Friday, December 25, 2009
As vague as that is, it's not even something that applies to everyone. Not everyone lives in a place where it snows during their holiday of choice. But that's as close to generalizing everything into one phrase as I'm gonna go. And I'm just gonna say it anyway:
Merry Christmas Everyone!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
At this time exactly five years ago, my family was getting everything ready for our two-day drive down to Florida the next day to visit family for Christmas. Meanwhile, I was in the basement with Flash 5 (which was an early Christmas present) on a Windows ME and nothing but a mouse to draw with, frantically finishing up the Geoweasel pilot episode. I had started it earlier in the month and began slacking off, but I didn't realize until there were only two days left to do so that I had to wrap this thing up. It seemed like hard work at the time, for several reasons. For one, it was only my third animation ever. Also, the sucker ended up being ten minutes long (which I didn't realize until I had completed it), which is still the longest cartoon I've made to date.
I was proud of the work I was doing and confident in myself. I kept thinking that this was going to be a great way to start the series and show people what I could do and that a lot of people would want to see more. All the while, I was just slapping symbols around the canvas and doing some horrible version of the "squash & stretch" method to some bad voice acting and terrible timing.
I published the finished cartoon later in the day and submitted it to the only place I knew of: Newgrounds. And I sat there, literally a nervous wreck, while uploading both parts. Soon, the views, ratings and comments started coming in and I had broken into a cold sweat, as if this was an actual pilot I was pitching to a network. But I got thrown off at first; many of the early comments and ratings were positive and those who commented said it was hilarious. So I calmed down and thought, I guess this is going to be good. I checked on it a couple more times and went to bed.
The next morning, I woke up really early (which I had to anyway since we were going to get on the road by six), turned on my computer and tried to check on the comments and everything quickly before my parents freaked out and said "What the heck are you doing on the computer!? Get ready!" I went to my submission and what I saw was completely different from the night before. There were a few people who left some constructive criticism and were nice enough to say to keep going at it, but aside from that, just about every comment was very hateful, whether they were saying it was a ripoff or it was just downright terrible. The rating ended up being in Newgrounds' mediocre range, somewhere between 3 and 3.5. And I had a whole day ahead of me sitting in the back seat of a car to think about that while I just stared out the window and listened to the 4-ish CDs I owned. I was already planning the next episode, Nar Vs. The Janitizer, and what I was going to do different about it and how I was going to try and improve my skills (or lack thereof). Actually, that was the only thing on my mind for that entire vacation. I couldn't wait to get back home and start the next cartoon. Because even though it was bad, I was determined to get better and create a series that people would enjoy. And now, here I am, still playing around with the same characters.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
And now that my time to make a Christmas cartoon has essentially expired, I'm going to have to make something minor, if anything at all. I've got four days. The countdown begins.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
I don't know. I wish I could just make cartoons and not have to worry about anything. So much of my stress is caused from worrying about whether or not my computer is going to eat everything I ever made or any works in progress. Not to mention, for the first time I remembered to do something for Animation Block Party in advance. I've never submitted to an animation festival, either because I have nothing good or I find out too late, and I was determined to at least send something in, whether it got accepted or not. But I can't do that now. I mean, submissions open the 17th, but I don't know how long of a window I have to submit something. Will I have a computer where I'm able to animate within that time period? Will I even have time to do it? I'm not keen on anything I already have made. I've thought about enhancing the animation and some other things with An Apple A Day, but the script is still kind of dumb. I don't know, I just can't stop worrying and wonder what is so wrong about me wanting to make cartoons?
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
I was digging through a lot of stuff the other day, looking for my Flash 5 disc because I was about ready to install it on the family computer and just use that on and off, and I found a little package of stuff that came with my laptop, still unwrapped. I opened it up and right in the front was "Instructions for disc-less system recovery." Apparently, the only thing standing between me and having access to my own computer was...F11. Sure enough, I started it up, held in the key, and it started re-setting itself up. At a cost, of course. I lost pretty much everything I ever had, except for two things: all my fonts were still installed, and by some miracle of the gods, Flash remained intact in its entirety, while every other program had to be reinstalled. It boggles my mind, but hey, I'm not gonna question it. The only major things I have yet to reinstall are Goldwave for recording and the like, and FL Studio and PXTone for making music. Oh, and an antivirus software. For some reason, even though I get it free with Comcast, McAfee won't install correctly for me. Not that it was helping much beforehand, but at least it'd be something until we bought something better.
As for all my animations though, long before this I had backed up all the FLAs (editable files) across two thumb drives. One had all the ones from my Windows ME (which was everything through An Apple A Day), and the other had the ones from my laptop (except for the most recent three, unfortunately). When I plugged in the first thumb drive, the zip file of FLAs was there, I copied it to my laptop and extracted everything, but for some reason, all that was there were about 15 random episodes (not even in any order or anything). I plug in the second drive, and there was no zip on there for the FlAs at all. So I no longer have access to more than half of my work now. Aside from the fact that I would just like to have them for backup or records or whatever, the main problem is without the FLAs, I can't change what needs to be changed within the cartoon to make it DVD compatible. I can't just download all the SWFs of the episodes off my site and convert them because syncing methods for web viewing aren't the same as when I convert them to video for Youtube or DVD. Not that there was really a sure fire thing about the DVDs, but I had finally figured out the right method for converting the cartoons and--before all this happened--was hoping to have a volume 1 out for the holidays. But it seems like now there wouldn't be able to be regular volumes, with all the episodes in their original order. They'd just be random selections of episodes and stuff.
Whatever though. There's nothing I can do about it, so there's no use doing anything now except to continue looking forward.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
So I want to get a cartoon done. I have an entire Thanksgiving storyboard I wrote last year, and I have like...a week to do it, but I'm not really sure if I like it. That's how I'm feeling about all my Geoweasel ideas lately. They're just things I don't think people will like or I don't like myself. And it's weird because some people say to go ahead and just make stuff without thinking and others tell me if you don't really feel good about an idea, don't do it. So I dunno. I really want to do some more casual stuff with Geoweasel, like...less scripted or something, but that's hard to do since I'm the only one doing the voices. You can't improvise with yourself. I also want to do a remake of The Dark Storm since that was the first Geoweasel episode and it'll be five years since I made it this December. Not really so much of a remake though. The same general idea is there, but it's not at all the same script. It's just if I had done that plot today, how it would play out. But I'm not really sure if I want to jump on that either. I need something that I can just get into.
Oh! Also, I've been thinking about offering commissions lately. Not that I think many people would buy any from me, but I'm seriously completely broke. I would definitely do drawing commissions, but animations, I'm not so sure. I would offer animation to people who are looking for like a music video, a commercial, or a film they've written that they want animated or something. I have no idea how to put myself out there for that though. And for regular commissions, I have to figure out Paypal and stuff too, I've never done anything like that.
I still want to put DVDs together too, but there a few things wrong with that idea. The major thing is I'm missing a lot of the original files that I used to upload to Youtube since the last time my computer crashed. Some I still have the SWF and/or FLA for that I can still convert it, but not all of them. I wouldn't be able to put together a DVD that has episodes in order for like a collection or something. I could download the MP4 versions from Youtube, but those are not good quality for DVD. It's very cheap. Plus, I don't know if it's something people honestly would buy, or if it would just be one of those things where everyone tells me "I'd buy that if I had the money." Like the shirts and stuff I made. I don't feel like wasting my time making something no one gives a damn about.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
I haven't really jumped on any of these yet though. I still want to do some Geoweasel cartoons before the end of the year. Who knows what I'll do cartoon-wise before then? I can't really do anything now because my hands have been really shaky and weak lately and one day I went to draw and it just...didn't work. Something didn't feel right and the drawings came out very sloppy. It was like I couldn't feel my hand and it was just flopping around. I'm really upset over that; hopefully it gets back to normal soon. Plus, New Super Mario Bros. Wii comes out this Sunday, and I don't think I've ever been so excited for a game release. I'm really having trouble with my patience with this, haha. I wish I could just go to sleep and wake up on Sunday. But yeah, between my hand and the fact that I will be playing Mario nonstop, you might not see a whole lot of drawings or anything from me for a good while. But I'll try.
Friday, October 23, 2009
I think maybe I need to find a distributor for my cartoons. Doing this independently is yielding no results. I shouldn’t say none, but I definitely am not reaching the audience I want to reach. Granted, Geoweasel is not an ideal series, even for web. There’s no substance to it. In a way that can be good, but I’m not doing it right. Sometimes I want to quit it, others I don’t, because it is something that I can just do whatever I want with. But even if I made something totally different, I feel like it would go unnoticed. I have no idea how to attract an audience. Or maybe my stuff is just crap. It’s not something I can submit to film/animation festivals or shows or websites to be featured on. It just kind of sits there, and if someone sees it, they see it, but it’s not something that someone would stumble upon and say to someone else, “Hey, you gotta check out this cartoon.”
While I was at SPX last month, I talked to James Kochalka for a while and eventually started talking about this kind of stuff and just my lack of motivation, and he said maybe it’s time to move on. Later on, I talked with Jeffrey Brown and he said, “I think you should just do what you do, and not worry about other people or getting popular or anything. That just comes on its own.” Not that nobody has said either of those things to me before, but it was just two people in one night telling me contradictory things that left me confused and thinking. I don’t know what I should do. Keep going? Get help? Do something else? Quit altogether? Back when I first started it was just, “Yeah! I’m gonna make a cartoon!” and nothing else factored into it and I just went along with what I had. But then I started feeling like I wasn’t attracting more people, my stuff wasn’t evolving, I kept getting rejected from various places to display my work, and with every one of those, I lost more and more motivation. I don’t think anything ever really happened to actually bring some of that motivation back. It just kept getting sucked away until now, where I’m at the point of making a couple cartoons a year, if that.
I know not everything can be a hit, and not everything is a miss. But I think just about everything I’ve done has been a strike out. If this is what I love doing, why is it becoming so hard to do?
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
After two weeks of ready-made cartoons, and many weeks of nothing before that, here's a brand new Geoweasel cartoon! And I mean BRAND new. Not like I started it a while ago and got back to it. I mean I started it this weekend and got it done this afternoon, because time was ticking with this one. It's about the Balloon Boy, which I'm sure you've heard about. And the internet works fast, so I had to get it out in the open before the next big thing came along. So please go check it out and enjoy!
Friday, October 16, 2009
Here's the second (and probably last) Unfinished Episode Theater. It's a Halloween episode from 2006. I had it online briefly for some reason, so a few hardcore viewers may have already seen this. But please guys, I can't stress this enough. Since these videos are now on Youtube, you have no idea how helpful it would be to me for you guys to share the video with friends or post it on your blogs or something; anything you find fit. There is only so much I can do in the way of self promotion (without having to pay, and I can't, so it's not an option). Online video relies mostly on you guys, my friends and fans. Rating and commenting are always good, and I always like to hear feedback, but introduce some of your friends to the series. Post episodes or links on your Facebook, Twitter, or Myspace, or if you have a casual blog, maybe like a Tumblr or something, post it there too. My current goal is to have Geoweasel become a Youtube Partner series. But it's weird. Becoming a Partner helps spread your videos and gets more people to see your stuff, but you have to gain some type of popularity before you can even be a partner. And I just don't understand Youtube and how somethings can skyrocket in popularity on its own. I'm not even aiming for that. I just want to build a bigger audience, which would motivate me to make more cartoons. But I'm never going to be a Partner if most of my videos have less than 500 views. So please, if you want to see Geoweasel keep going, lend me a hand and spread the love.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
In an attempt to build myself a buffer zone to get actual new content done, this week and next will feature old episodes that I never finished. Also, I think I'm going to only be uploading to Youtube now, since that's the best place to get feedback. Also, it would really help me out though if you guys shared these cartoons with friends, put them on your blogs, leave comments, ratings, etc. Internet video is all about sharing, and I need your help!
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
If you’re like me, though, none of those sizes will work well for your desktop no matter if you center, tile, or stretch it. So if you want to use this and none of these look any good, let me know your screen resolution and I’ll make one for you.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Anyway, I'll be there for the full two days, so if you're going to be there too, let me know, we might run into each other. I'll be bringing some promotional goodies along too which I'd be more than happy to give you.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Hey guys, I lost internet a couple days ago. At first we thought it was because people were cutting down trees nearby and they might’ve hit a cable line or something, but that was not the case. Apparently, our 10-year-old modem just totally stopped working. How I didn’t see that coming, I don’t know. So we had a guy come out and get us a new one, and it works, but now our wireless router doesn’t. So we have internet on the main computer, which is what I’m using now, but no Wi-Fi to get online from my laptop. So now we gotta go buy a new one of those too. Just so you know what’s going on. In case you were worried. And you totally were, weren’t you?Also, here’s a comic I doodled the night it stopped working that’s…kinda relevant? I dunno
Friday, August 28, 2009
Also, there may be an update sometime this weekend. But even if there is, don't get too excited because it's more for the sake of having new content than anything. I'm trying to buy myself some time to make episodes while also putting up something new. I need to build myself a buffer zone like I had...once, where I have episodes ready in advance, and then continue to work on new ones before those are even out.
Then I could do a "next time on Geoweasel" segment and it wouldn't have fake footage!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
You see, none of my comics are print-ready, so if I wanted to make a mini comic or something and printed these, they'd all be pixely or blurry. To make them at a higher DPI though, I'd half to redo half the comic.
My current process is this: I draw the comic in Flash, leave in what's solid black and white, and the rest transparent, and then export it as a PNG. After that, I open up the PNG in Photoshop to do the screentones. Because I like screentones. That makes most of the problem, though. If I export the file from Flash at say 300 to 600 DPI (for print), the screentones are going to look different than if I export at something like 72 DPI (optimized for web). Basically the way I'm doing it, I'd have to do the screentones for each comic twice. Once at a 72 DPI, and once at a print-ready DPI.
Is there something I'm totally missing here? Is there a way I can do the comic and just have it look the same in print and on the web? I've thought about just doing the comics entirely in Photoshop, but I'm not as used to it as I am with Flash, so it'll take some practice. I dunno, maybe I'll figure something out, but any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
I got a computer virus but I was able to remove it manually. Even with the virus "gone," my computer was still acting up, shutting itself down at random intervals and then eventually I got another virus that I really could do nothing about because it wouldn't let me access any programs or even get into files. So I took it in to get repaired, that took a couple days. I got it back, and found that only a small amount of files were saved. Luckily, the people I go to keep everything backed up on an external drive for 24 hours in case something like that happens, so I went back the following day to see if I could get everything else off the drive. I couldn't. Most of the files did not make it back onto my computer because they were damaged, and of course, the ones that were damaged were some of the most important ones. A lot of what was saved was music and pictures.
I am now missing the vast majority of all my animations in three different forms: The FLA files (which are most important because those are the actual editable files for the cartoons in case I need to change anything to export at a later date), the original exported SWF files, and the video files (used for uploading to Youtube and eventually they were going to be used for the DVD). Also missing are all the files for my website (images and HTML, but I can actually redownload them from the server), all of my comics (including an unfinished Geoweasel one that was eventually going to be on the site), many sound files including not-yet-used voice recordings for cartoons, sound effects, and stock music, my custom font (which I thought I could just go and redo, but I got it for free a while back and now they charge you ten bucks for it), and probably some more stuff that I haven't even gotten to yet. Because they had to completely wipe it and reinstall Windows, all of my programs were gone too, but I was able to reinstall those easier than I had expected. For a while, I could only find my disc for Flash 4, and uh...you can't do shit in that version. Has anyone ever used that one? I mean if you've used 5, you've essentially used all the subsequent versions of the program, save for a few things, and vice versa. But either way, I got Flash 8 back, so that little freakout never happened.
I'm not really sure what I'm going to do at this point, though there's really not much that I can do as far as stuff from the past goes. I guess I just gotta move forward and hope what I lost doesn't bite me in the ass later on.
That wasn't quick and concise at all.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Next order of business...I have a computer virus! Again! According to my records (by which I mean past blog posts), I just had one in December. I don't know if this new one has anything to do with the Twitter and Facebook outages yesterday because apparently some other people got infected as well, but either way, I'm screwed. There are a number of sites that I can't access at all (Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Youtube, and Flickr). I just get a message that says it's restricted. I've run full system scans a number of times with both Norton and McAfee, and the virus is still there, so I'm going to have to take my computer in to get wiped or whatever, and then continue to freak out about whether or not I'll be able to access important programs like Flash and whatnot (even though a lot of stuff was backed up last time this happened, it was still a bitch to re-active Flash and my Flash to video converter in particular, and I don't remember how I did it). So I'm just putting it out there that I won't be online a whole lot for the next couple days; I still have access with my home computer, which I'm currently using, but it's not like I can really do a whole lot with all my programs gone. I was seriously for real gonna maybe probably almost work on a Geoweasel episode this weekend, but obviously that's not going to happen. Clearly! If I hadn't gotten a virus, there woulda been like a million episodes! Yeah!
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
The show opening is on August 7th at Brave New Worlds Comics in Philadelphia. I'll be there that day (and maybe a couple other times throughout the month), so stop by and say hi if you can! For more information, check The Autumn Society's blog.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
I need to set up one of those Comic Press things if I'm going to keep doing these comics. Anyway, I got a postcard from Liz Prince after writing her a letter. I didn't actually expect anything return, so I was especially happy to actually get a hand-written reply. Here are some photos of it:
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
And here's a sample of the cover. Not final though. I already changed a few things (the text alignment was pissing me off). But all those little Zane & Flick drawings and doodles I've been posting with Zane saying something really depressing and Flick just kinda there so he has someone to talk to, well, it's a little collection of those. I don't know when I'll finish it, but I figured I'd do something like this as a test before doing a comic.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
A good number of pieces were sold though, so I didn't get to see all of them, like Tara's. I expected the ones that were sold to just be marked and then the people who purchased them would come back again once the show ended to pick them up, but I guess it is nearing the end of the show, and it worked out because I got to walk home with this:
I also went inside the comic shop because, actually...I've never been in a real comic shop like that before. There's like...no such thing around here. So that was awesome. The next show, the Golden Age Gallery, opens this Friday, and I'll probably be going to that. If anyone else is going to the opening, let me know, maybe I'll see you there!
In other news, I'm trying to figure out how to get a train to NYC sometime soon, but I've never been on any major public transportation before, and NJ Transit is a complete disaster, so this is going to be interesting...
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
This post makes no sense.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
The third in what I guess is now a series of semi-depressing Zane & Flick pieces. Maybe I could do a whole book of just stuff like this. Oh, and the background is actually a drawing of a picture I took at the Delaware River a couple months ago.
Which reminds me, I STARTED UP A PHOTOBLOG, GO CHECK IT OUT.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Why did I order 48? Because these stickers only come in packs of 48. That's really practical. What the hell am I supposed to do with all these now? Not to mention I have to go around to all my other sites, change links, change my emails (because anything @geoweasel.net no longer works), change all the stuff in the store...I can't even comprehend this all. It's totally not even worth it. It really isn't. All this time, I probably would have made way more cartoons and had more fun doing them if I didn't have so much other stuff hanging over my head. Now I can't even relax. I just want to draw.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Sunday, June 7, 2009
So a couple weeks ago, I got to work on a guest quickie for nockFORCE, and they gave me some dialogue that was pretty fitting to my interests. This is what I came up with. This is one of the most fun things I've gotten to animate, and I can't thank Ian and Jim enough for letting me do it!
Also, I put up a bunch of photos from my Wildwood trip up on my Flickr, if you wanna check those out.
Friday, June 5, 2009
I'm going down to Wildwood for the weekend, so I won't be updating with anything this weekend. I'm sure I'll be drawing while I'm there, though, and I'll be sure to scan all my doodles and share pictures when I get back. Unfortunately, the days I'm going down are the exact same days as the MoCCA Festival, which I would really rather prefer to go to, but that's the way it rolls I guess. But if you're able to, you should go check it out. Or try and find me in Wildwood. I wear checkers. Anyway, I'll see you guys when I get back.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
I've been setting up Geoweasel on Aniboom for the past couple days. I coulda sworn I had an account there but apparently I didn't. So I'm uploading a few Geoweasel cartoons to the site (mainly more recent ones) in hopes to try and get some more people interested in the show, but also to network with other animators. So if you have a profile there, let me know here or subscribe on my page and I'll return the favor! It'll really help me out!