Sunday, September 30, 2007

Critical Mass 3 - Vague Origins

Hey gang ! Been a while since my last post I know. Th end of term 3 will do that to you, especially when you're trying to get a year 13 production of "Waiting for Godot" done ! Whew !

I've been having a nice break not doing much. Playing too much "UFO:Enemy Unknown", eating poorly, and working on this comic. I have now discovered the joys of the 'pattern brush' - as evidenced in the exquisite grid pattern in the alien suit blueprint. It's a pretty cool feature !

And I THINK I got all the spelling mistakes out this time !

I also had an especially nice birthday, with many people getting me some very nice gifts - a big thanks to all of you ! But especially to my little sister and her partner who got me and Viv a freaking PlayStation 3 !! So much for any more marking in the holidays !

I've got another episode of Critical Mass drawn - so I'll get to work scanning than and getting it to 'publication' level. I shall also be starting a new video game canvas for my old pal and partner in crime ( although I'm more his misshapen minion to his evil genius really ) BubbaJay. In consultation with him we've come to the conclusion that a C64 inspired image would be best - probably based on "Impossible Mission" - though it might be "Creatures" if I can find a decent set of images of the sprites somewhere.

Did I mention that I take commissions ?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Dial up is for who ?

I'm constantly mishearing things, my brain often re-editing things so they're more scandalous or entertaining.

Case in point - talking with Meredith last night, and we were talking about broadband, and I SWEAR I heard her say :

"Dial-up is for fat people".

There's a t-shirt in that statement.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

My brain hurts

Gosh. A weekend of marking Y10 'writing' has just about pushed me over the crumbling cliffs of sanity to the cruel cruel rocks of do-lally-land.

How the hell is it possible to write SO badly ? It really staggers the mind.

I present for you a small case study of the kind of thing I've been subjected to. It is one of the more acute cases, but not unrepresentative.

The task, I thought, was simple enough. Describe a location taken from the text we're studying and describe it as vividly as possible ( in other words - taking care to develop descriptive detail and use figurative imagery ).

I thought it was simple enough anyway.

So - one of the locations was a ball. What did our case study make of it ? Let's see:

Paragraph 1 - " The ball had a nice calm feeling, with darkness covering the strong, heroic building with shades of light casting from place to place from what looked like a mini red torch."

...Say what ? Seriously - what the hell was that ? Mini red torch ? What does that even START to mean !? Owww - my head.

Paragraph 2 - 'The ball was like any other ball in 'Dreamland'.

Huh ? Dreamland ? What the hell is that ?

'Gold surrounding the walls like the gold rush. Carpet formally place like it they were in Buckingham Palace.'

Feck - what IS this ? Pain in head increases in intensity to sharp stabbing pains in the central cortex. Hands start to twitch involuntarily.

'A massive room the size of Wembley Stadium with a light, peaceful shadow casted the whole room like it was saying 'I love lying on the beach!' Small shades of light swissed across the room like the speed of light, to create that party atmosphere."

Sweet jebus - this is worse than torture. I can't confess to anything to make it stop ! Why is shade talking about loving to be on the beach ? THAT party atmosphere ? Kid - I think you've had WAY too much of THAT party atmosphere by the sound of it. Dammit - I think my nose has started bleeding...

Paragraph 3 - ' They see hundreds of people. man and women surrounding the room like small moving bears sidestepping from one to another.'

Argghhh ! Make it stop make it STOP ! I'll do anything ! Sidestepping bears ?
WTF ?!!?! Vision fading...

'Dancing was the only action going on at the ball like you couldn't do anything else, it was like the carpet telling everyone 'to step on me, you must dance formally with your partner, no excuses !' '

*With a scream of tormented anguish Seraph falls into a coma, convulsing violently*

And that wasn't even the end !

And I marked stuff like that ALL weekend !

Sigh. It's like reading subtitles of Hong Kong action films, where the translators don't know English, this sort of crushingly bad gibberish that VAGUELY hints at an intention below the verbal up-chuck.

And YES. I KNOW that there are ethical issues in sharing this with you - but hell, when you consider the cruel and unusual suffering this kid put me through - he freaking owes me this !

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The sort of thing Seraph giggles at for days

Hey - you know what a couple of words that are funny together are ?

'Booze shack' !

Hee hee hee !

That's almost as good as 'Pickle Weasel' !

( you can tell the end of term is near, can't you ? )

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Critical Mass 2 - That is the Question

A special thank you goes out to my good friend Lucifer Morningstar for his photoshop help with this, which accounts fot the noticable increase in image quality here. Not the REAL Lucifer of course - as far as I KNOW anyway. It WOULD explain a lot if he were though...

Saturday, September 01, 2007

This and that from the life of Seraph

- I went to the Wellington City Mission great 2nd hand book sale. Not because of any kind of affiliation to the mission - but because of my love of cheap books ( not knocking the City Mission though - they do good work ! ). They seemed to have a much more streamlined check-out process ( including a '10 books or less' express lane which was a bloody good idea - it certainly saved me time ! ). I spent my time prowling around the fantasy / sci-fi / horror tables and ended up getting a few Stephen King books that I haven't read or read fully :
* Everything's Eventual ( mostly for the Dark Tower story "The Little Sisters of Eluria", but there were a number of stories which I didn't get round to reading when I borrowed Hix's copy )
* Insomnia - For the 'Dark Tower' links !
* Skeleton Crew - I've NEVER read this collection of stories - and I really should, now that 'The Mist' is being made into a feature-film by Frank Darabont !
* Bag of Bones - I would have got this LAST year ... had it not been for the fact that the lines were approaching what seemed to be a light-year in length ! Hix tells me it's good !

- Sauntered into the public library and borrowed a book on photo-shop ( to help, hopefully, with my comic strips ) and a John Wyndham omnibus containing 'Day of the Triffids', 'The Kraken Wakes' and 'The Crysalids'. I've been hankering to read 'Day of the Triffids' - for some reason the idea of killer plants has been playing on my mind. Don't ask - it's my brain and even I don't know.

I gotta say - I'm loving that self-checking-out-books-machine they have in there now ! It's awesome ( even if it had trouble reading the bar-code on the photoshop book and I had to retry it, like, ten times.

- My 'Fungus the Loon' Blood-Bowl figure that I got on Trade-Me arrived today. You gotta love night-goblin fanatics ! They always make me think of my buddy Conrad playing the 'Warhammer' video game on his computer when we were roomies down in Christchurch. On the field of honour his army was ranged against a force of goblins.
"Goblins?!" laughed Conrad, in haughty tones. "They'll be no match for my heavy calvary ! CHARGE !". The mighty steeds tore across the middle of no-man's land - lances dropped to a wave of glinting steel death.
"Hmmmmm... Y'know - you might not want to do that" I said - drawing on my days working at Pendragon Games and my knowledge of the tabletop 'Warhammer'. 'That group there looks like a bunch of Night Goblins - they'll probably have fanatics hidden in their ranks."
"Fanatics ? What are they ?" Conrad asked - his cavalry now scant pixels away from the goblins.
"THOSE are fanatics." I answered - as four massive ball-and-chain swinging goblins flew from the front of the ranks - smashing his cavalry and leaving them in a tattered, bleeding heap of wreckage. "Yeah - they'll do that."

Tee hee. I remember his stunned expression so clearly.

- I saw 'Die-Hard 4.0' this afternoon. It was okay. I should have followed my instincts and waited to till it came out on DVD though - it wasn't as good as the previous three.

- I fixed the shieldy-thingy at the top of our wood-burner pipe. It's harder than it sounds.

- Did three loads of washing ! Which I promptly forgot was on the line when I went off to see the movie and got all damp again. Smeg !

Tomorrow :
- Make pancakes for breakfast ( promised Viv I would )
- Loads of marking ( joy )
- Wash car ( covered in green pollen )
- Spray lawn and re-seed ( so there can be some actial GRASS on the damn thing )