May Nuggan have mercy on my soul! I’ve Youtube’d myself!
Hello and welcome again to RAWRnews, that occasional blog spot where I write about stuff that has been happening in the world of RAWRtacular.
It’s summer time, and quite a few things of note have happened, or are about to. Please let me tell you about them:
Back Office 100
Much to my own surprise, a few weeks ago Back Office reached it’s 100th page! This really was a surprising landmark to reach. When I originally penned Back Office, it was intended to be little more than filler between Bata Neart updates, but it has now surpassed my older comic to become RAWRtacular’s flagship. Never did I think that it could reach 100 pages, that time really did fly in.
In those 100 pages, my office/sci-fi comedy action-drama has managed to draw in a respectable reader-base (nothing compared to other web-comics, but still pretty good), features prominently on many search engines (thank you Google+) and has been banned by at least one call-center, which is a feat that I am particularly proud of. Thus Back Office ends it’s second year on a high-note, and with bright summer filler page. May it see a good 3rd year!
I’m Developing in Japan!
Following my completion of the last pages from the existing script for I’m Famous in Japan, I have been playing with potential new ideas to pitch to the guys at Black Snow Comics. One main idea I have been playing with is the creation of a rival for the infamous Lone Wolf. It has not been a simple task, but it has been fun to tackle it. Please check out this article over on Black Snow, where I describe my overly long creation process. I can’t wait to see where this goes.
Me at 30
Yes folks…I’m about to be a grown up. Next Saturday will be my 30th birthday, bringing about the end of a very interesting decade of my life. What has this got to do with RAWRtacular, you may ask. It is kind of critical to the existence of this site. Years ago, when I first started to focus on drawing manga-style comics, promised myself to do *something* with it before I turned 30. RAWRtacular was the answer to that. RAWRtacular is also a sort of testament to my 20s and to all of the adventures I have had during them.
I started them as an aspring yet nieve Manga Cartoonist / IT Student who spent one summer working as a film extra in the movie King Arthur (2004), which gave me experience in stunt work, ridiculously long hours and learning how to convincingly ’kill’ a person with out actually touching them. There after were my adventures in China, followed by my own Back Office style adventures in a call-center. In the end; I left Ireland, came to live in Norway, met the love of my life and settled down with her. With her encouragement and support, as well as a decade of aventures to draw from, I launched RAWRtacular, and we now reach this website’s second anniversary, as well as my own 30th.
It’s been one hell of a ride folks, and if my life were to end here, I could honestly say that I have lived it. If I get the time, I may even do a series of articles on my various RAWRtacular adventures.
This and next month are yet again milestones for both RAWRtacular and Back Office. Both comic and website reach two years old next month. This month also marks one year since the beginning of I’m Famous in Japan.
Last year on the first anniversary of this site, I ran a reader’s competition to mark it. Unfortunately, no one seemed to join, and so the competition ran out without a winner. I’m still thinking of running one this year, but only if I receive positive feedback on the idea from readers. If you feel that you would like to win RAWRtacular prizes and would enter a competition to win them, please post a comment on this blog entry and let me know. If I get some feedback, I’m most likely to run one again.
In that note, I think I’ll end this article.
Hoping you all the best this summer!
Hello all and welcome to RAWRweekly……or RAWRnews….yea RAWRnews, I changed the name. After nearly half a year of RAWRweekly, I realised that I have almost never managed to hold a weekly schedule. But more over, ‘RAWRnews’ sounds less ridiculous and is less of a lie.
Now with that over with, here’s what has been happening. If you’ve been following this blog at all, you might remember a post from earlier this year where I was announcing a stop to all of my ambitious plans for RAWRtacular. I never really mentioned a reason for that, but much of it was due to me moving…yet again. Long story there, but in a nutshell, I’ve finished moving and a sense of normality has finally returned to my day-to-day life. So the good news here is: I can do more RAWRtacular stuff now. I can also have a healthy well-balanced life too…I guess that’s a bonus
If you have been following my Google+, or Facebook pages, you may have noticed that it’s getting a lot busier there now. This is thanks to my desire to really push out regular new content, and my related frustration of the fact that I simply couldn’t deliver that. But then I realised: Hey! I’m drawing stuff for most of the week, and nearly every single day, I’m doing something with one of the comics. So, taking inspiration from my peers I have started posting Pages in Progress, nearly every other day.
So now, I’m ‘showing my work’. As well as filling my social media with potential interesting comic stuff, my other agenda was to finally put some content into my Deviant Art page. I started my DA page over a year ago…and it was completely empty. Until now that is. That page is now pretty active, and in the future I hope to be posting more complete works up there.
I’m Sorry in Japan!
This has been bugging me for along while now. Besides me doing Back Office and Bata Neart out of both duty and love for them, I’m Famous in Japan has been a joint-project I have been doing for the pure joy of it. But despite that, my pace at drawing that has seriously gone down a notch compared to a few months ago. Now this, was due to a few factors. Getting used to a 2 comic weekly schedule, combined with the moving and busy times at work, made it nearly impossible to draw pages for Famous Japan. There simply were not enough hours in the day. This has eaten away at me, because I have felt that I’ve been letting my friends at Black Snow Comics down for not producing pages at the same pace as I would for my RAWRtacular Comics.
And so, I’d like to publicly apologize to both Black Snow’s reader’s, and to the guys at Black Snow for all of this. However, as a means to trying to make amends, I am now making a promise, to both myself and everyone. I will produce at least one page (or material of some kind) for I’m Famous in Japan every 2 weeks until the series comes to a natural end. I really do believe that the very best of this story is yet to come. The ideas I’ve been having about Lone Wolf’s potential Japanese rival have been exciting me a bit and once they are fleshed out, I think everyone else is going to be excited too.
And so with that, I leave you with the latest pencil work of the current I’m Famous in Japan page. This will get inked and hopefully rendered this week!
Until next time!
Hello everyone, this is Rawr reporting from The Gathering 2012…..
Yea…erm…reporting…that doesn’t really sound right. It’s not like I’m a news network or anything…well either way, now that I have some minutes to spare, I thought I’d do a quick roundup of what’s happening so far.
First off, great atmosphere all round. I took the image above just as they switched off the arena lights, leaving only the glow of screens to light the way. If you look towards the roof, you should notice the large whale. This year’s Gathering has a theme which is based heavily on the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and our large friend up there is a ‘subtle’ reference to it.
I’ve been working shifts with KANDU at the Chillout stand, and so far it’s been pretty cool. For the most part I’ve been talking with gamers, giving our coffee and freebies to them and just goofing about. Not a bad way to spend a few hours
Occasionally, this local construction worker would come by and visit.
He reeked of Kentucky Bourbon and kept going on about this mine he had somewhere. I tried to take a few snaps but that just seemed to piss him off.
While he ran off to find his Pick-Axe and Kreeper buddy, I enrolled the help of a local Jedi to sort him out.
That seemed to quiet him down (Disclaimer: Those events may not have happened…pictures are real though….)
Alright. Got another shift starting soon, so I’m going to finish this RAWRgathering installment here. Things are going pretty fast, so at this rate the next RAWRgathering will probably be a summing up of the remaining two days.
Also! In the last few hours, I have the honor of judging a Comic Competition here at KANDU. We already got one entry in that was funny as hell. A good sign I’ll report on that next time.
I just wanted to post a quick RAWRweekly while I still had the chance. Things are going to be very busy next week, while I join KANDU’s Chillout at The Gathering 2012.
For those who are not aware, The Gathering is a massive 5-day long gaming tournament held every year at Hamar, Norway. I’ve joined up with the volunteer group KANDU (who operate the event), to work at the Chillout. KANDU’s Chillout is a special section at the event which is intended as a way to get gamers away from their PCs for a while, so that they can join in on fun games, competitions or just to….chill out.
If there are any RAWRtacular readers attending The Gathering this year, please feel free to seek me out. I’ll be at the Chillout at many an odd hour, and during my off-time I hope to work on some comic pages. So if you’re curious on how a Back Office or Bata Neart page is made, please feel free to sit in. I’m always pleased to show people the inner workings of the RAWRtacular comic-works!
As a result of The Gathering, my updates next week will unfortunately be limited. Next Monday’s Back Office will be a Gathering themed filler page, and there will be no Bata Neart update.
Everything should return to normal on Easter Monday, with a normal Back Office update that day.
Until next time!
Hello all and welcome to yet another monthly RAWRweekly.
First off, I have finally spoken in person with Michael Balistreri via Skype. This is the first time I had actually talked with Black Snow’s artist since the beginning of work on I’m Famous in Japan. It really is surprising how much we’ve managed to get done so far on email and chat windows alone! We shared some stories, talked a little shop (webcomic artists share very similar challenges), and threw together some ideas for future I’m Famous in Japan pages. I hope to reach himself and Black Snow’s writer Alex in the near future for some brain storming. That’s going to be fun!
Following on from last RAWRweekly, I am still re-mastering Chapter 2 of Bata Neart. I’m going to try and get more information regarding the whole process of doing this up on my Deviant Art page soon (that place is ghost town at the moment.) Please remember to check in tomorrow (Friday) for the first page of Chapter 2. In the distant past of 2006, the beginning of that chapter was a very big deal for me since it was the very first time I had completed a chapter of a comic, and then moved onto it’s second installment. Releasing this remastered chapter nearly has the same effect on me as that one did. I’m excited to re-introduce the world to Ashling and her friends.
KANDU is working hard to get ready for The Gathering 2012 in Hamar, Norway. I’m going to push out a special ‘The Gathering’ Back Office strip for that week to act as filler (since I’ll be working there, I won’t have time for a proper update that Monday.) I hope to report back on that event afterwards. Again, it should be lots of fun, and if you are attending please head over to KANDU’s Chillout where there will be fun, games and even prizes.
That’s all for now!
Hello all, and welcome to yet another unusually named RAWRweekly!
Not a awful lot to say this time round, except that I’m feeling pretty good regarding Bata Neart right now. I’ve actually started pushing my ‘manga’ out to various sites, and that is in lue of my pending ‘live-launch’ of the comic.
You probably wonder what I mean by ‘live-launch’. Well…Chapter 1 of Bata Neart wasn’t supposed to have been released as a once-a-week web-comic. I had originally intended to publish all 25 pages of that Chapter all at once as introduction special, while I supplied Chapter 2 in weekly doses. But alas, due to time restrictions and my need to launch Bata Neart in 2011, I had to launch Chapter 1 in weekly updates.
There’s a problem with this, which readers of Bata Neart may already have noticed. Chapter 1 contains no narrative. It’s just one long action sequence, and seeing such a thing in weekly bursts doesn’t really work. It was supposed to be read in one go, and until that was possible I didn’t want even try to advertise the comic.
But Chapter 1 is very nearly finished! And with that, I have finally begun my re-draw of Chapter 2!
I’m going to supply more details on that in the next (and hopefully final) ‘Bata Neart Begins’. In summery, most of the Chapter 2 and 3 pages are really old work from 2005, and some contain serious continuity errors. For example Aoife, a major main-cast character in the series, had a completely different design in Chapters 2 and 3, than I had intended for her. Eventually, I remembered the design I had wanted for her, and used it in Chapters 4, 5 and 6. Now that I’m redrawing, I’m going to fix that problem, but also clean up a lot of the scene work.
It’s a very rewarding feeling to see a lot of my scenes coming to life again. Here’s a few examples:
You’ll notice that a few things have changed over the years. First off, I no longer draw the speech bubbles and frames by hand. I learned later on that it was much better to do that work on computer.
In page 3 you’ll clearly notice the problem I have with Aoife. She’s got black hair, a pig-tail and a massive bow on her head. I had originally intended for her to have long flowing ‘dark’ hair and a ‘head-band’ wrapped around her forehead. During my original draw of Chapter 2, I forgot this design, and opted for the design you see here. Ultimately, I could never make this design work, so I scrapped it in favor of a re-design what was more faithful to my original intention.
Alas, by the time I decided to redesign Aoife, I had drawn her in 2 complete chapters. So this meant, if I want to keep her design consistent I would have to redraw all of Chapter 2 and 3. That is what I’m doing now, and I’m glad for it. Now I can breath some new life into this very old comic of mine.
In the final part of Bata Neart Begins, I will cover the far trickier task of re-mastering Chapter 1, which is 50/50 new and old material spliced together (often on the same page).
Chapter 2 of Bata Neart will be here sometime over the next month, so look forward to that!
Have a great week!
Hello and welcome to another traditionally late installment of RAWRweekly.
I’ve been having a busy January folks, some of which is due to bad stuff while the rest is down to me knuckling down to some hard work here on RAWRtacular, and elsewhere.
Deconstructing Lone Wolf
First off, January had a milestone for me, in the form of a pod-cast review. I’ve never had one of these done before (it’s been either a written review or nothing at all so far), and it was an interesting sensation to listen to 2 people talk about something I had done.
The review was really for Black Snow Comics, and while covering the site’s flagship comics (Two Drink Minimum and I’m Famous), they also had a look at our collaboration comic: I’m Famous in Japan.
It was a bit of a mixed bag. They did offer my artwork some praise, and they did even call me ‘ruler-savvy’ (which sounded like a good thing), but what took me back was how they managed to catch some of my bad-habits and shortcuts. They even noticed something on Page 6 which I didn’t think anyone would catch.
When I was drawing the two female reporters hugging in the final panel, I wasn’t sure if I would go for a cutesy embrace of shared relief, or if instead I would do something a little more ‘adult’. They seemed to notice that, and that impressed me. They even caught onto my use of wire-frame buildings, which has solidified my decision to not use them anymore. At very least not until my line-work becomes ‘tighter’.
Despite several fair-cops on my artwork and failings, they claimed to recommend I’m Famous in Japan over the other comics there. But they did this in a way that was a little jarring. They essentially said that all of the comics at Black Snow were crap, and that I’m Famous in Japan was merely less-crap. They would not recommend any of the comics there. I didn’t really like that.
They were also very harsh on the writing of Alex, and artwork of Michael. They didn’t seem to get the humor of Black Snow, and were very nit-picky on many aspects of Michael’s art. They also didn’t seem to check any of his later work to see if there was improvement, which isn’t all that fair. Michael’s art is always maturing and becoming more and more complex. They miss out a lot by only checking out the beginning. Also Alex’s writing is gold. It takes a certain kind of humor to enjoy some of it, and I know that there are a lot of people out there who enjoy it.
It’s encouraging to see the that guy’s response to this critique has been a series of even more atmospheric pages in Black Snow: Two Drink Minimum. I will also re-double my efforts in I’m Famous in Japan, in the hope that I can improve my art there.
Can you KANDU?
January saw my first meeting with KANDU, a volunteer group here in Norway who focus on encouraging digital creativity. I hope to be joining them at this year’s ‘The Gathering’ at Hamar, as a fellow volunteer.
It’s been a long time since I volunteered for anything, and it’s an interesting, yet familiar feeling . I’m hoping to get more in touch with my peers, potential readers and just the whole realm of digital nerd-dom that the past decade has sort of stolen from me. Expect to hear more about these guys in future RAWRlogs.
Plans on hold?!
There’s been a bit of a change in the scope of RAWRtacular’s plans for this year. I thought that 2012 would become a stable year, and it appears that will not be the case anymore. It’s a long story, which I won’t go into here on RAWRlog, but pressure on time will result in me only managing to update Bata Neart and Back Office as per usual (and Famous Japan whenever I can). Please bear with me while this rather jam-packed time. This doesn’t mean that all of the crazy stuff I promised at New Years won’t happen, it just won’t happen straightaway. I hope that’s fine.
That’s all for this RAWRlog. I’ll try to release these weekly blogs mid-week in future, since Friday is jam-packed anyways. (Although, lets see how long that lasts)
All the best!
Hello all and welcome to 2012′s first RAWRweekly.
An outstanding surprise presented itself this week, in the form of a package from my friend and partner in crime Michael Balisteri. For those who don’t know (or haven’t been paying attention), Michael is the artistic maniac who runs Black Snow Comics together with comic genius Alex Siquig. I’ve had the pleasure of working with these guys for nearly a year now on collaboration work and it has been a lot of fun, as many readers might have already realized while reading I’m Famous in Japan (the comic I draw with them).
So this week, a package from Michael arrived choc full of Black Snow goodies. I’d like to share with you what I found inside;
First and foremost, a very flattering personally penned letter from Michael himself, with an original sketch of The Lone Wolf. This treasured item goes into the RAWRtacular Vault (as soon as such a thing exists), as this will be of interest to future students of Black Snow lore. Also, it really is nice in this day and age to have a piece of physical art from the original artist. The whole digital age of webcomics has sort of removed that, and it’s nice to be reminded for where it all really comes from.
With the letter, I also received the full-colour Volumn 1 of ‘I’m Famous!’ the comic from which I’m Famous in Japan is sung off from. Nothing beats reading a physical comic, and although I was having fun with the original on-line version, this paper copy just feels better. I recommend ‘I’m Famous’ it to anyone with a twisted sense of humor like myself.
I also received a hefty copy of ‘Black Snow – The Complete Original Series’. I tried to read through the whole thing, but as time passed I began to feel dizzy, and the following somehow happened.
Poorly shot Intoxication jokes aside, this monolithic volume includes some insane, yet very dark drama and makes for an engaging read. If you already like Black Snow: Two Drink Minimum, then this comic is for you. You’ll really get feel of where Two Drink Minimum comes from…and possibly where it’s going (that’s not a spoiler-alert, mostly guess-work from me).
With the comics, I also received a rare treat! The very stylish Black Snow Comics cap! Not currently available online (to my knowledge), this cap can only be obtained from the guys themselves when they are on convention tours. So if you want one too, check out the site and look out for their next appearance! (living on the US West Coast may be necessary for this…).
And last, but certainly not least at all. Just as rare as the Cap, I found a Legendary Black Snow Bottle Opener. Why so Legendary? Well first…it’s a bottle..that opens bigger bottles…and if that doesn’t blow your head open…it is the most effective bottle opener I have ever owned. No kidding, it is really damned good at opening stuff. Thus I declare this bottle opener to be Truly RAWRtacular…oh yes…it is that good.
Just like the cap, if you want one too, you’ll probably need to see them at a convention (which in itself, is a really good idea).
And so that mostly wraps up the Black Snow package and this week’s RAWRweekly. I’d like to again thank Michael and Alex for their continued friendship and awesome team-work, as well as sending out this outstanding gift. I look forward to an awesome 2012 working with you guys!
If you too, would like to own a copy of I’m Famous! or the Complete Black Snow collection. Click here! Go on! You know you want to!
Until next time!
Yea, I know what you’re probably thinking. Not another bloody year in review piece, just like the other 9 million similar articles that’ll be made this week. But don’t worry, I’ll try not to make a habit of this. 2011 is an important year for RAWRtacular I feel, and I’d like to mark it’s ending with a few words.
2011 has been the first full year of RAWRtacular’s existence (the site started up half way into 2010), and although some things had stayed the same a lot of important things had happened.
Back Office had gone from a joke-a-day strip to a year-long story arc involving a high-tech villain and a large ensemble cast of characters. Reader-favorite ’Magnu’ made his first appearance at the very beginning of 2011 (although really very late 2010), and continues to be character I get the most feedback on.
My networking efforts increased over 2011, listing Back Office on Comicracy.com, INKoutscape, Comic Hovel, but to name a few.. Mentioing Comicracy, something happened thanks to that site, that I didn’t expect to happen this early on in my web-comic ‘career’. I entered into a collaborative comic project.
In 2011, I befriended fellow web-comic maniacs Alex and Michael of Black Snow Comics. I felt that I could relate with these guys straight away, since they seemed to face the same challenges of our shared pseudo-industry, and I also felt that they had the same hopes for the future. Together we began a spin-off of their hit-comedy ‘I’m Famous!‘, and used my manga/anime drawing style to help make I’m Famous in Japan! This has been very rewarding work, I really look forward to continue working with the guys in the future.
2011 also saw the launch of my much delayed (and nearly 10-year-old) manga Bata Neart. It had always bugged me that this had not been a part of RAWRtacular from day one, and if I had planned things better it would have been. I had a promise to myself and to all of you to launch this comic this year, and thankfully upheld that promise. RAWRtacular.com seems a bit more complete with 2 comics now running in rotation.
This year has also been a year of ups and downs. When it came to RAWRtacular, I had challenges of low personal morale due mostly to failure in my attempts to market the site. The analytics I had running on Back Office showed me having little more than 30 readers, and barely more that 100-200 unique hits per day. Although I lived in hope, I had serious doubts about where I was going with this website. If you had read the previous RAWRweekly, you will know that I was right to be hopeful. Some small tweaking in my advertising resulted in an explosion of hits and new readers. Although I have toned down my advert campaign since (due to high costs), a steady stream of new readers arrive on RAWRtacular every single day.
Back Office now has over 100 readers and counting.
RAWRtacular’s Google + page has 12o members and counting.
My personal RAWRtacular Circle on Google+ has over 800 members…and counting.
2011 was not an easy year. There were challenges both at work and at home, and all the while Back Office’s update schedule continued to take a share of very limited time. Many I know, will be glad to see the end of this year, and I can’t blame them, but I will still have a couple of fond memories of the good stuff (some of which is listed above). This year I officially moved in with my girlfriend Anna, without whom RAWRtacular and Back Office may of never happened. We spent a whole year renovating her family home (and we’re still not done yet), but the result will hopefully be a home where we can also work on our respective enterprises, which are my RAWRtacular Productions and her Funky Baby Design (more on Funky Baby in the New Year).
It’s now time to look forward to 2012. Big things are planned.
Back Office will finish with the Q-Matic arc, forming it’s first complete volume, which I will attempt to print for sale. I will also begin presenting translated Back Office strips to Norwegian national print media for consideration.
Bata Neart will also complete it’s first chapter, while I start to draw new pages for it, following a 2 year hiatus. I will also begin to fully market this comic (much in the same way as Back Office)
I’m Famous in Japan! will hopefully be made in a more regular pace (right now it’s a bit random).
The RAWRtacular Store will be expanded to include more products and will be promoted more.
The RAWRlog (this place) will become a video log…once I actually have desk to do that.
I hope to be joining up with KANDU at their stand at The Gathering 2012 in Hamar, Norway. If you are in the area at the time, seek out KANDU’s Hangout, you might even see me there.
And finally…thanks in no small way to some books Anna gave to me as Christmas gifts…I will begin work into developing RAWRtacular Animation. This is why I call my ‘company’ RAWRtacular Productions, and not just RAWRtacular Comics. One of my long term goals for this site, is to build up a micro-studio around it and produce animated shorts and shows. This is a very long-term plan, and 2012 may only see the mere bones of what will eventually come, but it will begin.
And so finally we reach the end of 2011, thank you for reading this far,and also thank you for sticking with RAWRtacular over the past year. 2012 promise some exciting times ahead, both for myself and my friends at Black Snow Comics. Please join us in the new year for more comic fun.
Wishing you all a RAWRtacular New Year!