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Thanks, Gene!

 

Mark, I haven't any clue how to make the rope decals work on both sides. The strip is pretty small, so it's not too noticeable, but I'd love to figure out how to make it work...

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Select patch with the patch tool, right click and choose rotate image. Keep rotating the image till it works correctly. I'm assuming it's a tilable image.

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Holy cow!

 

Thanks, Mark!

 

Now I gotta' lotta' patches to mess with. :-)

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I can't believe these are two years old now. I mean, it seems like only yesterday that I was newbling to this site, excited by the concept of stalled trek (which live up to its title :) ) I find it inspiring how you're able to pump these out, so much so that I might turn some of my ideas into comic strips as opposed to films or animations, might save time, I dunno, perhaps I'll just continue to save my focus for ELZ

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For me, it seems like longer sometimes. :-)

 

The 2-year anniversary is for the website. Production actually began at the same time this thread did, at the beginning of September, 2007.

 

Stalled Trek was always a substitute for not having an idea. It allowed me to have at least some focus while I was learning, since I was *very* much a newbie, too. (I only seriously began trying to learn A:M when I upgraded in February of 2007 after briefly messing around with it for a month back in 2004.) However, since it was a parody of an existing property, I kept feeling pressure from the comparison to the real thing ...and there was at least one stinging remark that I wasn't really working on my own thing.

 

That said, I didn't expect that The Wannabe Pirates would become an ongoing thing like this. The idea was to do a quick short film and maybe some sequels.

 

I think it's important to note that I'm not doing the webcomic in place of doing the movie as much as I am making sure the webcomic continues at the cost of not doing the movie. There's an important distinction there. I didn't say to myself, I'll dump the movie because it would be easier to do a webcomic. I was facing the end of the webcomic unless I kept it going and that meant not doing the movie.

 

In some aspects, I think doing the webcomic is harder. For one thing, it's never-ending, which means new characters, sets, props, challenges. It's not like a short film, where you can see an ending coming. And for another, once you begin, there are real deadlines. I'm at the point where I'm always less than a week away from when the strips go up on the site. It's produce or die! :-) Pumping these out, as you say, is an enormous amount of work.

 

But I think the rigors of doing a 5 day-a-week strip are allowing me to continue learning and growing with A:M. I certainly feel like it's given me a tremendous amount of practice with posing characters and as challenges come up, I'm exploring new features of A:M that I hadn't before (fluids, flocking, fog, etc.)

 

By the time I make it to the 5-year anniversary, I should be pretty good at all of this stuff. :-)

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well i see a massive improvement in your technique since the beginning (course you were always miles ahead of me to being with :) ) But everything looks so clean and well done. Unfortunately I never got on the bandwagon to reading the comics from day one, so I pretty much just look at the pretty pictures now :)

 

No but seriously, it's a very good job and an inspiration

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oh, and about the speed factor, at least by the end of the week you have something substantial to show for your efforts, I'll be lucky to complete 30 seconds of footage in a weeks time

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Whew! The last major new character for this story!

 

Greyhawk!

 

grey11.png

 

The long hair was definitely a challenge. (I took some cues from the way they did Anakin's hair in the Clone Wars series.) Greyhawk will make his first appearance in strip #100!

 

Here's a turnaround

 

greytrn2.mov

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You've got me feeling like a kid at a comic rack!

Pure excitement.

 

...and strip#100.... ooooh. COLLECTOR'S ITEM!

 

He's awesome! :)

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ah ha, so greyhalk is gonna make an appearence in wannabe, i just knew it!

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Excellent! Is there not more characters in Greyhawks team?

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Thanks, everybody!

 

Nancy--Greyhawk has one electronic eye ...a space piratey sort of replacement for having an eyepatch. He can see far distances with it.

 

Ken--There are indeed, Ken--Randarr, Scanner, Baxter, Deexler, Rhisha, etc.---but I'm trying to keep the numbers of new characters to a minimum. :-)

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Sea Monster!

 

seamonsters0.png

 

Flemm will be fighting with this fellow in this weeks' strips!

 

seamonster0.png

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You're building quite an inventory of characters! The lighting in the first one seems funny. The teeth are black? Toon?

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I know! I'm trying to reach a place where I don't feel like having to create models limits the storytelling. That may never happen, but at least I won't be stuck with *too* many limitations.

 

I don't think I did anything special with the lighting on it, other than I think the keylight is angled up from a lower angle. The sea monster is really large.

 

Not toon render on the teeth, just a design choice. :-)

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Thanks, Gene! I *always* appreciate your saying so. :-)

 

Here's something different. Here's Greyhawk's ship, the Renegade 2. In thinking about how to bring it into The Wannabe Pirates world, I thought it would be fun to make it like it was a toy.

 

Coming this Christmas from Kenner! The Renegade 2! :-)

 

renegade0.png

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Been spending most of my time working on the interior set for Greyhawk's Cave. It's massive.

 

But more immediately, I needed to give Glimey a plazter (or as Flemm will call it, a fancy pistola):

 

glimeygotagun0.png

 

pistola_s.mov

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More great additions with nice attention to detail.

 

I definitely want some of those toys!

Umm... for my... nephews. Ahem.

 

As always looking great! :)

 

 

(BTW... You may have noticed this... There is some serious suspense going on in both of your comic strips at this very moment) :blink:

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Thanks, Rodney!

 

Yes, Greyhawk is getting close to the end of the first story (only 5 more pages, I think) and The Wannabe Pirates and the Curse of Greyhawk Island is getting into the good parts. :-)

 

The second 100 parts are going to be heavily sci-fi, which is a lot of fun for me. People have this impression that I am a crazy-go-nuts pirate fan, but I'm really just a minor fan who likes the old Errol Flynn movies. Sci-Fi is something I hugely love and I'm going to see how much of a blast I can have with Star Wars/Star Trek references and the like. :-)

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skippy0.png

 

Not much in the way of new models. Most of what I've been working on for the upcoming strips has to do with the interior of Greyhawk's cave.

 

I did think it would be fun to add another character, though. I'm going to explain that the majority of Greyhawk's crew are out on a mission, explaining why there are so few of them around. I don't know if I'm going to give this guy a name or not. He's kind of a junior space cadet sort who idolizes Glimey and Glimey is going to call him only by nicknames.

 

This lets me have another background character and the model itself is a simple refit of Glimey.

 

Still, I think it's going to be fun to have some interaction between a Wannabe Starbuckler and Flemm.

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He's kind of a junior space cadet sort who idolizes Glimey and Glimey is going to call him only by nicknames.

 

Imagining Dr. Cox and JD relationship. So, the space cadet is called Jemima today. :D

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Gotta' go to Google, don't know this reference...

 

Oh, "Scrubs." I've never really watched that show.

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It's gone crap now, but in it's hey day it was the best.

 

I have to ask.....is Poco rigged? I think every time I've seen him, his arms have been outstretched in front. :D

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LOL, Poco is rigged, but he doesn't like scraping his knuckles on the ground. :-)

 

Virtually all of my characters keep their arms bent because they have very short legs. :-) Poco's case is probably more pronounced, since he's hunched over all of the time.

 

I will admit that there is a generic stance Action that I usually drop on Poco since Poco is rarely involved in what's going on.

 

Poco is an odd character. There are times that I use his facial expressions to indicate that maybe he realizes just how dumb Flemm is acting, but there are many times when I feel like he's just not paying attention and is off in his own world. At the final size of the strip, most of the subtlety of those expressions is lost unfortunately.

 

In the strips where Flemm is buying the Sea Anemone, I actually had a whole deal where Poco is seen looking at the ship and then is roaming all around in it through the next several strips. Unfortunately, almost every time he was just too small to be noticed or covered by a word balloon, so the effort was in vain.

 

Yet, I always work in important plot points for Poco to do to move the story along. He's also great for instances where I need for Flemm to have someone to talk to, but someone who can't tell him that he is doing the wrong thing. That's why I had him with Flemm during the scenes with the chickens.

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This week, I get to do a big knockdown-dragout fight between Flemm and K'Bor!

(Big thanks to Mark S. and his rigging expertise!)

 

In the words of that other immortal bard...

 

"It's clobberin' time!" :-)

 

clobberintime0.png

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Nice! Is he related to that sea monster? I can kind of see a resemblance ...

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Another great character, good transition from the strip.

 

I've heard people talk about someone's eye teeth, first time I've seen 'em. :D

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Thanks, guys!

 

Holmes, the sea serpent was actually just a hologram, so it's possible that somebody on Greyhawk's team was having a little joke at K'Bor's expense. :-) Wasn't intentional by me, though. :-)

 

Myron, the very earliest version of K'Bor (when we were first creating the character in '94) had even more teeth! McCrary wisely chose to streamline them. My initial concept for K'Bor was an alien version of Little John, where he looked big and tough on the outside, but was actually a nice guy.

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it's pretty cool to see the greyhalk characters integrated with wannabe. It's a great treat to wake up to in the morning :)

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Thanks, Gene & Darkwing!

 

Glad you're enjoying it, Darkwing! Doing this crossover is a lot of fun. Greyhawk has been with McCrary and me since 1985, but the last time we did anything with him was 1997. It's been fun getting back to him and his crew!

 

Public kudos to Mark S. for his face rig! I've said this many times, but it's been great how much expression I've been able to get out of K'Bor's face (and all of the others, for that matter)! Really brings them alive for me!

 

Now back to the grind! I'm working my way up to strip #99 this weekend!

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I've been working on the interior bridge set for Greyhawk's ship. McCrary sent me some designs for it. As with everything, the Wannabe Pirate characters require specific considerations for their small legs.

 

Still have a fair amount to do... I haven't even started on the lower level yet.

 

4bridge0.jpg

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Outstanding!

 

Too bad A:M doesn't have a read only format (besides HA:MR that is).

This stuff brings out the kid in me... It'd be fun to play with these characters and create new adventures/stories.

This one makes me think of two types of toys:

 

- Those big sets that open up on hinges so you can access the interior.

- The vinyl sticker boards where you move the characters around on the background and restick them on the cardboard.

 

As a kid, if I saw either on a shelf in Walmart I'd want one!

 

Added: Would it be mean of me to suggest one of K'Bor's tusks get broken off during this episode?

Yeah... yeah... I know. My thought is that it'd add an interesting and intense element to the character's back story while simultaneously helping to make his design less symmetrical and showing his face more.

Best to shelve that idea... I'm not sure I want to be known as the guy responsible for breaking off the tusk of the mighty K'Bor!

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Thanks, guys!

 

There is definitely a sense of having more and more toys to play with, Rodney. If the audience ever got big enough to support it, I'd love to look into creating some figurines of some of the characters. The harsh reality is that there are too many regulations in place for us to ever consider making toys.

 

I saw this company recently, which does 3D printing on demand: www.shapeways.com

 

Don't think there's not a part of me that is remembering my Death Star Playset while I'm working on this. :-)

LOL, the vinyl sticker boards you're talking about were called Colorforms. :-)

 

I think any sort of drama like losing a tusk would be too severe for a Wannabe Pirates story, Rodney. Were you the kind of kid who broke your toys? :-)

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. Were you the kind of kid who broke your toys? :-)

Raises hand

Took em apart to see how they worked and they never worked again.

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Rodney. Were you the kind of kid who broke your toys?

 

Not often, but I was never good at putting my toys away.

That led to many a lost/broken part/piece of a game/toy.

 

Colorforms it was! :)

 

P.S. That Shapeways site is pretty cool. Most definitely worth a look.

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Mark, all this work is just terrific! I love Greyhawk, K-bor, the sea monster, all of it. Great style, great look and lots of fun. I hope you're finding ways to actively promote it. (in your *spare time*!)

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Thanks, Gerry!

 

Sadly, self-promotion is something I'm having trouble with. Whenever I get a couple of bucks from the ads on the site, I do a tiny bit of advertising, but that's about it. I really need to be more of a go-getter in the self-promotion regard, but I find it so hard to do the "look at me! look at me!" thing.

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but I find it so hard to do the "look at me! look at me!" thing.

Yeah ... I know what you're saying brutha!

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Wow, Mark! All of this looks great! You really have such a cool style! Are you still planning on making a movie out of this?

 

Lee

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Thanks, Lee!

 

That's a hard question to answer. I still *want* to do the movie serial, but the demands of the webcomic aren't really making it possible in the foreseeable future.

 

However, when this current storyline is finished, I want to do the storyline that was going to be the movie serial. I can't help but think that I might be able to use that as a way to do a lot of the preparation for an eventual animated version. I'll be creating all of the assets and in a sense, doing storyboarding (although the gag-a-day strip doesn't really translate directly that way.) There's no question that afterwards, this work would go a long way towards doing the animated version ...but after it's done, I have to start working on another storyline and then the next one and the next one, etc.

 

I'm committing to doing this for somewhere between 3 and 5 years. If after that point the audience doesn't grow to the point where it seems practical to continue, then I would consider dropping the webcomic. If that did happen, then I would have all of these assets and I think I would want to do one last hurrah with an animated project ...for a failed webcomic. :-)

 

The best case scenario would be that the webcomic would take off and become successful enough that I could bring on help and maybe get enough capital to do a series of animated episodes that would have a ready-made audience from the webcomic.

 

All of that is too far away to seriously think about right now. Right now the comic is the thing and it's got to be my main focus.

 

LOL, when I started this project it was supposed to be an easy short that I could finish quickly! Now it's never-ending!

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Strip #100 is up today!

 

If I really do end up doing this as a daily strip for ten years or more, this accomplishment will be dwarfed, but it seems like a big one right this second. :-)

 

Triple-digits!

 

This is also the strip where Greyhawk finally shows up in the big Greyhawk crossover story. :-)

 

I've also put together a nifty cg Greyhawk and the Starbucklers of the Caribbean desktop wallpaper that you can get by voting for the comic in the link below!

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