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Chapt VI: Awakening (Part 33)

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Mutually Beneficial?

Aedre’s Firefly Graphic Novel updates every Wednesday.
New Readers: click here to start closer to the beginning of the story…    You also might like this well-written precis of the story by Todd McElmurry at the WebComic Alliance’s pick-of-the-week: Aedre’s Firefly.

At the end of this chapter I’ll be having a poll for my readers about what you think of the story so far. Stay tuned.

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#LFWC Pick of the Week

This week’s Long Form Web Comic is Lady Sabre and the Pirates of the Ineffable Aether, a swashbuckling steampunk adventure that is exemplary of the character-driven storytelling in it’s highest form. Beautifully rendered, delightfully told, and colourful in every way. Not quite up to the humorous quality of Delilah Dirk, nor perhaps even the art, though it is very close and has enough funny moments of its own; it is exceptionally well done, and has a similar roguish swashbuckling element. (Hey! Pirates! –Steampunk Pirates!)

The characters are strong and well-drawn from the taciturn lawman, Miles Drake, to the sabre-swinging Lady Sabre herself, but what intrigues me about this webcomic is the strangely eerie world  the authors have created and how lovingly it is described by the writer and interpreted by the artist. And of course, there’s the Call to Adventure: the lure of Treasure!

In answer to a commenter who praised the comic though he himself had never been interested in comic books, the artist replied:

“If you’ve come to comics in the last ten to fifteen years you’ve experienced art that doesn’t tell the story. It’s definitely a matter of style over substance. What I see as my job here is to visually interpret and dramatically enhance Greg’s story. I want the reader to look at a panel and know exactly what’s happening. There’s ample evidence on this site that I am not a great artist, nor am I a distinctive stylist. What I attempt to do is be the best visual storyteller I can be. There’s no question my attention to this ethic has cost me a lot of work over the last 10 years, but I see that as the job.”

Spoken by a man who knows his strengths and limitations and yet who still strives for excellence in every panel. Not only do I love the unfolding of this long form webcomic, I admire both the writer and the artist for what they are creating and how they’re going about the job of producing it. Another example of this is that very update includes the script that the writer sent the artist. An invaluable resource for those of us who want to learn to write comic scripts that are easy for artists to understand and interpret.

A brilliant steampunk webcomic! Please check it out and let me know what you think. I think you’ll love it!

AFF Art Process:

Aedre’s Firefly is now complete up to and including August 22 of this year, which is three strips into Chapt. VII. This last week was a slow one for the inking process due to some illness at home and then the long weekend (US Memorial Day).  When Mal is home, I tend not to get as much done as I normally would. It was really nice to be able to relax a bit this weekend though I did some more studying of scriptwriting and storyboarding for sequential storytelling, as well as a little more research (that is, comic-reading) :`) catching up on some comics I’d abandoned due to my obsession with getting AFF inked as far ahead as possible. Sometimes I long to have someone else draw and maybe even colour  it, even though doing the artwork is my favourite part.

I also had further ideas for scenes and even characters for the next volume of AFF, which I duly noted on 3×5 cards. I’m so looking forward to getting on with the process of writing the scripts for Vol. II.

I also created a sketch sheet of Aedre full body front, back and side that I will be using to create a 3d model of her using Blender3D. Paul Cagaggi has some very good tutorials on how to do that which simplify the process greatly, HERE on his Process Diary page.

In the meantime I’m still managing to get two strips a week inked and once in a while an extra one, which lessens the level of anxiety I feel around completing this story. I know that the further ahead I can get the more I’ll be able to relax and enjoy the process.  But two strips a week is the least I’m willing to do and I’d love to be able to at least three a week and still have a life outside of creating this story.

Other stuff

Mal and I have got caught up in the Air Bender sagas. It’s fun, exciting, and beautifully rendered. I’d rather watch an animated series any day rather than those using live actors. I pretty well don’t watch anything other than animated movies these days. We’re more than halfway through the second series of Avatar: The Last Air Bender, and look forward to watching a couple episodes every evening before bed time.

I have a new way of rewarding myself and relaxing after a full day of working of AFF: I downloaded Atari’s Asteroids: Gunner to my iPad quite a while ago and started playing with it this weekend (Has free-but-with-ads versions for all iDevices as well as a pay-$4.99-and-no-ads-version). I used to play this game on one of the table-top style top-down video game thingies, feeding it quarter after quarter that I could ill afford at the time back in the early eighties (iirc). So nice to know that my obsession with the game back then helped to support the company and make it available for free to play now! ;`D

This game is right up my alley. I enjoyed it so much on the iPad this weekend I was getting a blister on my left thumb (the one that moves the ship)! So I got out a packet of nylon knee-high stockings and rolled one over my left hand, so my thumb would slide better on the iPad’s surface. Works like a charm! Now all I need is a patent on finger/thumb stockings for people who want a smooth sliding finger action on their i-Devices.  It also keeps finger marks off the surface. :`D

So yeah, playing Asteroids Gunner is my new reward for completing my usual very long day’s work on Aedre’s Firefly. I can go and sit in the lazyboy style chair ease back and put my feet up while I play.

This weekend also Mal got Parallels and Win 7 onto my MacBook Pro for me. And now I need to add the software I like to use to that partition. That will be super handy for when we travel later this year (back to Canada! Yay!) and we can play Windows based games, and I can add my separate copy of Photoshop CS5 on there as well, So I can keep doing a bit of work as we travel.

Which reminds me. Mal upgraded our Creative Suite from CS5 to CS6 this weekend too, only we decided to give the Adobe Cloud monthly plan a tryout. Mal got it installed on his Mac and it looks pretty good! At last you can now change the background to a dark charcoal colour with white text! Soooo much easier on these aging eyes. As soon as I finish my inking today I’ll be installing it and giving it a trial run.

Well, I guess that about wraps up the news for this week.  Hope you all had a really great weekend, whether it was a long one or not!

Thanks for reading and commenting. Your comments really help show me that you care about the story! <3

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Chapt VI: Awakening (Part 32)

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Mysteries and Meditations

Aedre’s Firefly Graphic Novel updates every Wednesday eastern time.
If you’re a new reader click here to start closer to the beginning of the story…

Any of you ever use the kind of can opener our mysterious friend is using on the can of beans? The precursor to the kind that had two handles you squeeze to dig a sharp wheel into the top of the can and a flywheel to turn to slice the wheel through the around inside the perimeter.

This one has a very sharp point you hammer into the can top and then use a sawing motion to rip the top all the way around as you turn the can with your other hand. Hard work and dangerous. So grateful for the improved one with the gear and cutting wheel. But I never fancied getting an electric one, when the new improved kind was so easy to use, store and clean, and cost no electricity.

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My apologies to Paul Cagaggi of Pandeia comic, last week’s #lfwc. It seems the link to his comic was somehow lost in the shuffle. I fixed it in that post, but too late. So here it is now. Go. See. It’s awesome! PANDEIA

This week’s #LFWC is  ARTEEST. It’s a strangely fascinating story about a man who is an artist who discovers that not only does he have a form of amnesia, he no longer sees people as human, but as kind-of-humanoid-… things. Creatures, objects, etc. They interact with him as humans, he even knows a lot of them and some of them he’s quite fond of. But now they appear to him as Giant Bugs, Cabbages, Pigs wearing suits, Owls, etc.

We all know that artists see things a little… uh… differently to normal (?) people. I know that I always have. So far, ARTEEST comic exemplifies this artistic trait. I think Rod Serling would have loved this one. It also has heart and though I don’t know where it’s going, I’m along for the ride. Check it out (the link above takes you to page one) and you’ll see what I mean.

Art Process

So this past Friday I joined many cartoonist and lfwc/ graphic novelists in creating a strip for Dialogue-Free Comic Day (click the  “prev” button if you didn’t see it. DFCD is hosted by @djbogtrotter (aka:djblogtrotter) once a year in May.  I thought you might like to see the thumbs/sketches for this one, since it started in a way I rarely use these days. Completely created with a mouse in Gimp2 on my Macbook Pro.

One of the things that seems to be a side effect of the years I’ve suffered unknowingly with Thyroid disease is that as soon as the weather gets warm my body starts to swell with edema, so if I want to be able to walk later in the day I have to lay with me feet up for a couple of hours.  I got my laptop set up in the bedroom crawled inside the nest of laptop table, wires, wireless mouse, and the pillow to raise my legs, and realised I’d forgotten the intuos. Rather than crawl back out for it, I used the mouse. And this was the resulting sketch from which Friday’s update was created:

Aedre & the Cat sketch

 

 

Kitteh Tough Love #DFCD

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Tough Love, Kitteh Style.

This little silent one-strip story exists outside the main long form webcomic/online graphic novel Aedre’s Firefly. It was created specifically for the third #DFCD (Dialogue Free Comic Day). Of course Aedre wants to be loved so desperately that she’ll almost squeeze the life out of anything that gets too close. Animals, especially strays don’t care for that very much and soon let you know, first by struggling then, if you don’t let go… YOW!

Aedre’s Firefly Graphic Novel updates every Wednesday.
If you’re a new reader click here to start closer to the beginning of the story…

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