Thursday, February 24, 2011

More work, ZX update, more 'what I did', et cetera

Click and click again for larger sizes.

First one is a 'nobody wants to be in charge when they pieces fall' type of thing, the second makes more sense for you foreigner savages if you look at a geographical map of Greece. The person doing the hacking is the esteemed mr. Papakonstantinou, featured once before.

As usual, if any of these strike a chord with the reader, feel free to link them around and whatnot. This is the purpose of political commentary.

Strangely, streamlining my process (to make increasingly hard deadlines) called for a return to digital inking, and a more watercolor type of soft wash. In any case, I'm getting faster/(better?). I regret how the second image is a photo trace, but deadline ridiculous called for 'anything that works' measures.

On other news! I've finally inked half of the missing chapter of ZX. Four out of the eight pages are done right now. The two first are introductory vignettes (seriously ten minutes to draw each), the middle two are heavy duty proper inking proper pages of proper artistry, then there's two sparser Eisner-ian pages that won't take too long to do. And then there's the final page, a comic strip I have in the past been torn on whether to do or not, to give a 'full circle' feel to the comic. I'd say I'm almost halfway with my final obligations towards this comic. Here's a teaser image of one of the more challenging inked pages.

Clicking for bigger sizes will prove fruitless. Buy the comic instead!

I'm proud of how this one in particular turned out. Hopefully next week, at the most the week after that, I'll be putting my final ink stains on ZX. And not a moment too soon, as we'll be going to the printers right after, and on the 8th of April it'll be for sale at Comicdom con. (I'll be posting more about this as the time approaches).

On other other news, one-coining ESP Galuda must have given me extra strength, because this week I managed to defeat an old foe of mine, Dodonpachi. Here's how this old devil plays, to give you an idea.

Actually it wasn't the second wind from finishing Galuda that pushed this one over the edge after years and years of playing. It was Ptoing (fellow shooter aficionado) telling me in conversation that I should switch from the red - laser ship to blue - shot ship, if I want to survive the first loop. So I did, and after a few days of re-training (blue ship is slower and its laser is much, much weaker than I have been used to) I one-coined this one as well! I bombed the hell out of the last boss. Let's just say that if DDP had auto-bomb on bullet proximity, I'd have finished the first loop years ago.

This is meaningless to the reader not familiar with the joys and frustrations of really hard video-games (or really hard hobbies in general, I'd expect) but it's a significant event in the lives of those given to such vices. I've been playing DDP off and on for what feels like at least six years, but it could be seven or eight too. To finally achieve some closure on such an endeavor has surprising psychological benefits. I feel like I can beat up a mountain right now. It's no wonder I inked for twelve hours in the span of two days. When I finished ESP Galuda I was somewhat "meh" about it, but here, after I got the Game Over screen there was straight-up primal hollering and sweaty adrenaline airfists and everything. Yes I realize that saying such things to the internet drastically increases my chances of sleeping alone for a long, long time to come, but hey. I'm Helm, I'm (trying to feel) fine with myself, how are you doing?

My fucking credentials, son

May the long-beaked stoic one reside in the pantheon forever!

Reality check: This is a small victory, as veteran arcade shooter players know. There's of course, a full second loop of Dodonpachi after the first one, which one is granted access too only on specialized conditions (scoring over 50,000,0000 points, only dying once or twice, getting all the hidden score items in at least four stages, that sort of thing). This second loop is somewhat harder than the first and at the end of it you face the true boss of the game, Hibachi.

Here's however that I draw a line. I'm not an obsessive achiever, I played DDP for all this time because it's a fun game to me, it seems perfectly balanced at the exact edge where my skill runs out and just before frustration sets in. I probably will still play it on and off, perhaps improve my score a bit here and there, but I'm completely resigned to that defeating the boss above is beyond my projected skill even years down the line. I have better things to do than train DDP every day concentrated for months (or possibly years) to achieve an one-coin two loop clear. So be happy for me for getting halfway there while still retaining some semblance of a social existence.

Let's see, what else did I do in the days between this and my last post? Did I post this?

I'm not helping my case with these projects, am I?



Helm said...

post-its in the case I decide to time-travel to before I started this blog: You should have gone with a wider column space. Perhaps 700 pixels.

Nekromantis said...

Really liked the idea of Papakonstantinou serving freshly cut Greece on the table. It's a simple idea but works for me.

That ZX teaser looks delicious! Those eyes haunt me. Accursed cats eyes!

Erenan said...

My question is: Will it be possible for me to purchase ZX without flying to Greece? And will it be possible to buy one in English and one in Greek?

Helm said...

Erenan, it will be possible to buy the Greek edition very soon, I'll just mail it out to you, although if you ever come to Greece I'll buy you a drink (options, options!). About the English version, it'll either be print-on-demand at some online service, or someone will choose to publish it and then it'll be higher quality printing, like the Greek version, we'll see. But eventually, yes on all your queries.

Nekromantis: thanks for the kind words :)

Griffith said...

how long have you been working on "zx"?

Helm said...

Just over a full year, and now a few weeks more a year later for its eventual print release. The reason it took so long to release is that I was shopping it around.

Griffith said...

a couple of years isn't bad at all. considerably faster than many graphic novels i know of.

i'm looking forward to the english edition.