First new Deathmole song since I finished recording Permanence. Kind of going in a proggier direction I guess?

civetcat asked: Will there be a new printed book to buy at ECCC?

If we’re lucky I’ll have some advance copies of volume 4!

Talented reader Matt Lewis sent me this lovely drawing of Claire! :3

so cute ahljghzlguhulghagl

Q and A and You and Me

Is Momo strong enough to drag an unconscious Marigold to the bed by herself, or did Dale have to help?

She sleepwalked/moonwalked

How do you feel about Failure reuniting?

Cautiously excited

Can Hannelore be asexual, please? A lot of people read her as such, and think that she is, and it’d be pretty cool to have a canon ace character in something as well known as your comic. Maybe you’ve accidentally written an asexual character? I mean, you of course have control over your comics and everything, but… just putting that out there.

I’ve been getting an increasing number of questions like this lately, so here’s my best attempt at an answer.

While I think it’d be great to see more representation of asexual folks in comics, Hannelore isn’t asexual. She’s severely inhibited by her neuroses, but if they weren’t there, I’m pretty sure she’d want to Do It With Boys. And I’d hate to portray her as asexual instead of inhibited, because that would paint a very inaccurate picture of what asexuality is (as far as I understand it, anyway).

Have you ever considered the addition of an asexual character to the comic? I know a lot of writers will shy away from “adding X character” because it’s too easy to write a bad character around that one characteristic. You’ve done so well with diversity, historically, that I just wanted to know if it’s something you’d ever thought about or wanted to do, even if it’s not something you can immediately do now.

I don’t have any ace characters on the drawing board, but who knows. Maybe someday!

Why do webcomics folk so rarely leave the northeast (aside from huge events like SDCC, C2E2, and the like?

Because plane tickets are expensive.

I’m a long-time guitar dabbler and I’ve recently been trying to learn to play metal/metalcore, and the only electric guitar I’ve ever owned is a Squier Strat. I’ve heard for metal I should really have humbuckers, and I picked up a friend’s cheap (I think) Dean and the difference was striking. I want to get another guitar more suited to metal, but I don’t feel like I have the proper experience to judge them. Should I stick with the strat til I improve? Get a cheap metal axe? An expensive one?

If you want to learn metal, playing on a standard strat will be frustrating, which will make you enjoy playing less, which will make you play less. I say take the plunge and get yourself an affordable “metal” axe. ESP/LTD and Schecter are my go-to brands for good, cheap guitars, and make excellent higher-tier instruments if you want to drop some extra cash. 

I’d also recommend getting yourself a Line 6 POD. When it comes to practicing and recording on a budget there is literally no single piece of gear you’re better off spending money on.

You hear about the new D’Addario NYXL strings that are coming out soon? I just got a beta set, and I’m liking them a lot so far, just gotta see what they sound like after a week or two.

I’ve always been an Ernie Ball man but I’m willing to try new things!

As someone who earns their income on the internet, what do you think of bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general? Is it something that you would consider ever accepting as payment for your merch or music? Or is that kind of thing left up to topatoco?

I don’t particularly like Bitcoin (unstable, prone to pyramid scheme-esque manipulation) but if something that took its good aspects came along I’d probably support it.

can you give any advice to a recent college dropout that wants to make a webcomic but doesn’t really have the means (nor necessarily the artistic talent) to do so?

Just start drawing! Paper and pens are cheap. You can get a Wacom for like 90 bucks. Scanners are cheap too. Make it fun!

Just got my download of Permanence, and it’s awesome. Are you still planning on re-recording Advances, and what is the timeframe for that?

If all goes according to plan, I’ll actually be laying down the basic tracks for Advances this week! It will be a more prolonged process because my engineer is having a baby literally any day now, but it will get done.

Faye is getting hammered less often one way, more in another *snort*

hee hee hee hee hee

I really liked today’s XKCD and decided to do a little Dinosaur Comics style thing with it!

dumbingofage:

Trufacts: Joyce’s skull is 90% teeth
(may 9)

dumbingofage:

Trufacts: Joyce’s skull is 90% teeth

(may 9)

(Reblogged from dumbingofage)

Here’s the first few conventions I’ll be doing this year! More to come in the near future.

Wacom Cintiq Companion Impressions

Last week I received my new Cintiq Companion, Wacom’s first truly portable drawing apparatus. I’ve been making comics on it for a week now, so I think I’ve had enough experience with it to share my impressions with you.

I opted for the Companion and not the Companion Hybrid because I wanted a full-fledged PC in addition to the tablet capabilities. It came with Windows 8 preinstalled, and while I had heard lots of bad things about the OS, it has been a better experience than I was expecting- especially when I updated it to 8.1. The tablet functionality is quite good, actually. I like the onscreen keyboard a lot more than iOS’s.

As for the hardware itself, I am impressed. The Companion feels really solid, and the various buttons and switches etc are responsive and useful. It’s compact enough to easily fit in a computer bag, and came with a nice neoprene case that also holds the stylus case (which itself is really cool). The power cord is plenty long enough and the transformer box is surprisingly compact. All in all it’s way more portable than the smaller Cintiq and perfect for travel or working in coffee shops or whatever.

The most critical thing, of course, is how it does at actually making artwork. The surface is a nice balance between smoothness and toothiness. It feels like it might be a little gripper than my big Cintiq, but I may be imagining that. The stylus is excellent. Due to the smaller screen, there is a noticeable discrepancy between the tip of the stylus and the cursor when you get to the edges of the screen, but proper calibration was easy and went a long way toward correcting this. After a week of use I hardly notice it anymore.

The overall drawing experience is good. It took me a few days to get used to working on such a small screen as I’m used to my 24” monster at home, but it was just a matter of adaptation. Pressure sensitivity is excellent, and the Companion has enough RAM to handle huge Photoshop files without any hitches. I attach a USB keyboard because I use lots of keyboard shortcuts when drawing, but if you use the express keys on the side of your cintiq you could probably work without an external keyboard. Due to the high screen resolution and small display size, user interface buttons are pretty tiny, but not unusably so.

Battery life is truly impressive, in my opinion. I can draw for three hours and only use up half of a charge.

Thus far, my only gripes are with the software, not the tablet itself. Photoshop is buggy as hell on Windows, at least compared to OS X. And Windows 8 is better than I expected, as I said, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a “good” operating system. Its kind of a mess, organizationally, and the disconnect between the (pretty cool, IMO) tiles interface and the standard Windows desktop is really, really clunky. The design nerd in me hates the OS, but the practical side of me says “at least it works.”

So what’s the final verdict?

I’m glad I got my Companion. It makes working while I’m away from home an absolute breeze. If you’re a professional artist who travels a lot I think its a great purchase despite the hefty price tag. It won’t be replacing my 24hd as my main work tool, and I think people looking to jump into the Cintiq pool would be better served by purchasing one of the less expensive non-tablet Cintiqs. But on the whole, I’m pleased with the product and expect to do a lot of work on it in the future.