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Strip 362, Volume 3, Page 48

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< Piro >

lost mittens...

"warm hands"

Wednesday - January 15, 2003

[Piro] - 17:30:00 - [link here]

I seriously think that I may have taken on way too much.

Last week, after some prompting from my publisher, it dawned on me that the amount of work i have to do between now and February 10th is... well, almost physically impossible. Here's what I need to have done by the 10th of next month:

- 20 to 25 pages of 'warmth'
- 11 MT comics
- full color cover for amerimanga #4
- all material for Megatokyo book 2
- full color cover for Megatokyo book 2
- traveling to Katsukon on feb 13

And you people wonder why i don't answer email or write rants every day ^_^;;;

Part of the problem is that I am producing two major projects - Megatokyo and Warmth, and it's just one guy (me). Most manga-ka have assistants who help them put things together, and that's usually for one project at a time. Best i have been able to do so far is one page per day. If i don't manage more than that in the next few weeks i'm screwed.

ah, but enough whining. I'm pretty excited about both MT and Warmth right now, so it's very much worth the effort. It's always a challenge getting large projects off the ground. I've also enlisted the help of some of the people around me to do some of the work that I don't have time to do. Anyways, as a result, don't expect less whining from me this month on account of working full time. I've managed to fill up the extra hours and then some. ^^;;

I want to say a big thank you to all the people at Ohayocon for a fun, relaxing and pretty decent con experience for Dom, Asmodeus and myself. Thanks for having us, and thanks to everyone who came by to see us at the table. Rather amazingly IC Entertainment sold every last one of the MT books they brought with them. By Saturday afternoon. All the AmeriManga #1 too.

Which reminds me, yes the Megatokyo Volume 1 books have not only shipped, but most people should have them by now. If you ordered a book and haven't received it yet, you should be getting it very soon. I didn't get mine till Thursday of last week.

The books look pretty darn good, actually. Feedback so far is that most people seem to like what we did with it, which is a huge relief - you get so damn close to what you're doing that you don't know if it looks good or not.

Writing is, as always, the biggest and most time consuming thing I do. Warmth has been percolating right along for almost two months now. Once I dusted off my old notes and tried to bring the story back to life, I faced the challenge of taking feeble formative threads and turning it into a real solid story. I'm so used to doing one page at a time strips that doing bigger chunks like this is proving to be somewhat challenging.

The other thing that is hard to do is to stop thinking, writing and start drawing. In an effort to get off of dead center on the creative process for warmth i offered to do a little 3 page teaser for Amerimanga #3, which comes out in February (a month earlier than 'warmth's official debut in March). This turned out to be an excellent exercise - it gave me a chance to just make the characters actually interact, and to see how that felt. The teaser came out really well (here's one of the frames from it which i posted on fredart). The biggest problem with Warmth is i feel the need to have more backgrounds than I normally do for MT - that takes time.

And, of course, what a time for my computers to start giving me headaches. Because of my more frequent travels this year, I needed to set up a print server so that i could get the printer off of my laptop so that Seraphim can print her papers and whatnot while i'm gone (why? Usb ports on her computer are fried, add in ports didn't work, 25 ft printer cables get chewed in half by the cats (i've gone thru 8 cables in the past 5 years), wireless print server was the best option) and that took a good three hours to get working properly. I need to rebuild both the main desktop that seraphim uses and my laptop - like any fine windoze solution, you have to wipe it clean and re-install every so often - its been over a year, and its starting to show in the systems. But, of course, i don't have time to do this, so i have to live with it.

the other thing that's driving me nuts is the system performance of my main machine. I've been doing a lot more photoshop and illustrator work recently, and the 'grind time' is really starting to get on my nerves. See, my main computer isn't a desktop, its a laptop - a darn nice one, really (Dell Inspirion 8100 - remember, i bought it last year), and i have a monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc all plugged into it. I store all the MT files on a separate hard drive over on Seraphim's desktop - it's a system that works pretty well, but some of the graphics i've been doing recently have really been testing the ability of my system to work with them. (1.13ghz p3, 256k, and the lovely speed of a laptop's hard drive). I was ready to rip my hair out while working on the cover for MT book (160 meg pshop file). Portability is nice, but most times its plugged in like Lain on a two week binge in the wired. There's also the fact that when on your lap it has a tendency to burn off layers of skin, even thru jeans.

So, just like everyone else who suddenly finds themselves dreaming of new systems, i'm luxuriating in the system dreams only possible when you wont be able to afford even a reasonable new system for a while. What's most troublesome is that i've even been giving into fantasies educed by my lifelong case of Mac envy.

Those of you far younger than me may not remember Mac Envy, but it was particularly prevalent back when windows machines couldn't even come close to matching Macs for performance with graphics and desktop publishing stuffs. A lot of it is probably more mystique than anything, and i have my share of friends who smack me around any time i talk about getting a mac instead of another hobbled PC upgrade.

It's rare for me to drool over equipment (that's largo's territory) but the Apple 23" Cinema display at the Comp USA had me standing and staring like a befuddled schoolboy for at least 15 minutes when i first saw it. I've even sat down and priced out systems. Mac g4 dual processors 1 gig ram 23" display almost eight thousand dollars wow i wonder what that would be per month?...

But then, i shake myself out of it, and sigh. It's nice to sit and say to yourself its time for a new boxen, because the one you have is getting in your way, yadda yadda yadda... and it's pretty sad when even just adding more ram (which would require all new ram in this laptop - not just adding it) seems like more trouble than i want to deal with.

that's right, the battery in this thing is starting go. Maybe i do need a new machine...

< Dom >

Oop ack!

"Potpourri for 400, Alex"

Friday - January 17, 2003

[Dom] - 00:30:00 - [link here]

This is the miscellaneous debris rant, where I put in miscellaneous information before I sleep.

First, I highly recommend this flash vid. It's beautiful in its own way, though it makes more sense when you realize that Kikkoman is a brand of soy sauce and shoyu (pronounced "show you") is the Japanese word for soy sauce. Oh, hey. Someone just linked me an English version of the flash, here. Sweet.

I keep meaning to link Insert Credit, but keep forgetting. Well, there it is. I really, really don't agree with their review of Panzer Dragoon Orta, but hey, it's Tim's opinion. I just don't think he'll ever get another warm invite to my pad (do you hear that, Timbo? No more free root beer until you confess that you really do like Orta!) but I respect that it's his opinion. The Insert Credit guys are cool, though--where else can you find coverage of random crap like Sexy Beach and Melty Blood in English?

There's a fansite devoted to me. I'd be frightened if there was more to it, but as it is, it's only a little surprising.

I wish I really could have an executioner's hat with the Cal logo on it. That'd rock, especially for the good ol' "Give 'em the axe!" chants.

For some reason, I can't stop reading First President of Japan, a decidedly less-than-standard manga running in Raijin. I don't know why. It's about politics. I usually avoid politics like the plague, since I sound like an idiot when talking about it. But I like it, even if it has less action than Ah! My Goddess.

I want to see Yao Ming play Shaq on Saturday. I really, really do. But I'll be out with friends around then. Damn! I want to see how Yao takes to Shaq's power game...

When I put "nin" into IME now, the first kanji that comes up is "suffer/endure" instead of the more common kanji "person". I feel somehow proud.

Oh. And Fred really did misspell Ed's name in the book. ^^;;;

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