September 16, 2008 - Tuesday
Today, I had a few quick things I wanted to mention. First, concerning the flyers. A few of you have contacted me that the quality of the flyers wasn't so great. I was trying to compress the images to keep the files small, but I ended up overdoing it. After some fidgeting with settings, I was able to make a new batch of flyers that look better and are actually smaller file sizes, so check them out here. Thanks to everyone who took the time to e-mail me.
As I continue to post guest strips I've been getting more e-mails from people asking whether they can do guest strips as well. In general, all the guest strips you've seen on my site are from me personally requesting another comic artist. That's not to say I'll NEVER post a guest strip that wasn't solicited, but you have to understand that since these things will permanently be in my archive, they have to be pretty special. On the other hand, I am ALWAYS excited to see fan art, as you may have noticed here, here, or here. It's just fun to see how other artists approach my characters. I've been pretty impressed by how comics like Imy are able to have fan art as a regular, weekly feature, and I would love to do the same. In return you'll get a link in my blog and a permanent link in my gallery, so send that fan art!
Finally, I found an interesting link in the blog of the webcomic Steal This Comic. He found a podcast in the Talkshoe archives of Scott Kurtz (of PvP fame) interviewing Tyler Martin (creator of Wally and Osborne and ComicPress). It's a fun interview to listen to, especially if you're a fellow webcomic creator.
Guest Strip From Keong Chan
September 15, 2008 - Monday
Today's update features a guest comic thanks to Keong Chan, who you may know as "speearr" from some of the webcomic forums. Keong was the creator of the daily webcomic t-n-t for more than 7 months, which is a humorous look at being a blogger. I'm always very impressed by people that are able to invent a new gag day after day without ever having a break. I actually got the chance to help Keong on one of his comic strips. He sent me a sketch of the artwork, which you can see here, and as a fun exercise, I had to think up the dialogue. I was pretty happy with the final result. Although t-n-t no longer updates, do yourself a favor and read through some of the archive. There are plenty of great gags to find there. In particular, check out the final strip, which I thought was a particularly heartfelt and appropriate ending to the series. Let's all keep our fingers crossed that we may see some more comics from Keong in the not-so-distant future.
Help Spread the Word About Calamities of Nature
September 12, 2008 - Friday
When I asked you guys to take a survey a little while back (and by the way, if you haven't taken the survey yet, it's a huge help to me), one of the surprising results was that many said you'd be willing to post flyers advertising Calamities of Nature. Clearly you people are not nearly as lazy as me! Being the timely kind of guy that I am, it only took me two months, but I finally got some flyers completed. Below you'll find the four flyers I've made (actually there's only two different flyers, but each has a color and grayscale version). Just click the flyer of your choice to download the pdf version. Now that school is getting back in session, and people are actually attending class (for the time being), it would be fantastic if you could post some of these around your campus. Or if you have a nice, independent coffee shop near you with with a board for posting notices, I'd bet the Starbucks flyer would go over great. Tell me how it goes with posting these, and thank you guys SO MUCH for your help and support. I couldn't keep this up without you. Over the last month I've been seeing an increasing number of blog posts and links for Calamities of Nature, and it really means a lot to me.
The Large Hadron Collider Turns on Today
September 10, 2008 - Wednesday
It's a pretty exciting day in the world of physics (and for all humanity, in my humble opinion) because the Large Hadron Collider (or LHC) turns on today. The LHC is the world's largest particle accelerator and is located underneath the Franco-Swiss border. It's main purpose is to collide protons to learn about fundamental particle physics. The Standard Model of particle physics has been one the most successful scientific theories ever for almost 40 years, but there remain many unanswered questions about it. The experiments at the LHC will be the best chance yet to test the Standard Model, including perhaps finding the so-called Higgs Boson, which is thought to be responsible for giving all other particles mass, but has never been observed. If you're interested, there is a live webcast of the LHC turning on as well.
As many of you are aware, there's been some discussion that a mini black hole formed by the LHC could have dangerous consequences for the Earth. But like most fear mongering in the popular media, there is no substance behind it. So feel free to rest easy tonight with the knowledge that the Earth will not be destroyed by a bunch of mad scientists (yet).
Finally what better way to celebrate the LHC than a bunch of white people rapping?!
September 9, 2008 - Tuesday
Okay, this has been bothering me over the last couple of days. I posed this question on Twitter, and although I got some interesting responses, none were fully satisfying. Part of this was probably because I didn't have space to properly explain myself on Twitter, so I'll take a shot here. Maybe one of you guys can give me the answer I'm looking for.
My question seems pretty simple: what are the true primary colors? Throughout school we are taught repeatedly that red, blue, and yellow are the primary colors. What is meant by primary colors is that you should be able to make almost any other color by mixing these. And for almost my whole life I accepted this as the gospel without ever thinking of questioning it. But now that I have learned more about the process of printing, I learned that printers use cyan, magenta, and yellow. This has me confused. There can't be two set of primary colors, right? Furthermore, you can make red from mixing magenta and yellow in equal parts. But you can't make magenta with any combination of red, blue, and yellow. To me this clearly indicates that cyan, magenta, and yellow are the TRUE primaries. But if this is the case, why are we taught differently? When we go to Chili's and get a set of crayons with the kids meal, why doesn't it come with cyan, magenta, and yellow? Is there something I'm missing? Have I been failed by public education once again? I'd be extremely interested in hearing if anyone has any insight into this.
As an aside, I want to mention that I know there are actually at least two sets of primary colors. The reason is that you get different sets of primaries depending on the rules of mixing. This gives subtractive primaries (either red, blue, and yellow, or cyan, magenta, and yellow, depending on how the above discussion turns out), and additive primaries (red, green, and blue). The former case is applicable when mixing colors gives you darker pigments (like with paint), and the latter applies when mixing colors gives you lighter colors (like when you mix light, mixing red, green, and blue together gives white). So in this context, my above question only concerns the subtractive primaries.
As an aside to my aside, I've also found there's a thing called autochrome (a photographic process), where the primaries are purple, orange, and green. Can anyone explain to me how THAT works?
Fan Art from Dave Buist of Taking the Bypass
September 8, 2008 - Monday
Today I wanted to share some nice fan art sent to me by Dave Buist, the creator of the webcomic Taking the Bypass. Click the artwork below for the full-size version. Besides having one of those urls that makes you wonder how that was still available, Taking the Bypass is a funny webcomic with a great mix of office and family humor. Dave was actually the person who approached me about joining Hyena Comics, so now that I think of it, maybe I should have given him a plug sooner. Oops! Anyway, please help me thank him by checking out his comic and the artwork below.