Sunday, December 28, 2008
Maybe someday I'll actually get a Mac and be able to just publish the SWF directly as a .mov or .mpeg or whatever. But for now, I can't say I'll actually be using these services as a replacement, but rather just for promotion. I have to say though, I'm utterly terrible with promotion/distribution. Or I just have really bad luck with it, I don't know. Every time I've submitted a cartoon of mine to any type of community like these, or even animation-specific sites like Newgrounds, Aniboom, MyToons, etc., they never really get noticed or acknowledged. I tag them for searching, post them on forums and blogs, send them to people directly...all that kind of stuff, but not a whole lot happens. I get a few comments and some views in the first day or so and then never see anything come of it afterward and in the meantime, I watch other videos rise and get promoted even though we started off with an equal chance. I'm not expecting anything to come of any old episodes that I'm uploading; my mind's just kind of wandering.
Anyways, here are the pages so you can subscribe, add, embed, or whatever you'd like to do with them:
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Most things were significantly darkened except for the gray, red, and white (go figure). Does anybody know if the color changes are this drastic with MySoti? I understand that when printed, especially on a dark garment, the colors are going to change, and I don't mind if they do a tad, but this was ridiculous, and CafePress gave no warning about that. And I'm certainly not about to go and keep testing different designs with different colors on different shirts until I figure out what's "safe."
The only other reasons I haven't done shirts with MySoti yet is because I'm used to CafePress, and also, MySoti only does shirts. I do plan to have other items, and I don't want to have each item being sold from a different site. That'd be ridiculous and confusing. Anyone have any suggestions?
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Today, I finally got to see Random! Cartoons, which were amazing, by the way. Ten years ago, I sat on the same couch in front of the same TV watching its predecessor, Oh Yeah! Cartoons. That was one of the major turning points in my life because it was the first time that I had ever seen anything like that. It was the first time I realized that cartoons were not merely cranked out by drones in studios; they were made by "real" people. People who liked to draw, people who were funny, and people who shared the same interest in cartoons that I was beginning to have myself. And even though there was no way at the time for me to make my own cartoons, they were very inspiring to me. Many of them are among the best cartoons I have ever seen because they were fun to watch and you could tell that people had fun making them. It wasn't a job, but rather something they really enjoyed doing. That was what really turned my interest from just comics to all cartoons and animation because even though it wasn't possible at the time, I knew that I could do it someday in the future.
So it dawned on me that I'm here, ten years later, and now I actually know of some of the people who made or worked on these cartoons. Thanks to the internet, I've been able to watch a number of these shorts develop and I've even had the opportunity to know a few of the creators for several years, even before they got on board with Random! Cartoons. It's become much more personal because it's taken a step from cartoons being made by "real people" to cartoons being made by my friends, or even just people that I have followed and admired, and I'm blown away all over again. I truly am in awe. These cartoons may very well be inspiring kids in the same way that I was inspired a decade ago. I find that I'm writing this almost as if I was actually involved with these cartoons in some way, but I'm not; I'm just incredibly excited about it.
But I can't help but ask myself, why didn't I get involved? I didn't even really try. I thought about it, but what good is that? Thinking and doing are two totally different things, and I do too much of the former and not enough of the latter. It wasn't fear of rejection, I can safely say that. I would have loved to gone and just have been able to present a pitch. That would've been an awesome experience regardless of the outcome. And I had a couple friends who, unlike myself, got up off their asses and pursued it, and even though their pitches were ultimately rejected (multiple times in the case of one friend, I believe), but they were still grateful to even have the chance to go and do it. I was also only 15 or 16 at the time, but I don't think that was what really kept me from going for it.
Whatever the reason was, though, it's certainly related in some way to how I'm feeling now, and I why I haven't made a full cartoon in two years now. Sure, there were many times over the past two years where I really couldn't make any cartoons, like when I was having so many panic attacks, or when I spent a week in the hospital, but what about all the other time? What the hell have I been doing? Not a day goes by that I don't regret not taking initiative in any of these situations, and that is no exaggeration. If I had actually done something, I guarantee I'd be in a whole different position now. Who knows what I could've accomplished? I feel like the days are whizzing by now, and that I don't ever have time to do anything. But if I'm conscious of all this, why do I continue to just sit around? This lazy lifestyle that I adopted somewhere along the line needs to end.
It isn't my dream to be famous. It is, however, for my cartoons and my characters to be. That's not why I make cartoons, but it is something that I would hope to achieve someday, and I know I'll be doing what I love and doing it well. I know that no one's going to make this come true for me (which would be very boring anyway), and I know that I have to just simply make cartoons again. It's not like I don't enjoy doing it either, so there's no excuse.
With 2009 drawing nearer and nearer, I've decided that my goal next year is this: don't think about stuff, do stuff. And it's not only about making more cartoons either. I want to go out and meet more cartoonists and animators to build friendships and connections. That would probably build a lot of my confidence too, because there is literally no one around here that has interests remotely near mine. I need to take these chances to go to different cartoon events, like when I went to SVA in November 2007, the ASIFA screening for The Meth Minute this past June, and most recently, when I went to the Too Art for TV show last weekend. Those were the only times in my life where I didn't feel out of place, but rather around people I could relate to. I want to be able to work in an environment like that someday, where it's something I look forward to because it's something I love doing and the people around me love the same thing. That's never going to happen though if I don't start working.
I'm not entirely sure what the main point of all that was, but it's good to get it all in the open.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
And to think, two years ago, I was working on An Apple A Day, and that's still the newest episode. Maybe we'll get a Christmas miracle!
Monday, December 8, 2008
Now, as far as real...actual...content goes, hopefully my plans for the Christmassy episode will go well. My goal is to finish the script and any needed storyboards today, record stuff tomorrow and maybe start animating, but definitely start animating by Wednesday. Hopefully I'll finally have something new to show.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Thanks to the amazing generosity of my friend and fellow animation enthusiast Charles Kenny, I will be attending the third annual Too Art for TV exhibit in Brooklyn this Saturday, December 6. The last two years, I've only been able to see photos and blogs about the event from afar (along with many other similar shows), but finally I'll actually be able to see it all in person! This is the first of this type of show I'll be going to, so I'm pretty excited. I know a few people who will be there, but if you're going on the 6th as well, let me know!
Monday, December 1, 2008
Best Animated Short Subject
Hot Dog – Bill Plympton Studio
Best Animated Television Production
King of the Hill – 20th Century Fox TV
Best Animated Television Production Produced for Children
Underfist: Halloween Bash – Cartoon Network Studios
Character Design in an Animated Feature Production
Valerie Hadida “Igor” – Exodus Film Group
Character Design in an Animated Television Production or Short Form
Jorge Gutierrez – El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera “The Good, The Bad, The Tigre” – Nickelodeon
Directing in an Animated Television Production or Short Form
Craig McCracken, Rob Renzetti - Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends “Destination Imagination” – Cartoon Network Studios
Production Design in an Animated Television Production or Short Form
Dan Krall – Chowder “The Heavy Sleeper” – Cartoon Network Studios
Storyboarding in an Animated Television Production or Short Form
Butch Hartman – Fairly OddParents “Mission: Responsible” – Nickelodeon
Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production or Short Form
Dwight Schultz – Voice of Mung Daal – Chowder “Apprentice Games” – Cartoon Network Studios
Writing in an Animated Television Production or Short Form
Scott Kreamer – El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera “Mustache Love” – Nickelodeon
Friday, November 28, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Shining Jewel Underworld (download)This is a cover of Jewel Man's theme from Mega Man 9. You can hear the original here. I started doing a remix of this song last night and it just wasn't coming together well, so I tossed it. This morning, I got the urge to give it another shot, so I tried a different style and it just worked. And, well...this is the final result! The only bad thing about working on a song for so long is that once you finally finish it, you don't want to hear it anymore, heheh. Anyway, enjoy!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
100 Questions for an Artist
01. What is your pen name?
Just Niko. I'm not creative enough for a good pen name.
02. What made you choose this name?
Uh...my parents? They gave it to me.
03. Do you use PC or Mac?
PC. I don't have any qualms with either, but I think if I got a Mac it'd be a lot
easier for distributing my animation in different formats
04. What programs do you use most often?
05. Do you use mouse, or tablet?
Tablet. It's a small Wacom (I don't know the exact size) but I've gotten used to it,
so it gets the job done.
06. What color or color combinations do you find yourself using most often?
A lot of blues, it seems like. Not constantly, but cool colors are more pleasing to me
most of the time
07. What part of a picture do you put most effort into?
Depends on what it's a picture of. Most of the time I'd say the character(s).
08. How long does it take you do draw a picture?
Again it kind of depends, but generally a couple hours
09. Do you keep your rough drafts?
All over my floor, haha
10. What font do you use most often?
I'd say Comic Book, Arial Black or Coolvetica, but I really like old computer/video
game fonts like Emulator or Commadore 64
11. When you scan your image, what DPI do you use?
My scanner is terrible, so...whatever it decides to do, and I fix it myself in
12. Do you do anything else when you're drawing?
I used to always have the TV on when I drew, but not so much anymore. I usually have
music on though.
13. Approximately how many pictures do you draw in a month?
Polished pictures, it varies. If you want to count sketches and other drawings,
14. What kind of paper do you draw your pictures on?
To be honest, I have no idea what the actual kind of paper in my sketchbooks is
15. What kind of paper do you use for rough sketches and drafts?
Same as above
16. How long does it take you to ink something?
Not too long. Sometimes I go straight to inking even.
17. Do you do comics, or fan comics?
I do fan stuff occasionally, but most of the time I find myself drawing original
18. Do you like comics? Are they fun to make?
Yes, but I haven't made a solid, complete comic in a very long time
19. Have you ever submitted anything to a magazine?
No. Never had anything I thought was good enough..
21. Who are your favorite artists?
Oh man...Charles Schulz, Shigeru Miyamoto, Joe Murray, Genndy Tartakovsky, Keiji
Inafune, Rob Renzetti, Craig McCracken, C.H. Greenblatt, Maxwell Atoms, Dan Meth,
Jeaux Janovsky, John K., Andrew Kauervane, Tara Billinger, Gabe Swarr...there are just
too many distinct styles out there that I love and have influenced me over the years
22. Do you like anime/manga? If so, what are your favorite series?
I'm not a big fan of it, but I do like a couple series like FLCL and Shin Chan, mainly
because of how different they are from what I see everywhere day after day after
23. Do you like cartoons/comics? If so, what are your favorite series?
I love cartoons and like my favorite artists, I have a lot of favorites: Rocko's
Modern Life, Angry Beavers, Dexter's Lab, Powerpuff Girls, Chowder, Flapjack, Teenage
Robot, Homestar Runner, FLCL, Harvey Birdman, Billy & Mandy, Spongebob, Aqua Teen
Hunger Force, Superjail, South Park, Shin Chan, Meth Minute, Nite Fite, El Tigre,
Johnny Bravo, Faily Oddparents...holy crap, the list just goes on and on
24. Any artists that you wish you could draw like?
I'm always looking at other people's work and saying "Man, I wish I could draw like
that." It happens all the time heh
25. Do you read a lot of books?
26. Did you ever buy a book to inspire or teach you to draw?
Uh...I know I had a couple as a kid, but they were all terrible. I never learned a
thing from how to draw books, and I don't think anyone ever does. I learned just by
observing other comics and cartoons and constant practice. That's still what I do
27. Any video games you enjoy?
I love Mario games, the classic Mega Man series, Kirby, Pac-Man, Zelda, and lots of
28. Any favorite characters from video games?
Mario and Mega Man
29. Do you have a favorite writer?
30. Any books you really enjoy?
Catcher In The Rye, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy...uh..those are really the only
non-comics I like, heh
31. Do you draw fanart?
32. Do you listen to music while you draw?
33. Any recommended songs?
Not any in particular. I would just say listen to Ska, heh
34. Any art websites that you really enjoy?
Channel Frederator and CF Raw, Deviantart (sometimes), and just blogs of other
35. Are there any websites that you go to everyday?
Tumblr, Facebook, Youtube, Myspace, Deviantart, etc. All those community sites
36. What is your dream website like?
I don't really have a...dream website
37. Do you like your own art?
Sometimes. As time goes by, looking at my stuff tends to make me sick
38. What do you enjoy watching on television?
Cartoons and news. Go figure
39. Favorite celebrity?
None. I don't really pay attnetion to that stuff
40. Favorite color?
41. Favorite food?
I like pretzels
42. Favorite drink?
Iced tea or Dr. Pepper
43. Do you like to go shopping? If yes, where? And for what?
I don't really "shop." If I go somewhere, I know exactly what I need and where it
would be. I don't waste time looking around and buying all this crap I don't need.
44. Can you cook?
Some things, yeah. Nothing incredibly complicated though
45. Any devices you use often for email? Any electronic pets?
46. Are you tech-savvy?
Not as much as people seem to think
47. Do you want to become a professional artist?
48. Are there any other jobs you're interested in?
Cartoonist/animator. I would love to work for Frederator at Next New Networks up in
New York. I see a lot of stuff from people there through Tumblr and whatnot, and it
just amazes me.
49. Any other hobbies or skills besides drawing?
I write and play music. I used to play trumpet, but no so much anymore. I've been
playing piano and other key instruments for a long time though.
50. Do you like to watch movies?
Eh, not very often. I dunno why, I just don't
51. What's your favorite movie?
52. Have you ever entered an art contest?
I've entered a couple over time
53. When did you start drawing seriously?
Hmm. Well, I knew by around 8 years old I wanted to be a cartoonist, but I don't think
you can consider anything from that time as serious. I'd lean more towards the end of
middle school/beginning of high school when I started doing comics and cartoons on the
54. Do you use references? If so, for what?
If I'm doing a serious piece (not just doodling) of characters that aren't mine, then
56. Do you have a lot of net friends?
57. Do you have a lot of friends that also draw?
Net friends, yes. Around here though, no one's really into the same stuff that I am
58. What time of the day do you usually go online?
59. Do you like to go to chat rooms?
60. Do you have your own computer?
61. What would you say to the person that you admire?
Uh...I dunno, heh. I admire a lot of people.
62. Does your mind wander when you draw?
63. Have you drawn poorly because you think too much?
64. Do you have any friends who are professional artists?
65. Where do you often hang out?
Well, most of my friends have scattered all over the country now, so I don't really
66. Are there any popular artists that you don't like much? (no need to name names if
you don't want to)
In a way, yeah
67. Are there any situations in which you really don't like being an Artist?
68. How about situations that make you love it?
Uh...all the time?
69. What's the one thing that makes you grateful that the internet exists?
The ability to show my work to the world and not just my friends, and the ability to
talk to and work with other cartoonists from all over
70. Is there anything out there that makes you wish the internet didn't exist?
71. What's your first drawing?
A little something I like to call Crayon on Old Computer Paper
72. Any art you did prior to that?
73. Has your style changed a lot since then?
Since I was a baby? Yeah, I would say so.
75. Have you experienced artist's block before?
Many times, yeah
76. If so, how do you usually get out of it?
I dunno, it just kind of works itself out I guess
77. What do you do when you can't get out of it?
It always ends eventually.
78. Any people that have influenced you a lot?
Charles Schulz and Shigeru Miyamoto were my first and probably biggest influences
79. What made you want to start drawing?
I just love cartoons
81. Has anything ever made you want to quit art all together?
I have wanted to quit sometimes but I could never do that
82. What do you think about netiquette?
The way I am online is just how I act in "real life."
83. Have you ever been spammed or trolled?
Several times, yeah.
86. Do you upload high quality versions of your art submissions, or do you prefer to
upload a lower quality?
Usually high quality, unless it's too big to fit on the screen easily; then I upload
it at a smaller resolution
88. Do you have good vision?
I can't see worth crap!
89. If you can get anyone's autograph, whose would you get?
Too hard to say, there's just too many people
91. Do you like to draw on Oekaki BBS?
92. Do you have a job?
Just some hired help here and there. I would say animation, but it's not really a
93. Did you take art in school? If so, did you do well? Are you still taking it?
To my surprise, my high school offered Animation I and II courses which I took in my
sophomore year. Much to my disappointment, it was really just odd projects that
involved drawing cartoon characters. No actual animation. I didn't learn a thing from
it, either; I knew more than the teacher.
94. Have you taken art lessons outside of a school setting?
95. Have you ever drawn something just because it was the cool thing to do -- the hip
96. What's your favorite phrase/quote?
"A cartoonist is someone who has to draw the same thing every day without repeating
97. Do you present yourself differently online than you do in your real life?
98. What's your goal now?
To make a cartoon that people enjoy
99. What do you have to say to yourself?
100. Lastly, what do you have to say to everyone who read this?
You must've been really bored!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I don't know, I've just been completely disoriented these past couple weeks as things have gone on. I really wish now more than ever that I didn't live here and I was out on my own. The only reasons I'm not are because I can't legally drive because of how bad my eyes are (on a side note, I saw a new surgeon today and provided nothing gets screwed up, I'll finally have the eye surgery on December 15) and I also don't have a solid job other than hired help every once in a while, so I can't keep any kind of steady income. I can't afford college (I'd already be there if I could) and I know now that my parents aren't going to come to terms to help me out with that one. Not to mention, I'm still not completely "mentally stable," per se. I still have panic and anxiety attacks and even though I'm able to control them much better than ever before, it would still be hard to be completely on my own. Yet, sitting here just watching my family destroy itself doesn't really make the situation any better. It's a vicious cycle.
And even if I was out away from home, this would still be upsetting to me, don't get me wrong. The circumstances would be a little different as I wouldn't be seeing every little action that is leading up to the impending demise, but the fact of my parents getting separated or divorced is still extremely upsetting to me, even at this point. I do believe it's much harder for kids whose parents get divorced when they're younger and in school and stuff, because they have to live in the middle of that for a much longer time. But in my position...I don't know. I am very close to both of my parents and I always have been. And over the years, I have had many close friends whose parents I knew very well also, and one after another, that friend would break the news to me one day and tell me that his or her parents got divorced, and I would be...shocked, really. There's no other word for it. I was just shocked because all of these friends had good living situations and their parents were nice as could be. But all of a sudden, bam. Friend after friend was caught in the middle of a very unexpected divorce for years upon years. And it made me feel so bad, but all the while, I felt lucky that my parents never seemed to have any problems that would push them over the edge. I admit that I had wondered from time to time if this upsetting trend of divorces would eventually effect our family, but I generally dismissed the idea every time.
Clearly, it's inevitable now. I sit here and I just get chills every time I hear yelling or crying, even if I can't make out exactly what's being said (and honestly, I think I'd rather be oblivious). And all the while, I can't help but glance over at a small, heart-shaped frame here on my desk with a picture of my parents in it which they gave to me when I was very little. It seems kind of stupid, maybe even pathetic. I'm sure that most kids by their teenage years would not even have it anymore, or if they did, they'd mindlessly replace the picture with one of them and their own love interest. I never had the heart to do that. That frame has not changed in the nineteen years that I've had it. But looking at it now, I kind of feel like...maybe part of me is in denial. Maybe part of me still wants to believe that this is just a normal feud and after a while, everyone apologizes and everything's back to normal. But the logical part of me knows that's bullshit.
I no longer have any immediate family member or friend that I can go to at any time and confide in them. I have to say something to someone, though, so I guess that's why I've reduced myself to shelling out personal feelings and situations publicly on the internet where anyone can see them. But to be honest, I don't care, as long as someone's listening..
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
...because every animation I ever do will now be done with GoAnimate! Now I can make a Geoweasel cartoon every day! The characters might look different, and they won't actually talk, and I won't be drawing any of it,but it's totally cool! Check it out!
You can take the alien that you didn't even have to draw and actully put him behind the desk! BEHIND IT! Holy shit! Think of all the time, money, and dignity I could've saved!
The first Scotsman one wasn’t funny nor was it fun to watch, and it was only released two weeks ago. Then we got some ducks doing the same thing last week. Now, we’re back to the Scotsman. This may as well be called “Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Characters Sitting on Couches Watching TV and Talking About It.” Your stuff used to be hilarious, Seth. You didn’t need the aid of pop-culture references and limited animation to be funny. You’d know that if you were using your brain, but you’re not
Sunday, October 5, 2008
All I ever wanted to do was make cartoons.
I don't know where I went wrong.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
In May 2005, not long after Geoweasel had become a regular series on the web (the "regular" part wouldn't last for long), a friend of mine showed me a press release about Oh Yeah! Cartoons season 4 (now "Random Cartoons") coming and that they were looking for pitches. I wanted any part of that action I could possibly have. Immediately, I started thinking about a way to transform the Geoweasel internet formula into something suitable for TV (and of course, something the people at Frederator would like). I kept the ideas to myself for a while, aside from the pictured teaser image with Nar; I posted that on the series' forum with nothing else, letting people just kinda ponder it, I guess. By early June, when I had a decent amount of stuff going to pitch, I released this blog post. (Unfortunately, the link to the storyboard scan is now defunct, which sucks, because I've been looking all over for the ones I drew up. They have to exist somewhere.) Not long after that, things started going downhill in general, so I never finished the pitch board; I figured it wasn't that great anyway and certainly wouldn't impress anyone. There was just nothing really different or outstanding about it. Looking back and just reading that post, it's just as well. I know a lot more now than I did back then, and I still don't know all I need to. I was in way over my head. Not to mention, I was 15 at the time. I can't even make it to New York now, so even if I did finish the pitch, it's likely I would never have gotten the chance to present it. It's definitely better than what I wanted to send to them in 1998, though!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
I am the king of unfinished cartoons. This was an animation I started not long after I first got my tablet in May 2005, which is pretty evident when you watch this. The whole thing was unscripted and supposed to be like...improv between the characters, which is hard since I voice all of them. The only stuff that got finished was Nar's opening (with an odd lip sync) and a short intro, followed by some non-animated dialog between Nar and Weas. Click here to see it.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Also included in personal endeavors is my endless amount of medical issues! Yay! So, I have kidney stones again and a possible infection. I saw the doctor the other day and he requested an IVP to be 100% sure as to what’s going on. I also went to a new eye doctor to get tested and mainly discuss surgery because he’s affiliated with Will’s Eye in Philadelphia which is supposedly an amazing place. Of course, though, my eyesight boggled him, so he referred me to three other doctors to see what they think about surgery. And finally, probably the smallest of the three, I gotta get my wisdom teeth out soon. Well, it doesn’t HAVE to be soon, but it’s a good idea because even though at the moment they’re not really a bother, get this: they’re coming in SIDEWAYS. If I wait, I imagine it’s going to be a whole lot worse, haha.
Oh, and in about a week or so, my insurance will no longer cover me. That’s good to know, for someone who always has some kind of medical problem going on at one point or another.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Yep. When Geoweasel began as a comic in 2002, Weas was orange, and even in 2004 when he was redesigned for the animated series, he still wore an orange suit. This was Weas' first appearance in the updated design, and he still had the orange suit and black 'stache. Here is one of many subsequent traditionally done drawings with the same colors (more or less). He soon appeared in animated form on October 6, 2004 with the same general design, and a brown mustache, because I thought it would go better with the orange than the black did. Then, finally, I redid the designs because the ones in the previous picture were horrid, Nar's in particular, but even in this lineup that was released only a week later, Weas still appeared in the same orange suit, now with the red-orange mustache he has today. And then I disappeared for a while, only to come back in late December of the same year with the Geoweasel pilot and...a brown Weas. It was a sudden change, but why did I make it exactly? I wanted to distinguish Weas from his counterpart in the old pixel comics, as he was just a sprite of Mario in his Tanooki suit from Super Mario Bros. 3. But what I didn't realize until much later was that Tanooki Mario was brown; not orange like I used in the comics. I had confused the colors with the characters and ended up making Weas look even more like that Mario. Now it's not as if Weas hasn't occasionally appeared in his orange duds between then and now, but those were always either for jokes or experimental purposes.
And yet, for some reason, this concept of Weas being the "wrong" color this whole time only really hit me like a ton of bricks...just last night. As I was straightening the sheets on my bed to go to sleep, I found myself staring at the big Geoweasel 5 Year Anniversary poster on my wall. I just looked at the stupid thing for damn near two minutes, my eyes fixed on the large Weas in the center. I was thinking about his similarities to Mario (even though all the characters have some). I always think that when people see Weas, the first thing that comes to their mind is Mario. But while looking at this picture, I didn't see Mario. Well...okay, I did see Mario, but not in the poster; just everywhere else in my room. You can't look somewhere and not see Mario. But that's beyond the point. I finally looked away from the poster and was thinking to myself, "I don't know why I worry about him looking like Mario. Even with the similarities, he's still pretty different." And right then, a rusty, cobweb-covered gear inside my head started turning again, and I said to myself the most obvious statement ever: "Holy crap, Weas isn't orange!" The way I said it was as if I had given someone else total control over Geoweasel in 2004 and never saw anything of it until just then.
I keep finding myself wanting to make major changes to characters, but especially with Weas. Between this and the hatted Weas idea, I don't know what to do. It's too far into the series to make either change, much less do both. Many people have said Weas is fine as he is, regardless of any similarities to other characters. Yet for some reason, no matter what Weas looks like and no matter what people say, I actually lose sleep over the matter.
It's kind of pathetic, really.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Earlier this month while working on a music video tribute to Mega Man, I posted this picture with a few drawings of Mega Man that I had done over the years, but I was puzzled because I could've sworn I had drawn him way more in between 1996 and 2001 but couldn't find anything. Well, today, I found some of those...in-between drawings and I thought I'd post them for your entertainment (and my horror). Click on the thumbnails for larger images.
This first one is definitely from 1996 because it was in a notebook from the same grade as the drawing in the previously mentioned picture. It...appears to be some kind of level design. And I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that's Air Man up top.
This one (and the following ones) is from around 1999, I think. Cut Man looks like he's...retaining water. More than the other characters anyway. The only thing that's pretty accurate is the little Bunbi Heri in the upper right there.
Here's a bunch of bosses from the first three games. I like how almost all of them have initials written on them, probably so you would have an inkling as to who the hell they were. And then I ended up writing their names under them anyway.
This drawing of Top Man is not much worse than the one in my video, actually...
There's more drawings of things other than Mega Man in that 1999 sketchbook, but...no, I just don't have it in me to reveal those. I think I may burn it, in fact. I know they say you should keep all of your art over time but...seriously. You'd want to burn it too.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
This has only happened to me on two occasions. For some reason, the FLA file for the Geoweasel episode "Fate's Fault" is corrupt, meaning a lot of things are missing (audio and visuals) when you load it, which is going to make this a tough one to get on the DVD, since I normally go in and edit the FLAs to change audio and output settings before converting the SWF. Oddly enough, when I look at these raw files with pieces missing all over the place, it looks like a totally different (and frankly more interesting) cartoon. Below are some screencaps of some of the corrupted stuff. Click on the images to see a larger version as well as a description.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
As far as other stuff goes, I might be heading up to New York again sometime soon, possibly around my birthday in October, but I don't know for sure yet because of all this surgery stuff. Other than that, I don't think there's much for me to add Geoweasel-wise or...anything else interesting.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I teamed up with Ben Ross again (from our previous collaboration on The Meth Minute 8-Bit) to help do some music for a game based on his creation, Flying Pizza Kitty. If you don't already know about FPK, I suggest you check it out!
Flying Pizza Kitty Website
FPK in Attack of the Jetpack Lizards (game)
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Get in contact with someone in Japan who owns a Wii and exchange codes and when Mega Man 9 is released there, have them send it to you as a gift! Of course, you can reimburse them by sending them a game as well for the same amount. Flawless! ...Right?
I don't actually know, haha. For one, uh...I don't know anyone in Japan. Also, I don't know if you can send gifts from different regions because of different release dates. I checked Nintendo's website about Wii gifting and nothing says you CAN'T do that...so that leaves me with one final question:
Anyone here from Japan?!
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Finally, something new! I finally finished up this tribute music video to Mega Man. If you like Mega Man, classic video games, or just video games in general, check this out. It includes gameplay from the old, 8-bit games, original animation by myself, and some amazing original music by Game Over. Show it to friends, help promote it! And thanks to everyone for their support!
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Obviously, because I'm...me, none of the games ever got made. I do remember starting Nar's game, but I can't find anything from it. Anyway, the idea of games faded into oblivion for a while, and then I did eventually go back and wanted to make some real adventure games for Geoweasel. Here was the first concept for one of them:
This "Super Coolventure Thing" game was supposed to have like...a fairly long level dedicated to each of the Weasels, and then you had to go fight Dr. Schnoz or whatever. I don't remember the plot, and obviously it went nowhere. Slightly more recently, there were two simple games on the site called "Agility" and "Bounce," and they were just simple games that were fun for maybe 5 minutes. So really, Geoweasel's never fared well with video games. Or did it?
So yes, as I said earlier in this post and countless times in the past, Geoweasel was once a pixel comic and it had some of the same basic plot as it does today, but it also took place in the Super Mario Bros. universe. And with these comics so easy and quick to make, I was able to dedicate some time to making not one, but two adventure games. Although, they are for the most part completely dead now, floating around somewhere in cyberspace. The first game was Nario's Adventure, which was just a simple, sidescrolling platformer with no real fun and tons of glitches. It was complete with Super Mario Bros. graphics, characters, and music. I don't think I could actually call any part of the game my own except for the levels and the blue in Nario's sprite. The only evidence of this game I can find today is this small conversation on DeviantArt and this drawing I did for it, years after I actually made the game. And then came the next game, Nario's Adventure 2.
This game was significantly improved over the first, at least in the realm of fun and gameplay (not originality, though). I released a demo version of the game that included a level and a boss from each of the first 5 worlds (I think it was 5). Early on, there were some annoying bugs, such as falling through slopes and Nar would always face right when he stopped moving, but I fixed them sometime after the demo release. I actually got the game about 95% finished; I clearly remember making the final levels, which were actually an easter egg if you took an alternate route earlier in the game. It was psychedelic, took place in space, and used Shadow Man's theme as the music. And I thought that was awesome. But as I was closing in on finishing it, my computer crashed. So now, all that remains is the demo. Wanna play it? You can download it here. I have been told that this only works on Windows; I'm not sure though. As for controls, just use the arrow keys. You should also know that pressing F5 will create a savestate and F6 will load that state. Since the demo still had bugs in it, I highly suggest using them, heheh. Especially on the Wiggler boss. Sometimes when you jump on him, you hurt him, but you die. I think that sums up the quality of my coding skills.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I swear, if it's not one thing, it's another. Roughly a month ago, my eyes started to really go berserk and I went and had some tests done and everything, but things have been getting really bad. I definitely can't wear my contacts anymore; I can only have them in for a couple of hours and my eyes start to go buggy and I get bad headaches. I've been sticking with glasses, because when I need to read something close, I can usually just lift them up and read it. Now, I can barely see stuff close when lifting up my glasses, and if I try to wear glasses and see it, I have to hold it too far away before it's actually in focus. It's crazy. I don't even know if any of that makes sense. I can't really...look at screens of any kind for more than an hour now, too, without getting a headache or my vision going blurry, and even when I stop and just try to go do other things, my vision stays blurry for a long time. I finally go for surgery relatively soon (September 24, I think). Not laser...corrective surgery, but surgery on the muscle of my right eye. So my vision will still suck afterwards, but I just won't have an occasional lazy eye and double vision. As someone who uses computers a lot for both work and leisure, it's very frustrating, and kind of frightening, too.
Animation-wise, I'm going to hopefully finish up that Mega Man tribute video either tomorrow or the next day (depending on how much I can do at a time). I also got a homebrew DS cart thing and put both a storyboarding and an animation applications on there. I tested out the animation today, but unfortunately, I started...not saving often, so the last few seconds of the animation were lost. But you can see it here if you want.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
All in all, no, I have no plans of quitting animation. Or comics, or cartoons, or anything of the sort. But it's undeniable that I'm in some kind of funk, and have been for quite some time now. It's frustrating. I need to get my head back in the game. It's been long enough. But I don't know what to do.
Sorry, I just kinda had to get all that out.
Recently, Dumm Comics has been letting guests, such as Mukpuddy, do an original strip for the weekend. This weekend (and for the next three, might I add), a good friend of mine, Tara Billinger, is being featured with he comic, "Dr. Scoops," and I gotta say, I'm very excited for her!
Tara has done some artwork for me and my series in the past, including the cover image for Geoweasel: The Fine Thing Collection DVD, and she is currently working on a graphic novel with Chris Reilly for Slave Labor Graphics entitled Adora and the Electric Elephant.
So go now, and see the first installment of this amazing strip! Congrats, Tara!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
But I dunno...it makes me think. How the hell am I going to hold myself up if I want to go to and stay in New York to do animation when I can't even do it now? Yeah, sure, I take medicines to help this, but they do exactly that: help it. That's only part of the job. The other part is me getting myself through it. And while there are some times when I can, most of the time I can't. It's been more than two years now since this became really severe, and even though it's not as crippling as it was in the very beginning, it's still keeping me from a lot of things.
I don't know, I just had to kinda get that off my mind, I guess. I would post some Geoweasel-related comments, but I'm wiped out still, and not really in the mood. And to be honest, there's nothing important going on that I haven't mentioned before. I just have a big list of stuff to do alongside making the actual episodes.
Catch you guys later.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
I use Flash 8 and animate at 24 frames per second. To try and fix the sound issue, I have a silent sound file that is set to "stream" and loops throughout the entire movie while every other sound file (voices, music, sound effects, etc) are marked as "start."
You'd think the easiest option would be to just publish or export the movie as a Quicktime (.mov) file, but I've never been able to do that; my computer doesn't let me. I always get an error at the last minute saying that the Quicktime and Flash versions aren't compatible and I should put the publish settings to export as Flash Player 5, but I still get the same message. Exporting as an AVI doesn't work at all for me.
So I downloaded a program called Magic SWF2AVI. You load the SWF file and you can convert it into just about anything. MOV, AVI, WMV, MPEG, M4V, iPod, PSP, whatever. And yet, I still have a problem no matter what I try. I've tried all different types and settings, and what seems to happen most is that the audio starts before the movie does, making it about a half-second behind for the entire video.
Basically, I want to be able to convert my files to put on Youtube and iPod at a somewhat decent quality, but I'm totally at a loss of what to do. What methods do you guys use to go from Flash to other filetypes?
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
So here's the deal. I am going to try to finish this cartoon while I'm here (when I'm not doing stuff with family and whatnot). I may finish it here in SC, or I may finish it when I get to Florida. But I know that there are going to be many days where we're just hanging around the beach house and I'll have plenty of time to animate. I have all my stuff, and we're gonna do this!
On another note, I did quite a bit of sketching in the car, and I THINK my uncle has a scanner here, so I would really like to post some of those. If not, I can take a picture then update them with scans later.
Right now, I'm pretty wiped out from the trip and from my stomach, but I will keep updating and again, I apologize.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Regarding the message I sent them a couple days ago (which you can find here), I actually got a reply:
Thank you for contacting Capcom! We appreciate the time you took to write us your comments and suggestions. The idea you are suggesting is not new to us, in fact we had joked around the office saying we should release the game to consumers in cartridge form but unfortunately it not possible for us to do so.
CAPCOM Customer Support
Eh, oh well.
Monday, August 4, 2008
I am really trying to scramble to get things done before I leave for vacation, which is Wednesday. I have to get everything done by tomorrow night. I've been set on having a new Geoweasel episode to launch the new site before I left, but I've been hitting roadblocks. I started making an episode that I thought would be simple enough to finish before I left, but it ended up being too long, so I'll save it for later. Then, I decided to do something even shorter and include live action stuff in it so it wouldn't have to ALL be animated, but then I started hitting some dead ends with the live stuff. I did, however, get it working. I am determined on finishing this cartoon in time, and if I have to work into the early hours of the morning before I leave, then so be it; I can sleep on the way there. Things are just so hectic though. Aside from the cartoon, I'm still waiting on a couple things for the site that I would like to have for the launch, but in the meantime, I still have to gather all my stuff, pack, and to boot, I have one more eye appointment later today. WHERE'S MY HAPPY PLACE!?
Sunday, August 3, 2008
I've never really sent an email/letter to any kind of company before, for a couple reasons. One, I'm too timid, and two, I know I'd never get a response. I mean, hell, I have sent messages to friends and never even got a response! But because I seem to be on a Mega Man binge and I've had this idea in my head, I decided to drop Capcom a line, whether or not I'll get any acknowledgment at all. So, for the sake of...well, for the sake of nothing really, here's the letter:Hello! I first heard about the upcoming WiiWare game
Mega Man 9 about a month ago in Nintendo Power and
since then, I have been watching many different
trailers, gameplay videos, etc. and I am very excited
to not only see a new Mega Man title in the original
series, but an 8-bit game! I've been playing Mega Man
since I was very young (my first game was Mega Man 2
for GameBoy) and since then, I have played through
all the titles in the original series as well as many
in the X series. I still pop one of the old
cartridges into my NES pretty often, and even though
I have the games down pat, I still enjoy playing
them. So when I heard about Mega Man 9, I could not
stop thinking about it. Now, I don't know who this
should really be directed to, and I don't even know
if this will warrant a response, but I'm hoping that
this message will send me in the right direction if
need be. I was thinking that it would be a great idea
for promoting Mega Man 9 if there were actual limited
edition Nintendo or Famicom carts of the game for
hardcore collectors like myself who still own the old
systems. Now of course, I don't know if this is even
possible, mainly because I don't know if the game is
just being made to look 8-bit but has advanced
programming that can't be done on an actual NES. If
it is possible, I think it would be a great thing to
have, maybe for a contest or something special; there
are many people who still own classic systems. To be
honest, I would by the game on WiiWare AND on a
cartridge, no matter the price! Just a suggestion.
Thanks for your time,
Saturday, August 2, 2008
I love how I'm promoting Nite Fite more than my own cartoon, hahaha. I promise you will see something soon.