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Well that's an hour of work spent on bringing this 2016 model sheet up to my 2022 standards. And changing a few bits because I felt like it.I'll have to redraw Chlöe's hair on the page I posted to Patreon the other day but that should be pretty trivial.

I also gotta set up styles for their dance outfits, that's probably another half hour at least. Then I can draw most of the rest of the comic at pretty high speed.

pointing at a video game genre and waving vaguely

today I am stoned and thinking about the time-honored video game genre of "you are a blue-collar worker trying to perform your job despite whatever weird cartoon bullshit the world is throwing your way"


bristles (first star software, atari/c64/apple/arcade?: you are a house painter, you must pass through every...

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I sure did have zero energy for work today, hopefully today will go better Or I will very decisively have a Day Off and go out to the park instead if sitting around home vaguely poking at the web.

What keeps on installing Maxon Cinema 4D in /Applications. I have never downloaded this thing.

Some cursory searching suggests it comes along with After Effects. Wheee.

Maybe I should remove the eight-year-old version of Illustrator, too. I doubt I'm ever gonna need that. Maybe I'll wait until it's a decade old, "I have ten years of old versions of Illustrator sitting on my hard drive" feels weirdly right for me.

A few more notes on "The Last Graduate" 

Yeah, she stuck the landing. With a cliffhanger that seems to have made a lot of people on Goodreads unhappy but just made me laugh amusedly. Especially since book 3 is scheduled for later this year.

Will the hunky warrior love interest survive? Will he show up halfway through book 3, changed by horrible experiences fighting monsters in the Void? Or will he just have escaped at the very last second with a charming injury? Will El fulfill the prophecy that she will destroy the existing system of wizard enclaves by making there be no need for it or by making it far easier to make them? Or did she already do it? Tune in next time and find out! Or don’t, because this is a fantasy trilogy and I’ve read enough of these over the years that I can make interesting guesses for at least one level of subversion of the obvious next plot choices, maybe even two. It doesn’t feel like a middle book aiming for a tragic end.

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The other day I went to the bookstore and picked up "The Last Graduate", which is book 2 of "The Scholomance" by Naomi Novik. It's pretty good so far. 

Something made me decide to give it a shot despite never reading book 1 and I'm glad I did - it's a really well-crafted riff on the time-honored Magician School trope. This school is a four-year pressure cooker with no breaks; students go in and only about 2/3 of them make it out alive. The main character's destined to be a very high-powered Evil Sorceress and is breaking the whole system by trying to be Good instead.

There's questions left unanswered about why exactly, this magical hell-school that's only a few steps less horrible than the Cube exists, but Novik does a really good job of explaining how the thing works - this book is standing alone pretty well. I assume book 1 probably told us some more details of why anyone would set up this system that culminates in a desperate run through a crazily lethal obstacle course full of monsters; it sounds like the world outside is maybe infested with monsters as well? Dunno. I'm coming in on the middle and I'm like, okay, you have full credit to throw me a few Big Things that I will just assume you justified in book 1.

Halfway through the book suddenly pivots from "magic school" to "Ender's Game", when classes end six months before graduation and the school gym turns into training for that obstacle course. It's exciting and fun and it also makes me wonder if Novik was inspired by "Harry Potter & The Methods Of Rationality", a crazily-long HP fanfic wherein (a) Harry's carrying a chunk of Voldemort's soul and is constantly tempted to be Evil, and (b) the author gets bored with any pretense of matching Rowlings' plot halfway through book 1 and turns the focus to... increasingly-lethal obstacle courses, run by the Defense Against Dark Arts professor, which are very openly inspired by Ender's Game.

Novik, however,
melts the traditional English boarding school veneer completely off the story's bones, and tells it in a LOT less words to boot. It's pretty good. Unless she ends up completely missing the ending, I'm on page 288 of 388 so she's still got room to mess up. She's also written more than enough books that I have very little expectation of this happening. Pretty solid adventure yarn with a nice mix of emotional/social danger vs. monster-eating danger.

I am not entirely sure how this changes my feelings on "man fired from Google for claiming their latest chatbot is sentient" but I feel that knowing that his blog's name is "Cajun Discordian" definitely changes SOMETHING.

I have reached my saturation point for grids of images generated with the public version of Dall-E and holy crap I am so thankful that the person I follow on Mastodon who's been doing some today is putting them behind a content warning. 💚

Wow, it sure is weird to try and work on files 2016 me made in the days before I routinely made named Graphic Styles for everything. I am gonna have to spend some time with the model sheet making named styles for these two characters, this will speed things up A TON.

twenty years after the fact I am taking a shower and I realize that when I went off on John K when he came in after the Flash crew blew a weekend saving his ass on a cartoon he'd held up in layout for the entire time it was supposed to be in the Flash team's hands and immediately started criticizing it: 

I should have not only said, hey, you HAVE a cartoon and you don't have to pay a non-delivery penalty to the site this is for... but I also should have said "and how big is that penalty anyway, how about you just give a significant chunk of that to me and my Flash unit as a bonus because we are the only reason you're not paying it. And when this gig ends maybe you should be moving heaven and earth to help me and my unit find new gigs and praising us as the miracle workers we are, because we saved your fucking ass". Because that gig ended like an episode later.

I would love to lean over the intervening time and whisper that in 2002 me's ear as he's going off on John and see if that made any difference in anything at all. I mean I gave him an earful and said some similar things about saving his ass before stalking out of the studio to go sleep for a couple of days but...

In retrospect that was definitely the moment when the Dream of Being In The Animation Industry turned to dust in my hands and blew away.

Pricing my work: subtle considerations.

There is a nuance I find myself thinking about lately when I quote prices for commissions.

The obvious thing to ask is "how long will this take me". This many characters will take about X hours, a background at a certain level will take Y, complicated characters will add Z hours, multiply that by the hourly rate I like to get and I get a numb...

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Also I got a flat tire while I was about as far from home as I can be and still be in New Orleans. Luckily I had a spare on me.

Today I made someone who has received multiple awards for their imagining of horrible things scream OH GOD MY EYES with a single drawing. Feels good. 😇

I need to get a second water bottle cage for my bike. One bottle is NOT enough for a summer day here in New Orleans.

I am stoned and just scribbled this down in my journal. Is this even a legal idea? I have no idea. I kinda love the idea of giving residents of a very liberal city a way to vote by proxy on *every other race in the very conservative state*.

I was looking through my drive and I found this half-roughed comic from 2016. Still looks good. Maybe I'll finish it soon.

I threw the full 13p thing up on Patreon, if you want a preview.

I am impressed at how much I dislike this simple three-word sentence that appeared in my inbox this morning.

Designers wanking over the most deliberately boring font in existance, AND putting it on the world's most inefficient database? Yeah no thanks. Unsubscribing from these MyFonts emails that I rarely look at anyway.

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Gracious Anthracite's choices:

Dragon Style

I'm a grumpy queer dragon lady and this is my quiet cave for me and some friends.