Thursday, June 30, 2005

Over-Simplified Solutions to Complicated Problems

Like everyone in Hollywood, I've realized that I should decide how things should be run without any responsibility for the outcomes whatsoever. In that respect, the following ideas have occurred to me:

1) Flag Burning. The answer is very simple. Flag Burning falls under freedom of speech, something the American Flag is a symbol for. Therefore, simply make it a law that just before burning the flag, the burner must publicly state "I am a jackass who is burning the symbol of my freedom to burn the symbol of my freedom… etcetera, etcetera, etcetera." (Bonus points can be earned by pronouncing "etcetera" as "etcetella," ala Yul Brenner in The King & I.)

2) PBS. Although this has been resolved, I think I've come up with a pretty good solution. First of all, let's face it. PBS is not PBS anymore. There are commercials on PBS. Yes, they are cute "We're the caring educational McDonalds, not the annoying McDonalds that you see on other channels," but there are still McDonalds commercials on Sesame Street. The whole point of PBS was that it wasn't supposed to have commercial sponsors- it was supposed to be independent. Therefore, I would make three simultaneous laws. a) To keep PBS independent, no company or individual shall "donate" (they're not corporate sponsors- remember- they're "donators" with no influence whatsoever) anything over $100. b) (and this is the big one) Pay for the arts with the arts: put a 1% tax on all movie tickets, books, cds, etc. that goes directly to PBS. Even better- also put a 1% PBS tax on all actors, singers, directors, producers & writers who make over $100k a year. Finally, c) Make PBS watchable again by putting Dr. Who back on! All PBS's problems started when they took the good Doctor off the air (Which, to be honest, is because in the early 90s the BBC & Fox Video got greedy & wanted collectors to buy the episodes on VHS rather than watch them for free. This is why they stopped showing Black Adder, Monty Python, et al as well.)

Allrighty, that's it. Anyone want me to solve any other national problems, just comment below. I'll do my best to oversimplify things. Ciao!

TTFN
-Tony

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Did You Ever Know that You're My Hero?



The Illustration Friday word of the week is Heroes.

OMG, the miserable bastard- he did it again! He dedicated another web-comic to this topic! He actually expects you- (if you're still here)- as a participating fellow artist in Illustration Friday- to click here and then go to #11. The nerve! Well, to hell with him, I'm off to Google that picture of Lindsay Lohan's mammary gland slipping out of her dress! Goodbye!

(Slam!)

Seriously, check it out, would you? I'm talking about my web-comic that I worked very hard on, not some Disney "good girl's" nipple slip. Thanks.

TTFN
-Tony

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Color is Overrated



The Illustration Friday word(s) of the week are Black & White.

The above is a panel from an issue of my web-comic, Webby, that I dedicated to this topic. So click here and go to #10. Sorry, I don't know how to link to an exact frame. Actually, I do know, but I'm too lazy to do that whole javascript thing. So just double-click! Just click on the link, and click on #10. What the hell- read the whole damn thing! Like you have anything better to do!

TTFN
-Tony

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Awesome Palm Paint Program

I have to gush here. I've been searching for an os5 Palm paint program with the following qualification: an airbrush tool- an anti-aliased drawing tool that can be layered on. I found a few, (DrawIt, Ninerpaint, Gray Paint) but they were all low-res (160x160) None of them were hi-res (320x320,) or worked with os5. There are a few "established" paint programs out there- Teal Paint, Hand Painter Pro- that cost a little bit of $ and are hi-res, but didn't have the airbrush tool that I really wanted.

I was about to give in, buy Hand Painter (about $12) and blur/color the drawings with Photoshop. Then I found MoePaint. It's freeware, and it's almost Photoshop for palm. There's an airbrush tool (the paintbrush,) there's layers, so I can color behind my sketching… and it's FREE. So if you're trying to use your os5 palm to sketch, I would definitely suggest Googling this.

Here's a shot from an upcoming episode of my web-comic Webby:


Pretty neat, huh? It's not pixilated like the pictures made with all the other palm-paint programs. I had to add the text with Photoshop, but this is great! I love free stuff.

-TTFN
Tony

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Web-Comic Friday?

NOTE: I've added quite a few posts since my Illustration Friday submission for Summer- so if that's all you care about, please scroll down. Go ahead. Skip all this wisdom. I won't think any less of you. No. Seriously. I'm just here POURING MY F**KING HEART into this blog, but you don't care, you just want to see a picture of summer! Go! Look! Bastards!

(takes medication. One pill, two pills... some beer... ahhh... sigh. OK, let's go on.)

On and off over the past few years, I've had a web-comic called (what else) Webby, the (Editorial?) Internet Comic. The first chapter spans about nine pages, and is sort of a stream of consciousness journey, dealing far more with depression than with editorial concerns. You can get to it from my Egotistical Productions homepage. (Click "Comix") I've tried to continue it, on and off, but didn't feel I had anything to really start it with.

I've recently watched Crumb, a documentary about (duh!) cartoonist Robert Crumb. I decided to re-read some of his works, and I realized that the comics of his I liked the best were autobiographical shorts based on a certain subject.

I'd like to do this myself, but I have problems deciding how to start, or what subjects to use. So, if anyone out there would be so kind- suggest a topic, I'll try my hand making a short autobiographical comic of it. (If no one suggests, then I'll just use the Illustration Friday topics.)

So help a creatively-blocked cartooning electrician out, would you?

TTFN
-Tony

Hitching Somewhere in the Galaxy

Last year, I won 5th place in a picture competition for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy game on BBC.com. I couldn't collect my prize (a cd of the radio version of Life, the Universe, & Everything) since I live in America, so I asked them to donate it to a school library. Anyhoo, I was a little annoyed that it didn't make it into the online Hitchhiker's game- which is basically the old Infocom game with pictures- because quite frankly I thought my pic was a lot more creative and original than any of the 1st - 4th , and a hell of a lot better than the one used for the war chamber in the game. (I know, I'm the modest type.)

It turns out, however, that my picture is being used for the hints page. Groovie, but it would have been nice if they had told me.

TTFN
-Tony

Saturday, June 11, 2005

False Idols Update



I've been plugging away at False Idols. Here are some more screenshots. I've taken a page from the experts and started rendering in layers. This speeds things up & saves memory on heavy effect shots. So, for example, in the top shot, I removed the rocket & the fire, and rendered the background and sky. Then I removed the background / sky and rendered only the rocket (with the lighting from the fire particle object) using my background animation as an environment map. Then I rendered the fire (with the rocket as an invisible mask so that the fire that was supposed to be inside of the rocket wouldn't be on top of it) with the previous rocket/background animation as an environment map. As this part involved a wacky amount of particles, it still took three days to render. However, rendering everything at once would have taken the computer two weeks.

Speaking of tips from the pros, kudos to 3d World magazine's Mental Roy column for commenting on how horribly trendy & slick the new Dr. Who show is. "Is the Master going to be wearing a North Face jacket?" Blech. Time to pop another Tom Baker episode into the VHS player.

-TTFN
Tony

Sorry It's Been So Long...

It's been a long time since I've actually written a Blog. So, then, here are the random thoughts of the week:

1) Medicinal Marijuana: I don't smoke grass- I'm strange enough as it is (plus I always have the munchies) But I'm convinced the ONLY reason the Fed. Government banned medical marijuana is because YOU CAN GROW IT YOURSELF! I guarantee that if you had to pay the pharmaceutical companies $100 a hit, the government would have no problems with it.

2) Deep Throat: This month's Prize goes to Hal Holbrook, who played Deep Throat (I know, I know, you thought it was Linda Lovelace) in All the President's Men. In a NY Daily News interview where he was repeatedly asked to give political/ historical commentary on the recent unmasking of Mark Felt, Mr. Halbrook replied, "I don't want to comment on Mark Felt... I don't want to become a savant about this. I am just an actor, period. Just. An. Actor. Period." Holy shit- an actor who doesn't think that his political views matter more than real life! Can't we make this guy president of SAG or something?

3) Manifestation: I've finally come to accept that if I want a peaceful / happy life, I have to find peace and happiness within. There's always going to be shit to deal with, weather I'm rich and famous or an electrician (or someone like him.) This is hard, because I've always had an anxiety problem. But for some reason, if I reflect on the fact that E=mc(squared) means that matter and energy have existed since the beginning of time and can only be interchanged, not created or destroyed, then I and everyone / everything around me has existed since the beginning of time and will always exist- in one form or another. Therefore, we are all slivers of God (In more classical Judeo / Christian terms, God is in all of us.) For some reason this sort of grounds me. Give it a shot.

TTFN
-Tony

Quote of the week- "…a story that can never be retold- but now it must be told again! Because evil never dies- but copyrights EXPIRE!"
-The Firesign Theatre, Boom Dot Bust. (Concerning a Jackie Chan-ish remake of Citizen Kane) I HATE REMAKES!


The first day of my summer vacation, I woke up. Then, I went downtown. To look for a job. Then I hung out in front of the drugstore...



The Illustration Friday word of the week is SUMMER. Here is most honerable summer haiku:
I hate the summer.
I really hate winter too.
Move to Monterrey.

-TTFN
Tony

Bonus question- can anyone tell me what summer job Billy finally got?

Friday, June 03, 2005

Digits with the Shizzits in the Hizzits



The Illustration Friday word of the week is DIGITAL.

Ok, digital… as in, CGI. Perfect. Perhaps I should have drawn fingers- or even toes? Hmmm… This kind of looks like something from an 80's computer game cover… probably a text adventure! How I loved text adventures… I would write text adventure games, if there was any $ in it. I was thinking of writing some and trying to sell them for the palm- maybe for just a dollar- but then I realized that as any nincompoop with a search engine can find Infocom games out there for free, why would they pay for my amateur stuff? There are great compilers out there for making point-and-click graphic adventure games for the PC, I have to figure out how to make them for the Palm. (Because, A) I wouldn't have to do voices, animations, etc, as I would for a PC game, and B) I spend lots of time on my palm playing classic Lucas SCUMM games and other made-for-palm adventures.)

Like I don't have enough projects going on.

Sorry, that was all a bit rambling, wasn't it?

TTFN
-Tony