The 2016 100 Wrap-Up, Part 2: 46 Things I DIDN’T Do But Still Very Much WANT To.

So somewhere in my crazy mind, I’d convinced myself it’d be a good idea to write my wrap-up for The 2016 100 all as one post, because I’m always so curt with my posts, of course. A few days of working on it quickly killed that idea, and here were are with the second part of my wrap-up, covering the things I didn’t get around to in 2016, but still plan to manage this year, as well as my reasons why.

(Note: You will see these in some form in The 2017 100, so you know—don’t be too surprised.)


What I Didn’t Do, But Still Want to Do Next Year

7) Stop biting my nails — Ugh. What I probably need to do first is reduce the amount of stress in my life to get a better chance of dropping this disgusting habit. I had a good run early in the year, but hey. Maybe I’ll have better luck this time!
8) Get rid of the wedding thank you cards I never sent — I don’t think those past thank you’s are getting sent. It’s just… not something I’m doing. Instead, I think I’d love to start sending Christmas letters with some personalisation. I’m not a complete jackass, guys, but there needs to be a point where we agree to move on.
13) Sort out my old TD employee RSP — Any outstanding finances in general, really: part of being an adult is knowing how much your insurance will pay out. What your benefits cover. What’s in your stock portfolio. 2017 Casey Palmer needs a better handle on all this kind of stuff!

The 2016 100 Wrap-Up, Part 2 - 46 Things I DIDN'T Do But Very Much Still WANT To. — A Cluttered Casey Palmer Workspace

14) Consolidate everything down to a single notepad — I mean, you don’t see the magic happening, but my desk and dining room table are plastered with pages of notes as I draft out my posts. Will it happen? Maybe. Do I want it to? Oh heck yes ?

The Problems With Making Webcomics, Volume 1

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’ve worked at this idea, the more complex it’s become and the higher my standards have risen. 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.

A cover idea with my main Fish 'n' Chimps character, Doomz
Hey! What's that over your shoulder?!

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.

–case p.

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

184/365

TTC Signal Problems, but Clear Signs in 2011.

Last night I watched Law Abiding Citizen, and for the first half, holy crap. Seriously. The first half of this movie will totally mess with your mind – I don't care how smart you think you are, if you can figure out the plot of this movie and its specific after 25 minutes through this film, I applaud you. I agree with Deezy that it deserves more than 25% on Rotten Tomatoes, but to be honest, I'm not quite certain what score.

However, as we know, this isn't a movie review blog, so I think y'all should check it out and let me know what you think!

But to get back on topic…

0009: Here Comes a New Challenger!!! (How Doomz Creates Characters.)

Hey all,

Here’s another Saturday, and another sketch session that’ll be missed due to me and my absenteeism 😉 (But really, it’s due to a conflicting schedule. Alas, this is ME we’re talking  about here – I’m always doing something.)

Now that I’ve actually managed to find a few hours before I’m obliged to do anything (except, of course, getting keys cut, tying up the boxes in the back for recycling and mailing off a package), I’m looking to get a decent blog post put together.

So yes, character creation – how the heck do I do it?

Oftentimes, I’ll come up with ideas for my comic, Fish & Chimps (which I really do hope to start re-releasing sometime soon) where I haven’t figured out what characters will be used, or even if they exist as of yet. Without spoiling too much of my story or thinking, let’s observe one character I’ve come up with recently – it’s one that’s still in the works, so if anyone has anything to say on it, feel free.

There’s a situation later on into FNC where I need Yeti-like creatures in order to better develop a key character. I wanted them to look extremely powerful and somewhat aggressive, but also like they could be their own race with their own culture, etc. I didn’t want them to just seem like your basic enemy threat, something that’s only around to be defeated by the protagonist. So, since this is based on a Himalayas-like mountain range, what do I know?

  • Need to have bodies that help shield them from the elements
  • Need to have bodies that look like they could haul massive loads
  • Need to appear as if they’re slightly more “primitive”, in that they haven’t been touched that much by the technology and “progress” of the world
  • Need to be mostly white to help blend them in with their surroundings

So this is a good start – parameters that I can work with to define what kind of character I’m creating. Now that I know what kind of character I want to create, I need to figure out what kind of factors from the rest of my comic will affect how they’re going to be created. I ended up taking these into consideration:

  • As the type of characters in my webcomic are Planet of the Apes-esque, I should try to keep that in consideration for this new character
  • I don’t want to have any one-dimensional characters in my comic – I want everyone to be the type of character that people could see themselves caring about, no matter if it’s only a little bit
  • Even though I like detail, I don’t want the character to be so overly detailed that I won’t want to draw them repeatedly – I need to keep in mind that I’ll probably be drawing a TRIBE of this character at a time

So, keeping all of this in mind, I went to work. I think this exercise was likely the epitome of the statement you see on all those infomercials for self-help products – results may vary.

I figured that the most powerful primate that I’d thought of using in my series so far was a gorilla, so I decided to base the Yeti design around that. Taking a look at G, my gorilla character, I decided to start basing the Yetis around him.

The first sketch was a rough one – with rough being the operative word:

Media_httpolastudiodyvcomdoomzfiles200909whitegorillaportrait1jpg_zgteolchqpginqs

White Gorilla: First attempt

As you can see, this is what I like to call très horrible. It was a rough to more or less figure out the look I was going for with this new set of characters. Though, it wasn’t a complete failure. What I figured out from this exercise was:

  • This race would need to have a lot of fur/hair on their bodies to survive cold, mountainous conditions
  • I wanted them to have strong-looking jaws to show that they could rip through a variety of foods, since they’d likely have to hunt some tough creatures for foods
  • I didn’t quite know what I’d do to show that they have to deal with a lot of snowblindness from the sun always reflecting off of the expanses of white around them, so I settled for black surrounding the eyes – what I felt that this could show is that the rings could help absorb the excess light so they could still see in those conditions (yes, I have an explanation for everything!)

So, great. I have something to work with. Let’s try again:

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Second attempt: Starting to get a better idea of form

This was starting to get closer to what I was going for – looked a lot better drawn, stronger and put together than the first attempt. However, if you clicked on the link of G I posted above, you might agree with me when I say that this just appeared like G with white fur to me. Obviously this is due to using my “gorilla” body style as a base. I need to figure out what I can do to make the White Gorilla a little different. Back to the drawing board – literally:

Media_httpolastudiodyvcomdoomzfiles200909whitegorillaportrait3jpg_seyanuddbtxgcba

Third attempt: Really starting to figure out how big and powerful these things will be.

This is where I felt it really started to come together. This version involved a lot of pencil layering and redefining to capture a few things:

  • The density of the fur
  • How freaking massive these things will be
  • The degree of their musculature

I thought I’d really hit the nail on the head here and asked a couple of co-workers if it reminded them of a Yeti-like being. They said yes, BUT the posture was way too humanoid.

facepalm Let’s try this one more time:

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Attempt cuatro: This is where I’m at for now.

In the end, I ended up with a more primal version of what I’d come up with on my third attempt, and that’s okay with me for the time being. As I get more comfortable with the character, I’d likely draw group scenes with males, females and children to get a better idea of what they look like, how they interact, their size relative to others, etc.

So I hope that gave a little bit of insight into how I go about creating characters for use in FNC, and now I’ll open up the floor to questions and comments.

Have a great day, one and all!

–case p.