Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas doodle

I've got quite a bit of sketching that I'm obligated to do over the next few days, and I might post things here depending on how rough the sketches are. In the mean time, here is a marker sketch for a present to my brother and sister-in-law. We're donating to a local nature trail in their area.

I only spent about half an hour with pencil and marker, but I thought it came out cutely.

My parents aren't leaving until tomorrow. But after that I have some sketching to do for Seth Ben-Ezra's Showdown as well as logo sketches for a play. Hopefully I'll be able to get them all done on Monday, but we'll see.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

More photography from Florida: wildlife and seascapes

So here's the other half of my Florida photography favorites. It's a bit saddening to be going through them now as we had 15cm of snow on Friday and will be getting 15 more today.

The resort that we stayed at in Key Largo had a small beach. We sat out there one evening and watched the sunset.

Sadly, we discovered that they don't really clean the sea-grass off the beaches during the off season.

This was part of an old bridge, now only open to foot and bike traffic, that goes out to a mostly abandoned island called Pigeon Key that used to be a railroad building settlement. Kit and I walked out to the island and had a spin around. It was quite entertaining.

This fellow was lurking in the bird gardens at Busch Gardens. I have no idea what he is, but those legs sure were funny-looking.

When we went on the boat tour in the 10,000 Islands part of the Everglades, there was an island simply covered with white pelicans. What you can't get from this picture is the sense of scale - pelicans are *huge*. These were at least four feet tall.

Another picture from Busch Gardens. Meerkats are just adorable!

The islands in the 10,000 Islands section of the Everglades are all mangrove islands. Amusingly, it only takes 1 mangrove to constitute an island. As we were headed out to the Gulf of Mexico, we spotted a flock of birds perched on a tiny mangrove island.

More Busch Gardens. Macaws are pretty.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Photography from Florida: wildlife!

So here is some of the promised photography from Florida. There was an awful lot of wildlife to be photographed, and I went pretty hog-wild.

There are white-tailed deer in the Florida keys, only they're about the size of large dogs. We were very lucky to have spotted some while at the Key Deer Refuge. It's sad that you can't really get the sense of scale in this photo.

There are some very large iguanas in Florida. This fellow was hanging out near the visitor's center in one of the parks, but there was a very large specimen that hung out at our hotel as well.

We startled this heron at the beach and I was lucky enough to get a good shot of him flying away.

We stopped at Gator Hole State Park to watch alligators. It amused me to watch the gators pretending to be logs. The reflections did turn out really well.

I'm just a log. Yep. Juuuust a log. Nothing dangerous here.

There were some HUGE alligators in the Everglades. This guy was seven or eight feet long!

It was too bright to tell what this fellow was, but he was probably a turkey vulture. There were more turkey vultures than you could shake a stick at in Florida.

Kit and I were amused by the fact that this flamingo was letting his leg flop down like that.

This picture was taken at Busch Gardens, so I'm not really sure what kind of bird this is, other than some kind of buzzard (honestly).

The COOLEST thing we saw the entire vacation was in the Everglades. We went on a boat tour and saw a pod of dolphins swimming in the wild with a baby. What you see there are two females holding it up, since apparently baby dolphins don't swim so well. SO. UNBELIEVABLY. CUTE.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A bit of writing: henchmen benefits

There's this thing that I'm helping to write. Explaining what it's for would take too long, so I'm just going to post this draft of a scene-let that I wrote because it will be funnier if I don't take time to explain it.

It's a bit rough and needs polishing, but I found it amusing.
Villain Henchperson 1: Ugh. I thought today would never end.

2 - Good Henchperson 1: Oh? What happened?

3 - Villain Henchperson 2: Some heroes invaded the base today. Mr. Dastardly fought them off, but it threw our afternoon schedule all to hell.

4 - Villain Henchperson 1: Don’t complain! You got to sneak off. I got killed early on in the fight and had to lie there the whole time, since some jackass was standing right on top of me.

5 - Good Henchperson 2: Oh, you were there then. We weren’t sure if it was your shift.

6 - Villain Henchperson 1: I didn’t realize you got a new job already. So you two are henching for good now?

7 - Good Henchperson 1: Well they call us sidekicks, but yeah. It’s basically the same thing. Plus we’re allowed to keep our membership in the Henchman’s Union.

8 - Good Henchperson 2: I doubt you would have seen us. The hero we got assigned to isn’t a very good one – The Scarlet Pimple.

9 - Villain Henchperson 2: Ouch. That sounds pretty horrific.

10 - Villain Henchperson 1: Hey, I remember that guy. So that’s why Mr. Dastardly kept making cracks about needing a bathroom mirror.

11 - Good Henchperson 1: Talk about lame. Anyway, you guys are lucky. The sidekick uniforms are pretty terrible.

12 - Good Henchperson 2: And the benefits aren’t as good as they were with villainy either.

13 - Villain Henchperson 2: Well it’s not like you need all that supplemental coverage working for the heroes. I mean, you don’t exactly need to worry about if your Wrongful Maiming and Dismemberment policy is comprehensive enough when you’re henching for good.

14 - Good Henchperson 1: Yeah, well at least you have a comprehensive policy. Our Maiming and Dismemberment policy only covers accidental maiming.

< Spy Henchperson 1 enters, sits down >

15 - Spy Henchperson 1: Hey, guys. How was the raid on the base today?

16 - Good Henchperson 2: Oh, hi, Spy Henchperson 1. Figures that you would have heard about it already.

17 - Spy Henchperson 1: One of the perks of working for the spies. Plus… < gloatingly holds up an iPhone > We all get iPhones!

18 - Good Henchperson 2: Man, spies get all the coolest gadgets.

19 - Villain Henchperson 1: Hey, while we’re on the subject… What are the benefits like henching for the spies?

20 - Spy Henchperson 1: The benefits are okay. I mean, the supplemental health and drug coverage is really good. But we don’t have vision or dental. We do get perks, like access to gadgets, but you have to take it as a given that you’re being spied on 24/7.

21 - Good Henchperson 1: Bummer.

22 - Spy Henchperson 1: Yeah. It makes it a little hard to have a real love life unless you’re dating another spy.

23 - Good Henchperson 2: Hey, is it true that spies get free daycare?

24 - Spy Henchperson 1: Yeah, they just started it. It’s pretty cool, they even have an app for your iPhone that lets you check in on your kids on the spy cameras installed in the day care.

25 - Villain Henchperson 2: Well hey, it’s not like working for villainy is such a raw deal. I mean, we don’t get iPhones or free daycare. But we pretty much get to break any law we feel like.

26 - Villain Henchperson 1: And since our bosses all want to take over the world, we don’t get taxes taken out of our paychecks.

27 - Villain Henchperson 2: Oh, and the rates for RSP matching are really nice too.

28 - Good Henchperson 1: That does it. When my contract runs out, I’m totally switching sides.

29 - Good Henchperson 2: No kidding. Good is such a raw deal. No wonder there’s almost no sidekicks. You’d have to be stupid to work for good long-term.

30 - Villain Henchperson 1: No argument there!

< find a way to end the scene, or transition bit to something else >

Sunday, December 14, 2008

An update: No, I'm not dead

Regarding my absence:

So I'm back from my vacation in the Florida keys. I won't bore you by talking about how warm and fantastic it was. But I'll be spending some time going through the photographs that I took and posting some of the best ones here. We saw a lot of really neat wildlife, and I can't wait to pore through my photographs.

Regarding current projects:

I'm pleased to announce that I'll be working with Seth Ben-Ezra to illustrate his upcoming game Showdown. It's still in the planning stages, so it'll be a bit before actual illustrations appear here. But I will post work as I do it, and will link to Seth's page for Showdown in just a bit. I'm super-excited, because I read the forum thread that the game was spawned from and it promises to be very fun.

Regarding the second print run of Thou Art But A Warrior:

Due to circumstances beyond my control, there likely will not be any more printed copies for around a month. I have had delays both with the printer, which I have started a thread about on the Forge, as well as with UPS, who has had my proof for almost TWO WEEKS now.

I will be rushing to have a PDF version of the game available on the Un-Store as soon as possible to make up for this delay. I do apologize if this inconveniences anyone. When I started the reprint process at the end of October, I didn't realize I still wouldn't have my proof by now.