flower

Yes, I did a comic about playing video games.

This is based on when I first played Marathon (1994 or 1995), specifically the level The Rose. I remember running through long dark hallways, desperate to keep the crew members alive, first seeing the hulks, running out of ammo, not being able to find a shield recharge, and then– I switched to map view and saw that the whole level was shaped like a rose.

I’m pretty sure I played the game on a Mac Performa.

table

This is the second four panel strip in the exercise/practice I’ve started based on Lynda Barry’s Syllabus. Converting from straight prose to comics is a challenge, especially within four panels. Prose has the possibility of being chatty (at least my prose is). You can really get into the thoughts of the narrator/character. While you can do this in comics, the space limitation makes it more difficult. And so comics force you to pare things down, focus on the essentials. Meanings have to be packed into small details. It’s more like poetry in that respect.

brush pen showdown: the Pentel GFKP versus the Kuretake

In that shipment I just received, I also got a Kuretake brush pen (here or here). I had one before, but I cut the brush and ruined it. I can’t remember what I thought I was doing. Anyway, after that I tried the Pentel GFKP. I think Craig Thompson said that’s the brush pen he likes to sketch with. I like pen-and-ink more than brush, but I love brush pens and sketching with them occasionally. So that’s why I decided to get a new Kuretake. But I still have my Pentel GFKP.

This then leads to the obvious question: which is better?

Well, they are pretty similar. The Kuretake seems to be able to give a finer line and the brush itself seems springier; it regains its shape faster. However, this may be due to the fact that the Kuretake is brand new and the Pentel I have is a few years old. Yet one thing I definitely like better about the Kuretake is that it has a metal body, while the Pentel is plastic. I’d rather grip metal than plastic. This may seem like an arbitrary preference, but I’m sure some of you know exactly what I mean. So in the end, the scale tips in favor of the Kuretake brush pen.

As a side note, I had a Platinum Converter and filled that from a bottle of Carbon Ink I also got in the same shipment. This means I don’t have to throw away little plastic cartridges and the Carbon Ink is very nice and flows well.