Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Brainy Christmas!

I played with the new version of ArtRage tonight. If you follow me on Twitter (@bobjinx) you may have caught me raving about it. They added a bunch of new features, including an inking pen, watercolor brush, and selection & transform tools. I only exported to Photoshop to resize and save it as a proper jpeg—the new ArtRage even has color adjustment options. The inking pen is a bit too smooth for my taste, though very impressive. So I inked the little brain dude in Flash.

I did prefer the inking pen over the paint brush for detail work—you'll see I added the drool marks and puddle after I inked in Flash. If you're curious about how I use Flash with ArtRage, I can do a tutorial at some point. Sherm Cohen has already covered the Illustrator/ArtRage combo like a pro. But essentially, all I do is export a hi-res transparent PNG from Flash and drop it on a layer in ArtRage to paint under.

Have a great holiday everyone!
...and Merry Christmas!

See you in 2010, if not sooner...

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Favorite Music of 2009

Short and sweet this year folks...
(as I realize you're being bombarded with lists left and right)

TOP 10 Album Picks:
  1. Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavilion
  2. Dan Deacon: Bromst
  3. Yo La Tengo: Popular Songs
  4. St. Vincent: Actor
  5. Phoenix: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
  6. Dirty Projectors: Bitte Orca
  7. The Decemberists: The Hazards of Love
  8. Atlas Sound: Logos
  9. Neon Indian: Psychic Chasms
  10. Neko Case: Middle Cyclone

Great year for music.
Just ask this guy!

As always, I'm curious about what everyone is listening to.
So drop your favorites in the comments box.

(Favorite Albums of 2008, 2007, 2006)

Saturday, December 05, 2009

A Comic Book History of Boston

I just got back from the release party for a new anthology put out by the Boston Comics Roundtable called Inbound #4: A Comic Book History of Boston. You can read all sorts of information about the book here, including one-page previews of a few comics (mine included). I feel like I've been bombarding you with a lot of books lately, but this 144-page b&w anthology is unique in that it features over 35 comics by local comic artists and writers.

The comics chronicle true tales of Boston's history, "From Shay’s Rebellion and the great Molasses Flood, to Charles Ponzi’s original 'scheme' and Mark Twain’s disastrous encounter with Boston literary society, to the 1970s busing crisis, the Gardner Museum heist and many more." They all range in their style and approach to story-telling. One of my favorites details the origins of Moxie soda, found only here in New England.

I got my hands on a copy at the release party which doubled as an art show of original comics (forgot to snap pictures, though). The book design is fantastic, so I'd like to especially applaud Shelli Paroline for her vision and attention to detail (she illustrated the cover, too!). The print quality is outstanding as well.

My 2-pager is about New England's Dark Day (previously). I will post the comic in full after the holiday buying season winds down. If you're a fan of history, and like to support independent comics, I highly recommend snatching up a copy.

Bostonians can expect to find it at numerous locations, including Million Year Picnic, Harvard Book Store, New England Comics, Brookline Booksmith, Comicazi, Hub Comics, and Comicopia.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Be prepared.

Whenever I try get folks to move to Boston, it often boils down to "but it's too cold" and "what do you mean winter can last 5 months?" First of all, there are much colder places than Boston: Maine. I a grew up there, so a Massachusetts winter is nothing. That said, it's a bit of a right of passage for newcomers to make it through their first winter.

The Improper Bostonian asked me to draw a cartoon to help folks prepare. On streets now, even though it was a balmy 55 today. Pfft! You call this December? 62 tomorrow? Good thing "Rudolph" is on right now, or I wouldn't know.