An animated homage to Johnny Wander

I’ve been an avid reader and fan of Johnny Wander for quite a while. Johnny Wander is created by Yuko Ota and Ananth Panagariya, and is an ongoing autobiographical webcomic about life after college, geekyness and amusing happenings from everyday life. Oh yeah, and there are cats. Several cats.

A while back, Yuko posted an animated infographic that can be seen here. I really liked the little dance, and I found it fascinating that a looping gif with four frames (two of them identical) could be so fun to watch. Inspired by this, I decided to try to make one with myself and my girlfriend as the dancing characters. Please know that I’ve literally traced the original, so all credit must go to Yuko Ota (you can check out her art on Tumblr).

Dane Dance GIF

So yeah, this is a thing that exists. A homage, you might say, to the excellence that is Johnny Wander and it’s creators. This was fun to do, and I hope that I will be able to make my own in not too long. I’m sort of hooked on animated GIF’s at the moment, and I try hard to make them sync up to music. This one is a little faster than the original, and syncs up decently with Audio, Video, Disco by Justice (for a little while at least). What do you think?

Comics on iBooks – Maximumble

MaximumbleToday, I learned about Maximumble, a series of comics by Chris Hallbeck. Book number one is currently available for free on iBooks, which is something I found out from the man himself via Twitter. You can get it here: Maximumble #1 on iBooks.

After checking out the sample on my iPad Mini, and hearing that it was going to be free to download, there was no doubt that I should just get the entire book. I would recommend it to anyone who likes absurd, unpredictable and weird comics. Delightfully weird, that is. Some of them are a bit morbid (but hey… anyone who’s read The Far Side is no stranger to comics that are just a tad disturbing), yet others are cute and quirky. A few gems even have several  punchlines.

Hallbeck’s drawings are simple and features mostly stick figures and simple props, but there’s a strong clarity and expressiveness in his drawing style. The only thing I’m missing is some color or tone to balance out the panels, which are mostly white.

All in all, it’s a good collection of comic strips worth checking out. At the moment there are a total of four Maximumble volumes and two Minimumble (single panel comics) available for $ 2.99 each iBooks. There are also several volumes of Hallbeck’s main series “The Book of Biff”, which can also be found here, in it’s pure webcomic form.

(Maximumble #1 cover art from iBooks store)

Some thoughts on having goals

I wanted to make a follow-up from last years New Year’s resolutions, but since we’re soon to be half-way through March already, this post is going to be a little bit different than I thought.

(If you’re not interested in my rambling, just skip to the bonus pixel animation thingy at the end of this post).

As to be expected with New Year’s resolutions, not everything goes according to plan. Yet, I’m pretty happy with the “Be creative and make things” part of my list of goals. As I’ve mentioned before, 2012 was actually the first year I’ve ever had any resolutions at all. It has been a useful experience having something to work towards, and from that perspective, it doesn’t matter that I haven’t fulfilled all of my goals. I think that just knowing that they were put into writing has helped me to stay creative, and to seek opportunities to make and draw things.

Speaking of which… As a fun bonus, keeping a blog where I post my sketches and drawings has made it possible for me to get illustrations in print, and I’ve also gotten a couple of exciting and challenging commissions. So that has certainly been a pleasant surprise!

Most of my resolutions for 2012 were about keeping my creativity flowing and “getting things done”. I said I was going to read more, procrastinate less and spend more time creating things and learning new skills. The usual stuff. As far as practice and procrastination goes, there’s plenty of room for improvement. I’ve probably spent more time thinking “I should draw” than actually sitting down to draw something. Yet, I’m pretty happy about some of the things I made in 2012 (not to mention my efforts on Hourly Comic Day 2013, of which I’m pretty proud of).

Anyway, I’m thinking that I should incorporate some of the points from the 2012 list into the new list of goals for 2013. But I’m going to paraphrase them a little bit, and maybe be more concise on some points.

Goals for 2013

  • Read and relax more
  • Engage in social media (blogs, comments, Twitter)
  • Practice useful skills to use in drawings, illustrations and comics. This includes, but is not limited to: life drawing, caricatures, watercolors, digital inking and coloring.
  • Challenge my creativity and collaborate with other people
  • Make a work schedule and stick to it
  • Keep files and photo libraries organized

These are goals that I want to work towards, so that I can stay productive and do what I like the most: create stuff!

Pixelanimation - Daft Punk

Here’s a tiny pixel animation that I’ve made, just to keep this post a little bit interesting. It gets even more interesting if you add some dance music to it.

Platypups

Platypups

Apparently, the baby platypus doesn’t have a “proper” name. According to an image that someone shared on Facebook, they’re informally called platypups. Which, as you can see, resulted in this reaction from my girlfriend. Isn’t “platypup” just an awesome name?

The process behind this comic, for those interested:
Sketch: Sketched on a A5-sized printer paper, redrawn on Deleter manuscript paper with blue pencil lines.
Lineart: Manga Studio EX 4, magic marker with fixed width (no-line weight)
Color: Photoshop CS3