Friday, December 31, 2010

Symbols in the sky

On the European meeting deciding the method and time-schedule through which the working class may best be exploited. Apparently the big dogs are having some disagreements as to how to go about it.

"Mysterious currents up there"

And here's the art for a mock-up like Time's 'man of the year' covers, of Greek minister of finance, Giorgos Papakonstantinou, who acts as the liaison between foreign and domestic powers deciding, again, the best way for the sheep to be fleeced.

Though the graphical element is missing, imagine it saying "Papakonstantinou: (Worst) man of the year"

The second one is interesting, technically, because every color you see on there is on a separate layer, and is completely opaque, there is no soft blending or mixing like you would have with real media, there's just dots and contours. This is very close to the method I use to color in my pixel art pieces. It's very time-consuming but it seems worth investigating because I have great control over every shade that makes it up on the screen/page. The image is photo-traced, sadly. If I had more time I'd transfer properly (silly little grid and all, or perhaps even eyeballing like I usually do) but the rendering needed many hours in itself, there just wasn't time for artistic pride in the copy process.

On other news, we're almost out of 2010. Difficult year but interesting. I kept the promises I made around the same time last year (get a job, figure some internal shit out) and this year I'm going to commit to furthering both work and personal ventures at the same time, to find a way to keep the juggling act going without much sanity loss. Also I am committing to being a better friend for my friends, to contact them more often and to find more time in my week to pay them visits. I also want to become a person less prone to severe statements and value judgments, but I fear that's too ingrained in my personality to be something so easily managed. Also, I probably should devote some time to both physical and emotional therapy, since I can now sorta afford it and parts of my body/psyche need it. What will you do this year, reader?



Monday, December 20, 2010

I guess I wasn't done.

I'm inking an extra chapter for ZX. I wonder if I should put it online here or just save it for the print version.

It's about 6 pages (some of them sparser than others). It goes right after the flashback sequence with the car crash, but before the final chapter (9) where Stephan and ZX say their goodbyes. It documents in more detail the psychological fallout of what happened and how exactly, the ZX entity came to appear out of that.

Also a final page after the end of the comic, which as some readers might remember, I've debated on including.

The missing chapter could be inferred by the reader but I felt that there is a degree of anguish and mental-mutilation involved that I didn't trust the reader to invent in the case they've never lost someone they love very much. As I didn't want this comic to just tall to the grief-stricken about what they already know, I'm in the process of inking that extra chapter.

Then I'm done. Honest.

Should I post it here or should it be an added bonus for the print version, you think?


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I'm doing some work for a magazine

It's called Epikaira, which is Greek for 'current events'. It's a political mag through and through. literally. The content is fiercely committed to the examination of current affairs both native to Greece and in the more broad geopolitical sense, from first page to last. It's kind of a challenge for me, this context, but I'm growing accustomed to it. Coworkers are very kind and I have been paid promptly and fairly for my efforts, so there's that! (I hadn't posted about this job until first compensation to avoid a reprise of the previous fiasco)

Below follows some of the imagery I've been creating for them.

Julian Assange opens the floodgates

Dominique Strauss-Kahn hops from parliament to parliament merrily

New Thessaloniki mayor is bent in attracting Turkish vacationers with a brand new mosque

and so on.

This is an interesting thing for me because I do not come up with the themes of these. They illustrate pieces written by independent editorial, with whom I must be in constant conversation. It's an interesting take of 'tell me what to draw' and I'm glad I did a bit of that in this blog before I went out to search for work, as it helped acclimatize me with editorial demands. I'm still working around the ethical conundrum of drawing some of this stuff, but I'll return to this subject in the future, when hopefully my opinion will have crystallized. It does serve as a great opportunity to sharpen both my skill at capturing likeness (dreadful) and my skill at colouring (beyond dreadful).

I do one piece for them a week, which allows for independent projects on the side. For the last month and a half I've been working for them, I have focused my free time in pursuits far from the drawing pad however. Writing about music and playing it as well. It seems I can't draw and then draw some more, easily. I'm sure when I have something important to say with pictures again, I'll do so. Colouring my last 24 hour comic is in the back burner for now.

This job will also finance the printing of the ZX comic, so there's that. And perhaps most importantly, this will be the first Christmas I'll be able to afford gifts for friends and family. I do not have a lot of protestant-esque pride in being a worker, much to the chagrin of other-minded family members, but there are certain advantages in having a modest income I do enjoy.

I'm not sure I should be posting the work I do for Epikaira as it's more-than-slightly outside the blog's scope. However it doesn't seem like I'll be doing more comics very soon, not until ZX is published, at least. The blog has been relatively quiet for a while, perhaps it's best to leave it like that until circumstance requires otherwise, no reason to force a semblance of activity. Those that must absolutely read Helmwords can migrate to Poetry of Subculture, which will remain more active.

If you're feeling some reticence over my newfound employment, you're right. I have doubts about many things and this year will be the one where I test some limits and make some informed (rather than imaginary) decisions on what I am to be. This sport is a costly one in currency of psychological wellbeing, I hope everything is going to be alright in the end.