Ain’t dead yet! On the outside.
Snappy title, huh? Sorry to be so slow catching up the postings on this page and mainly posting to Twitter/Tumblr now that I’m back to this project. I’ve had to miss a couple days but spent the morning putting in extra time to make up for that. Had some computer troubles this week and a few streaming engagements making the daily goal a little tougher.
Looking to resume strips for real soon because frankly, I feel kind of worthless when I stay unproductive for too long. But as a happy coincidence, for the first time in a while diving into my Steam backlog has yielded some experiences I actually feel like writing about! I kind of got into a stretch of playing plenty of games, but there’s usually kind of a ‘click’ moment when I find something I really want to talk about, or at least can make fun of at length, and I hadn’t really been getting that for a while. I guess part of it could be blamed on my gaming setup destabilizing somewhat for a few months there, hardware issues kept me hopping platforms for a while, unable to focus on any one topic long enough to sit through the entire creation process. Last year, I had two great examples- I was going to do a Freedom Wars strip, but it wound up being one of those super long ones and I plain fizzled out on it; the other was that Five Nights at Freddy’s strip I planned to do as an ‘arc’ to cover a bunch of then-recent/trendy games in one fell swoop. (My in-world excuse for the lack of updates was Dixie purposely refusing to play anything recent to piss off Marie, whose entire shtick is riding on whatever is hot at the moment.)
Can I talk about Marie a moment? Of course I can, it’s my stupid page. She’s been… a tough character to do. She basically represents a sort of offshoot of internet/game culture that bugs the crap out of me and I don’t really participate in. Naturally, every time I put her in something I feel like I’m coming off as a geezer yelling at kids playing on the lawn. She’s the studio’s “social media guru,” hired by tech-illiterate older people running the place, and she’s concerned first and foremost with popularity and attention, and doesn’t really have her own ‘identity’ for me to look at like the others and go “yep, that’s definitely a very Marie thing to do.” She’s got a past with Dixie, but since that’s old news it doesn’t exactly inform her current self. Or at least, she doesn’t let on that it does. At least her lack of personality gives me an excuse to not even try to be consistent with her outfit. I think my favorite bit in the like… one strip she’s in is that her rubber bracelets keep disappearing or changing colors between panels.
So yeah, definitely on the block soon is Transistor, which I fell hard for after picking it up on a flash sale, and a sort of origin strip/retro flashback thing I already penciled a bit of then stopped… because I was playing Transistor too much.
I’m going to make more of an effort to keep up to date here rather than Tumblr. Totally accidental, there- I usually toss up some stream of consciousness drivel while I’m in the can at work or something like that, with the intent of polishing it, adding a picture or two, and reposting it here. Basically, in addition to Eishi n’ Dixie, I also plan to continue working on Project Irrgarten and starting Gatty’s comic, Angel Dust fairly soon. I’ve got a couple Game Maker projects I’d like to do too, but they’re kind of on the back burner to be picked at when I feel like since it’s the thing I’m the least experienced doing and all. I’m not gonna make any huge promises, I’m just at one of those points where I feel like I can’t not create again. It’s both a good feeling but kind of tinged with sadness that I’ve been so lax pursuing the things I actually love because I’m afraid of not being able to feed myself and all.
So, been a while. Been flogging myself back into productivity slowly but surely, and thought I’d touch on a bit of the thought behind Dixie’s character design to accompany some doodles I did this evening.
Dixie actually sprung more or less fully formed from the start. She was more or less designed as a ‘foil’ to Eishi in both personality and looks. Eishi’s small, round-faced, wide eyed and wearing loose, soft looking clothes, whereas Dixie’s features are sharper, and she’s about a head taller and dressed in tighter, tougher biker wear. One of the biggest influences on her look was probably Priss from Bubblegum Crisis 2040, though not intentionally. I just kind of noticed they had really similar outfits on a rewatch.
Her main change since the start of the comic (other than trading her red jacket for a black one on occasion) has been a series of tweaks to her hairstyle to smooth it out a bit. The low battery hair clip has been a constant from the start, but under the newer looks it’s actually more ‘functional’ by pinning her hair off to the side more visibly instead of just being a decoration hanging off her bangs. I also adopted her orange eyes from a drawing of the girls my friend Dani did for me- her original eye color was bright red but with her hair and jacket it was kind of overwhelming.
I think the next time I play with her design a key goal is going to be to spread her colors out more evenly. I was pretty fond of her ‘idol’ getup from the strip where she was actually happy to be reviewing a JRPG. She’s always fun to draw, though. I really love drawing characters with irritated or blase expressions.