I strive for excellence in all things.
Posted May 20, 2020
Bookmarked faves from the #SixFanArts meme-storm. That Bill Cipher by Art Chao is fabulous.
Posted May 7, 2020
After a 20-year break, I started playing Dungeons & Dragons again. A group of co-workers allowed me to join their ongoing campaign and it wasn't long before those dusty, cobweb-covered wooden gears in my mind started turning again. Much like when I started drawing Neat Hobby!, I had the sensation that I should have been doing this all along.
Until just a few years ago it felt like D&D had actually contracted, remaining at the nerdy margins of culture and more underground than ever. But D&D has exploded, and I've been astounded by this new resurgence.
The prime mover is, without a doubt, social media: new generations of players posting their fan art and miniatures, livestreaming their games, creating their own materials, and generally just sharing their love for the game. As a teenager in a West Virginia high school, I was frustrated at how hard it was to communicate why this game -- a mostly improvisational game with no board and no "winning" -- was so awesome. "Show, don't tell" is an ineffective rule when people won't even look.
Today that can be resolved by attaching the #dnd and #ttrpg hashtags to your post about your half-orc bard. Whereas before you had to watch a game in-person, now you can watch any number of games streaming live on Twitch. You get to hear the in-game jokes, witness the absurd moments, and generally see players having fun. And not just "players" but a broad and diverse assortment of people, which is helping to erode away the stigma and (one hopes) some of the questionable and problematic aspects of the early game materials.
Like most things, D&D has to be experienced to really understand why people love it.
And the ecosystem! It's incredible. D&D was never a completely closed system, but player-made enhancements and material usually stayed separate and largely undiscoverable from the official source material. That changed with two things: the DM's Guild, where players can sell original works, and the System Rules Document/Open Gaming License, which is a kind of non-commercial share-alike version of the basic D&D rules that can be used to create original works.
Both options have some draconian (haha) legal stipulations, but the resulting explosion of player-authored adventures, supplemental rules, character classes and monsters has been unbelievable.
Do you want rules for roleplaying a marriage ceremony, or a guide on harvesting and crafting? Bored of the standard spells? How about 1000 new ones? Campaigns that are specific to worker's rights and the environment? Adventures based on Shakespeare? A rich sourcebook of nothing but taverns and inns? Or maybe you want to play as an alligator, or an acappella bard, or a elemental-biomechanical construct.
And if you want gear, Etsy's got you. Alternative character sheets and journals. Terrain. Some incredible-looking miniatures. So very many dice. Want to build your own terrain? Behold the crucible that is YouTube. Tips for drawing maps and painting miniatures.
It feels like too much. But it's really not, because all that's required is a group of friends rolling dice and making up stories. And although that's never not been the case, I can't imagine a better time to return to D&D.
Posted May 4, 2020
Modern-day adventuring equipment from around the web.
Posted May 1, 2020
When I was promoting my Halloween comic THE LAST REUNION SHOW I wanted to show off some of the web animations I was using to give some life to the story. Normally this would lead me to installing some adware-laden GIF-maker app that I'd come to regret. But I'm really impressed with GIPHY Capture for making it stupid easy to create those animated GIFs that are the lingua franca of today's web.
It's just a floating frame that you position over the thing you want to make a GIF from. Click record and then export at the quality you want. It doesn't even add a watermark!
I made the following GIFs to promote my comic on social media.
I also made this capture from Early Man because it's hilarious.
Anyway, use this and skip all the sketchy GIF apps with their weird, suspicious advertising.
Posted April 29, 2020
OneKilotonSun is my ambient electro-prog-pop music project, and last week I released a new track called Selenitic. Have a listen below:
Follow OneKilotonSun on Bandcamp to be informed when I release more music there.
There's a cipher puzzle somewhere on the Bandcamp page that leads to a discount for downloading. You'll need some basic cipher knowledge and access to Google to figure it out. Good luck!
Posted April 27, 2020
A few years ago, frustrated with having tons of forgotten, unread browser tabs still open at the end of each week, I started using Pocket to save links for later reading.
The result? A ton of forgotten, unread links in my Pocket account. So in the interest of allieviating guilt and continuing the time-worn tradition of using blogs to share cool links, please enjoy "Pocket Lint."
Awhile back I had an idea to release some D&D-inspired instrumental music along with a printable PDF one-shot adventure. I thought I was so smart. But these…kind of raise the bar.
Posted April 24, 2020
Other than I greatly enjoy the distraction it provides, I don't know why I keep tinkering with this website. But here I am, ripping it all down again. The previous posts about my static website generator project are now gone, and all my old Wordpress posts going back to 2008 are available again, although archived.
My interest in blogging ebbs and flows, but I feel compelled to maintain this site, the only piece of the web I can say I own.
I have assuredly broken a lot of links. Cool URIs don't change, but hey, I never said mine were cool.
So let's see what happens here this year, despite -- well, you know (gestures to everything).
Posted April 23, 2020
My Halloween horror story is now up. THE LAST REUNION SHOW is about three friends dealing with the consequences of getting everything they ever wanted. I first conceived the idea behind this story back in 2016, but didn't really start working on it in earnest until early 2019. I've spent most of the summer drawing and working on the visual effects, which I programmed myself. I plan to eventually release all the code behind the SFX, which... might make this the first one-shot horror comic to be accompanied by a Github repository?
THE LAST REUNION SHOW is a horror story for adults. You've been warned!
Posted October 1, 2019