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Gabe / on Fri, Jan 24 2003 at 11:45 am

Two things

Yes, that is my stuff in the Sketchbook Gallery. I don’t think that there are a whole lot of artists using the software yet so I was happy to donate my stuff when they told me they needed work for the gallery section. I guess that is one of the benefits of being an early adopter.

I just got this mail from some jackhole:

“You copy that verbatim from their press release?

Quote PA Whoring -”

He then goes on to quote the post I made above.

I guess because I help run a popular website I am not allowed to like things anymore. You know, just because I say I like the Xbox or Sketchbook or whatever doesn’t mean they fucking paid me anything you paranoid freaks. I am sick of e-mails saying that Penny Arcade has sold out. Listen fuckers, you will KNOW when we sell out because you will be sitting in a Burger King drinking a Gabe shake and eating your Tycho fries while you dig for the little plastic Div toy that came in your Goddamned Penny Arcade value meal. If you have to ask yourself, “I wonder if PA sold out?” Then the answer is no. When we do finally sell out it will be on such a grand fucking scale that there will be no question as to whether or not we have become corporate whores. Until that day though, you can expect us to continue delivering our honest/unbiased opinions on whatever the fuck we feel like talking about. Sometimes we are going to like shit. And sometimes we are going to like shit that we used to hate. That’s just the way it is.

-Gabe out

Gabe / on Fri, Jan 24 2003 at 10:38 am

The Hook Up!

There is a brand new Hook Up article available today. Home Theatre guru and ladies man Storm Shadow was at CES in Vegas and he gives us his report.

-Gabe out

Gabe / on Fri, Jan 24 2003 at 10:35 am

Sketchbook

As many of you know Comp USA was stupid enough to give me a credit card a few months ago and I immediately used it to put myself a few thousand dollars in debt. What I got out of the deal was the Acer TravelMate C100 Tablet PC. They call it the TravelMate I assume, because it’s designed to be taken around with you while you travel. Well I don’t really “travel” unless you count the trip from the computer room to the kitchen. I doubt that this is what they had in mind though.

I basically use my Tablet PC as a fancified (yes I know that’s not a word) sketch book. I am able to do that thanks to the geniuses at Alias|Wavefront who have somehow managed to make a plastic pen on a plastic screen feel just like pencil on paper, or ink on paper for that matter. They just recently released the Pro version of their free Sketchbook program and I of course had to have it. The Pro version adds some new features that take an already fantastic program to a new level where…uh, things are…like, more better.

New to the Pro version of Sketchbook is the ability to totally customize your interface. Want the tool wheel on the left? Okay. Want it on the right? That’s cool too. Don’t want it at all? Consider it gone. The ability to remove all menus and toolbars is really great. The Acer doesn’t have the largest screen of the Tablet PC’s so being able to use every inch of it is a treat. The Pro version also supports layers now. In the world of drawing and sketching it’s easy to think of the new layer system as sheets of acetate. This is another welcome feature as many artists have become so used to working with layers in Photoshop that their absence is almost crippling.

A more robust selection of tools and brushes are also included in the Pro version. New brushes like Ballpoint pen behave just like you would expect. It’s fun to watch my friends who aren’t artists play with the program. Everyone is amazed when they select the pencil tool and start to draw or write something. If someone didn’t tell you that you were looking at a drawing made on a computer there would be no way to tell it apart from a real pencil on paper drawing. I am sure I am not the only digital artist who has ever been making a pencil drawing and without thinking moved his pencil up to the top of the paper looking for the edit menu or maybe your other had reaches unconsciously for your shortcut key to undo. Well finally thanks to the combination of a Tablet PC and Sketchbook you get the response and feel of pencil on paper with all the benefits of the digital editing tools we have come to rely on.

-Gabe out

Tycho / on Fri, Jan 24 2003 at 7:33 am

With humans in a mad rush to snap up movie licenses (an in some cases molest them), the acquisition of the Metroid movie rights seems like it could be a cause for celebration or alarm.  As it happens, there’s another license out there now that we think could be a real blockbuster.  Get it?  Blockbuster.

I got The Getaway, and it’s okay.  I keep playing it because I’m curious about the story and I like the accents, not because it screams “I am a good game and must be played.”  I knew I would feel like this even before I bought it, in fact I think I said as much, so I should probably just admit I was right and take it back in.  I didn’t bite on DOA: Extreme Beach Something, I think because I was already getting The Getaway when I knew I shouldn’t have, but I don’t doubt that it will be fine for what it is.  It’s a toy where you earn money, via volleyball and otherwise, and then you buy more swimsuits for the laydays.  I am sure it is the best game of it’s kind.  I just don’t have room for it at the moment.

I’ll tell you what, though.  Have you played this War Of The Monsters game?  The irascible Batjew brought this over last night and it’s a Goddamn gem.  Here’s the issue.  This game needs a) four player support, and b) online support like nobody’s business.  Let’s rewind for a second, though.  This is a PS2 game that looks good, and I don’t mean “looks good for a PS2 game.”  I mean it looks good in a completely unqualified way.  The presentation be hot, replete with Drive-In, Creature Feature shtick.  If the game had one of the features I mentioned, online or Quad-Tap, I honestly believe this is the kind of game people would dig out the PS2 for in a few years, and be like, “You never played War of the Monsters, Bob?  You never played War of the Fucking Monsters?  We need to fix that shit right now,” so on and so forth.  Two player is still, in my opinion, awesome.  All we’re talking about here is the difference between awesome and classic.

So, do I need a whole gig?  Why, yes.  Yes I do.

(CW)TB out.

the first shall be last

Gabe / on Wed, Jan 22 2003 at 7:12 pm

web comics

I don’t generally read other web comics. I mean I read PvP but that’s about it. Today I got sidetracked though and ended up looking at about five or six different strips and I came to a conclusion… I don’t bitch nearly enough about how hard it is to make a comic strip.

I get mail all the time asking me for advice on how to start a web comic and I usually say the same thing to everyone. It’s the same advice that I got from another artist when I was just a kid. “Draw every single day and when you get work, never miss a deadline.” In my opinion you either love to draw or you don’t. I always find it a bit strange when I see people (especially the ones that do this full time) bitching about what a hard job they have. I will admit that this can be a tough job sometimes. It certainly isn’t for people who like a steady income or job security. But it still doesn’t get any better than drawing for a living.

So here is my advice to anyone starting a comic strip. First off, do it because you love it and because you feel like if you don’t get all the ideas in your head out on paper you might just explode. Second, make comic strips that YOU like and that YOU think are funny. Don’t listen to anyone else, remember you are doing this for yourself not them. Third, if you make a schedule like three times a week or, God help you daily you stick to it.  The best way to keep people coming back to your site is to update when you say you will without fail. You start missing days and people will stop coming, I guarentee . Don’t feel like you have to do a daily strip either. We aren’t all cartooning robots like Kurtz. If all you can do is three a week, then do three a week but don’t miss a beat. Last but not least, no one wants to here you bitch and moan about how your dogs kept you up last night so you didn’t have time to draw strip. This is either something you can do or it’s not. I swear to God sometimes I think Piro is about three sad girl drawings away from a complete breakdown.

Anyway, that’s my advice. Take it for what you will. I’m not saying I have all the answers or even that there are answers when it comes to web comics and art but if this is really what you want do, then I think you could do a lot worse than following some of those tips.

-Gabe out




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