Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Investigation in the Library

I was in the library tonight because I had some reading to do and I can never seem to concentrate in my own bedroom. It was dull, dull stuff tonight- an article on literary theory, and a very badly-written one at that.

(Seriously. Typo-ridden and far too wordy with certain parts feeling so out of place that I was starting to wonder if the writer was desperate to reach a minimum page count. This passes for scholarly writing? I was offended by it. And it was, like, 35 Microsoft Word pages long. It took me more than two hours to read. Argh.)

The first floor in our library is classified as the "noisy" floor. There's a coffee shop that provides the sound of coffee grinders and blenders as background noise, while the students are permitted to talk and use cell phones. So I'm used to having a constant drone of noise while I study.

However, there's always the oddball noise. Like someone dropping their stuff, a funny ringtone, shouts of jubilation or despair-- stuff that distracts you for a moment before you move on with your life.

Tonight I was quite distracted by an oddball noise that wouldn't stop. Somebody was clicking their mouse almost constantly for the two hours I was there. Rapid-fire clicking. Clickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclick.

Someone was playing a game, I assumed. But as the hours ticked by and the clicking didn't seem to cease, I grew more and more curious as to what type of game required such constant clicking. And at one point my article got so boring that I decided to get up and investigate.

I strolled nonchalantly out of my aisle of computers, pretending I was on my way to the printer or trash can while I was really zeroing in on the source of the clicking noise. It was coming from another aisle of computers a few aisles away from my own. I strolled over that way, walking past the aisles and looking out of the corner of my eye until I found the offender.

He looked up as I passed, but I kept on walking like I had better things to do than care about him and his infernal clicking. But the moment he returned to his game, I glanced back to see what was on his computer screen.

The guy was playing Starcraft.

I think I've played StarCraft fewer than ten times in my life, but I'm fairly sure you can play it without clicking constantly. I mean, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but the guy seemed a little overenthusiastic. I wondered why his little Terran forces didn't just throw their hands up and quit under the pressure of his constant nagging. I also wondered how the guy's pointer finger hadn't fallen off yet.

So, mystery solved, I sat down at my computer once more and returned to my boring-as-insert-your-favorite-expletive-here article. The clicking continued on into the night, but instead of being distracted by it, I merely rolled my eyes as each new salvo of clicks began. Good luck, little Terran dudes.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Catching Wi-Fi

...aaaaaand we're back!

Ladies and gents, my deepest apologies for my absence over the past few weeks. I was kind of exhausted (and didn't do anything interesting to blog about) after I got back from Europe, and then I had band camp. Marching band at the collegiate level is intense, and therefore my life consisted of nothing but band for about a week. But now classes have started and I'm settling back into a normal routine, so I'm going back to blogging!

The Wi-Fi in the dorms is always a little sketchy at the beginning of the year. Some of my devices are having better luck with it than others...

Since it's been forever since my last post, I wanted to do something kinda big to make up for it. I decided that I wanted to do a really traditional cartoon with pens and pencils and all that, like I did before I got my tablet. So I sat down the other night and sketched out a cartoon that had been in my mind for a while. After I penciled it, I inked it using two different kinds of pens (the difference isn't that noticeable). After erasing all the stray pencil marks with the fancy-dancy eraser I got in France (I'm so kidding-- I got it at a French grocery store), I went to get my colored pencils to color it in.

And I apparently do not have any colored pencils.

Which is weird, because I know I saw them while I was packing, and I'm pretty sure I put them in the box with all my other office supplies. I got really annoyed. Frankly, a lot of the stuff I had before the summer started is missing. Like my dustpan, ice trays, and hovering TARDIS. I think I know what happened to the ice trays, but there's no telling with all the other stuff. Absolutely no telling.


I couldn't color in the cartoon because I didn't have any colored pencils, but I thought a plain old black and white comic wouldn't suffice for the occasion. Therefore, I used my tablet to digitally color it. Of course, that almost didn't work, either, because the USB cable had gotten separated from the tablet and it took me a really long time to find it. But I found it!

I'm pretty happy with the color in this comic. The only thing I'm really unhappy with is the way the black ink shows up on the scan. You'll have to take my word for it, but the ink on the original is as dark and solid as it can be. Sometimes black ink just doesn't transfer too well. I gotta wonder how professional comic artists do it. Is there a type of scanner that produces higher-quality scans? Does India ink just show up better after scanning? Who knows? Not me, that's for sure.

I'm thinking a lot about this because I'm actually taking a graphic novel/comic book class this semester, and I'll be required to draw comics for a grade. I will probably have to scan something at some point. I didn't have a problem with the way my Blue Justice cover scanned, and I used the same kind of pen, but maybe it just looks better because the lines aren't as thick? Or something?

I don't know. I like inking with physical ink because I'm just better at it than I am at "inking" with my tablet. But maybe from now on I'll just pencil my comics on physical paper and take care of the rest on my computer. According to my Stan Lee book, a lot of comic book artists do it that way these days. We'll see.

Hopefully this comic book class won't be the death of me!