The Short Synopsis

Pop Culture Data Artist, Infographics, Network Design Art, Technical Writing...

Follow me on:

Facebook Artist Page - Show and tell about my current artwork

Instagram - Images and posts about progress on art projects. Many will be the in-progress ones when developing a project.

Tumblr - Interesting pages and panels selectively pulled from mostly newer comics.

Earth P.D. comics - My 1940s style comic done entirely digitally. Currently working on issue #3.

Twitter - Not my most active account but I follow some very interesting people.

Comic & Art Events

Steel City Con

April 13-15 2018

Artist Alley

3 Rivers Con

May 20-21 2018

Artist Alley

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Friday
Aug042017

SteelCity Con-August 2017

It's been a long road getting ready for my first con but it wasn't unexpected. So many little details that need to be taken care of in order to make it a good experience. But I feel it will be worth it. I have been in denial about my ability as an artist for many years. More of a fear that people won't like the work I do.

This will be the test (and hopefully not an ordeal) of fire. For better of worse I will let the people at the con make the judgement of whether my work is worth it.

Sunday
Dec112016

SteelCityCon-December 2016

ComicCon

Went to SteelCityCon on Saturday. After attending a few I'm getting to know some of the artist better. It's great to talk shop with people with the same interest as I have. Got some good advise on how to continue with the production of the book and actions I should take next.

But the best thing I heard was the mass of encouragement to get it printed when it's finished and continue on with the story. On artist said even though this subject matter was not something that interested him, he liked to style and said it reflected the era fairly well. I will probably work toward getting a booth at a future con (either by myself or splitting one with another artist.).

Shane also thought that some of my other work would do well in the Artist Alley. He particularly like the medieval version of Jabberwocky. I can see I will need to come up with some money in order to make prints of a few items. Again, another expense I don't have the money for but looks like will be a necessity to get into the game.

Working at home by myself can be a drudgery at times. With no conversation on artistic subjects, it occasionally feels like I'm barking up the wrong tree. Wandering around the floor at Artist's Alley gives me a renewed outlook on my art that I am heading in a good direction. Time will tell if it's actually one that will be financially benefitical.

Wednesday
Aug172016

SteelCityCon

Took in the SteelCityCon last weekend and it was a breath of fresh air. My main aim was to talk to the various artist at the booths. Visiting the merchant booths and listening to the celebrity speakers was fun, but it was the artists which I needed to interact with the most.

Questions I had ranged from techniques for working with the Wacom tablet to getting a book printed. I got answers to all my questions, although one of the answers concerning the Wacom tablet was there is no good way to prevent those bezier handles from spiraling off in random directions.

I met up with Mike, an engineer whom I worked with at BCSI. Mike's secret identity is Steel Man. Mike has been going to cons for quite a few years and introduced me to many people he knew there including a few of the artists.

I will be getting in touch with a few of them in the days to come.

Tuesday
May032016

Duty Roster Thoughts

Collecting data for the Star Trek Duty Roster poster taught me valuable lessons I vow never to repeat with future projects.

The chart was to be the prominent tropes of Star Trek taken from tvtropes.org. It's a great site and an evil rabbit hole to get lost in. Many tropes are cut-and-dried like the number of times Spock said interesting or fascinating or counting the number of times the phasers were fired and the color of the beam. Those things were easy to gather. They are objective data. The problem arose with the subjective tropes. Subjective is defined as "based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions." It makes for interesting discussions but has no place in data collection. An example of a subject trope is how many women did Kirk have sex with? Exploring this subject led me to many Star Trek forums containing many discussions and never did I find a set answer.

On one episode page I could find an event described as trope A. On a different episode page I could find that same situation described as trope B. On a third episode page, that situation isn't mentioned at all. It was like a crazy dog chasing its tail. I couldn't nail down the information. I finally conceded it was a fool's errand and the data set would never come to fruition.

When I had been working on this for over a month with no end in sight, I realized there's no end to this project. I needed to find a new direction. I didn't want all that work to go to waste so I salvaged what I could by filtering the objective data only. One of most notable sets of data was crew position. That sounded like a good direction.

I took another run through the episodes looking for people performing each job. Much easier than trying to observe every trope they might have been doing. My 20-20 hindsight wishes I had thought of this months ago.

I figured I was going to use the spoke-and-wheel style again. It works well for episodic TV. The problem I ran into with Star Trek that I didn't with Buffy was the number of unique icons I needed. It became a struggle with too much/too little information. I eventually settled on giving the regular cast, the regular extras, and the main guest crew unique icons with everyone else getting a plain colored circle.

I decided to include information regard the uniforms (ripped shirts and shirtless scenes) and odd-job performed by the crew (bridge waitress, bartender, and fire brigade). To round it out I complied a list of the crew who went the the Navigator's revolving chair. There certainly were a lot of people in that position.

There was the usual fighting with Illustrator as there always is. It does a fine job but it's just so finicky. But on each project I usually end up learning another technique that I need.

When the first print arrived at the house I found another problem. Some of the radials I was using to information were too small. I couldn't tell from the computer screen but it was verified on the printout. There were quite a few changes and I needed help. I sent a copy to Jürgen in Germany and we worked on it for a week tweaking both the icons and ways to denote information.

After we finished I did another proofread and sent it along. As I said, I've learned my lesson about working with subjective data. Never again...

Friday
May222015

Fan-Edited Datasets

Earlier this week I was presented with what looked like a decent dataset for the deaths in the TV show, The Walking Dead. Appeared to be good until I took a closer look. Then the data gaps and ambiguity surfaced.

The initial problem I saw was with the first deaths of the series. Three unnamed criminals were killed by the responsible party of Shane Walsh, Lam Kendal, and Leon Basset, officers on the police force. My first thought was, "Well which of those officers killed which criminals?" In order to get an accurate count, that is information I need to know. But it only got worse.

Any time there were multiple people involved in a fight there was no mention of which character will whom. This makes distinguishing kills impossible.

Then there are the ambiguous phrases like, "Shot and devoured by walkers." and "Devoured by walkers and burned in fire." In the first one it sounds like the walkers are the ones with the guns. I know the walkers don't use guns but that's what it sounds like. In the second, I wondered did the victim die in the fire or from the walkers eating them? Too many questions. An classification I used in Buffy was an assist (*) when the person was not directly responsible for a kill but helped another character make it so. This is carried one step higher with many characters getting credit for Caused. That's not the same as an assist as the character wasn't directly in the action. But with this dataset it will have to be addressed. But I noticed a vagueness when this term was used and it's impossible to discern exactly what happened.

(*) "An assist" is a term taken from hockey when a player doesn't score the goal but without their assistance another player they helped would not have scored.

A similar logistic problem that the Walking Dead has with Buffy is a character can "technically" be killed twice. First is the human death and the second when they are killed as a zombie.

Conclusion

As with any fan-edited dataset on the internet it is made for fans of the show (*). People who already know the circumstance of a particular death. The wikia is there to assist their memory of the event. It's the same problem I found with all the Buffy death lists. Since I knew the show I could see what was missing from the standpoint of the required data.

(*) I learned this after going through three Buffy Lists of Deaths.

As a person who has not seen The Walking Dead, I can not determine the proper situation for many of the deaths. The only was this can be done is if I am able to scrub through all five seasons of the show.