I am the Law

I'm just coming out of a very busy week (hence the lack of posts) doing all of those things that you need to do when you work for yourself that aren't really that fun, like cash forecasting, budgets, business plans, time lines and goals. All very important stuff, however not that fun and very time consuming. 

So I thought I'd post a quick overview of the week, I've picked up a copy of Manga Studio and oh-boy what an awesome bit of kit this is! I've been playing about with the functions and abilities of the software and find I'm kicking myself throughout for struggling with Photoshop for all of these years when Manga Studio has the what I need in spades. I just want to state that this is in respect to comic styled artwork and sketching, Manga Studio just leaves Photoshop not only in the dust, but way over the hills and far behind. As for painting and image tidying, Photoshop is still the tool for me.   

The above image of Flash Gordon was sketched in Manga Studio the same evening I downloaded a demo - it's always good to try before you buy if you can. It took no time at all, and felt like I was drawing on paper with a pen, something I have been striving to do with Photoshop for what feels like forever without much success. 

This prompted a purchase of the software for a one off payment of a whole $45 for the Pro package! That's it, to give you a comparison, Photoshop is minimum of $18 per month, every month. The first thing I did was sketch the above Iron Man, and then follow up with this sketch of a Tau Fire Warrior from WH40k.

I have already made Manga Studio a big and critical part of my work flow, opting to illustrate most of my sketching with the software over Photoshop.

One of the other fun things I've been up to this last week was getting to spend some time at Lawgiver MKIII, a convention in Bristol focusing upon one of the best comics and their iconic hero, 2000AD and Judge Dredd. 

This event was just simply EPIC! I got to meet some great people, see some fantastic stuff (such as props from the Dredd movie to awesome comic art) and take part in some great talks and interviews. Not only that, but how many cons do you go to that have the smell of leather everywhere you go? (be careful how you answer that one....)

If you want to work in the comic industry, get yourself along to a con or expo and talk to the guys who actually do that dream job for a living. The knowledge, advice and insight I walked away with from just chatting to these awesome guys was worth the price of a ticket a hundred times over, let alone the amazing time I had just being at the event. My mission now is to get me one of those Dredd costumes, they are so cool, so-so cool, that I need one in my life!

To end with, Suicide Squad!

Back in the day of the DC New 52 re-boot (oddly still called at times the new 52 despite the event taking place years ago, leaving me wondering when it will stop being new?) I picked up a selection of DC titles, one of which was Suicide Squad. Now with all of the buzz with the Suicide Squad movie coming out soon I decided to go back and re-read the first year or so of the comics, neatly now collected in three trade editions. 

I really enjoyed these books, even a second time around. Being more of a Marvel reader than DC, I have always had a few bumps along the way when reading DC, I always have a vibe that DC take themselves way to seriously with their superheroes, where as Marvel seems to have got it right. However, Suicide Squad crosses that line very well and manages to be a solid good read and a lot of fun, and very messy at times as well. 

The writing and artwork are very good throughout and I'm now left wondering do I pick up volume four at some point because of the cliff-hanger at the end of volume three..... I feel like I could be staring down a rabbit hole with this one. There are only two things that stick in my mind as a not so good, the first is that the art, be it very good, depending on the artist the characters look 'stiff' and lack a bit of motion to their poses. It only happens a few times, but it jogs you out of the experience when you spot it. The second is that despite this being the beginning of a re-boot of the DC universe, it's not. If you don't already have a reasonable knowledge of the characters already then you could be left scratching your head in places wondering what the hell is going on. This also plays out with the 'comic book cross over effect' where stories are intentionally started in one publication and finished or bridged in another to encourage sales. Again, you can get away with not reading both comics, however you do get thrown out of the story wondering what happened. 

Those very small things aside I would recommend these comics to anyone who is curious about the characters or the new film that is due out soon - I can't see from what has been shown in the trailers that the comics will do anything other than enhance your enjoyment of the movie when it does land - so spoiler free as it were.

That's it for now, normal post to resume tomorrow :0)


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