roxybisquaint: (dunce cap)
Thank you. Thank you. It's not often that I win an award like this, but today, I truly think I earned it.

I never lose things. I'm not all freakishly neat and organized or anything (in fact, quite the opposite), but I do have very specific places that I put stuff I use all the time. Car keys get hung on the hook on the side of my kitchen cabinet, for example, and my sunglasses go on the dining room sideboard. Well it was a mega sunny day today, so naturally I went to grab my sunglasses before I headed out. Hmm. That's odd. They're not where I always put them.

These are prescription sunglasses, so I make sure to put them in their case to prevent my giant crazy cat from eating them (had to buy a new lens for my regular glasses a month after I got them last year thanks to his pointy teeth). And since he can't get at them, he's quite fond of knocking the case on the floor. I often find it under the sideboard or under the dining room table. Not today. I searched everywhere in the house and in our cars. They were nowhere to be found.

I'd just about given up hope, thinking I'd somehow dropped them somewhere when we were out. Then I saw my cowboy hat sitting on the dining room sideboard and it all came back to me... I'd put them under the hat so the cat wouldn't knock them onto the floor. That alone could qualify me for a dunce award, but it gets better. When I did that, I had this exact thought: "This is probably a bad idea because I'm totally going to forget they're under there."

*Dunce*
roxybisquaint: (domokun kitty)
My giant crazy cat ate my favorite necklace. Well, he didn't eat the little charm, but he ate about 95% of the leather strap it dangles from, including the clasp. WTF cat?! I must have left part of it sticking out of my jewelry box or something and he yanked it out. The jewelry box was still closed, yet I found the remnants of the necklace on the floor.

He's like a shark, this cat. He'll eat anything. He's been known to eat plastic, tape, paper, carpet fuzz, rubber bands, pieces of vinyl mini blinds, styrofoam, hair, ponytail holders and aluminum foil. And now I'll add a leather strap and a metal clasp to the list. I wonder if all this stuff is just stuck in his stomach?
roxybisquaint: (me ?!)
I have these 4 little wooden blocks (well, had) with letters on them that spell out HOPE when you put them all together. One of my cats has apparently decided that the letter P made for a good toy and made off with it. I can't find it anywhere. So now I've got HOE. Nice. Thanks kitty.
roxybisquaint: (sarah photo action figure)
I've had a number of people ask me what's involved and how much time it takes to produce the Sarah Connor Comicals, so I thought I'd put a post together.

There are really two parts to the process: the thinking and the doing. I never know which half is going to torture me more from episode to episode, but one of them surely will, every time. Creative processes are just like that (for me anyway, but I'm guessing most of you know what I'm talking about). Sometimes I have a good deal of it planned out before I begin and sometimes I dive in with one or two ideas and hope it leads me.

So the time it takes varies — widely. I've whipped up a comical in a few hours before and others I've struggled with off and on for days. But whether it's totally fun and goes quickly or drags out and starts to feel like a chore never seems to be a factor in how good it ends up. That, I think, just depends on the way an episode hits me, how much I've got going on and probably what kind of mood I'm in when I work on it.

After I've beat my head against the wall for a while and made some notes, I set up the "studio" (2 clip-on lights on a work table, some poster board and a Canon PowerShot on a tripod). It actually takes quite a while to photograph scenes (way longer than you'd think). The action figures are often uncooperative and I have to Fun Tack them into submission. If the setup doesn't look right, I have to un-Fun Tack them, rearrange and re-Fun Tack them. It can be tedious. There's also this to contend with:



Depending on how many ideas I have when I start, I may go scene-by-scene or I may shoot a bunch of different scenes in succession. Then I take them into PhotoShop for the finishing work. That's where the raw photos become comic panels and also where I end up changing my mind about stuff a lot. That sometimes leads to reshoots, but I also change things around on the fly. I've erased an action figure from a scene before because I couldn't bear to set up the shot a second time and I've pieced-in figures that weren't originally there. I add in backgrounds, objects, I make graphics to use (like the Jesse calendar). And some stuff I create in Illustrator because PhotoShop's vector tools leave much to be desired.

The comical for episode 11 wasn't one of the more amusing ones, but I think I ended up putting more work into it graphically than any previous edition. Partly that may have been me making up for what I felt was kind of a dud, but it's also just that the longer I do these, the more desire I have to make them actually look good. What started as a quick and dirty hack job has turned into a full fledged hobby. And despite whatever frustrations it brings me during the process, I simply love doing it.

For those that have been curious about all this, I've assembled a step-by-step peek at the making of two of the more complex panels from the Self Made Man comical.
roxybisquaint: (sarah flashlight)
I've decided to make some packaging for my TSCC action figures because any respectable figure should have it's own awesome package design. Before getting started, I wanted to browse through some action figure packages to check card sizes, familiarize myself with what info is on them and also see if there were some plastic bubbles I could pillage the for my own packages. So I wandered down to the basement where all my carded action figures are stored. Some are in boxes on shelving and some are in storage carts.

Before I go any further, this is not some insanely huge collection I have; it's leftover inventory that I've been too lazy to liquidate ($5,000 worth of crap no one wants). BTW if anyone wants a Darth Maul, let me know. What, no takers? I do have some awesome Dragon figures, though. Those kick ass for WWII soldier realism.

Okay back to the story...
My crazy cat was very involved in this browsing because I had to move the carts around to get into the drawers, which exposed floor space he'd never walked through (a very exciting event to a cat). So while I was digging through stacks of figures in various drawers, he was milling about in parts unkown. I finally yanked out some 3 3/4" Funschool Joes (semi-knock-offs made in India that I think I'd orignally bought for maybe a buck a piece). Perfect. Those could be buried in the sand for 1,000 years and they'd still only be worth about a buck a piece.

I closed up the drawers, pushed the carts back into place and headed upstairs. There was some discussion about packaging and we ate some dinner. A little while later I headed back down to the basement to grab another action figure when I heard the muffled but familiar high pitched girly meow of my cat (he's a male).

Meeeeeeeeeeow. Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeow.

I go looked around and called his name.

Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeow.

I started moving storage carts around.

Meeeeeeeeeeow. Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeow.

I finally found him INSIDE a drawer.

There's something you need to know about my cat - he's BIG. When I hold him, it kind of looks like this (okay maybe not quite that ridiculous, but it looks like he's been enlarged in PhotoShop). You'll just have to trust me when I say he could not have gone unnoticed if he'd been in a drawer when I closed it earlier. My best guess is he squeezed himself into the lower drawer from the back through a temporary opening created when I had a middle drawer open. It still would have been tricky. He was crammed so tightly in the drawer (with some action figures) that he couldn't move until I got the drawer fully open and actually extracted him.

He was most grateful. He'd did lots of purring and rubbing against me and he hasn't left my side since. Maybe he'll stop lunging at my calves when I walk by him now (that's his favorite activity).

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Roxy Bisquaint

March 2011

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