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< Piro >

emo largo (shudder - what a concept :P) by Hawk and Ananth at Applegeeks

"resurfacing"

Thursday - February 22, 2007

[Piro] - 16:27:00 - [link here]

Hey folks, believe it or not, i'm still alive. Sort of. i think.

Last time i posted a rant was January 10th. Things have been extremely busy for me since then, and not everything has worked out the way i had hoped (obviously). I suppose it was the fact that after getting through the Christmas rush, i felt relaxed about having that workload off my shoulders and the remaining work for book 5 looked like it would be a piece of cake :P It's pretty obvious that some my plans did not pan out the way i had hoped, but it wasn't because it was unrealistic, i just had a lot of things come up unrelated to MT and the book that i had to deal with. Luckily, i think MT chapter 8 ended pretty well, and i'm not really that far behind. I'm tired, but I'm getting there.

I found myself tweakng more pages in this book than i have done in previous books. I have three comics that i am adding frames to, adding one comic to chapter 8, one comic i have to re-scan and rebuild, and a multitude of tweaks and little changes that i felt were necessary to make things flow better.

The comic i'm adding to Chapter 8 is right after Yuki looks down to see the boy looking up at her. From a story perspective i do not really need to add a comic here, but i wanted to nudge the remaining pages so that the left/right pairing of the last 10 pages or so worked better. These kinds of things you don't really see till you start assembling the book, and are not an issue on the website. Sometimes you want to have the reader not see what is coming next till he or she turns the page, and i found that a lot of the last batch of pages needed to be shifted to get the correct R/L orientations. Luckily it worked out so that i just had to add a page, and since i was able to finish the chapter one page short of my plan, it was easy to do.

It's weird, but there were only two OSE comics in the past two chapters. So rather than doing a new Seraphim Check for the end of this chapter, i'm placing one of the OSEs instead. We're still going to do a Seraphim Check before the next chapter starts, but not till after i am done with the book.

There are three comics that have some rather substantial changes, requiring the addition of a frame. I'm doing this to make them read better and while it will involve tweaking dialogue, etc, it doesn't change the story content in any appreciable way. There are also a few comics where i've changed an expression to better match the flow of the particular sequence, etc, but once again its not a major change. There are two comics that i flipped in order to make the scene transition work better. There are some small changes i knew i was going to make, that have to do with the difference between reading the comic online and reading in a book. When you post a comic online and its 2 or 3 days till the next one, sometimes you can't really leave things hanging (for instance, in comic 943, Piro says 'i better get back to the store." which i felt needed to be there to make it clear that piro kept on walking. In the book, its pretty clear that piro didnt stop, so i eliminated that and tweaked his dialogue to something simpler). Those are the kinds of changes that really pinpoint the difference between online reading one page at a time and the flow in a book, and aren't really that major.

It's not unusual for me to look at a comic from a previous chapter and think that its not as good as i would have liked, or that the dialogue isn't quite spot on. I usually leave it or tweak it slightly, because i don't like changing things unless i have to. There is one comic in this book that i felt really did need to be changed. It has bothered me since i did it, because something about it never felt right -- Comic 763 - "Perfect." It's like half way through the comic i stopped following where this i wanted this particular comic to go. The pep talk nature of it seemed odd and out of place. Last night i reworked frames 4, 5 and 6 to revise the tail end of Erika's response to what it probably should have been in the first place. It ties in much better with the remainder of the chapter, and the story in general. Here's the revised version, which will be replacing the current version in a few weeks. I'll probably also revise the online versions of the other 3 or 4 comics that i've made substantive changes to, not because they change the story but because they do read better with the changes.

The last leg of getting this book done is to pull all this extra material together and assemble it for the book. I've been getting some help from two friends who are also avid MT fans and have a head for details. The extra material is shaping up to be 9 pages of character bio, a story timeline, a real life timeline (history of MT), and various other notes and other little tidbits. Some of this and other material will end up as part of the long missing 'story and character' section here on the website. I'm working on new drawings and sketches for each of the characters listed, but i may have to reuse some old drawings as well, we'll see.

My main focus this week is finishing up this book, and i appreciate your patience with having this week be comic-free (except for a SGD, which dom says he will be torturing you with tonight). Next week, if all goes well, i'll be diving into an Omake that i hope you all will enjoy. I'd like to say it will be monday, but i think that realistically it will be Wednesday (since my deadline is Tuesday). Hawk, who did a lot of the pre-processing for me on the bulk of the pages for the book (thanks hawk!) also did a rather amusing gift art around the idea Ananth had as to how an Emo Largo might look :P. I've also demanded a Cute Happy Piroko like the one he did at Katsukon for the Iron Artist competition.

That's enough blathering for today, time to get back to work. Thanks for your support!

< Dom >

"Staying afloat"

Tuesday - February 27, 2007

[Dom] - 21:00:00 - [link here]

So my warlock just hit level 70, which means I can take a break to rant. Don't tell pixiebell - she'll be angry that I haven't ranted in a couple weeks because of a combination of work and WoW. I'm trusting all you guys to keep this one a secret, okay?

Right, now that the facetiousness is out of the way, I can get into the business of talking about miscellany.

My Warcraft time wasn't totally wasted, though. I did get one great story out of it.

As you may know, I play WoW on Uldum with a guild composed mostly of relatives, by blood or marriage. That may not be as true as it once was, since we've pulled in a great many friends. But the core is still a bunch of cousins, which gives everything a very friendly and intimate feel. (Please note that since I play with family, you will never get me to divulge what their names are, nor will I join your server)

A couple of weeks ago, I logged on and my cousin messaged me to let me know that his wife was pregnant - which is awesome news, but he told me to keep it a little quiet for a while, just within the family and friends circle.

That Sunday, he and his wife gathered at the annual Tet party we have among the extended family, and several of my cousins discovered that she was pregnant for the first time.

"What? Why didn't I know this earlier?"
"Because he only told people who're on Warcraft."
"LAAAAAAME"

Rest assured that the Warcraft talk stops here. Let's see, what else do I need to talk about?

Well, WoW in general has marked a general return to gaming for me. I haven't been watching much of the anime recently, in part because the current season is ass, and mostly because a lot of good games came out recently.

Let's see, where do I start? Well, I recently finished Final Fantasy VI Advance. I have many fond memories of playing that game when I was a young teen, and I remember that it was a yearly ritual for me to finish the game each summer (I also re-read at least 30 books a summer... I was a bored kid). This time around, I realized something - I finished the game in something like 22 hours, easily half the average time I took to play that game back in its SNES form. And I think I realized why that is. It's not just because I'm better at playing games and gaming systems than I was last decade, it's because the game _lets you run fast without equipping useless items_. And that shaved a huge amount of time from the game.

I figure, if I ever went back to the SNES version, I'd tear out my hear with how slowly everyone walks.

In the other slot of my DS, I'm currently playing Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja, which I originally found out about through Ian McConville. There are two things that really appeal to me about this game. First, it's a pure roguelike game, and since I grew up playing Moria on my cousin's 8086, I have nothing but affection for the genre.

Second... it's from the company that brought you Bistro Cupid! How can you go wrong?

So that's my portable gaming. In sad news, I have an unopened box of Crackdown sitting in front of my Twin 360 Towers. The last 360 game I played was the excellent Senko no Ronde Rev. X, a versus shooter which helped ease the pain of shopping for chairs with Danny, one of my oldest arcade friends and the subject of the last SGD.

On the PC front, I've started loading up my new laptop with porn (there's just no good way to put that, is there?). Since the thing's too slow to run World of Warcraft with any level of satisfaction, I've started putting Japanese PC games on it. The latest one I'm playing is Peace@Pieces, which I bought because Jes acquired a cute new figure (link S4W) and wanted to know where it came from. Of course, the cutest things in Japan come from their porn, and I found out that this one in particular was drawn by Itou Noiji, the artist for Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu and Shakugan no Shana. So, I picked it up, and it's pretty amusing. However, I haven't played much of it recently because my family needs me to disenchant stuff on WoW.

So, um, that's it for now - I'll try and rant again sooner, but work keeps creeping into my non-WoW free time, so I'll try and free more time.

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