that: just working on keeping things going with lots of emails, Facebooking and tweets to make sure that the relationships stay alive. Went in to the 9-to-5 early, came home early, and spent a bit of extra time playing with DoomzToo since I was home well before his bedtime for once.

But it’s not like I took photos of any of that 🙂

Instead, here’s what I’m reading right now to show my resolve for getting back in the webcomics game!

I spent some time working on the Fish ‘n’ Chimps website, taking all these pieces of the past decade and putting them together again, trying to build a site that’ll show the journey from then ’til now.

Today was a good day.

#100HappyDays Day 15/100 — finito.

–case p.

Driving, Drawing and Dining

Somehow it always comes down to this — it’s suddenly December and we look at our to-do lists realizing that we hadn’t accomplished nearly as much in the year as we’d planned to. So we get in a tizzy, try to do months of work in a matter of weeks and end in the year in a BANG on New Year’s Eve!

And we wonder why it’s always so hard to start our resolutions off on the right foot in January!

Ever the overachiever, I set out a list of 100 goals for myself in January, hoping to knock some things off of the list that’d been there entirely too long, and set foundations for others that’d lead to a promising future in the years to come.

Too bad I didn’t put the secret 101st item into the equation: having a kid.

I’ll admit — much of 2013 is a blur. One baby, two Vegas trips and three job changes later, my priorities have definitely changed, with me at home more often than not, trying to enjoy what quiet moments I can before DoomzToo’s more vocal — and more mobile.

But kid or not, 2013 was still a year for the books, and while I didn’t always get it out in the blog, I never truly lacked things to do.

So I wrap the year up with this — a look at what I pulled off in 2013; what flopped; and what will rear their ugly heads once more in 2014 to see whether I’ll manage to finally get them done. It’s all too long for one entry, so I hope you like reading about my hijinks and exploits because it’s going to take 10 to get through it all!

Buckle up, my lovely readers. Uncle Casey’s gonna tell you some stories!

The 2013 100, Items 1-10: Driving, Drawing and Dining

  1. Negotiate a way better phone contract
  2. Give Sarah the present I always alluded to but never got around to giving her
  3. Start a business or two
  4. Learn to drive, learn to drive, for the love of God learn how to drive!
  5. Sell all the stuff I’ve meant to sell
  6. Start drawing comics on some sort of regular schedule
  7. Get my clothes tailored
  8. Get up-to-date on my emails
  9. Cook at least one meal
  10. Make an app

1:  Negotiate a way better phone contract

I’ll be the first to admit that I pay way too much for my cell phone. It’s good to have a monster of a device with plenty of features, considering how much time I invest in social media and geo-location games, but I rarely use it like a telephone anymore. So maybe it’s time to revisit what features I actually need and make it a priority to get a new plan in 2014!

There’s something I need to remember about having a traditional 9-to-5 at a large organization — there’re more benefits when telecom companies sell deals in bulk and not haggling individually level. It’s time to get a corporate plan.

2014 Casey Palmer — saving more money to feed his kid!

STATUS: On to the next year!

2: Give Sarah the present I always alluded to but never got around to giving her

Jeez — I think I alluded to this gift from our first Christmas together in 2008! Welp. Sorry, babe — this one’s going to 2014, ’cause you’re not getting it this year! (I even saw it on her Amazon wish list — hold your horses, Sarah! You already got the ring on your finger, yo! Way I see it, we have all our lives for me to work on this one! [Insert maniacal laugh here.])

STATUS: On to the next year!

3: Start a business or two

Somewhere in my mind is this idealized fantasy of owning a business, where I call the shots, wake up when I damn well please, do work in my house clothes and essentially do what I want, when I want.

Then I quickly come back to reality, realizing that it takes a heckuva lot of work before you make money while you sleep like the Dragons on Dragons’ Den.

Owning a business means taking on a lot of risk, a whole lot of discipline, and some prayers — especially if you’re trying to raise a family on that money! If I’d developed the online presence that I have now 10 years ago, going out on my own would be a highly attractive notion. But in 10 years, I got married, had a kid, and built knowledge and clout in my organization. I’m compensated for the skill set I’ve developed, and the benefits package that comes with the job mean that DoomzToo will never be stuck with crooked teeth or poor vision.

While choosing a 9-to-5 and owning a business aren’t mutually exclusive, I’m content enough to take the long path on this one and not search endlessly for a quick payday.

STATUS: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

4: Learn to drive, learn to drive, for the love of God learn how to drive!

For a decade, driving was the biggest cloud hanging over my head.

My hometown in Mississauga, a suburb of Toronto, In the ‘burbs, driving is essential to living, as the public transit isn’t world-class and places of interest are seldom walking distance from the residential blocks. I originally tried to get my driver’s license at 20, which was already years later than everyone around me. Spending my Saturday mornings in drivers’ ed with kids who’d celebrated their Sweet Sixteens just the week before is an experience I’m not eager to repeat.

Failing that test at 20 led to a decade of avoidance, keeping a schedule filled with just about everything else in the world, not helped by my parents living in a subdivision a mere 10-minute walk from a train into the city.

Why drive?

Toronto already had too much traffic as it was — I could read, draw and sleep on public transit, making far better use of my time than I would if I spent it stuck in gridlocked traffic every day.

But DoomzToo coming along was a wake-up call. I’ve seen the parents trying to navigate the subway system with a stroller, struggling to get up and down stairs as just under half of the TTC’s stations are elevators for accessibility. I didn’t wanna be one of those parents. How dare they take up valuable space on the rush hour subways? Why don’t they find another way to get their baby from A to B?

2011 Ford Edge Select with All-Wheel Drive

So I celebrated my 30th birthday at a Ministry of Transportation DriveTest centre, nervously waiting to take my G1 exit test and see whether I could drive the 2011 Ford Edge Select (with All-Wheel Drive) that we’d bought just that weekend. It was nerve-wracking. It was tense. And it was in Port Union. But I passed after waiting ten whole years to try again, and I’ve driven since, ferrying us to distant places like Bouchette, Quebec, while Sarah makes sure I get plenty of practice for my G2 exit test!

STATUS: SO done.

5: Sell all the stuff I’ve meant to sell

I suck at selling. Not because I’m unconvincing, but because I’m unwilling to rip someone off nor am I enough of a penny-pincher to spend time listing thing on Craigslist, courting buyers, making time to meet with them, etc.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

So instead, while cleaning up the house for the baby, we packed a number of boxes with books, clothes and electronics and drove ’em to the local Value Village so someone in need could get them.

Everybody wins. Go give something, people!

STATUS: Please see above.

6: Start drawing comics on some sort of regular schedule

The 2013 100 11-20 — Fish 'n' Chimps — Doomsdayblaze Sketch

I finally started drawing again in December, taking a real crack at costume designs for my characters that’d stick — not just clothes that looked like they came right out of a clothing ad. Comics are a difficult medium to create for — where literature relies on description and pacing to paint the world for a reader and keep their attention, a comic must do it blatantly and appeal visually on top of all the things literature needs to do!

Fish ‘n’ Chimps will be no easy undertaking, but it’s a labour of love. It’s a story that’s been in my head for damn near a decade, and the time for everyone else to see what’s been going on in my cranium is long overdue.

STATUS: On to the next year!

7: Get my clothes tailored

Somehow I imagined myself living the male equivalent of Sex and the City (EntourageCalifornication?) and having my “go-to-guy” for making sure my clothes fit “just so”.

All I’ve managed to do is get my dry cleaner to mend my clothes when accidents happen and let pants out since my body shape’s already change from those carefree newlywed days.

Shout-out to Kathy for making sure I still look decent, and I doubt I’ll have the time (or the money) to get a tailor anytime soon.

Besides — what good is shopping at Harry Rosen when your ridiculously expensive wardrobe has baby spit-up all over it?

STATUS: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

8: Get up-to-date on my emails

Simple truth — there is no catching up on email. The sooner one accepts this fact, the sooner they can accept the deluge of data that is their daily life.

It’s especially futile now that I’ve become a Redditor, there’s no time for stuff like lifehacking. Links to click, things to see!

STATUS: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

9: Cook at least one meal

When I included this item on the list, Sarah was thinking of an extravagant meal that’d leave Susur Lee salivating in envy.

While not quite as elaborate as she may have hoped, I did manage to cook a couple of times this year:

1: A while back, I’d received review copies of Julie Anne Hession’s 175 Best Mini Pie Recipes: Sweet to Savory and Tammy Algood’s In a Snap! Tasty Southern Recipes You Can Make in 5, 10, 15 or 30 minutes. While I didn’t get a chance to use my buddy’s key limes to make a pie (sorry, Jon), I did try my hand at some bacon grilled cheese on raisin bread — one of Tommy’s 5-minute recipes.

Turned out okay — I’ll admit that microwaving bacon was as crispy as I usually like it when done in the frying pan, but the sandwich was decent overall.

2: On the morning of DoomzToo’s birth, Sarah gave me a verbal crash course on making scrambled eggs, and while they didn’t turn out perfectly, I’ll learn more egg recipes for the future — never know when you’ll want a better breakfast than Just Right or Oatmeal Crisp with Raisins!

STATUS: SO done.

10: Make an app

Still interested in making an app, no time to do it right.

I’m largely an ideas guy. I like coming up with new ideas and schemes, so I learn a little about everything so I can translate my ideas to various kinds of people.

What apps need are experts. People who eat, sleep and breathe design and code and get paid handsomely for it. If I want to make an app, I need to align myself with the skilled people to build them — and the wealthy business people to pay them — in 2014.

Even if I get something like a 10% cut for the idea on an app, if that app profits $1,000,000 — well. Let’s just say I wouldn’t be too sore about the $900,000 I didn’t get.

STATUS: On to the next year!

That’s all for today, y’all! Make sure to come back tomorrow, when we discuss birthdays, BiSC, and what really happened to Mansformation. See you then!

cep wrap-up logo

P.S. Gratuitous link to get my blog registered on Bloglovin’!

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The Problems With Making Webcomics

For anyone who’s only known me for a little while, I’ve had a dream for the longest time — to put a comic story together from beginning to end.

For the past decade, I’ve chipped away at an idea I’ve had for a comic named Fish ‘n’ Chimps — I even went as far as working on the webcomic from 2003-2006 and making print comics to sell at comic conventions for a number of years.

But that was like diving into the deep end without checking to make sure that the pool was filled.

Since then, I’ve been chipping away at this idea of mine, changing it from an idea for a gag comic from someone just exiting their teenage years to a storyline of a far grander scale, reflecting everything that I’ve learned in the last decade. Character sketches have given way to storylines; ideas scrawled on napkins and scrap paper found their way into what’s starting to resemble a script.

But as they say — the devil’s in the details. The longer I work at the idea, the more complex it becomes and the higher my standards rise. What started as an unfocused idea has grown with startling clarity — the only problem now will be finding the time to make it a reality.

With a subway delay giving me an extended commute on my way home from my cosmic twin’s housewarming party, I sketched this out from ideas I have for later into the storyline — I guess all that I need to do now is start actually drawing the comic so I can get there.

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The 2K11 24/7 CLXXXIV: Inspiration, Ahoy!

Sometimes you need to travel a long ways to find the inspiration you need to continue on — sometimes you’ll find it as close as your own backyard.

When travelling through some of Italy’s countryside, I paid close attention to my surroundings. Partially for pickpockets, making sure I wouldn’t have to slug anyone with a strong right. But MOSTLY because it was a source of inspiration for me to take another look at some of the designs I’ve made.

For instance, looking at the structures that were put together to harvest lemons in Sorrento gave me the gusto I needed to design “Tree Town” for my comic. 

Tree_town_sketch
Fig 184-1: Sketch of Tree Town
On the train from Sorrento back to Naples,  I noticed a kid who dressed almost exactly like my Ruddiger character, and decided to observe his style and mannerisms to flesh him out a little more.

Ruddiger
Fig 184-2: Ruddiger

Inspiration is everywhere. Every time I get back to Toronto after being gone a while, I see things a little differently. Things affect me in different ways, and I get inspired in ways that may not have previously occurred to me.

Keep your eyes peeled and your wits about you, for inspiration is everywhere!

–Casey E. Palmer

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Sketchdump 03-08-2010

Sketchdump-03-08-2010

So this is what you're getting for today – a sketchdump 🙂 Lots of logo, site and graphing work going on over here – I'll make sure to share whenever anything gets DONE. I was going to do a quick one related to the Tim Hortons Roll Up the Rim to Win contest, but after reading David McCandless' blog Information is Beautiful, I've been rethinking my approach to infographics. You'll still see something, but it'll probably be far more imaginative than what I'd originally envisioned 🙂

Anyway, hope you enjoy another little glimpse into my world. The PHP. It calls my name!

–case p.