< Piro >
Wednesday - April 25, 2001
It's not unusual for real life stuff to sneak into the comic from time to time. Seraphim wrenched something in her knee over the weekend, and she has been walking around with a knee brace for a couple of days now. I drew a knee brace on her in the comic just as a joke - but for some reason it just seemed so cute on her. She told me that i'm just suffering from sleep deprivation, and to get her a fresh ice pack out of the freezer.
Last night was a true test as to how well the new format would work out for me. Monday's didn't really count because i had the entire weekend to fiddle with it. True to my normal way of doing things, i barely drew anything monday night, and the script for today's comic was very rough and needed a lot of work. Kind of a normal 'gotta do a comic tonight' night.
One of the more interesting things about loosening up the format is that i find i can finish more drawings faster than i could before. I spent less time drawing six separate drawings (plus one frame i tossed out) than i usually do for the normal format. I do have to spend more time scanning and cleaning up images (there were six rather than four drawings to clean up). It was at this point that i found myself grumbling over the ridiculously slow processing speed on my computer. Largo got so sick of me grumbling about it last night that it inspired his rather petulant rant for today. Stubborn indeed!
When I moved over to illustrator to put the comic together, I found that it didn't REALLY take much longer to lay things out. Each frame is on it's own layer and has a clipping plane to cut off the excess on the image. I have placed a few guidelines to help maintain some balance and consistency, but for the most part i'm giving myself plenty of leeway with the layout. I've been flipping thru a lot of manga lately to try to absorb some of the methods and concepts manga artists use. I'm not just looking at one particular style either - I've been taking equal influence from Love Hina, Salad Days, Marmalade Boy, Hime-chan no Ribbon, Kaitou Saint Tail, Kimagure Orange Road, 3x3 Eyes... well, i've flipped thru just about everything i own - including some of the rarer American comics i have laying around (i don't have that many, oddly enough - i just found myself chuckling over some old issues of Gold Digger ^^;;) In the end, i've determined that I have no idea what i'm doing, so i'll just wing it. I figure that i'll be able to tighten up the approach to laying out stuff like this over the next few months. The best way to learn is by doing.
We've been knocking heads over the MT storyline and other projects around here lately. Being involved in a creative project isn't always easy. Working on Megatokyo is a lot like trying to fix the engine on a bus while it cruises down a bumpy highway at 75 mph with two monkeys fighting over the steering wheel and a brick on the accelerator. Tsubasa has been working very hard on the Seiyuu project and the Song project, and I've given him the freedom to develop some independent stories and dialogues to help move the project along if we need to (I'm trying to develop some lyric ideas right now ... it's not easy!) The more Largo and I work together, the more i realize that this particular Nazi Nani Megatokyo strip was dead on - this, i think, is what helps give us more vitality than we'd have if it was just myself or Largo. Hopefully we won't kill each other in the process.
Wing Zero, the same one who i blame for the demise of many of my online friends by administering 'Death by Love Hina' syndrome on them has been getting me more and more hooked on Comic Party. Comic Party is based on a Leaf game (the same people who make To Heart) where the main protagonist finds himself drawn into the wacky world of Doujinshi. It's funny, but to me Megatokyo is really an online doujishi. With the new format, it will be like getting a 12 page comic once a month. For some reason, this makes me feel pretty good about the project.
Oh, and one other thing to mention. Emi-chan will finally finished moving Okashina Okashi(Strange Candy) over to its new home on Keenspace by tomorrow (thursday). No one draws Dom in a dress better than Emi. :P
Thanks for all the feedback on the new format, btw. I need to stop doing things that result in floods of emails... ^^;;;