Sunday, October 31, 2010

Character Development TWELVE (3 of 7)


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Epic photo-shoot yesterday saw us complete episodes 17 and 18. Jelly-fueled mayhem. That's Jelly in the English sense of the word ... Jello if you're from North America.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Character Development TWELVE (2 of 7)


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We are currently stalled on the photo-shoot for episode 17. Writing and life has got in the way of what is one of the trickiest shoots so far. But at least I have a 5 week cushion of completed episodes.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Character Development TWELVE (1 of 7)


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This episode was inspired by an old campaign where we had all made up characters and the first thing we were asked to do was ride to help some besieged town. However, only one of us had any skills in riding.

It's amazing what 'essential' skills you can neglect when creating a character.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Character Development ELEVEN (6 of 7)



I had issues with this photoshoot. First, finding (in)appropriate things to come out of the Mage's backpack, then making sure I had enough shots and angles for each stage of the unpacking. Sometimes I make things difficult for myself.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Character Development ELEVEN (4 of 7)


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You'll have to suspend disbelief and pretend that all the Playmobil have backpacks. And like any roleplaying backpack, they are Tardis-like in terms of interior dimensions.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Character Development ELEVEN (3 of 7)


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If you have a player who has memorized the monster bestiaries it can be hard to surprise a party. On the other hand, if they can't quite remember the obscure details ...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Character Development ELEVEN (2 of 7)


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Believe it is not, the monster in this episode is a large glass chilli ornament. It's an odd object that hangs around our kitchen for no reason I can think of. We stuck some eyes on it and ...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Hobbit Affair

I'm going to be naive here and suggest that the whole Hobbit debacle isn't as complicated and sinister as many people are suggesting Here's my timeline of events;

* National Government introduces god-awful employment law.
* Jackson and Warners announce Hobbit movie to be filmed in NZ.
* NZ actors and film workers form long queue which is mistaken for protest action.
* Actor's Equity ask to negotiate collective contract with Warners.
* Jackson and Warners decline to negotiate collective contract on the grounds that it is probably (no one is sure) illegal under NZ law. Instead offer deal that includes profit sharing for all. NZ Government wonders if Hobbit profit sharing could replace superannuation scheme.
* Actor's Equity decides to use Hobbit as leverage against god-awful NZ employment law.
* Actor's Equity places blacklist on Hobbit.
* Warners freaks out. Like most U.S. corporates they despise unions, and in particular militant ones. By default they attempt to break the union.
* Jackson surprised by fuss. Can't understand what he has done wrong. Wonders if his Golden Boy status has been revoked while he wasn't looking.
* Jackson tries to go and talk to Actor's Equity at Wellington meeting. Is refused entry.
* Actor's Equity decries Jackson for not meeting with them.
* Both sides say things they will later regret.
* Warner's gets jumpy when international stars support boycott of Hobbit. Are afraid of Gandalf's staff. Suggests filming elsewhere ... perhaps a non-union country?
* Hearing the Hobbit is up for grabs other countries offer Warners lucrative tax breaks. Warners likes lucrative tax breaks idea. Wonders why it can't get them in NZ?
* Both sides entrench.
* Warners decide the risk of filming in NZ is too great. Suggest Ireland has nice countryside and co-operative union, and they don't mind paying three times the wages they would have to in NZ if they get big tax break and security. The Harry Potter sets are available as well. Bonus.
* Jackson would prefer to make Hobbit in NZ, but wonders if a few pints of Guinness might get rid of the bad taste in his mouth.
* NZ Unions fail to realize how much Americans despise labour (labor) unrest, and still believe they are in a position of strength. Stick to hard line.
* NZ Government scrambles to find juicy treat to wave at Warners ... contemplates wrapping Gerry Brownlee up in bacon and dangling him on a rope as cat toy for corporate tigers, but Brownlee eats bacon faster than it can be applied.
* Hobbit production moves to Ireland. 2000 plus NZ actors, technicians, etc are left without work.
* Unions blames Warners, Jackson, the government, the Illuminati, NASCAR, and the alignment of the stars for losing the Hobbit.
* Everybody else blames the Unions.
* NZ Actors get great "Pink Book" deal. The 27 NZ actors still employed feel much better about life.
* Hobbits and leprechauns unite and go on strike for better working conditions for all creatures under five foot tall.

Character Development TEN (7 of 7)


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Apart from being a little too shiny, I think the chocolate yogurt dairy food worked well as a fecal substitute.

A new episode starts tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Character Development TEN (6 of 7)


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Food and Playmobil go together like ... we'll, they don't really go together. But it's still fun.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Character Development TEN (5 of 7)


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Chocolate dairy product, ahoy!

It's just as well Playmobil are plastic and easy to wipe clean.

The oddest thing about this photo-shoot ... we bought a six-pack of Calci-Yum Chocolate Dairy Food to use for the special effects. Two of the six pots did not contain Chocolate yogurt. Instead they contain some white goop that tasted revolting (my wife described it as "sweet mucus"). I'm guessing the automated machine failed to put the chocolate stuff into the pots. A more savvy consumer would have returned the revolting substance to the supermarket for a refund.

So while I can recommend Calci-Yum Chocolate Dairy Food as a great substance to stand in for sewer crap, I cannot endorse it as a food product.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Character Development TEN (page 4 of 7)


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The Ranger's abilities with creature identification feature in several upcoming episodes. The Ranger is usually the quiet one. Perhaps that's because of the bad tastes in her mouth?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Character Development TEN (3 of 7)


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Managed to finish the pics and layout for episode sixteen yesterday. Now we need to make up a large amount of jelly for episode seventeen.

Meanwhile I'm trying to balance writing more episodes of this with my need to write other stories as well.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Character Development TEN (2 of 7)


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Everything poops. So in a populous dungeon where does it all go? Adventurers go in seeking piles of gold, but surely they're more likely to find piles of dung?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Character Development TEN (page 1 of 7)


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The start of the tenth episode.

I'm currently snapping pics for the sixteenth adventure, and writing the last pages of the twenties before embarking on fresh episodes to take it all through to the thirty-ninth part. So no sign of running out of pages for the foreseeable future.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Character Development NINE (7 of 7)


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He's dead, Jim.

A new episode starts tomorrow. And it features chocolate pudding as a special effect.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Character Development NINE (6 of 7)


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It's good to see someone keeping the faith in the old fashioned manner. Wouldn't Sunday's be much more interesting with the occasional sacrifice? Think of it as Survivor Church -- the most real of reality shows.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Character Development NINE (5 of 7)



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Yes, Dennis. What DO you mean?

Just finished taking the photos for episode 14. You won't believe how easy the photos for episode 15 are ;-)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Character Development NINE (3 of 7)


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I'm racing along with the photos ... currently snapping episode 14. So I'll switch back to Dark Bay at some point and set up a blog for that strip as well.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Character Development NINE (2 of 7)



Blutac is a very useful substance when making these comics. In this case it was the easiest way to get the two Playmobil to kiss. But it's also been used to hold things to the walls, in hands, and keep the character's feet firmly planted on the ground when needed.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Character Development NINE (1 of 7)


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Ah, anchovies.

My favourite pizza to make at the moment is a potato and anchovy pizza. It sounds weird, but is really tasty. You slice the potato really thin and lay the slices out on the pizza base (we use a store bought Turkish flat bread, but any base will do) so they just overlap and cover the base. Some rosemary and black pepper over the top, a trickle of good olive oil, and a few anchovies laid out on top. Finally some shavings of Parmesan cheese and it's ready to go into the oven.

The saltiness of the anchovies and the crispy potatoes really work together.

As an added bonus it is highly unlikely anyone else will want a piece.

Mmmmmm.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Character Development EIGHT (5 of 7)



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Currently franticly writing of future episodes ... finished 23 and 26, need to work on 24 and 25.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Character Development EIGHT (1 of 7)



The start of the 8th episode, and a new addition to the title page. Meet the Dead Guy.

Remember, there's archives of this strip and others at www.virtuallycomics.com

I'm currently taking photos for episode 13, and writing episode 23.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Character Development SEVEN (7 of 7)



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Duh duh duh dunn.

A new episode starts tomorrow, at www.itscharacterdevelopment.blogspot.com

This blog will continue to post pages, but will also have other material as well.