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Strip 968, Volume 5, Page 200


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< Piro >

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


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 >

Oop ack!


Wednesday - February 14, 2007

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

All today and yesterday, I've seen people's various assaults on the concept of Valentine's Day, that it's a commercial holiday blah blah pagan blah blah. I haven't actually READ these diatribes, because in all honesty, it doesn't affect me and I don't care.

This rant was also originally going to be about the sad zero sum game between being able to buy your toys and having the time to play with them.

Then, real life intervened, taking more time away from my toys. Not that I mind, of course, there's more to life than sitting around playing with miscellaneous toys. But I just lost five hours of my life to clearing my parents' computer of spyware.

Actually, I think it was more like seven, but the two hours before Hodgepodge arrived with his industrial-strength analysis software don't count. While I'm a long-time veteran of telling my parents how to use their phones and their Yahoo! mail, I've never been comfortable sniffing around a registry and searching for spyware.

So, after a few minutes of analysis, Hodgepodge's expert opinion was that my parents' computer was a complete loss (it had had a keylogger installed on it for a freaking year). We would need to burn everything down, format, and reinstall.

And by "we," I mean Hodgepodge did most of the actual work. I'm a writer, dammit, not a system administrator. I sat around playing Final Fantasy VI Advance while we talked about everything from 10 character limits ("Fenix Down" always made me feel funny inside, FFVIa has it spelled correctly) to old economics homework.

Sadly, Hodgepodge has no more time to donate to my parents' computer, so the rest of this is up to me. And it's a daunting task. I have to make sure that the computer is easy to use without having giant security holes. I have a good two or three nights of software installation and configuration ahead of me, and every time I think about it, my couch starts looking better and better...

But enough of that, this is cutting into precious sleep time. There will be more talk of toys soon, especially after I finish my Japan report (god, I still haven't hit 2007 in that thing yet). I got a whole lot of them in, and each has a story I'd like to tell.


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