June, 2008 Vol. 7 No. 11
EXAMINE THE NET WAY OF LIFE
DRAWN TOGETHER EVENT
June 7, 2008.
It is in everyone.
Photographers have used the Day in Life concept to cover the globe taking pictures of life, society and the state of the world. It has been a popular feature that transcends the hard core shutter bugs.
An organization has decided to expand that concept to the world of art. The event is called Drawing Day. The goal is to have everyone take time out from their day and create their own artwork. Then publish that art on the internet. The goal is to upload a million new pieces of art.
The net is a vast resource for artists and art lovers. Many artists have their own blogs away from their professional day jobs. It is a space to expand their horizons and experiment with various mediums.
The event is intended to inspire the average person to do something they may not have done in decades. Draw. It is one of the first creative outlets for children. A box of crayons, a blank piece of paper releases imagination. You may not understand the scribbles or circles, but if you ask the child to explain it, you will usually get an interesting story. Any abstract art can have a vivid story attached to it.
So cyberbarf.com supports this effort to have people reunite with their inner child.
On May 21, 2008, Disney shut down its Virtual Magic Kingdom website. It has caused more than 20,000 site users to petition Disney to reconsider its decision.
A press report noted that for one child, it was his only avenue to experience the outside world. Because of disabilities, illness or simple economics, there are members of the public that cannot experience the theme parks in person. The virtual web experience was the next best thing.
It was a small community. But a loyal community. Members got to know each other. Children got to experience the Disney Experience. They met people, played games, and even had birthday parties on-line. For some, it became an important part of their daily lives.
A Disney official stated that the website was originally launched as an anniversary marketing tool and not as a business model. That means the company was not generating substantial revenue from the site or its users. So it was closed.
This leads to an open question: what responsibility does a content creator have to maintain an on-line community? If it was merely a marketing tool, why close it and generate bad feeling among the community members? That is bad public relations.
Other large corporations have their kid friendly game/community sites like Millsbury. So the Disney decision could be considered strange for a company that has earned the distinction of being marketing gurus.
How to Create a Web Comic ARTICLE
As you are probably aware, pindermedia.com is the depository of many cartoons of Ski, the publisher. From doodles to editorial cartoons to monthly web comics, Ski has expanded, by trial and error, all methods of creating and publishing his cartoons. Ski began as a college editorial cartoonist. Paper and ink was the medium back then. Decades later, the digital paint program is the default mechanics for creating new content. The Real News has many political or editorial cartoons. This publication, cyberbarf has technology-Internet iToons as well as two current comic strips, Dr. Philistine, Internet Counselor, and Rapter Agent.
Everyone has the ability to create art since it is a gene in our collective DNA which caused the first caveman to draw crude line pictures on rock walls. If you have a pen, pencil, crayon, or marker and a piece of paper then you are ready to begin. The fear of creating art is like the fear of public speaking; it can only be overcome by actual practice.
But aren't comics supposed to polished, artistic and funny? A comic is whatever the artist wants it to be: a drama strip, an action-adventure script, or a gag panel. Since imagination is endless, anything is possible. A good way to see the variety of the types of cartoons being published on the Internet is to surf the net for examples. Check out sites like comics.com, webcomics.com, cartoonbrew.com for examples and jumps to other sites.
But you are saying to yourself, but this is hard! This is not supposed to overtake your current job. If a one year old can have fun scribbling on a piece of paper, anyone should be able to re-live their childhood.
So you can pen and ink your drawing. To publish on the Internet, you would need to scan the image and save it in a compatible file format, like JPEG. Scanned images are usually much larger than computer generated artwork. There are many free sites such as wordpress or blogspot, or limited pay sites like your .mac account that will allow uploaded personal JPEG images. In fact, a large percentage of personal blogs and websites are devoted to the publication of that person's hobby and interest, including photography and personal artwork in all mediums.
The art work per se does not have to be fancy to be effective. Anyone can do comedy stick . . . with stick figures.
You just need to add a few words or symbols to your drawing to create your one-panel comic.
Simple. Clean. Effective. No matter the art skill level. Those drawings were created in an integrated work processing program (Appleworks) with the standard mouse as the drawing tool. You don't need a digital pen and drawing board to make line art. A pixel is a pixel to the computer.
Confidence and experimentation on the basic form is easy to achieve. From a simple to more complex (or realistic) paint program like Painter or even Photoshop can be used to create a fuller image. The style of the image is as individual as the number of colors your monitor can generate.
It does not matter whether the subject is thin or stout. It is the reaction that creates the conflict, especially with things of every day events. The set-up is a common no win situation. So it does not matter what the final image will look like. Over time, each person will develop their own personal style.
In order to create a continuing web comic, you need to have a premise. We will use the current cyberbarf Komix as examples. The idea of having professional video game players led to an examination of current professional athletes and their leagues. Who is in the middle of the conflict between players and owners? Agents. To add to the absurdity of professional game players and their agent, it was thought using an extinct dinosaur, a raptor, as a self-centered and revengeful carnivore would make a good metaphor for a seedy agent. To add good measure to the absurdity factor, we spelled the comic title as Rapter Agent, a nod to the Japanese translation.
Dr. Philistine came from the tangent elements of people across the world going on-line looking for social companionship. But the same human elements of selfishness, deceit, exaggeration, depression and outrageous behavior in the real world come home to roost in the digital world of chat rooms, web cams and social networking sites. Once a community is established, there are times when an individual becomes the default sounding board, arbitrator and social worker for other members problems. So the continuing story line deals with a guy who finds himself into the role of hand-holding quasi-counselor to a variety of characters, mostly lonely women.
These comic strips are created by scribbles on a piece of paper as to the concepts. The characters were created on a 3D program called Poser. The backgrounds were created by a different 3D program. The images are combined and saved as JPEG files. At times, the images are touched up in a paint program for different textures or object control. The use of this production method was to convey a more realistic image than hand drawn characters. It is a ying-yang type of conceptualization: use more realistic images for a series based on an unrealistic digital medium, the Internet The final images of each cartoon is put into a computer file on the home iMac. A comic creation program is used to combine the images with text. There are many simple layout programs on the market; each is basically a layout template with standard shapes and page sizes. These programs contain storyboards, and pre-fabricated speaking balloons. In the good old days, all of these functions were hand drawn in pencil and later inked prior to publication. Computer layout programs save time in creating boxes and cropping the images to fit onto the page. We specifically limited the size of each comic to one page in the layout program. Since this would be translated and saved into a single JPEG image. Then the monthly comic image is uploaded to the cyberbarf file for the next month's issue.
For longer comic efforts, like Ski's IRON CANDIDATE political parody, which usually is more than 10 pages, he takes the page images and creates PDF files for publication. File size and type of distribution file is important when you are trying to reach out to as many people as possible with your work.
There is no set way to create a comic strip. There are times when one creates the images first, then think about how to interweave them into a story line. There are also times when one has an image in mind, and then create the images to fit the story line. When things come together, you get a good response personally and from your peers.
The current Komix are below. To see the progression of each, check out the archives.
Drawing and creating cartoons is a personally rewarding experience. It is not difficult to do. If you have the skills to blog or upload photos to your blog or web site, you have the technical skills to upload your personal artwork to the net.
REAL NEWS KOMIX
THE WHETHER REPORT STATUS
Question: Whether total electronic exchange trading create more market instability in stocks and commodities?
* Educated Guess
* Vapor Dream
Question: Whether iReporting or viewer supplied video and photographs will dominate news casts in the future?
* Educated Guess
* Vapor Dream
Question: Whether downloaded or streamed movies will drive movie theatres out of business?
* Educated Guess
* Vapor Dream
EXAMINE THE NET WAY OF LIFE